Artist Statement

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My paintings start with a feeling, and the painting’s development flows from that guiding emotion. I try to provide a narrative structure for the meaning of the painting through its imagery. Although my imagery may be realistic, the overall picture is of something dreamlike, not quite real. My inescapable Dutch heritage comes into play, in particular my love of 17th century Dutch genre paintings, as well as research into old master painting techniques.

 

I learn by observing nature.  I enjoy trying to capture realistic detail and light. I paint on wood panels that I’ve prepared with traditional gesso. I work in oil paint, building layers of glazes, mixing new techniques with old. I like to constantly challenge myself technically, trying out new methods, and never repeating a color palette or rarely a specific subject from one painting to the next. However, when I step back and look at my body of work, I see that I am detail oriented, and have a quiet, not rushed or violent way of expressing myself. I enjoy humor and the absurd, as well as having a deep sympathy for the fragility of life.

 

The emotions I try to portray are often not easily definable. I try to describe a mother’s love for her vulnerable child, a sadness for the overlooked passing of seeming insignificant life, the frustrations of aging, the sensuousness of succumbing to nature, the exhaustion of battling chauvinism. Although these ideas are clear in my mind and serve as a guide in the development of my painting, I do not want a blatant portrayal of the painting’s meaning. Together, the emotions are tied to being female in the world today. I paint from my own experience, trusting that if I can paint honestly, the personal can become the universal.

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