In 1954 I was born in Langenboom, a small village in the south of The Netherlands, where I had a happy and carefree youth. At the age of 16 I went to the School for Housepainters in Boxtel, where I discovered my interest in colors and my passion for drawing and painting. In my free time I started to make paintings of pictures that came into my mind.  I discovered a hobby which after years became my most important work.

 

First exhibition

In 1980 I was asked to exhibit my work in my hometown. A lot of people showed interest init and for the first time a few people told me that my style of painting could be classed as surrealism. In the beginning I didn’t know a lot about art and styles. After this exhibition my interest was aroused and I read a lot about art, for example surrealism.

 

To broaden my technical knowledge I first went to the Free Academy and after that to the Academy of Art in Arnhem where they accepted me on the basis of capacity and motivation. Yet I’m still called autodidact. After two years I decided to quit this study because I had the feeling they wanted me to choose a more abstract way of painting. I already had a style of painting of my own, inspired by Dali, Magritte and Willink and I didn’t want to change.

 

Colors and depth.

For the first few years I used ink and gouache and I was painting on panels. Later I decided to use oil paint on canvas.  I always prepare  my own canvasses. In the beginning I used the colors straight out of the tube but I didn’t always get the result I wanted. Because of that, I began to mix the colors myself on the basis of the three primary colors and black and white. I also prepare my own canvasses. I paint as detailed as possible and I don’t like it when strikes of a brush show on the painting.

 I want to create depth in my paintings as much as possible by using bright colors, playing with perspective and often showing a horizon. Through this depth in my paintings I want to say; look further than the horizon, broaden your field of vision, there is so much more than what you expect at first.

 

Story.

My paintings tell a story. All the places and pictures shown in my works are real to me. I’m touched by something I see or hear, but it also has to do with my fantasies and thoughts. I think for me painting is a way to focus on myself and sort my feelings out. Sometimes a meaning becomes clear to me only afterwards. No heavily loaded scenes, no profound messages but often for others recognizable pictures that move them. Symbols I use in my paintings are roses (love), eggs (fertility), feathers (freedom) and spheres (cycle of life).

 

When I start a painting, I roughly have a “story” in my mind but gradually I add or change something until I’m satisfied that the picture is complete. I always work on one painting at a time and I’m only satisfied when I think it’s perfect.

 At exhibitions I hear that the bright colors I use, have a positive effect on people and that they have their own interpretation of a painting, according to their personality and experiences. The title of the painting appears to be a good key. I hope that people ‘feel’ my paintings and that they are ‘touched’ by them. For me painting is a passion, a ‘must’, a wonderful way to express myself. My paintings are an extension of my inner self. When I’m painting I feel that the painting and I are one. I love to create images of places which don’t exist, but at the same time are recognizable.