It has been a while since I wandered through the Hatert Meres (Hatertse Vennen). In 2014 to be precise. Hatert Meres 09 (2014) was my last pastel of that series but there was one I made two years earlier. When I was browsing in my maps looking for the first one I suddenly found that unfinished one. It was a draft that, how promising it was colorwise, also was a bit of a bore. Perhaps it had something to do with a rigid method I kept myself stuck in. Then I liked only to use hatched strokes in one single direction. Such gave all landscapes I did a rather blurry impressionist look.
You know these moments in life when you feel the universe is calling you to take action. Surely it wanted me to find it and refurbish it. Or should I say it would not deprive me from one of my valuable learning moments? Anyway, after a quick look I saw what the problem was. Maybe it is just because of many years of pastel experience in between I realized it was the heather. I must admit that these kinds of landscape always scare me a little bit. How charming heather may be, it also lacks a certain depth and can tend to look weakish all too quickly. Besides that, I am a tonal man and find myself attracted to the hefty play of dark and light. You see, trouble there keeping on hitting me in the face.
No Hatched Strokes
Regardless of the heather challenge, the initial attraction was the blue of the little meres in contrast to orange hues. Next to this yellow grasses contrasted the purples of the heather quite nicely. My original plan back in the day to execute all forms in parallel hatched strokes did not work out though. I found it too boring and there was no exciting rhythym in texture. The heather kept on looking tremendously flat. The solution was to lay rough strokes in a 90 degree angle against the direction of the hatched strokes. However, I made the trees in the back less sharp, even a bit blueish in order to create depth. All in all the Hatert Meres are an enchanting place to visit when you are in the neighborhood. Lucky for me I was confronted with that enchantment once again.
Pastel drawing on Canson Mi-Teintes paper (50 x 65 x 0.1 cm)
Artist: Corné Akkers