Which art school did you do?

A lot of people ask me what art school I did.
Well, I didn’t. I’m self-taught.

At high school I was a kind of self-chosen loner because of the unusual circumstances at home. Saving some distance between me and my school mates seemed to be a good idea to me back in those days, to prevent I had to invite them to my home. A child don’t want to be different or having weird parents. But social pressure is a big thing when you are young, so … the logical effect was; I didn’t like school. I wanted to get out of it as soon as I was allowed.
Beside that, I didn’t get much direction from my parents. They had other things to deal with. An education after high school never crossed my mind. I hardly knew such things existed for people like me. University was meant for people of a whole other species. Another planet.

So, after high school I immediately started to work. Jobs like dish washer in a restaurant, cleaner in a hospital and worker at an assembly line in a cosmetics factory. I did make a kind of progression though, because I ended up as the assistant in an accountant office. For me that was a kind of real and serious job, for grown-ups. I was satisfied I had made it so far.
But when I was 26 I slowly started to fall asleep on my desk every afternoon. I didn’t hate my job, but it wasn’t very challenging too. It was time I got serious about what I wanted with my life.

I knew I was creative. People had said it. But I thought it was something belonging to my childhood. Everyone’s childhood, because most children like drawing, painting and playing with clay, isn’t it? I never considered my creativity taking to a serious level. For some reason playing with pencils and crayons on that age felt like cheating. Like refusing to take your responsibilities as an adult. Just like university students, I thought artists where another species too. Not my world.
Anyway … I still was falling asleep every afternoon, I knew I had to make a decision soon, before I never woke up again. This couldn’t go on for the rest of my life. So, encouraged by my boyfriend I quit my job and I started to paint. From the library I studied books about the techniques of oil painting and my inspirations came from the art galleries I started to visit.

Below is the very first painting I bought 27 years ago in a local gallery, in Alkmaar, the Netherlands. It was only 3.15 x 3.15 inches.