A few days after the start of the Ukraine war I wrote a newsletter about the necessity of art, the necessity of beauty.
I got so many sweet replies and so many people who expressed the need for these words that I decided to share them on my blog too:
The past few days I felt a bit paralyzed. After the first reports about Ukraine I wasn’t able to be creative but I did manage to prep some new 10x10 cm panels which are now ready to paint.
During the first months of the pandemic, when it became clear that it would take longer than we hoped, I experienced the same paralyzing feeling and I think many felt the same.
Many artists around me felt that what they were creating didn't matter. It seemed pointless to them to be working in their studio when there was so much misery in the world.Coincidentally I started a course right at the beginning of the pandemic that challenged me to really look at the value of art in general and my own art in particular. I think it was due to this course I didn’t experience that sense of worthlessness some others did.
I myself am convinced that people have an urgent need to experience beauty, be it through nature, be it through art, the need is essential to live a fulfilling life.
Especially when everything seems impossible. Beauty makes life worth living.
A song, a piece of music or poem can offer comfort. We need these stories especially in difficult times. This can be in the form of books, a theatre play, a movie and also in the form of a sculpture, a drawing or painting. We need to surround ourselves with beauty. Beauty makes us feel truly human.
Like so many I too surround myself with things that make me happy. My treasures from the forest, the many, many books I own, my music and the artwork by various artists on my walls. All these different forms of beauty turn the place I live in into a home. A place where I can unwind and find myself when I feel a bit lost.
That’s why I will always keep making art, I will always continue to share my own experience of beauty with others through my art, in the hope that others can also experience a moment of happiness or joy through my work.
Enjoy the little things. See you soon!
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For the last couple of weeks I find it hard to come up with things to write about or post on social media 📱
Partly because it’s still winter and the forest is mostly cold, grey and boring and also because I’m still busy cleaning my home studio. Or actually it has become reorganising my home studio!
In my previous blog post I wrote about cleaning and putting things away but since then things have changed.
Recently my boyfriend and I were talking about how his home is overflowing with (mostly his) books. Part of his space is now occupied by my books so I offered to move my books back to my home which means I have to move my furniture around to make room for the return of this huge bookcase 📚
Which meant a lot of useless arguments with power sockets, radiators and radiator piping.
And also throwing out even more stuff than I already had. This is by no means a bad thing but it does take a lot of time. Time I rather would be painting 🎨😉
Today I took the time to have a little walk at the Amsterdam Forest where I met lots of robins and found an egg that sadly didn’t hatch but something was definitely growing 🌱
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The last two years have been crazy busy. Sure, due to covid exhibitions were postponed or cancelled but nonetheless I made a lot of new artwork.
Next to that I worked hard on the business side of my art practice, I/ we needed to clear out my/ our shared studio at Grafisch Collectief Thoets, I created a bird birthday calendar and I had my 20x20 watercolour birds made into beautiful giclée prints.
This year I’m planning to take a step back and not do any really big, time consuming projects.
For this year I’m planning to take time to play and experiment. And also make a lot of new art because Katja Berkenbosch and I are planning a new exhibition in 2023!!
After this blogpost is finished I’ll continue my big home studio clean-up. My home is mostly studio so there is a mix of art mess and private mess everywhere.
There is stuff lying around from finished projects, stuff that moved from studio Thoets to my home, along with that stuff from the days I showed my art at Art Amsterdam Spui (I quit in 2018)...
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In 2012 I got my first smart phone, I was a late adopter. In the past I did have a little camera but I didn’t have that on me all the time, as for my phone…
Not long after I got my smart phone I started taking pictures of things growing in the neighbourhood where I live, mostly flowers but also bees and butterflies that would often hang out on mentioned flowers.
I still remember the first picture I took of a (larger) dead animal. I was visiting a friend that lived in the east of the country, not far from the German border.
We were walking and talking as friends do. I startled her when I stopped dead in my tracks.
To our right was a ditch, all filled with brown leaves and that’s where I noticed a furry body. I got a little closer and saw it was a dead hare. I stood there watching for a bit and then decided to take a picture.
My friend got a bit creeped out, I tried to explain it wasn’t out of disrespect, it was the opposite. Taking a picture to me was my way of showing respect, showing the hare that it was seen, that this death didn’t stay unnoticed.
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Since that day I’ve taken many more pictures of dead animals: insects, fish, toads, mice, rats, moles, hedgehogs and so many birds.
Taking pictures, making sure their death doesn’t go unnoticed.
A few end up in my paintings, others find their way to my forest diary or my 5x5 cm zigzag sketchbook.
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At the moment I'm creating 4(!) new 20x20cm watercolours for the 20x20 exhibition
Kunstvereniging Sint Lucas is orginazing this April.
This exhibition should have taken place May 2020 (hence the 20x20 cm concept)
but got postponed due to covid-19.
This bird is called the Goldcrest, it's the smallest bird in Europe and I'm utterly enjoying painting
this little one 💗
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