I started painting quite late. In my late twenties, when I worked as an accountant assistant, I decided to take another path in life. I was a creative kid and liked drawing, but until those days I didn’t think about it as a serious profession. My parents were not able to give me much direction in life, so something ‘unusual’ as attending an art school didn’t even cross my mind. Bookkeeping and accountancy was a respectful job, but every day I was fighting against falling asleep on my desk.
My friend encouraged me to find out what I really liked. There was only one thing I really liked doing, but for some reason I was convinced that was not meant for ‘my kind of people’. But at the same time I had no reply to the question that followed: Because? And we couldn’t miss half of our income, right?
But we could.
So, I picked up some books from the library about oil painting techniques and I started to create.
I was not involved in the regular ‘art world’, I didn’t know any artists and I had no peers from art school. My simple plan was to create ‘a stock’ and than show them to art galleries.
Not long after my first modest exhibition in a small gallery, my friend and I moved to a house with a large old industrial space, located in a village. We spend 100 litres of paint and opened the doors. Gallery ‘Van Lubeck‘ was born.
Beside showing my own work, we exhibited fellow artists every 6 weeks. A few times a year we organised a wine tastery to attract people. I slowly got a peek into the world of artists of my era.
In 2005 I turned 40 and we moved from the Netherlands to New Zealand. In New Zealand nobody had ever heard of me and I had to start all over. The funny thing was I suddenly had become an ‘international artist’, only because of the fact that I lived in another country. I still exhibited in Europe and got several exhibitions in Australia. And in the meantime we travelled a lot.
One day I got an invitation from a gallery in Taiwan. They had found me online and wanted to represent me at a big art fair in Taipei. I had never thought about exhibiting in Asia before, but I agreed and that decision became the second milestone in my career. The contemporary art scene in Asia is very much alive and rich and I had a fantastic time. My sales were enough to let me decide to create a new series of paintings for exhibiting 2 years later.
That experience was again wonderful and now I chronically have a soft spot for Taiwan.
In 2017 we moved again. New Zealand was nice, but having grown up in Europe, we started to miss the big city. Even things like public transport became something I dreamt of.
Now I’m living and working in Maitland. Sydney is nearby, but Maitland has the perfect mix of being a vibrant city while having the feel of community a village offers. I think I have found my destination. Still with that friend who encouraged me 25 years ago.
If you want to know more, you can visit my personal page with a lot more blogs about my art, about my younger years, about my life in New Zealand, personal thoughts and my move to Australia.