I like to look at people. They are so intriguing. Who are they? My eye gets drawn to the light on them and in them.
The meaning of a portrait has changed so much with smartphones and selfies. With a click anyone can make themselves look famous. With another click, they can add a filter to make their starring moment even shinier.
Selfies capture a moment. Portraits capture all of the moments. They are so ALIVE. I want to give portraits another layer of depth that is more creative, expressive and realistic at the same time.
As an artist – and as a person – I am interested in the connection between image and self. We can change our style and still the inner person shines through. I love that, and that is what I paint: YOU and the light and shadows in your face, the expression and vulnerability of the moment.
About My Materials
Pastels are quick and colorful and expressive. Usually I hold like 10 colors in my hand and hit the base with it.
Oil pastels and soft pastels need a protective layer of spray. I always put a lot of this spray on my pastel portraits (my hair looks great for a week after this), but make sure you put your portrait behind glass/perspex.
Oil colors are beautiful and give a lot of depth and it smells so lovely while working on the painting. It takes more time because there is a lot of waiting involved between painting sessions till the paint dries before applying another brushstroke.
A painted background with acrylic paint really works for me to give it depth. Acrylic paint has the advantage of drying quickly, thick colorful strokes give color and texture so I started to mix the two of them. Having a huge amount of brushes with paint ready allows me to use the brush in the same expressive style.
A portrait in acrylic paint only doesn’t need a protective layer nor glass. The effect is bright and colorful but matte.
I sometimes add spray paint to a portrait to give it a streetartsy feel, especially in the background.
The Beauty of Reuse
I absolutely LOVE flea markets – the ambiance, the people, music, drinks and food and, of course, the stuff you can find.
Inspired by everything I appreciate about flea markets, I started re-using vintage paintings and frames for the finished portraits. These things that have been used or that come from afar have a story to tell.
By using them in a fresh way, I am adding my own story to them. Recycling adds a new chapter to their tale yet still shows appreciation for the original.