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Since 2010 the familiar themes have continued to inspire my work: solitude, nature and the sense of the mysterious.
Obviously the romantic spirit has become too much a part of my artistic universe to be denied. With one remarkable exception: the humorous interpretation of the great painting by the seventeenth century artist Willem Claeszoon Heda. But in this case the painting was commissioned by an art dealer who intended it to be a humorous gift to an Old Amsterdam cheese-loving client who recently bought the original work!
In the past few years my paintings have tended to express more sobriety in composition and colour palette. More emphasis has been given to atmosphere and the emotional content of the image. It has become increasingly clear that anything expressed in excess results in the loss of expressiveness. Also the elements of light and shade and the subtleness of careful and restricted colour variations have become important items in image creation.
The emphasis on quietude and solitude, clearly a romantic attitude, remains and will possibly continue to be a recurring theme in my future work.
The period of 1990-2000 can be characterized as a period of further elaboration of my artistic subjects. Important for me was being enabled to interrupt my teaching job to paint on a full-time basis and in doing so to concentrate more fully on developing my technical skills and the expansion of my imagination.
Research into the possibilities of the fine art technique is perhaps best seen in the variety of form and colour evident in the work of this period. No effort was spared in trying out new techniques in the representation of varied textures. Variegated colour combinations and contrasts were tried regularly to unravel and control their secrets.
The gradual awakening into the Mystery called life was for me an event of great intensity so that in my teens I started to feel the urge to reflect on this process by shaping it into images. Experiences of the vastness and solitude of nature together with a growing interest in mystical doctrines became the breeding ground for the development of an inner world of imagination. The confrontation with surrealism, symbolism and the work of leading native imaginative artists determined the course I follow to this day.
In the beginning these images were made with ink, pencil or gouache. It was only at the end of the seventies that I began working with oil paint. Early in the eighties I started my first experiments with glazing techniques. ‘rebirth‘ (1980) is the first painting I made using this technique.
In 1997 I started on a series of works for the publishing business, Aurora-Productions. The paintings were published as posters and greeting cards. ‘Cosmic Love‘ (1997) and ‘The Silence Beyond‘ (1999) became the most successful and were later found on several sites on the internet. I received many enthusiast and grateful reactions to the paintings as a result of the publication of these cards and posters…
Despite the Buddhist iconography, the series of paintings is primarily an expression of universal spiritual values. The mysterious depths and mystical dimensions of the heart and its outpouring in love and wisdom are the main themes of these ‘modern icons’.
Over a period of twenty years I have been returning regularly to the theme of the pierrot. Mostly this pierrot appears in works of a smaller size: little paintings made with humor and meant as an intermezzo between bigger and more serious works – often as well in still-life painting, a genre in which I rarely express myself.
Yet also in these more frivolous images a symbolic dimension is hidden. Recurring subjects like fallen chess pieces, broken mirrors, playing cards and the pierrot itself point to the game of life and its illusionary aspects. Again and again we lose this game and fall on our face! Until the rules of the game are being understood and the bird of the soul is enabled to spread its wings to turn its back on emptiness and senselessness… The escape (1993)
Despite having been unable to accept portrait commissions during the last few years due to my concentration on a collection of work for the Van Soest Collection (a private collection of Fantastic Realistic Art), portraiture has always been a recurring theme, especially in my earlier work.
My foremost aim in portraiture is to find the right balance between expressing the physical and inner characteristics of the person and involving him or her in the atmosphere and characteristics of my own artistic universe. In this way, for me, making portraits has remained an exciting pursuit without becoming a genre, as is often the case, lacking artistic depth or lacking a real challenge for the more imaginative inclined artist.