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These Incredible Soothing Illustrations Were Made With a Freaking Pencil

Filled with effortless grace, the fine-lined works of Marsi van de Heuvel deftly modernize Impressionism.

by Diana Shi
Dec 10 2016, 12:45pm

All images courtesy the artist and SMITH Studio

Fine-tipped flowers blend with fineliner pens in the soft, soothing tableaus of one visual artist's floral-focused, two-dimensional works. The Cape Town-based artist weaves the delicate nature of florals with a pastel-based palette. Marsi van de Heuvel is currently showing her second solo exhibition, Ceremony, at SMITH Studio. The artist uses fineliner pens to create the elongated tableaus which often overlap in a repeating pattern of garden specimens and pointillist-esque blending.

She says,"I felt fineliner as an art medium has not been explored to it's full capacity or exhausted." shares the artist. "I try to use the pen as paint in the way I layer color. Making one directional marks repetitively is very meditative for me."

Van de Heuvel's choice of color can range from variations of downy sea foams to baby-soft washes of pink and blue. The artist draws parallels between her work and the effortless presentation of ballet, in both craft's organized repetition to produce a meaningful and distinctly impactful piece of art.

The artist shares with The Creators Project that she had previously worked heavily with blues and blacks so this time she wanted her work to focus on a more relaxing message. "I wanted this new work to be different and to feel light and comforting. I'm interested in art as a form of therapy and how natural beauty is transformative and helps with healing. I wanted the flowers and colors to be radiant and subtle and create sense of cheer and well-being," she says.

Like many creatives, van de Heuvel does not rush her work. Time is a benefit and helper to playing with the many options before she puts fine-line pen to paper. Her most frequent inspirations come from library reference books and old bookstores. NPR podcasts also help the artist to identify turns of phrases that may provoke a certain reaction and give rise to the beginnings of her creative process. The artist hopes the drawing series serves as a type of visual therapy, bringing in the balm of natural beauty to quell nerves and heal an ailing body and mind.

Marsi van de Heuvel's works are currently showing at SMITH Studio in Cape Town until January 21, 2017. Find more information about the exhibit, here.

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