Shapes and streams — Expressing the streaming quality of nature in art

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In this first journal I want to talk about the special relationship between the things that I perceive in nature and my paintings. Sometimes I see a scene of which I know at the same moment: this will become a painting. Mostly there also is the awareness of the interconnection of all things at that very moment.

The awareness of nature as a whole. Big words, indeed. Obviously? Too bad, I don’t think so. Between the sixth and tenth year of my life I fell out of wholeness and it took almost a whole life to gain a feeling of wholeness again. Nature — and of course painting — always help me during this process. Because nature always is whole?

Flooded woods in March at a pond in the Schinveld Forest

Here a concrete example of an experience I had during one of my walks in the Schinveld Forest in the spring of 2011. At the border of a pool I noticed how all particular elements — such as the play of diagonal bars of light- and shadow and vertical reflections of stems in shallow water; the merging of ground and sky merging — intertwined so harmoniously, that yet at first sight the image felt as interiorised. Apparently something inside of me recognised this visual image as a code of a more comprising non-visual wholeness. The linear structure here is obedient to the light as in a gothic cathedral.
While painting this play of merging repeats it self: solid shapes dissolve in a rhythm of coloured dashes; a rhythm in which all particles are related as well to one another as to the whole. In its turn the painting will become an image of wholeness too I hope.

Figure 3 and 4

Next an example of a painting that is not based on a visual impression but on the experience of ethereal flows of nature. On February 13th 2013 I wrote in my working diary: “New light! Renewed streams of life, special energy today. A sacred silence above the fields and wet forest, low sunlight upon white frozen water. Serenity, outside and inside.”

For years I was in search for a way to express the subtle flows that I sometimes felt ‘touched’ by. But just now (May 2014) when I let go of all concepts and started playing a complete new shape originated, not in a painting but in a drawing. It shows how ethereal forces of creation flow though shapes; the cycle of life.

detail ’Flow, rooted 2, 100x70 cm, 2014

Spring 2014 once again an all ready image was lavished upon me. In a ditch-side fleeces of algae were spread between willow twigs as a translucent golden green fleece, deep blue water on the background (figure 6). Also this time I thought while watching at this wonderful image: I will soon make a series of paintings out of this. But after some months I still don’t know how to handle its complexity…

Transparant fleeces in a ditch in the Schinveld Forest