The painting rises from the brushstrokes as a poem rises from the words.
The meaning comes later.
- Joan Miron Miro
'Journeys with and without maps' is my motto. Life for me is all about discovery - be it through the painting process, traveling the world, or gaining knowledge. It's a journey which I navigate, and paint, with and without a plan or map. As an artist I am continually exploring and developing my distinctive creative voice. I am always on my way towards something new and different. This makes painting so exciting. The complexity of the painting challenge, the endless possibilities for exploration and variation it provides, and the journey that is implicit, make a life in paint such a gift.
I have always been hungry for understanding life and the world at a deeper level, for grasping the various layers, the connection between things, and expressing my findings and feelings about it. I love to unearth what is hidden beneath the surface. Painting allows me to do just that.
Painting is food for my soul. It provides a channel to express what I experience and feel, whereby my love for colour often is the entry point. Painting heals. It lights me up and energises me. It makes me happy - and even more so if my work inspires or nourishes other people too.
My focus is on creating abstract paintings that are compelling and authentic. I want to move the viewer. In my paintings I aim to combine boldness and subtlety, so that they are interesting when viewed from a distance as well as close up. I get my inspiration from nature, travel and life’s experiences.
In my abstract paintings I use acrylic paint, often combined with other materials and collage. Each of these ingredients gives something special to the creative process, and combined they produce surprising outcomes. They also lend themselves well for layering, scratching and sanding back, adding depth to the work.
For my realistic artwork I mostly use soft pastel. Here flora is my main inspiration: its beauty, the huge variety in shapes and lines, the colours. I am also exploring water colour, for painting landscapes.
I usually work on series of several paintings at the same time. While the pieces in a series are related, each piece has its own marks of individuality. I usually start by painting intuitively, without a clear creative map or expected end result in mind, holding intentions lightly. As the layers build up and the paintings develop I increasingly pay attention to technical issues and detail, alternating intuition with analysis. The paintings go through multiple rounds of transformation in a process of 'creative destruction'. The process of intuitive exploration, which involves going into the unknown, taking risks and letting go, is exhilarating and freeing. This is true even if it's a messy struggle to get there, which it almost always is. In fact, it is precisely this seemingly inevitable struggle that is the major challenge and fun of it all. And when I manage to overcome the obstacles the paintings put forth and create something new which appeals to me, it's pure bliss.
I am a Dutch citizen. A few years ago I moved from Amsterdam, my place of birth, to live in a smaller, quieter town a few miles out, where I have heather fields ('moors') and woods on my doorstep. I work at home.
For a long time I lived and worked abroad – mostly in Africa. This experience has had a lasting impact on my life, and shows up in my artwork.
I was trained through the Creative Visionary Program (CVP), an intensive online training program in art making principles and practices by Art2Life (Nicholas Wilton), USA; an elaborate intuitive painting program by Louise Fletcher, UK; the StARTs program for abstract artists by Judy Woods, New Zealand (ongoing); as well as various programs in the Netherlands, including with Nikki van Es, Michiel Dhont, Jan Min.