My illustration course teacher gave me a bunch of books by Eastern European illustrators a month ago. Yesterday I sat myself down in my studio and started studying them. There were many names unknown to me…there was work I liked instantly and there was work I didn’t like. But there was also work that grew on me, among which was the work of Ivan Gantschev.

He paints with watercolour so freely…his work is abstract and yet it’s figurative enough to illustrate children’s books. I love how a coloured stain from him makes a tree. And how a green stained ball makes the earth. I took an image from him before me and started painting a rocky landscape….I didn’t copy (although Gantschev’s was also a rocky landscape), but I took a few quick glances to see how I could go and then let the paint carry me further…I would never have tried this out without this huge stack of books!

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