Sunday, December 7, 2008

Three new portrait comissions by Harmen R Hielkema

Jeen Oostenrijk: H, HB, 2B, 3B Pencil on paper
500 x 350 mm

Lyn: Aquarelle coloured pencil on water colour paper.

Eric: Pencil (F, HB, 2B & 3B) on paper 500mm x 350mm

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another G.H. Elliott watercolour emerges

Since I published the restoration of the G.H. Elliott water colour "Mountain Mists" I have been approached by the owner of a beautiful river scene painted by Elliott in 1885.
Like the one I restored the frame is dilapidated but in the case of this painting, (also mounted on board with gum arabic) it is in remarkably good condition.
For the sake of documentation I have decided to publish an image of this painting on my blog.
I wonder how many more there are out there?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Restoration of Yvonne Rust painting.

Valley of lilies: by Yvonne Rust. Acrylic on linen and oil tempered hardboard, 93 x 88 cm.
Before restoration by Harmen Hielkema
This painting by New Zealand artist Yvonne Rust is one of her earlier works from her Northland, Opua period and is one of a series of lily paintings.
The scene is of a valley surrounded by trees, white arran lilies feature in the fore and middle grounds. The canvas is of raw unprimed linen glued onto oil tempered hardboard. In the painting of this work Yvonne chose acrylic as her medium. She layered it on straight from the tube in an energetic and impressionistic style.

I believe that the finished painting spent some time folded up before it was glued to the board. Evidence of this lies in the obvious fold damage visible as two vertical lines bisecting the painting vertically where the paint has cracked and flaked off the linen substrate.

This painting features regular areas of bare or exposed linen where her brush has either missed or been dragged dry over the surface. In other areas the paint has been loaded on to the extent that as it dried over time it has become brittle showing long cracks.

I have consolidated the loose paint with PVA resin and cleaned the entire surface with a combination of methyl alcohol and water with a small dilution of potassium and sodium hydroxide.

Surface contaminants appeared to consist of mold, dust and insect spots which were removed with minimal disruption to the painted surface.

It was then considered appropriate to varnish the surface to further consolidate the paint and to protect it from further dirt infiltration.

In discussion with the owner it was decided that a mat varnish would best suit the piece to retain it's original overall appearance. Two coats of varnish were applied.

The finished result is not a startling transformation, however its long term survival is now assured. To further protect the piece I have recommended that it be re framed behind glass.

Valley of lilies: by Yvonne Rust. Acrylic on linen and oil tempered hardboard, 93 x 88 cm.
After restoration by Harmen Hielkema. 18th August 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Restoration of an early New Zealand Watercolour

G. H. Elliott: “Mountain Mists”
Taipo Valley, Westland.
Condition report and Conservation of a late 19th, early 20th century,
New Zealand water colour

I believe this painting to be the work of a very competent landscape water colourist and one of significance to the history of art and artists of New Zealand. (Refer to the dossier of print derived from various sources from the internet relating to G.H. Elliot & the Canterbury School of Art of which he was director from 1886 to 1905).

The painting at the time of writing, so far as can be ascertained, has been in the possession of descendants of G.H. Elliot continuously until it was uplifted by Fran who sought me out & instructed me to carry out the restoration work. The painting came to me in dilapidated condition with all the component parts separated.

Parts included:
1: Gilt frame.
2: glass.
3: White painted matt board with inscription Mountain Mists Taipo Valley Westland.
4: Watercolour painting signed by artist G.H. Elliott on paper mounted with gum arabic onto old cardboard backing.
5: Backing card with stamped inscription from a commercial framer.

Gilt frame:
Badly chipped at the corners and on the relief moldings with several sections of the decorative gilded surface missing. All miter joints had started.

Lower left corner.

Lower right corner.

Top Right

Top left

Removed several large nails from frame rebate.
All joints thoroughly cleaned. Frame was re glued with aliphatic PVA resin and clamped. All old steel corner fastenings were examined and left in place to avoid further damage to delicate composition detail.

A cast was taken from an undamaged section of the frame relief with dental algenate and a new section was cast in the impression with a polyester resin filler.
The missing sections were replaced with new, fitted inserts. Small saw cuts were made into the edges of the damaged corners and inserts of timber were glued in to rebuild the corners to a neat , sharp external right angle. The repairs were primed and resurfaced with spirit based antique gold metallic paint. Much of the surface paint was damaged past touch up level so the decision was taken to refinish the whole frame.

Glass cleaned, Matt board cleaned with moist tissues and repaired with gesso filler. All blemishes retouched with appropriate white paint.

The decision was taken to clean the painting in accordance with a procedure described by conservator Christine Smith from her paper published by the American Institute for Conservation, Volume 17, 1998.
“Inpainting/overpainting paper art using mixed dry pigments & complimentary colours”

Before repair showing foxing, moisture damage, abrasion/gouging to paper and insect damage. Please note the deeper colouration around the image, this being the result of acid foxing and protection from sunlight by the matt board. The matt has been poorly repainted at some time since its original framing. There is a vertical “cut in” line of white paint evident on the right and left of the image which is untreatable.

