Elly de Koster was born in Terneuzen, the Netherlands, in 1948. She studied graphic arts at the Eeklo Art School, in Belgium, taking mostly evening and weekend classes. Her teachers were Roger Nöel for graphics and Mr. Bauens for drawing and nude. She graduated in 1986 with the highest classifications – Hoge Onderscheiding.
The artist became acquainted with Exlibris during her studies and in her own words “…they became my first love. These tiny Artworks are so special and so powerful, you can give them all you want and they can tell so much. They are still my first love after all these years.”
Her Free Graphics are mostly colourful ink drawings, but she also does ink drawings in black & white.
Elly de Koster’s ex libris though, deserve a special mention amongst contemporary bookplate graphic artists. Indeed, they do not only show a great skill and perfection in the intaglio engraving techniques used, mainly etching and aquatint, as they present a mastery of drawing.
Since most her ex libris are coloured by hand, the final effect is generally outstanding. The intelligent use and combination of colours, creating contrast and depth, is one of the main characteristics of Elly de Koster’s creations.
Her works are quite unique revealing sensitiveness and a restless spirit looking for beauty and knowing how to portrait it.
Imagining and creating a bookplate is not an easy task and involves specific powers and skills in the process of artistic creation, since there ought to be a certain amount interaction with the person who ordered the ex libris. Elly de Koster’s bookplates have this magic, in as much as they portrait a little of their owner’s tastes and personalities. Interpreting the future bearer’s intentions should be an essential part of the bookplate creative process and this has been achieved with perfection by Elly de Koster.
Koster’ s birds, cats, owls, horses, goats and insects, not to mention the snake – in her own ex libris – are not only correctly depicted, but full of expression and movement.
Her Women and Nudes, sometimes combined with flowers, are natural and with a very feminine touch, making them beautiful pieces. Again, here the Artist reveals a unique sensitiveness.
Among her themes we also find children, which is rare in bookplates, fairy tales and mythological subjects.
She has made up to now more than 470 ex libris and much more is expected in the future from her creative powers for the delight of ex libris lovers.