What did lead you towards here? Maybe it is the need for stillness, or for a more interiorized and hopeful image of our relationship with earth and the natural environment?
May I present myself as a creator of ‘green art’, while my art is obedient to nature in the first place. Since 1975 I consider myself an artist, making paintings and drawings. I’ve been a singer-songwriter, I write, and photography plays an important supporting role besides painting, but most of all I experience my destiny in the subtle play with color and shape.
As a child I felt out of wholeness, probably between my 6th and 10th year. It took many years to find back this wholeness… while painting. The experience of coherence and unity in nature constantly evokes new inner images that resonate with my quest, which has been accomplished more or less by a journey through the colors — a ‘transformation in color’. Therefor this is the title of an art book on my work that was presented in 2011 at my 60th birthday.
Light and water
The central themes in my work are ’light’ and ‘water’: light in nature, light in earth, light in man, and the merging of all this — the glowing and reflecting of light on water (ice and clouds) as well as the resonance of light in inner space — the interwoven rhythms and streaming cycles of water and light in life processes.
One can describe my paintings as poetic expressions of nature impressions; landscape and natural (tree) shapes absorbed in ethereal spatiality.
Several landscapes had a crucial influence on my work, although I’m not a real traveller. The first time I perished the wide space of the heathland was a touching experience, since I grew up in the city with only now and than green interludes such as summer holidays in the woods in Belgium nearby Maastricht. From 1977 till 1983 the spacious fields in Friesland in winter were my soundboard. Then hiking tours across the high mountains of Norway, France and Switzerland lead to more dynamics in my work. And in the overwhelming nature of Bhutan I felt like coming home and taken up in a sacred landscape.
About 1997 a period followed in which I strived for expressing the merging of the visible, local landscape — in the vicinity of my domicile Schinveld — with the streaming quality of a timeless and non-local space. From this some projects in the landscape derived which accompanied my process as an artist (Aarde-Rombus-project; small- scale land-art; research of points of power in relation to tree growth). My walks that generally precede the making of a painting, often turn out into being touched by the spirit of the place. My work always shows a dialogue between the visible and the abstract. Since 2014 I also started a series of drawings in charcoal and watercolor on the theme ‘growth and decay’ — organic tree shapes and ethereal streams blend together into one flow or cycle.
I started painting with egg-tempera on paper and canvas, then with casein-oil tempera on panel (diluted with water, not with turpentine). My handwriting defines oneself by a concentrated rhythm of color dashes of in several, half-transparent layers. In this manner an optic color weave in a vivid palette is build that evokes spatiality, vibration and flow. During the years my handwriting develops — from fine, strait color stripes into curved dashes, than to bigger, more dynamic dashes or combinations of fine and bigger dashes. Since 2013 I also make drawings in mixed media (pencil, charcoal, water color).
I was born in Maastricht, the Netherlands in 1951, where I raised up in a family with six children. I received ample formal art training (1969–1976) at the Academy of Industrial Arts in Eindhoven, the City Academy and the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. From 1977 onwards I organized local expositions with regular intervals. After 1975 I started to make some journeys. After my study time I lived with my wife Lidy and two sons Jonathan and Elgar at the Frisian coast in the north, then five years in Tiel at the river Waal, and since 1987 in Schinveld in an old farmhouse with courtyard in the south of the Netherlands. Here I also started with painting lessons, and I sometimes give workshops ‘geomancy and color’.