Pastelpaintings and mixed media on paper

Im an artist interested in environmental issues expressed in series like 'The waters of Venice' and ' the Sounds of Nature.  Having Venice in the picture as an endangered historical city because of the rising sea-level caused by climate change. At my first visit to Venice in 2018 while waiting for my boat trip I noticed near the station on a white wall marks how high the water level will be coming years and centuries. Without interference a second Atlantis...? The curling, spiraling and tossing sea weeds in the lagoon reminded me of the threat of this danger and I started 'The waters of Venice' series.

My technique allows fast results and using a method that suits my temperament with the mix of washed ink, ( Indian ink diluted  with water in various degrees )charcoal and pastels and needs nearly no time to dry.  I make use of high quality paper like the 400 grams Hahnemühle - and the watercolor paper Fabriano. And before I start my method I’m stretching the paper with tape therefore nearly no wrinkles are visible when finishing my artworks. 

Besides the washed ink technique I was an experienced model drawing  artist and fascinated by the dry-point etching method which is still visible in my varied black lines.

The wells of Venice, 70 x 100cm/ 27 x 39inch.

The name Pastel paintings is invented in the early 18th century while famous artists made portraits of the elite with pastels on paper accepted as a serious method. Masters working for the elite like the Italian Rosalba Carièrra and the French Maurice Quentin de La Tour .

The Grids

Tic, tac, toe  or boter kaas en eieren

Years ago I started with the idea to entitle some series ‘tic,tac,toe’ or in Dutch: ‘boter, kaas en eieren’ or ‘butter, cheese and eggs’ as a playful thought and also because it evokes for me a fertile place a spot under the sun and a green land of milk and honey. Its well known that the Netherlands is a land of cows grazing in the many meadows that milk produces a lot of products in making cheese and butter. And these symbols reminds me of the old fashioned milkman or greengrocer who used to deliver milk, cheese and other goods at peoples doors. As I can remember, they put crosses when the customer paid up, and a zero when delivery was on credit.

Thinking about at a different level the range of the positive- and negative electrical poles or the countless zero-or-one schemes that produces all kind of signals over the world. Perhaps the universeis the sum of all mathematical numbers, a gamble in which numbers sort themselves in groups and form the structure of nature and construction of the earth. The grids in my series are little planets similar like our earth, with fantasy forms filled in with colors as budding buds of flowers or where life begins and a fertile green growing place to be. Because of their gentle and calm appearance the colorful little ornaments are a contrast within the my many strong brushstrokes and areas in my Pastel paintings.

The meaning of flowers and plants

Since ancient times flowers are associated with that life and both beauties are short-lived. The flowers of fruit trees as preliminary stage for the growth of fruit and still lifes with flower as Vanitas themes shows the transformations of life.  I have described a number of flower types that regularly appear in my work as an important source of inspiration.

Passiflora or Passion flower is a very spiritual plant because it has an extraterrestrial shape and odd numbers namely in the 3 pistils, 5 petals and 10 leaves in the underlying foliage. 3 / 5 /10.  The fruit of the  passion flower is also a medicinal plant for the heart to calm it down. In my work, this calming effect of this flower is far from visible and rather reversed.

Sea-weeds there  are flowing floating branches and wisps of seaweed in the lagoon of Venice, some with their roots attached to the side of the shore or others floating with the current of the water and a source for inspiration to ‘The waters of Venice’. The curling, spiraling, circulating and tossing motions of the seaweed reminded me of the threat of rising sea levels around the city.
Datura or Trumpet Flower
In my new series of this year 'The Singing Bells' I was inspired by the Datura plant, also called Trumpet plant or Thorn apple. Using the spiritual meaning and the trumpet-like overwhelming beautiful shape that evokes a positive charge in me.

Hollyhock over the years I have grown hollyhocks by first germinating them for the garden. Each hollyhock has about 40 seeds for each finished flower bud as stock for new growth. Just calculate how many seeds 1 plant can produce and that nature is very generous in spreading new life.
In addition to the described flower species, I have also a preference for weeds that grows on the roadside or in meadows.

Tulip besides the Rose the Tulip having the same symbol of Love but also the vanity of earthly things. 

Inspired by the Tulip