The most important source for my work are my diaries and the memories that go with it. From my art-school days I wrote about my life, things I experienced, ideas about my work, about people I met and the literature I read. Along with that I made sketches of places I went to or of people I met. Already during my “Bildungsreise”, which was a two months hitch-hiking trip to Italy and Greece in 1974, after having finished my draft, I kept an extensive diary. I had also decided to start art-school and I wanted to start capturing experiences right away.
I did not do much writing on daily life, but I wrote a lot about later trips I made, my studies in the US (1981-1982), travels in the US and Mexico (1984) and about travels all over Europe after that. During a certain period (1997 – 2003) I had a photographic diary for which I made a picture each day. When I stopped that I started my blog, initially it was meant to be a digital diary. It changed however to an artblog and the personal stuff was written in diaries again from time to time.
The material from these entries are the fertile earth from which my work grows. By reading my texts now and then and by examining the visual material I get new ideas and insights, I try out new images and I examine the contemporary relevance of material. It’s an ongoing process that has been very beneficial to me, especially in installations.
In these paintings there is an ongoing search for abstraction. A number of paintings you can see on this page have only horizontal and vertical brush strokes, referring to the period in art-history when a change in that direction took place. This is a period I like very much because of the tension between subject and pure abstraction as you will be able to find in Mondriaan’s Trees and in his Pier and Ocean series.
From the Diaries
About my house
At the start of the new Millennium I had the idea that I needed to introduce more abstraction in my work. Earlier, in 1993, I built an installation in Maurits van de Laar’s gallery: a black house with paintings on it’s walls. The idea was that the paintings were windows and doors through which one could look inside the artist of whom the house was a selfportrait. I wrote two texts about this idea: “In mijn huis” and “Buiten” (“In my House” and “Outside”). The house was the studio in which ideas developed and where they were executed. In front of the house was a tree from which the artist could look around to find what he could use. He could also show his work on the tree, hanging from it’s branches like ripe fruits.
I started to work on this idea with paintings showing monochrome planes on houses as you can see underneath. Later the images became more detailed, searching for interesting abstract solutions.