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Woollythistle on Instagram

May 20, 2019

I recently came across the beautiful work of ‘Woollythistle’ on Instagram. After scrolling through her artwork and liking pretty much everything I saw, I decided to contact the artist and find out a little more.

How did the name Woollythistle first come about ?

Hi Craig, I’m Tjitske (pronounced like ‘Chitska’), I’m from the Netherlands and live with my husband and twin sons in Kent, UK.

My screenname ‘Woollythistle’ came about before my art and instagram, it was my name on the knitting community site Ravelry. Woolly was a reference to my love of knitting and Thistle is what a spellchecker will suggest to change my unusual first name into. The Woolly Thistle is also a wildflower that grows mainly in southern England and as my art is mainly inspired by the natural world around me it still seems to fit my work so the name stuck.

Here’s a few early drawings from about 3 years ago.

Then moving on to Tjitske’s more recent work.

Do you think of yourself as an artist, illustrator or designer and did you train in the Arts at all ?

I’m a self taught artist/designer and only started drawing regularly about 3.5 years ago. I was always drawing and painting as a child and teenager and always loved art but life and work took me in other directions for a long time. It’s been really wonderful to rediscover this and it feels like I’m finally starting to be able to express the pictures that have always been in my head.

There appears to be some common themes of trees, birds, pattern and shape. Are you conscious of this or merely drawing the things you love and admire ?

My inspiration comes from looking at details in the natural world and abstracting from them and combining patterns with figurative elements. I love drawing animals and insects in their surroundings and especially like the shapes of trees and clouds and am always looking for new ways to draw them. 

How beautifully delicate are these everyone ?

Do you have any plans to turn your art into framed pictures, greeting cards etc as i’m sure there would be a great market for them ?

I have done some illustration for clients and am just starting to sell my art as prints as well. 

You have a beautiful style and I love the subtlety of the pencil work. You seem to notice details in the landscape that others sometimes miss. Do you sketch the images you depict first or are they mostly made up from memories of a scene or something you wanted to depict ?

I work mainly with pencils (graphite and colour pencils) and sometimes ink pens to create sketches and textures that I scan in and then assemble into compositions digitally. My inspiration comes from looking at details in the natural world and abstracting from them and combining patterns with figurative elements.

Textures, patterns, shapes and abstact elements all fuse themselves to add depth, colour and richness to these landscapes. I could see some of these pieces as rug designs or window blinds and homefurnishings.

How would you like to see your work to develop ?

In the future I would love to learn new skills like lino or wood block printing and find a good balance between hand made and digital art making.

They’re truly beautiful Tjitske and I wish you great things with your work going forward, do keep us posted and thanks again for sharing your art with us. I believe a new Etsy shop is in the making and in the meantime you can follow Woollythistle on Instagram here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. beverleykendall permalink
    May 20, 2019 9:16 am

    Absolutely beautiful work! The textures and patterns are delicate and lively and the treatment works so well with the subject matter. Inspirational! I’m off to follow Woollythistle on Instagram! Thanks for sharing.

    Beverley Kendall


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