THE AMERICA ADVENTURE
Years ago, I made this portrait of my paternal grandfather but never finished it. The intention is to add his name and some other text, although I don't know what yet. Anyhow, I want it to have the look of art nouveau style, with some decoration added. This was one of the first times I used stippling to create a portrait. It takes many hours of work but the advantage is that you can work for very short periods now and then and to me it is most relaxing!
THE WORK OF MY GRANDFATHER
My grandfather Robert Uleyn, my mother's father, was a Sunday painter. This means he was a non-professional painter and unschooled. His true profession was being a schoolteacher and he painted during his spare time. My youngest brother Kristoffel is the lucky owner of his sketchbook. Below you see some pages of this small book. Sometimes he made preliminary sketches with the aim of painting it at a later stage. I put some sketches next to the painting. I love the annotations of the colors he wanted to use.
This pencil drawing was made by my grandfather (1894-1967). It is a portrait that he made of his sister Anna. It is the only portrait I know of, he was actually a landscape painter. But I love this drawing a lot and in real life it has that velvety texture.
Some of my father's alphabets, as they were made ready to be printed in his first book in the 50's. He always worked on squared paper with Indian, waterproof ink and retouching with white gouache.
I'm working on a book, inspired by the journals of my maternal grandfather. The biggest part of his diaries is about World War I, but there are also stories and anekdotes of when he was a child, getting into mischief with his friends. He grew up in a very small village in West-Flanders where his father was a forester for a castle's lord. At the age of 16, he emigrated to the USA with his parents, brother and little sister. It's been a revelation to read these two diaries and to find out how his life was. I've already made a page about his life during WWI and I hope that other pages will follow!
WORLD WAR I
Our family is the lucky owner of two of my grandfather's journals. He wrote these diaries aged 70. He's telling about his childhood in a small village in Flanders. He describes himself as a little rascal who, from time to time, got into mischief with his friends. He writes about his elementary school years and his time in high school. Then about his decision to become a teacher, but how these studies were interrupted by the whole family going to America to find prosperity. How they came back, probably because they missed their homeland. How the First World War began just after they came back and he had to become a soldier, more specifically a stretcher-bearer, in and near the trenches of Flander's fields. How he continued his studies in the trenches in very poor conditions by candlelight and among the rats. After the war, he met his future wife. He became head teacher, married and got 4 children. My mother was the third in a row. These two journals are a real treasure and they inspire me to maybe make a illustrated book with some of the texts. I started in my sketchbook with some ideas and I'll see what will come out!
JAZZ FOR CHILDREN
Not my own work this time, but from my talented daughter. For her Master's project she worked on this children's book about jazz and jazz musicians. Since the target audience are children, she used animals alternating with musicians and charming short stories about their lives. There was also a CD included with songs from the book. Below some spreads of JAZZZOO!
June 12th, 2019
A while ago I posted a picture of my family tree on my mother's side. This one is on my father's side. On the left there is the handwriting of my great grandfather. He had to write a dictation in order to be admitted to become a customs officer. He passed the test! Below there is his picture and at the right some military papers. The oldest ancestor I found so far was born in 1652. I'll keep searching!
I dug up these New Year's cards from over the past twenty years or so. They're all made by my siblings, my daughter and me. The beginning of a new year is a perfect moment for showing them once more!
Copyright Joke Boudens 2015. All images and content are the property of Joke Boudens unless otherwise noted.