For Denise

For Denise

A clever and intricate design Mia, would you consider doing anything like this again or is it too time-consuming?

Wow the detail in this - Mia you must have had the patience of a saint.

Well, I don't know my own strength! Glad I've inspired you to pull your old drawings out, because this is very impressive -- such work.... Do you find I wonder - as I certainly do - that the effort we were prepared to put in when we were much younger is out of all proportion to the effort we feel we need to make today? It's not I think that we made that effort for mercenary reasons - in fact I'm sure we didn't - but that we were genuinely so much more obsessed when we were younger, so much taken up by detail and exploration. As the years roll on, I suspect this obsession becomes refined, and we move beyond extreme detail (maybe partly because the eyesight won't stand it any more!). Certainly, I remember producing work of great detail, very careful detail - and in many ways I wish I could do it now: however, I've become looser and less obsessed: not entirely because of any decision I made, but just because - I got older! I wonder how many of our decisions really ARE decisions .... rather than a process of which we're really not in control..... Answers on a postcard please to the usual address.

Thank you Debs, Glennis and Robert. And Debs, I didn't remember doing this intil I looked into my "old" drawings, inspired by Robert. The ones I mostly liked are in a "remembrance portfolio" and I think (maybe) I could do something like this again but forgot all about ever making it. I only was an art-teacher for +/- 7 years, got married, had children and didn't paint or draw for more than 40 years. After having a job in the administration, I wanted to draw and paint again but started with watercolour because that was not a part of my training and I loved it. It certainly would be a challenge to try it again and I seriously considering it because it is a "talent" I forgot that I had it. Robert, you are absolutely right about the obsession when we were younger. Since I was a little child (my single mother being a "haute couture" dressmaker), I dreamed of becoming a fashion designer and I remember being drawing since I was .... The only way (a money problem) was to first go to the Art-teaching School. Then I started a teaching-job, married my first love and had my 2 lovely daughters. Left the job to look after my children and.... away was the dream.. because I had to step into real life!!! After my second job and the children getting married, I felt the need to use my "talent" again and I wanted to do what in Belgium was old fashion in the 60s: watercolour. But I soon discovered that drawing (pen and wash) was my favourite technique. You gave me the push to look at my student works and so I opened a new portfolio on POL where I am going to post my "archive-works". I hope you will take the time to have a look and maybe post a comment and I will appreciate this very much. Love, Mia

This is very different Mia, to your art of today.......I almost went straight by it! I appreciate and admire the time and effort into producing this image....I couldn't do it. Looking forward to seeing more of your past art work.

Interesting image Mia. Isn't it good to look at our older works. I have a sketch book dating from the days when my friend and I, as art students, hitchhiked through France to Northern Spain in the early 70's. All the good memories come flooding back!

Fancy keeping this under wraps! It is much too good to stay hidden in a file Mia :)

Thank you very much, Fiona, Louise and Sarah, for your positive comments.

This is a great design. I can just see it embroidered in gold on ivory silk - don't know why but that is how it comes over to me. It is lovely to delve in the mists of time and see what inspired you back then. I am glad you posted it for us all to enjoy.

i almost went and missed this one Mia it is so different from your usual techniques but so interesting and detailed, sometimes it is a good thing to look out pieces you have drawn or painted a long time ago, it can stir up so many memories. Like this.

Thanks Thea and Graham, I always enjoy your comments. And you are absolutely right: it is a surprise, looking at earlier works, to see what we were capable of.

Mia thank you for this lovely dedication. Its beautiful and very unusual.I really like it. I wish I could look back at some of my earlier work, but I stupidly destroyed it all when we moved. My love for art started in the 80's at school when I was introduced to pen and ink by a wonderful art teacher. I then had various work life experiences none of them enabling me to paint and draw. Also with a growing family. It is only in the last 3 years that I have been able to dedicate more time to my passion. So for such a long time very rarely put pen to paper. I also don't know where I find the patience but I just love to watch the painting 'grow'. You have certainly found your wonderful style mia, keep up the good work. Maybe one day I will try pen and wash. I would love to try.

This is such a great design with such fine detail it must have taken a lot of time and patience. Looking forward to seeing more from your archives Mia.

Such an interesting design Mia, yes show us some more!

Hi Denise, Val and Carole. Thank you very much for your lovely comments. I am posting another one in the coming days!

Wow Mia, such a different take from what you do now, but still with your inimitable stamp! Love that grouchy face!

I agree with everyone, this is really beautiful MIa

Thank you very much, Seok and Petra. I always highly appreciate your comments!

Hang on Studio Wall

Robert Jones gave me an idea: to look at my student-portfolio when I was at the Art-Teachers School in Bruges. This is a pen drawing using a nib-pen and Indian Ink, made in the early 60s. A very time consuming version of the sun. For Denise, because I didn't know I once had the patience to make this. She is still doing it.

About the Artist
Mia Ketels

I live in Blankenberge on the Belgian Coast, about 15km from Bruges. After being trained as an art teacher in the 60ties, I started teaching for a few years. Then I had my carreer in a school administration. After retirement, I started drawing and painting again. I bought a lot of English books…

View full profile
More by Mia Ketels