Washed ink with pastel, charcoal and acrylic paintPASTELPAINTINGS, mixed media on paper
I have a great affinity with nature and my inspirational scource is close to home: the beautiful dunescapes that border the Dutch coastline, the many natural flowers by the wayside, along canals,and public parks. I make snapshots and sketches using those to create a personal impression of this natural beauty and not a realistic image. For example, I like the photographic, interesting, abstract effects of the wind when it moves branches and stalks.
My 'painted drawings' are a mix of Eastern and Western techniques that yield picturesque effects. I start with a charcoal background drawing on a piece of chucked paper, to which I add a base layer of washed ink. In this layer, while it is still wet, I make scratchings in some places, simply by using my nails. All this must be done comparatively quickly, before the ink has dried, to achieve dashes and line patterns that suggest movement. To some works, I add a thin layer of white acryl paint. As a last phase, I apply pastel. This technique features great density of color because it uses pure pigments. In summary, the means I choose are minimal: ink, water, chalk. Except for the base layers, for which I use brushes, I draw as directly as possible with my hands, especially when I apply the last pastel layers where I must use my fingers to achieve a delicate blend of colors. The combination of this technique and the prepared background results in strong-bodied, colorful pastels with a picturesque effect. Pastels keeps ( its infact pure pigments ) their bright colors through the years because they contain a few agent material.
As a rule I make very few preliminary studies because they would lessen the spontaneity of the moment. But I do actively use the many photos that I take myself of natural subjects and sketches of human models.
All the details are stored in my mind before I get to work. Lines and amorphous shapes stimulate my imagination as they appear. Since my time at art school, my affinity is with paper the specific characteristics of paper I cannot translate directly to other materials such as linen.
Quentin, selfportrait Rosalba, selfportrait
Famous Japanese ink wash masters from the 15th century like Toyo Sesshu, and at the beginning of the 16th century Hasegawa Tõhaku, continue to impress me. Especially Hasegawas chamber screens with suggestive, grotesque landscapes that dwarf the human figure. Another strong influence on my work are the famous pastelmasters of the 18th century the Italian Rosalba Carriera and the French Maurice Quentin de La Tour.
portrait by Carriera