My art – it’s intensely personal

I am surrounded by many people who encourage me to call myself ‘an artist’. So, okay, here we go! I admit. I am an artist. My art is very personal to me and now you all get to see it on this website. it almost feels like a ‘coming out’. And hey, how striking that I have an old painting that shows just that process, albeit in a different time of my life: me coming out of my shell…

Coming out of my shell – Colour pencil, 1985

Let me tell you a little bit about myself.

Ever since I can remember, I have been a creative soul. The genes come from both of my parents, but they never got a chance to pursue their own talents. My father had a job in accounting, my mother was what they now call ‘a home-maker’. She was also a great seamstress, knitter and ‘needle-pointer’, she played the accordeon and in her younger years she even picked up drawing. My father had a good eye for photography, he played the guitar and both parents gave us a pencil and a piece of paper whenever we told them we were bored and had ‘nothing to do’. It paid off. Both my sister and I enjoyed drawing and to this day it hard for me to imagine a family life without creative activities.

My sister and I… Guess which one is me…

I have always been self-taught. I never did any formal art or photography education. Why not, you may wonder. Well, the truth of the matter is that I was always bullied at all my schools. When I turned twenty, the last thing I wanted, was to go to college and expose myself to even more pestering. I was elated when, at age 19, I could ‘finally’ step out into ‘the real world’, leaving school behind to start working. I became a photo-journalist at local and regional newspapers and it was a great way to hone my visual and verbal instincts.

From film to digital to mirrorless to paint

I am, by nature, an inquisitive and perceptive person. Journalism gave me the professional licence to ask any question and… get answers. Getting the image with the story just right was always more important to me than getting the scoop. I remember getting a tip about a truck that had crashed and was dangling from the edge of a local quarry. No-one got hurt but I instantly understood that there might be some nice photographs to take…There were large silo’s at ground level of the quarry area and I decided that the best shot would be from the top of one. So, I climbed it, after making sure nobody saw me. I got super shots and waited for everyone (lots of emergency vehicles, onlookers etc) to leave before I climbed down. The next day my pictures were published and my fellow journalists all wondered where the hell I was to take them. I liked that kind of thing!

I never traveled anywhere without a camera since that first day in my first job. In this era of portable devices, the iPhone has now taken over some of that role. If I want to create a snapshot of a moment in life, it works just fine. But I still reach for my ‘real’ cameras, when I want something of better quality. I used to shoot film, then I went digital and after lugging around kilos of equipment during many of my travels, I now mostly work with a featherlight mirrorless camera system. I love how it combines the power of creativity with technology.

From creative to technical: how is that possible?

After 15 years, I left the world of professional photo journalism. It became too commercial and something else started to fascinate me: I made a career change to become an IT specialist with focus on database solutions. It seems like a total 180 from creative work, but in fact there are many similarities. For one, it has a lot to do with pattern searching and logic. In photography as with painting, I have discovered, you also need logic and the ability to search for patterns. So saying photography, art and IT in the same breath makes a lot of sense to me.

Fascinated by the painting process

My career change did not mean I abandoned photography, but it did take a second seat to painting, as soon as I discovered it, not too long ago. I was instantly grabbed by the possibilities. I still have a long road of learning ahead of me when it comes to the many technical aspects of setting up a painting and the art of using colour. I love it, though. It is one of the few activities in my life that brings me into a state of serenity and happiness. And most of all: intense gratitude for being able to do it and take the time to grow.

Planning a painting: it’s a real thing

I always thought that people who were artistic painters worked like this:
They had an idea, were inspired by something, grabbed a canvas, threw some paints on it, moved a brush and magically produced a masterpiece.

Nothing is further from the truth!

Some great artists do develop the ability to work spontaneously. They have a raw sketch and take it from there. Most, however, plan ahead up to the point of engineering the process. And with acrylic and oil painting planning this is part of the process. Or, to use the words of a great contemporary painter I took some courses with:

“Never sit down and just start painting, trusting your abilities. Always make a plan about the way you want to tackle the image. Every brushstroke needs to be intentional.”

Enjoy my artistic spirit children!

You will find a mix of stories and visuals (all low resolution pictures) in this section of my website. Use the side-menu to navigate to different catogories. Or click on the links below. I hope you enjoy what you see.

If you are interested in purchasing a particular piece, or would like a professional art print of the work, do let me know via the Contact section of my website. I would love to hear from you!

Read the stories behind the art

Read the Introduction to the galleries