°7 April 1952
From a very young age, I have been a passionate drawer, but in a family of four children, the arts never came first. Growing up, I was expected to help my parents in supporting the family, which was tradition in Flanders at the time. This is why at age 15, I had to look for a job with more security and had to put my artistic ambitions to the side. At the time, I chose to become a diamond cutter, a craft still indicating my preference for precise work.
Soon after I got married, the urge to express myself artistically re-emerged. At that time, I started to visit exhibitions and museums on a frequent basis. Besides my passion for some of Flanders most famous painters, such as Rubens and Pieter Brueghel, I got captured by the 19th Century Romantic painters from the Netherlands, including B.C. Koekkoek and C. Springer. Soon after, I started to copy some of their masterpieces (landscapes en city views), as an autodidact. In the mid-80s, I decided to enroll at the Art Academy in Antwerp and took the “Drawing and Painting” class. When I felt that the Art Academy’s preference for the Abstract was not really what I was looking for, I once and for all opted to become a fine art painter.
Flemish still life master Walter Visser (V) instructed me the real tricks of the trade during four years in his class in the beginning of the 90s. He inspired me to paint still lives, which I still enjoyed most today. Although I remain a professional diamond cutter today, I spend as much of my free time as possible in my home studio, pursuing my childhood passion.
For my material selection, I only paint on wooden panels, very similar to the oak panels used by most famous Flemish masters in the past. These are specially treated and sandpapered multiple times to reach a smooth ready-to-use surface. Each art work starts from a detailed drawing in watercolor pencil. Thereafter, I use a thin layer of turpentine and conclude with a much richer finishing layer to bring out color.
I proud myself most in creating a unique atmosphere and in expressing textures optimally, more than photographically reproducing the objectives in my painting. A well-balanced composition is essential in achieving my goals. Furthermore, I only used the best of paints and brushes, e.g. paints Maimeri (Italy), Blockx (Belgium) & Oud Hollands (Nederlands), brushes Isabey martyr (France) & Rafael martyr (France).