Geertje Aalders (3/5)

Papercut artist Geertje Aalders makes such beautiful stuff. Using a knife she cuts the most wonderful scenes from paper, often with animals and flowers taking center stage. Luckily, she does this for Flow quite often. In this guest blog she tells us all about herself, her life, and her work.

Last week I showed you how the things I make come about. This week I’d like to show you a few more projects. Perhaps my papercuts have caught your eye in Flow or another magazine. Apart from papercuts I make all sorts of other illustrations. Such as lifelike oil paintings of insects. Or pen and ink drawings, or ones in pencil. And poo. For some inexplicable reason one of my clients thought I was ideally suited to illustrating animal droppings. And after that first poo report – to my great joy – there were lots more to follow.
I’m proud as a peacock! Making the cover for Flow, it doesn’t get much better than that! This was another project that involved a lot of research, those plants and flowers really had to fit into the Spring theme.
And then Hema (a big Dutch department store) calls to check whether you’d like to make something pretty for Christmas. Of course! The shop décor, the brochure and the online promo; all of it cut out by hand. Both in Dutch and in French. Of course I went to Paris to see how it was displayed. (You should always grab any chance you get to go to Paris!)
The beautiful Valkhof Museum in Nijmegen commissioned me to make a cutout on a 30 by 5 meter wall for the exhibition ‘Out of the fold’. I came up with photo wallpaper depicting eighteenth century scenes, such as ‘Jantje zag eens pruimen hangen’ (‘Little Johnny saw plums in a tree’ a famous Dutch children’s poem by Hieronymus van Alphen) (top left).A special Advent calendar by IXXI, consisting of 24 tiles you can turn over.
You can order birth announcements from featuring my papercuts! I’m thrilled to finally have my own collection.
In this picture I have upholstered an Artifort – Orange Slice chair. It’s a collector’s item. It depicts a fairy tale from One Thousand and One Nights, ‘The Fishes and the Crab’.Here’s an example of my pen drawings, one of them combined with colored ink. On the left a coloring plate for grownups (Tiger lilies) and on the right a botanical illustration (Hellebore).
I painted these illustrations using oils. A lovely bit of precision work, getting all the little hairs, warts and eye lashes just right. The best part is when you get to put the final white dot inside the little eye, that’s when the animal comes to life. (Please pay special attention to the ‘it wasn’t me’-look on the face of the loon).
These are pencil drawings for the ‘How stuff works’ section in Ouders van Nu (‘Parenting Now’)  magazine, which is of a scientific nature. I love all the research that goes into these assignments!

And these are my turds. No idea how they figured this out, but I was born to do this. In order to study goldfish poo up close I used a soup spoon. A memorable day in my career.

Next week I’d like to show where I find my inspiration. Thanks for reading! It’s just marvelous.