Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Solko in Witte de With

This week one 'temporary' painting of me will be exposed in gallery de Aanschouw 80b in the Witte de Withstraat in Rotterdam. This street near the Boymans Museum is the main art-street of Rotterdam, with galleries and cultural institutes in between bars and grand-cafe's.
The painting I have done is a project of Daan, who asks a different artist every month to paint a new painting over the existing one on the same canvas. This layer, my painting, is the 38th layer and the project has been going on for almost five years now. Due to the temporary nature of the painting and the place it is being shown, I wanted to experiment a little more and get noticed, so for the first time I included some foul language in my painting.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Figure Sketching

De DonderdaGroep is a group of artists who come together every thursday evening in the studio of Willem van Veldhuizen to draw and sketch the human figure after nature. For the Festival of Light in Schiedam they had organized a fantastic drawing class in the style and ambiance of early 20th century Moulin Rouge, that reminesces Toulouse-Lautrec. I had a great time drawing there and worked my color sketching.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gallery Neptunus

This is the logo I designed for my Gallery Neptunus. Since I and the gallery are both located on the island in the river of Rotterdam, one of the greatest and busiest ports of the world, I depicted the island as the back of a great whale. I myself am to be found inside the belly of the whale, trying to control and steer the whole colossal creature in the direction I envisioned. I like this idea, because, apart from the image of a whale navigating in between huge industrial container ships, in my mind it creates the room to start a serious and steady business, and steer it towards other places and shores.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tango Sketches

My sketching in color is getting up to speed. When I'm not giving classes in the evening I like to hang out and dance at Cuartito Azul, the place to tango in Rotterdam. They often have live music and give classes almost every day of the week, so there is always a lot to see and draw. Tango itself, but particularly Cuartito Azul has a very nice and special athmosphere, that just lends itself to be drawn or painted. I met some other artists there who also like the idea, so maybe in the near future we'll try to do something more with depicting modern tango.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Rembrandt's Hand

This week I went to Wroclaw in Poland, where Peter Greenaway is shooting a movie about the life of Rembrandt. He asked me to make a number of drawings in the style of Rembrandt to be used in the movie. That was quite a challenge, but a very interesting one, I spent the whole week studying Rembrandts drawings and then drawing everything I saw in the way that he saw things. I was hoping that my hand would actually be filmed and be seen on the big screen, I even had my arms shaven to resemble the arms of the actor who plays Rembrandt. But as often, the time schedule was very charged and in the end there was no time for that, so it's just my drawings that will appear in the movie. It will hopefully be released in 2007. More about Peter Greenaway and his work can be seen at petergreenaway.co.uk

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I was asked to make this menu for a dinner of the cycling-club RRG. I like doing illustrations from time to time and find it a nice change from the more serious and exploring approach that I have towards my painting. Especially menu's are particularly nice to illustrate, because in general there isn't a complex or detailed story to illustrate, and it's mostly just left to the imagination and mood of the artist.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sketching in Colour

This summer I got myself a sketchbook with colored paper in it, on which I'm trying all kinds of materials in order to find a way to sketch quickly in full-color. I'm working with watercolors, pencils and markers and the results are pretty hopeful.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Diego's Flowers

These flowers are called Aaronskelken in Dutch, I saw them everywhere in Mexico. There they also showed up in all kinds of paintings and other artforms and I have always wanted to paint them myself once. They remind me of Mexico and have something very pristine and happy about them.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


This is the latest of my larger still-lifes. I made it for my grandmother and everything is centered around a bottle of Noilly Prat, the local drink of Marseillan, a little village in the south of France. This is where my grandmother used to spend the summer. I am particularly happy with the bright color underneath, on which the painting is constructed in layers of calmer colors, leaving some parts open to provide a brightly coloured accent. And even with this almost fluorescent pink, the whole thing still has a classical and balanced look. I have made a short time-lapse animation of me painting this:

Apéritif on Youtube

The Classical Bouquet

I was asked to paint this classical genre in my own way. I will paint it twice, one with the traditional dark, or black background, and one with a background of my own liking. The problem is obviously the speed with which I have to paint. The flowers are gone quickly, but this truly awesome photo of the bouquet was made by Gneomar van Nispen. I put a whole day into arranging them and getting this particular lighting, that is very different in the front and the back of the bouquet. The painting is only half finished and I've set up a new set of flowers to continue with. They are not the same as the first, so the painting will have just some flowers in common with the photograph. Tulip season is over....Fortunately I had already painted those.

Television Debut

I made my television debut in January this year. I was the guest in a program, "Aperitivo" on RTL4. The whole program was about the American television do-it-yourself painting instructor Bob Ross, and I was there to give an artists view of the man, his work and the cult-status that he has acquired here. I also got to do my own interpretation of him, taking the viewers step by step through the making of a beautiful little dutch landscape in which we will put a little chemical plant overhere...., and maybe a friendly little eight-lane highway overthere... And maybe the big chimney has a little brother, there....and this little fellow also smokes big, big VanDykebrown clouds....

Monday, June 19, 2006

The White Tulip

After spending two years studying the Dutch skies and landscapes, I have now completely gotten into this other traditional Dutch genre, the flower still-lifes. I would like to some more like this, just one or two flowers in this very tall format. I really like painting within an old genre and tradition, while living completely within my own world and time and as a result of that, creating something of my own.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Chinese Flower

Another one of the more delicate and rare flowers. I painted the same flower twice, once closed and once open, up close in bloom. I made the entire composition with the different elements of the Chinese newspaper in combination with this flower. A Chinese lady came by the shop and she commented I got all the characters right, that means that the article can even be read on the painting. That's how realistic I paint!

An Artist's Dinner

I had the honour and the pleasure to be asked to figure in a photo of Hester Blankestijn. She made this stylish, funny, intriguing and beautiful photograph as her own Christmas card. We shot it in an old castle in the south of Holland. I was very curious about the outcome, since I had to pose in different positions... And I think it's terrific!

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Lantern-Flower

This flower looks a bit like the chinese red lanterns, so I painted it on a warm glowing yellow background. The little lanterns are hanging against some brighter white pieces of paper, on which, of course, bright ideas are noted. The plug is a symbol of how everything is connected, and the need to connect to something outside oneself to get a light-bulb-idea.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Five promising young ladies

In March I made the portraits of these dynamic and promising young ladies, who share a house together. They had their portraits made by me as an expression of their friendship and a memory for later on in life, when they will follow their separate ways.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Flowers for the next exposition!

This is the first flower I painted in a series of flower still-lifes. This rose is a rarity, because it is striped and coloured exactly as the most expensive tulips from the 16th and 17th century.
I will paint these flower-still-lifes in my contemporary way, but within keepin of this Dutch tradition, set in a vase against a dark background, with the emphasis on the texture, color and light of the flowers.