MAKING ART IS HARDHEART

‘Making art is hard’, a quote by Richard Prince I read on a warm summer afternoon in France. It immediately appealed to me and I took a picture of the page. But for me hard also had to be heart, because making art is hard work, but for me always working from the heart!

I like to constantly challenge myself, keep myself moving and I like change. Because I work thematically, often making series, and because I regularly start new projects, my work is diverse and extensive.

Faces and hands fascinate me. For me they are the entry ways to the identity and the beauty of the individual.

I see flowers as a symbol of beauty, opulence and exuberant freedom. The flower compositions of the paintings of the Golden Age are a source of inspiration, where I always enjoy the surprising details of birds, butterflies, insects etc. that are hidden in the paintings. In nature I enjoy the beauty and the structure that is always visible.

BLOOMING MIND & HANDS ON

In the series BLOOMING MIND (mixed media portraits) and HandsON (mixed media hands) I am inspired by these flower still lifes of the Golden Age. The illustrative art form I use is a combination of painted portraits or hands, and collages of cut-out flowers, insects and birds. It is always a challenge to arrange these elements on canvas into new bouquets.

In the series BLOOMING MIND these new bouquets frame the portraits, in the series Hands ON they are carried on the hands as a form of adoration.

A lot of the material I work with is reused; I make collages from pictures out of books that I buy in thrift stores, I reuse fibers from fabrics. The paper I use is mostly handmade.

PROARTIV

The ProArtiV series consists of recycled ProActiV bottles, which I have been collecting and processing for years. From very sleek, rhythmic shapes to plastic soup-like works of art.

MEET THE OTHERS What I find very inspiring is collaborating with artists in different disciplines. It stimulates me to look at my own work with fresh eyes and to try out new techniques and materials.
In the collaborative project ‘Human Nature’with Lilian van den Einden (an installation of 6.00 x 1.85 meters) I was challenged to embrace the natural elements and their structures and to work with less color. I had never worked with elements directly taken from nature before. It ended up as an ode to nature, in which dried flowers, felt, fiber, handmade paper and the occasional insect have embraced each other. A very special process!

TWEETERS A tweeter is an amplifyer that is mainly designed to reproduce high tones. Tweety is a small yellow canary bird and a tweet is a message that is shared on twitter.
The word ‘Tweeters’ covers the meaning of all of the above! Birds thats end / tell / sing a message in beautiful (high) tones.

One of my tweeters is my COMFORT BIRD , which has flown all over the world and is still flying. When Covid hit, I started cutting out small cardboard cards of 8x8cm, on which I glued a small cut-out bird, flowers and handmade paper. I edged the edges with flax thread. I wrote a fitting text on demand sent them to family, friends and acquaintances to support them. It was a resounding success and I now make them on request for commercial purposes.

Where did the comfort bird originate? The comfort bird is an old custom in Kenya and Tanzania. It is seen as a comfort and good luck charm. When someone is down and needs support, family members and friends give a bird. A simple gesture to cheer people up.

The Dutch poet Drs. P. wrote a poem about it. Airy, but with a serious undertone and musician Herman van Veen musically framed this poem.

‘The comfort bird comes with a song, and when he has sung to you, he flies away with your sorrow.’

My next ‘Tweeter’ is called PROFILE OF A BIRD
Man and bird view the world through one and the same eye, which creates a special connection. Painted handmade paper, a cut-out silhouette of textile fibers and a collage of flowers and birds. Together on a brown piece of embroidered cardboard, it forms a ‘Profile of a Bird’.