Detail of surface damage: Moisture damage and vertical paint line evident.

Detail of surface damage:

Further detail of deep scoring damage in river foreground.

Cleaning was achieved by finely grating a pencil eraser over the entire surface of the work, which was then gently rubbed over the painting with a soft brush, lifting loose dust and contaminants from the paint surface & considerably revealing the pigment colours and generally improving the appearance of the work.

After cleaning pigment powders were prepared from high quality pastels ground by blade on a glass surface. Watercolour paints were generally of the dried cake variety at the time of painting and I made an educated guess at the likely colours used by Elliott from such a palette. The pigments were mixed to match each area of damage and applied with the use of a selection dentists “points.”

Areas of damaged paper were carefully in-filled and over-painted using dry pigment only. All obtrusive foxing marks were disguised in the same manner.

After conservation treatment. (click on image for detailed view).

All processes were chosen for reversibility should the work be subject to further conservation treatment in the future.

Every care was taken to retain the original qualities, colours, details and composition of the original work.

Details of the repaired frame.

Refitting painting in frame:

The Elliott painting back in its frame.
The decision was made to follow contemporary archival practice in the replacement of the painting back into the refurbished frame.

At re assembly it was found that the glass no longer fitted the rebate of the repaired frame by an excess of 2 mm. It is assumed that the glass was cut to fit the frame at a time when the miter joints were partially separated later in the life of the painting. A correctly fitting replacement 3mm glass panel was the only practical solution.

A narrow length of double-sided tape was laid onto the back of the glass around the perimeter. Four strips of mylar were cut and fitted onto the back of the glass surface, overlapping the edges & secured by the tape. Once assembled the tape and mylar are obscured by the rebate of the picture frame. The mylar strips were folded back to create an envelope. As the glass was placed into the rebate, into the envelope was placed the mat board, cardboard positioning strips, painting, acid free backing sheet and backing card in a sandwich. Finally the protruding mylar strips were folded over and taped down to the backing card thereby sealing the painting, behind its mat board, airtight against the glass. The enveloped sandwich was then secured with small plated nails in the traditional manner and taped over with framing tape.

The finished result is not without its blemishes however the evident damage has been minimized to the naked eye. The dry pigment repairs to the painting can be seen in raking light on close inspection. The frame, though not sporting its original finish (because of the extensive damage and marking) is as like to the original as could reasonably be achieved within the scope of this restoration.

Harmen Hielkema, Artist designer, (B.A, BSD), Waima Lodge. Dated: 23/7/08 Ph. 09 405 3808

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Harmen's retrospective sign art

The following signs are next to each other in line down Beaumont Street near the entrance to Westhaven Boat Marina.
All these signs have lasted through 15 years, a long time in this industry & in this city! (Auckland) Testament to my philosophy that quality workmanship is appreciated and valued.
They are only a fraction of the work that I have been involved in, some of it simply escaped without being recorded, still more will appear in due course.
I wish to acknowledge the people with whom I had the pleasure of working during my time as a sign writer and mural painter, the team at Signing On, particularly Ross, Tom & Joy Hall, Mike Tolley, Dylan & Damien Lee, Chris Verral, Canon Smith, Al (Bundy) Wier, Mike Stoneyman, Mark James, Anthony Gray & Jimmy Z; couldn't have done it without you!

Starting with the big plywood Coke bottle on the side of the lunch bar, 1992: I took this photo in 2005 and it still looks fresh!
I painted this large installation with automotive lacquer after cutting out the form from 6 sheets of 8'x 4' plywood. The ice cubes are partly painted onto the building and some are also from plywood. The blue sign emerging from the right side of this photo is the next sign job featured...

Bean Rock Lighthouse: 1992, also still there in 2005 and looking good!
This was something of a team effort on account of its size.
I painted the blend on the building, water, clouds etc with and automotive spray gun and acrylic paint. With Chris Verral, I built a fiberglass awning in the shape of a reef complete with marine life. The lighthouse was built by my colleague Julian Pirie and me. It's a 1/4 scale replica of an historic wooden light house marking a reef at the entrance to Auckland harbour.
Mural details follow...

Schnapper appearing from around the back of the sign.

Blue Moki swims off nervously.

The reef and shop front awning.

The next shop on the block 1992: Large Mural of storm waves for a marine rescue supply shop.
acrylic house paint on to brick, one of the most difficult of all substrates.
Photo 2005.

Ayers Rock for jacob's Creek wines. 1989.
Before computers and printers dominated the outdoor graphics industry I had to paint these by hand. I painted 10 of these 3 x 10 meter bill boards with very volatile etching inks onto PVC fabric using a combination of airbrush, spray gun and sea sponge.

Graphics on a fleet of 10 vehicles for a local radio station, 1989. Airbrushed on to JAC decal transfer vinyl with automotive acrylic lacquer.

