I started painting at the age of fifty in Pittem while recording. I have always liked taking photos, pursued photography and dark room technique courses at Kisp, and did my first year of photography at the academy when I was 49. My favourite theme in photography: life as it is.
It was only in Pittem that I discovered I especially liked painting. It is a godsend that this studio was there. First cautiously on paper, mainly by hand. Then, after encouragement, on canvas. I mainly worked with the primary colours, especially red, black and white. This then evolved towards the use of a complete colour palette.
I like works that can be freely interpreted, that are not ‘fixed’, where everyone can find their own ‘thing’ in them. Works that grow, even though they are ‘finished’.
I prefer to paint with my bare hands, without paint and brushes, using everything that is available: clay, lead pencils, charcoal, all kinds of ‘scraps’ and ‘leftovers’. Acrylic paint with bare hands and brushes, accessories home-made from plastic boxes and cardboard to spread the paint. The work is evolving: allowing lines to emerge, drawing lines, emergence of patches of colour. Less destruction of things that I actually liked.
The themes come spontaneously. I start with a blank, white surface and let things take their course. I feel the need to do ‘something’ with the paper, canvas and paint. Sometimes I need to use particular colours. Then, when I begin, I sometimes see things appear where I want to continue working.
It came as a huge surprise that this can help me where it is not possible to find words.
Themes emerge spontaneously which are very close to the heart: aggression, death and desire, the rebel in me, dependence versus independence, hope and despair, love and destruction, beauty and nothingness, distance and proximity, creation and destruction of life, distress and turmoil, pain in all its facets, make or break.
These themes are my life. They therefore mean an awful lot to me. A manner of expression that works in a healing way.
Source of inspiration: where words fail. It comes naturally, as it were, from the drive inside me. Painting gets me away from it all, with the mind set at zero, letting everything come as it may, away from the world, away from myself and eventually it turns out to be more myself than anything else. The desire to paint is often present in a very strong way, a drive that I simply have to respond to. Peace, in order to go on, to live.
Painting like I was able to pursue photography extravagantly until recently.
This adds value to my everyday life or, putting it the other way round: it makes everyday life more possible. A process of expression and processing that is essential.
- Kliniek Sint-Jozef - Boterstraat 6 8740 Pittem