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Marjolein Bastin

That Marjolein loves nature speaks for itself. Lucky for Marjolein is a walk through the forest, bird-watching in the dunes, a trip through the meadows or looking for shells on the beach. For Marjolein, the smallest details she observes during a walk are fascinating. The fact that many people overlook these small scenes in their immediate surroundings is an important source of inspiration for Marjolein to draw these details.

Marjolein is in love with the rabbit along the shell path on Ameland, with the pimpernel that grows in the Swiss mountain pastures, with the wagtail that feeds her young under the straw roof, and with the American raccoon that robs the birdhouse empty at night. This fascination with the very small piece of earth around her began when she was only a few years old. In the garden of her parents John and Pia Uit den Bogaard in Loenen aan de Vecht, Marjolein often lay on her belly enjoying everything around her: the yellow, fat glossy teatwort flowers on the ditch side, crispy on the water where ducks pulled black forwards, the flower garden, the lane to the Vecht bordered by apple and pear trees. Marjolein soon realized that if you observe well enough, more and more happens.


When Marjolein was nine years old, the family moved to the Veluwe, now expanded with a second daughter Babette. Her father, author of the popular series "Swiebertje" books, was appointed editor-in-chief of the N.C.R.V. guide and so Marjolein got to see a whole new world. Other plants, other birds, other smells, the dry sandy soil, another voyage of discovery. Sitting on the ground, she saw entirely new scenes: black dung beetles that drag rabbit droppings to their corridors with difficulty, green walking beetles running through the loose sand, lizards and hazel worms on the hunt for insects between the heipolls.

It is clear that Marjolein has always felt a strong bond with everything that grows and blooms, flies and crawls. This bond, coupled with the need to share it with others, motivated Marjolein to start drawing. First to show her mother what was going on in her own garden, later to share the same fascination with millions of other people.


After the Academy of Visual Arts in Arnhem (where she met her husband Gaston) Marjolein worked for various advertising agencies and publishers. This period was a busy time for Marjolein in which she had little time to draw the beloved nature around her. In 1974, however, Marjolein started her collaboration with the magazine Libelle, which in 1980 gave her the freedom to translate her enthusiasm for nature into a column that has appeared in the magazine every week for more than thirty years now. Each column is a glimpse into the heart of Marjolein, who in turn tries to show people what's on display in the backyard, as long as you take the time to look.

From the beginning of the nineties, Marjolein's drawings were enjoyed intensively in America as well. The cooperation with various companies in America has resulted in a whole new world opening up for Marjolein. Like her first voyage of discovery on the Veluwe, the visits to America were an enormous source of inspiration. Armed with her unbridled enthusiasm, Marjolein started drawing American nature in her unique way. Despite the fact that the country is so large, Marjolein looks for the intimate in her immediate surroundings. She shows that behind America's vast landscapes are hidden small riches, which are fascinating and worth seeing. "Unknown birds, new flowers, strange butterflies - I had to start all over again, I had to look up everything! And now I want to share the beauty of America again with all my Dutch friends, just like I show my American friends again how beautiful Dutch nature is."

Her passion for the natural spectacle is of a universal character that attracts people all over the world. Marjolein's work can now be found on cards, calendars, crockery, bedding, gift items and many other products. For Marjolein, however, only one thing remains important: to be able to draw the wonderful world around her every day from behind her desk.

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