Creator of Nature's Sketchbook products
As a little girl, Dutch artist Marjolein Bastin collected and treasured simple items from nature – pinecones, seeds, and flowers. As soon as she was able to hold a pencil and paintbrush, she began to lovingly capture the beauty of nature in her sketches and paintings.
"It was my way of holding forever the impression I loved so much in nature," she says.
Marjolein continued to pursue those impressions as she grew and developed her talent as an artist, ultimately attending the Academy of Arts in Arnhem, The Netherlands. Shortly after completing her studies there, her work came to be publicly recognized when she was asked to illustrate a one-page feature for the popular Dutch magazine Libelle.
A Hallmark designer discovered Marjolein's artwork while on a trip to Holland in the early 1990s, initiating a relationship that has spanned 25 years. Today, her Nature's Sketchbook greeting cards and stationery, as well as Keepsake Ornaments, remain among the company's best-selling offerings.
Marjolein's work currently is enjoyed the world over. In addition to her partnership with Hallmark, she provides ongoing contributions to Libelle. She also has written and illustrated children's books featuring the endearing Vera the Mouse character, which she created. Through her art and words, Marjolein offers people a simple reminder to pause and enjoy nature and allow it to be a source of serenity, energy, and healing.
"Painting is like a language to me. I say more with my brush than with words," Marjolein says. "It's a very honest and open way to say 'look and observe.' We all have nature around us. When I put it on paper, people open their eyes to it because it's art."
Marjolein and her husband and manager, Gaston, divide their time between country homes in Holland and in Missouri, near Hallmark's headquarters, as well a tropical retreat in the Cayman Islands. Each setting provides a unique glimpse of what nature has to offer throughout the world. The couple has a son, Mischa, a daughter, Sanna, and two grandchildren.