Dave's surf board, 1986
Airbrushed on to foam before glassing.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Harmen's sculpture gallery

A small selection of commercial sculpture made by me during my working career. There are many more pieces unrecorded, distributed all over NZ.
Harmen's left hand: Steel armature, polyurethane foam & fiberglass.

A special thanks here to the boys at Bootleg Design: Carl Moody, Mike Chapman, Garreth Pugh, Ray, Kevin & John. Thanks for sharing your humour at a difficult time for me.
Terminator skull: Polyurethane foam & fiberglass.
in Bootleg factory, Auckland.
Terminator Skull on Cherry picker arm.
"Fight for life" scull in action.
Felix: Polystyrene foam & epoxy glass fiber.

Toby: Steel armature, fibreglass, hemp fiber.
acrylic laquer.

Indian Elephant: Modeled on Kashin from Auckland Zoo
Polyurethane foam & fiberglass
A scan of the New Zealand Geographic Magazine Number 15 July September 1992 Pages 90 & 91. I was working as an industrial model maker, sculptor, sign writer and special projects manager for Signing on Sign writers.

Thai Golden Elepahant: Ferro cement. Epoxy paint
Boris the spider: Steel armature, Polyurethane foam & fiberglass.
acrylic lacquer.
Qantas model aircarft: Polystyrene and
silver iced birthday cake.

Qantas birthday cake.
Max o tac phone: Promo 3.D sign for Motorolla Plywood, fibreglass, perspex, anamatronics & lighting.

Welder / self portrait: retail shop front sign. Polyurethane foam, fibreglass, MDF board, polyester resin. Neon and Halogen lighting.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Art Gallery: The work of Harmen Hielkema

Portraits, drawings and painting. A selection of the hundreds of portraits and other works made by me over the years. Many others are unrecorded and hang on the walls of homes of friends and family around the world.

To discuss commissioning me to create a unique original for you, please feel free to contact me: Harmen Hielkema. Ph.+66494057855

L Douglas Horman. Pencil on paper.
Yvonne Rust, coloured pencil on unglazed stoneware plate.

Eric and Helenie with Little Yossie. acrylic on canvas.
Doctor G.M. Smith of Rawene. Pencil on paper.

Eric Hiakita. Pencil on paper

Julie Holton: Pencil on paper. (3rd generation photograph, low quality)

Julie Holton. Pencil on paper. (3rd generation photograph, low quality)
Jeen Oostenrijk. Pencil on paper
Robert Downey: coloured pencil on paper
"Opa" Henk Oostenrijk: (3rd generation photograph, low quality)
Roelof Hielkema, Pencil on paper
Maori Woman 1876. After a painting by Gottfried Lindauer. Graphite on paper.

Lyn McGrath. coloured pencil on paper.

Elise McGrath: coloured pencil on paper. 2008
Kotuku (Maori for white heron): at Rawene.
aquarelle coloured pencil and airbrush on paper. 500mm x 650mm.
Original photo reference by Martin Sanders.
Catherine's horse. Acrylic on canvas 1200mm x 1200mm.
Taraka Mimiti. Acrylic on Canvas, 900mm x 510mm
"Beppe" Feikje Hielkema: Pencil on paper. (3rd generation photograph, low quality)

Sarah Kelly of Waima: Pencil on paper. 2008. 500 x 650 mm
Image based on an old 1919 postcard in the collection of the Kelly family. (2nd generation photograph, low quality)

Nigel Holton: Aquarelle coloured pencil on paper.

Totara Sunset. Oil on canvas, 850 x 550mm. Private collection of the Land Family

Woman with her horse: Aquarelle coloured pencil on paper.
Cleo: Aquarelle coloured pencil on paper.
Rebekka dancing: Aquarelle Coloured pencil on paper.

Aaria dancing: aquarelle coloured pencil on paper.
Emily: Aquarelle Coloured pencil on paper.
Abigail: Aquarelle Coloured pencil on paper.

Lola: Aquarelle coloured pencil on paper.
Pupuke Sunrise: Watercolour on paper.
Te Wa at Sunset, Coromadel: Watercolour
Takapu @ Ngataringa Bay: Watercolour.
Toroa off Milford: Aquarelle coloured pencil on paper.

My impression of Takapu. Water colour on paper illustration.

Micronesian outrigger canoe: Aquarelle coloured pencil on paper.
Takapu the Gannet: Aquarelle coloured pencil on paper.
One owner: Tempera water colour on paper.
Riverhead house @ Horeke, Hokianga: Water colour.

Tangaroa: Mural, acrylic over permafil on board, 1200 mm x 2400 mm

Ariki beating home past North Head, Auckland: Acrylic on canvas, 1989
Based on a black and white image by Henry Winkelman, circa 1907

Four new boat portraits.

Water colour on paper. A4 size Water colour on paper. A4 size Water colour on paper. A4 size Water colour on paper. ...