The painting rises from the brushstrokes as a poem rises from the words.
The meaning comes later.
- Joan Miron Miro
I am by nature a curious, inquisitive person. Life for me is all about discovery. It is a journey which I navigate, and paint, with or without a plan or map. Hence my motto: 'Journeys with and without maps'.*
As an artist I am continually exploring and developing my distinctive creative voice. I am always on my way towards something new, different, unexpected. This makes painting so exciting.
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 visually or in writing. I like to unearth what is hidden beneath the surface. Painting allows me to do just that. My love for colour often is an entry point.
Painting energises me and makes me happy - and even more so if my work inspires or nourishes other people too.
* With a wink to Graham Greene for his travel writing Journey without maps.
I am an abstract artist first and foremost. Besides that I also create realistic work. I work with mixed media. In my paintings I aim to combine boldness and subtlety, so that they are interesting when viewed from a distance as well as close by. I want to move the viewer.
In my abstract work 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. I have also explored water colour, for painting landscapes (not shown in this website).
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 individuality. I usually start by painting intuitively, without a clear creative map or expected end result in mind, holding intentions lightly, if at all. As the layers build up and the paintings develop I increasingly pay attention to technical issues and detail, alternating intuition with analysis.
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. In 2018 I moved from Amsterdam to a smaller, quieter town a few miles out, where I have heath fields ('moors') and woods on my doorstep. My home is my studio.
For a long time I lived and worked abroad – mostly in Africa (also New York, London). While in Africa I traveled extensively to remote areas where I photographed, which resulted in a collection of portraits of the traditional nomadic peoples. The African experience has had a lasting impact on my life, and naturally shows up in my artwork.
Exhibitions & Memberships
2023 Group exhibition for emerging artists, Majella Kapel, Bussum, The Netherlands (upcoming on 7 October 2023)
2023 Art Fair Bussum, The Netherlands
2022 Group exhibition IWS Holland (Dutch branch of the International Watercolour Society).
Artes Bussum, local professional artists society
Dutchies in Art (an informal group of Dutch artists who all went through the Art2Life CVP programme (see Education)
International Watercolour Society (IWS) Holland
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; as well as various programs in the Netherlands, including with Nikki van Es, Michiel Dhont, Jan Min.
In an earlier life I had a long career in development cooperation, employed by UNICEF in Africa, UNDP in New York and non-governmental organisations at home. I graduated in economics (MSc/Drs, University of Amsterdam) and in health policy, planning and financing (MSc, with distinction, London School of Economics).