I am from the Netherlands and grew up in a city called Spijkenisse. It’s situated on one of the smaller islands called Putten which is somewhat close to the sea. I grew up in the middle of a polder area that had lots of dikes and was often quite windy. Nowadays, I live and work in Apeldoorn, a city in the middle of the Veluwe which is a ridge of hills in the province of Gelderland. Apeldoorn is surrounded by woodland and heath, and it’s a beautiful area to go for walks or bicycle rides. I really love it.
I work at home and have my own studio downstairs. But funnily enough, I like to work at the kitchen table most of the time. Because we have a seventies ‘drive-in’ home, our kitchen and living room are on the second floor, while my studio and the garage are on the first floor. I do all my painting in the kitchen because I have great light there. My computer, however, is in the studio, so whenever I need to digitize my artwork I work downstairs. It’s good for me to move and change scenery every now and then.
While I’m working I often listen to podcasts and audiobooks, or I’ll have a tv show or movie running in the background. I don’t watch them but listen to them while drawing or painting. But if I play music, it's often Kate Bush's album 'Aerial - An Endless Sky of Honey'. It's lovely to listen to while working.
While I was still at art school I had my first job with a Dutch teen girls’ magazine called ‘Fancy.’ The fun thing about it was that I used to have a subscription to that very same magazine when I was a teenager myself, so it was really great to see my work featured there. Then for a couple of years I worked on book illustrations for educational books (mostly Grammar, Spelling and Math books for primary schools).
I am inspired by my surroundings. I go for long walks every day and I always take lots of pictures of the flowers and plants that happen to be in bloom at that moment. I really love nature, and luckily for me, the city I live in is known for being quite green; everywhere you go there are lots of trees and shrubberies, and we have a couple of beautiful well-maintained parks as well.
My earliest memory of creating art goes back to the early years of primary school. All the kids had little sketchbooks with blank sheets of paper to draw on. I remember it having a soft yellow cover, and each spread contained a thin translucent sheet in the middle to protect the drawings from smudging each other. I know I filled a lot of these books to the brim because I was drawing whenever I could squeeze it in. When I finished a task earlier than the rest of my class I would open the panel of my table and grab my book and box of pencils and draw something new. I remember drawing a scene in which you see a boy perched on a tree branch while peering over a crowd of people to see what is happening in a courtyard. It was inspired by a story that the teacher had told us that morning, and I remember feeling a little proud because it was quite difficult to draw all those people. I think I was in the 3rd grade which means I must’ve been 6 or 7 years old. (Dutch school classes work a bit different than the U.S.)
My favorite medium is gouache paint, without a doubt. It’s fun because you can work very opaque, but also in a watercolor way. I love switching between the techniques.
I think my recent ‘Feel Better’ card is my favorite Calypso Card. It shows a tin can with some typography on it, there are some lush flowers and a little white bird. I hope it will genuinely cheer people up when they receive it.
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