This painting of Françesca I made when pregnant with Nino (Fran was one year old then). We were living in Germany and I painted only an hour or two each day because I was too tired to sit longer (I was really big at that point).

It is based on drawings of Françesca sleeping, combined with my imagination. I find it wonderful to paint people.

Before I committed myself to still life painting I was working together with Karl using his rediscovered techniques of the old masters.

That is how I learned to use the different layers of paint in a simple and logical way.

I used to paint from my imagination, now I seem to have left that behind. How do you balance between reality and fantasy in your work?


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Here are some technical details about the painting.

Important to me in working with Karl was that I learned how to make a drawing and bring it on to an oak panel with a gesso made from rabbit skin glue and chalk.

On that you needed to draw for days and days and than also work on it with ink and a brush and still make changes.

When the drawing finally was finished the panel was ready for the underpainting. And that is as I already said a simple and logical process:

first the sky that was under-painted with azurite , white and ochre,

  • than the earth : under-painted with (a reddish color )
  • then the foliage : also a reddish under-painting
  • the skin color as close to the skin color as posible but a little warmer?
  • the cloth covering the baby I first under-painted it pink because I thought I wanted it to be over-painted with lapis lazuli
  • the under-painting of the left flower was blue with azurite the other one ocre.

Thus the process of under-painting was finished.

Karl and I where always surprised about the simple beauty of this stage.


Then the over-painting started:

  • the sky with lapis lazuli , white
  • the earth and foliage with verdigris, the cloth with lapis lazuli, later I made it white and gray

  • The skin I painted with a color that had the copy zinnober red
  • And the flower with lac lake, a homemade pigment.