I am participating in March Meet the Maker, a yearly Instagram challenge that promotes independent creators and businesses, by offering prompts that allow us to tell our story and showcase our art and products. Follow me along on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/gardeniafair for daily snippets of information about me, the story behind my art and creations and a peek behind the artistic creative process.

Day 1: Origin story

How it all started: I have been fasscinated by marbled paper and hand bound books ever since my first encounter with Maestro Alberto Valese´s work, during a visit to his shop in Venice in 1992. His Fleur de Lis (featured as a card here) began my fascination with Ebru, the art of marbled paper. At Maestro Valese´s shop I saw beautiful handmade papers, covered hand bound books and sketchbooks. I was hooked. I left the shop buying obscene amounts of papers, sketchbooks and cards, all of which I still cherish and own.

A few years ago, this inspiration took me to learn how to marble paper and how to bind my own books, starting in Berlin. In 2022 I spent time in Florence, Italy, learning marbling from Francesca, a Maestra dell´Arte who helped me make beautiful papers of my own. As it turns out, Francesca´s teacher had been a pupil under Maestro Valese, so my path to marbled paper and bookbinding went back to the very place where it started. I went back to Venice to look for Maestro Valese´s shop. Although he is now retired, his work is still kept alive and is available at the @anticalegatoriaofer at Campo Santo Stefano 3471 if you want to visit.

Day 1 of #MarchMeettheMaker 2023 🙋‍♀, created by @joannehawker. I will share my path as an artist making marbled paper and binding books. Swipe to see a close up of Maestro Valese´s Fleur de Lis. You can also see March Meet the Maker´s full list of prompts, which I will follow to tell you more about myself and my art.

🖌️ About March Meet the Maker: This challenge aims to support independent businesses to share the stories behind the scenes: how everything started, projects on the way, learning curves, anything that can help you get to know the artist and shop owner better.



Marbled Paper Sketchbook by GardeniaFair
GardeniaFair recreation of Paul Klee´s The Architecture of the Plane

Day #2: All about me – The colour has me.

“Color has me. I don’t need to chase after it. It has got me forever. That is the meaning of this happy hour: I and the color are one.” These words by Paul Klee reflect his fascination with colour during his trip to Morocco in April 1914.

✏ All about me #MarchMeettheMaker ✏
I am all about colour. Not shape. Not texture. Not depth. Colour possesses a grip in my creative view of the world. It is the interaction of colour, the impact of colours on us what drives me when I create art.

One of the ways I interact with colour is looking and recreating colour wheels and playing colour games in my mind. Here you see my attempt to understand and recreate Paul Klee’s “The Architecture of the Plane” which had fascinated me for years. In 2022, while visiting the @museumberggruen in Berlin, I turned a corner and saw it on the wall. I gasped and was immediately mesmerised, trying to figure out the order of the layers, the interaction of the colours layerd one over the other. I got completely immersed in it for at least half an hour, fascinated to have this unexpected experience just before me.

The same thing happened when I saw Johannes Itten’s Colour Star original poster at the Bauhaus Museum in Weimar during the Bauhaus centenary in 2019 (see more at @klassikstiftung). How many times have we all painted a colour wheel? And here it was, the original painting, ready to play all of my colourful mind games: which two colours go best together? Or is it better to combine three? Do teal and orange make a good combo? What is it about yellow and violet that disturbs me so much? I have since bought the original “Farbstern” publication, which provides endless hours of colour fun.

What about you? Are there any other #colourlovers over there? Or are you more of a shape fan?