Breitner took a couple of pictures of Geesje Kwak in some backyard, perhaps his own. Who knows? They are a bit grainy and it might be the same spot as in my graphite pencil drawing Geesje Kwak – 13-08-21. I don’t see poison ivy-like leaves and the fence-like structures above her head shown in that other photo though. There are some other bushes and some planks in the background, indications of the boundaries of a garden. Anyway, not very important but what struck me is how beautiful she is. Not a child anymore but not yet a lady.
Certainly she is a looker and eye charmer and perhaps Breitner even fell in love with her. I don’t blame him. once I heard you have to fall in love with your model a bit. This is totally true when it comes to Geesje. Apparently she is my new totem I can carve my stories in. But images are running out and all good series must come to an end. I think this one is dear to me because it shows her smiling. Back in the day people did not smile a lot in photos and certainly not many models posing for artists. This one shows an almost cheeky but also a bit embarrassed laugh. It is charming though. That coat and flowery hat, are these the clothes of a working girl? Did he buy these for the occasion?
All these questions I cannot answer and only add to the mystery of a girl we know so little of. The narrative is one thing though, another one is the formalistic side of the story. That one is my real and forms play a major role in this drawing. I was struck by the 19th century coat and its puffy round shapes. They seem to show the shapes of each and every fold in the coat optimally. For some reason I was inclined to use the principles of singularity as laid down in a drawing like Roundism (Singularity) – 01-06-17. That is proof enough for my endless admiration. Last but not least, I only loosely indicated the background like the horizontal planks of the fence and bushes. Such prevented unwanted focal points.
Graphite pencil (Sakura 0.5 mm, Pentel 4B) drawing Talens Bristol paper (21 x 29.7 x 0.1 cm)
Artist: Corné Akkers
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