As a child I tried to understand what I saw by copying it. I wanted to understand how the magic works to evoke the suggestion of three-dimensional shapes in a flat plane. I noticed that you could create an image that surprised you. An image that lifted you up from everyday reality. 

When I entered the Rotterdam Art Academy in the 1970s, drawing and painting were not highly regarded. Art was conceptual and socially engaged. It was mainly about ideas, originality, discovering yourself, pushing boundaries, showing what had never been seen, confronting, shocking. Not about creating something beautiful that could surprise or lift you up from everyday life. Anyone who wanted to delve into the secrets of painting, looking for knowledge about tonal values, color, composition and more, had to find it elsewhere. I felt like a lost dreamer. 

So I searched for my own path. Drawing and painting is still what I love to do most – don’t ask me why. Portraits rank first for me. And I love visible brushstrokes, “bravura brushstrokes” that merge from a greater viewing distance into a surprising image of reality. I love painters like Diego Velázquez, Frans Hals, Claude Monet, Edgar Dégas, John Singer Sargent, Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, Anders Zorn. I also like to study more contemporary painters who push the boundaries of “painting language”, such as Alex Kanevski, Lucian Freud, Andrew James, Nicolás Uribe, Golucho.

“Watercoloring usually is trying to make the best of an emergency”

- John Singer Sargent 

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dated October 10, 2012 under number 120-2012