Hannie Mommers, Visual Artist and Busy Bee

Hannie Mommers, Visual Artist and Busy Bee

Even though I am officially retired, I can assure you that a visual artist never truly retires. I did quit my graphic design studio and I even quit my home country the Netherlands to move to Spain some years ago.

The first reason to move was that I have 2 Spanish grandsons.

And the second one was the weather. Dutch weather isn’t known to be dry and sunny!

I need the sun for one of my present activities, Cyanotype. Other activities are Gelli printing, drawing, painting, handmade books, and writing for this website to share my knowledge and expertise with you.

My mission

It’s my mission to make the world more beautiful with my art to give other people pleasure. I want to leave the world in a healthy state in the future by working as sustainably as possible.

Presently, I have several activities

The perfect hobby for a sunny climate: Cyanotype

The basic technique of Cyanotype is quite simple. All you have to do is mix some fluids, brush it on paper, let it dry, put some flowers on it and let it expose to the sun. However, even after a few years, I am still enthusiastic about this technique. 

Once you have mastered the basics, all kinds of variations are possible. Wet cyanotype, adding materials to change the pH, or varying the developer solutions. Fantastic!

Feel free to join my workshops, which is possible in English and Dutch. My Spanish isn’t good enough yet, I’m working on that.

Related: How to Get Started with Cyanotype to Create Splendid Blue Prints?

Cyanotype of Oleander by HM
Basic cyanotype.
Cyanotype: Judas Money petals
Wet cyanotype.
Cyanotype: Coins
Cyanotype with Curcuma colouring.

Gelli printing is great for rainy or cool days

Don’t worry, on sunny days you can also make Gelli prints. Yet, it can be so warm where I live, that I prefer cooler days to work on my prints so the paint won’t dry too quickly.

Gelli print is a form of mono-printing that uses a flexible gelatin-like plate instead of a glass plate or a lithographic stone. I often combine it with collage to make mixed media images.

Related: What is Gelli Printing and What Makes it so Amazingly Easy?

Collage and stencils 201
Gelli print and stencils.
Collage January 166
Gelli print and stamps.
Collage February 173
Gelli print.

Taking pictures is a passion

The days I don’t take any pictures are rare. All the more since I have an iPhone. I use my DSLR only occasionally nowadays because I can zoom in with my phone. And like everyone else, I have my phone always with me.

In fact, there are features on the iPhone that are harder to achieve or impossible on my large camera, so I carry it around less and less.

Related: Photography is my Passion, why is Taking Pictures Important?

Fish in the supermarket
A marvellous subject, although not every shop allows taking pictures.
Forced perspective
Forced perspective is also a great activity with the family.
Hipstamatic picture of a grasshopper
An important thing about me: I love the Hipstamatic app on my phone!

How to find inspiration

An artist always tries to inspire herself and keep being inspired. What I love most is experimentation. I can do that with cyanotype and with other activities.

Every year, I set myself a specific task. At the moment (2023), my challenge is a daily collage. Collage is a great technique that combines several materials and methods to create a new image. 

Former tasks I set myself were a daily drawing and a daily photograph.

Related: It’s Great to Combine Collage with Drawing or Painting

2019: Being creative every day.
Hipstamatic picture
2020: Taking a picture daily.
Collage Augustus012
2022/23: Making collages and assemblages.

Being a sponge

Other artists are a terrific inspiration source as well. In addition to visual artists, architects, musicians, dancers and writers are important to me.

Texts and quotes are a start for a drawing or collage. Buildings are great for a photo shoot and allow me to be aware of composition and structure.

Related: Postmodern Architecture and my 3 Favourite Heroes

Antoni Tapies
Antoni Tàpies, my favourite painter.
Juan Munoz
Juan Muñoz, sculptor and maker of great drawings.
Looking up the tower from inside at the ground floor
LUMA in Arles by Frank Gehry.

New paths

Another way to keep being inspired is taking courses. I consider myself a lifelong student and never stopped taking courses in all kinds of subjects. A great side effect of this is the like-minded people I meet this way.

My latest fascination is making handmade books and filling them with art. To learn how to do this, I became a member of the Handmade Book Club. Marvellous!

Related: A Japanese Bookbinding Tutorial to Save Your Art Sustainable

Cover of an art journal
Gelli printed cover and Japanese bookbinding.
Handmade Book with collaged cover
Collaged cover and Hourglass binding.
Cyanotype on textile cover and Single Sheet Coptic Binding.

A past in the spirit of creativity

Graphic designer and entrepreneur

At some point, I decided to quit my job as a teacher and become an entrepreneur. My parents were horrified. When I was young, they urged me to find a secure job. And now I was throwing that away for an insecure life as a self-employed graphic designer.

OK, they were right, it wasn’t always easy. Yet I loved my work so much, that I never regretted this step. And BTW, the fact that I was able to take these kinds of big steps also ensured that I now live in Spain.

Related: What are the Rules of Corporate Identity that Can Stand the Test of Time?

Blauw Fotografie corporate design
Blauw Fotografie, corporate style and stationery.
Stadsherstel Website
Stadsherstel, corporate style and website.
Book and cover for Ingo de Moor
Ingo de Moor, books and covers.

Abstract Sculptural Ceramicist

Most work of a graphic designer is 2-dimensional. Making ceramics was a good counterpart. I made abstract sculptural ceramics. 

At times I bought factory clay, but I loved working with my own mix of ball clay, perlite and paper. The effect was amazing, resulting in beautiful skin. I washed the works with coloured slips to add to that effect.

I quit being a ceramicist to respond to my desire to be sustainable.

Related: The Inspiration, Process, and Results of my Abstract Ceramics

Holding On 2
Holding On 2, 20x20x20 cm.
LisaSphere 1, 29x29x18 cm.
Big objects made with clay rolls
Reaching for the Sky, 1 to 1,4 m.

My presence on the Internet

I always pull a face when people my age (I’ll be 70 in 2023) tell me that the internet is not for the elderly, which means themselves.

Say what? I have a Dutch friend of 95 who still writes me lovely emails and likes my posts on Facebook. Isn’t that fantastic?

I love to write on this website and post pictures on Instagram. Both media are a great way to showcase my work.

What others say about me

People have made remarks about my workshops, graphic design, and lectures that you can read in these Testimonials.

A presentation for a school. Unfortunately in Dutch. 🙂

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