Welcome to my  blog: Introspection!

As much time in my studio is spent on thinking about and looking at art as there is on painting. Here I'll write about some of the things that pass my mind during those hours, or the inspiration that makes me grab the brush .

Be sure to visit my Studio Storage blog too, where I sell some of my earlier paintings at (very) low prices.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The source of inspiration

In my last post I wrote a little bit about my admiration for abstract painting and especially the paintings by Mark Rothko. That inspired my friend Rebecca Crowell to explore her roots in art tracing them back to a wonderful book about the art of the Duc de Berry. I have been attracted to drawing and painting as long as I can remember, it helped that my father worked at home as a graphic designer so I was surrounded by gouache paints, pencils, pen and ink and; what I thought was really attractive being age 3 or 4, a green rubber eraser. Mind you, I was not allowed to use it, he kept it meticulously clean so it would not smear his designs, I got a cheaper eraser. But he was very generous in supplying me with a porcelain palette, some blobs of paint, a brush and paper. From that early age on I was never allowed paintboxes with a myriad of colors (that I drooled over in art supply stores), he taught me how to mix from red, yellow, blue and white. I cannot remember him interfering much with what I was painting or drawing, that came later.
The fact that my father was in the 'art business' (he originally aimed to be a painter but the second world war interfered with an art school education, he was sent to Germany as a slave laborer) also meant that they took me to art openings of his artist friends. I can still vividly recall one that made a great impression, it was in 'Kunstzaal Het Venster' in Rotterdam and the paintings were in dark browns and blacks with some creamy white brush strokes. They must have been very fresh because I also remember the distinct turpentine and oil fragrance that I immediately loved. I did not 'get' those paintings, but I absolutely loved them (I was about 8 then) I tried to reconstruct whose opening this was recently, and asked my 84 year old mother and she thought it must have been Bas van der Smit.So my adventures in art started pretty early. However, when I was in art school, I had no real goal in painting other than that I desperately wanted to paint. I still loved abstract paintings but I had no clue how to paint a meaningful abstract. It was pretty clear to me that an abstract had to be more than a pleasing combination of colors and shapes and/or textures (unfortunately there are too many of those and I call that hotel art) and I was not yet equipped to realise that. And besides that, it was the early 70's and I cannot remember anyone in art school at that time doing anything other as representational work. I stuck to still life, that's how my dad taught me to draw, and I developed a love for the genre. Museum Boymans van Beuningen was in walking distance from art school and I spent many 'open hours' looking at a lovely Fantin Latour still life (plums in basket) I loved the simplicity of it and I wanted to find a way to paint still life in a contemporary way. I was lucky to have Klaas Gubbels, Kees Franse and Henk de Vos as docents. All of them did still life related paintings and I learned a lot from them. One of them introduced me to the work of Giorgio Morandi. A totally new world opened before my eyes, it was love at first sight and it changed my way of looking at objects completely.
For my end project I showed a collection of only still life's in subtle grayish tones and the still life would be the only subject for the first decade of my painting career. However, there still was the urge to go more abstract, and I started to try and force change in my way of working - which (need I say it?) did not work because I tried too hard and too fast. I got stuck.
Then I started painting landscapes in oil (see my Studio Storage blog) and that became the focus. Strange enough abstraction came first in my water colors, in small formats, then a bit larger and then I dared to switch to oils. I have now been painting abstract oils for about 10 years, next to landscapes and the occasional (yes!) still life.
Here is one of my newest paintings.


rob ijbema said...

wow! you do a lot with errr not a lot.
i was thinking Rothko and than scroled down...
good to see your development Marina

Marina Broere said...

Thank you Rob! I'm very much a believer in "less is more" as you can see.