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Next: Most important starting-point of the work: colour

About my work

 

Beauty.

In my work I want to express visually my idea of beauty.

This is very personel and not something of which I know

in advance how this will be. It has to be discovered in

every new painting and can be found only when I listen

very carefully and honestly to my own feelings about it.

 

Geometric Abstract art.

My paintings are composed by flat coloured areas. Colour

is my pure starting point and leading point, not any concrete

objects in the visual world around me.

In the starting process of a new painting I work at pleasure,

put some paint on the linen cloth and work rather quickly.

Once, something becomes visible, I go on, looking, actually

it is more feeling, with my eye, with more care, changing

a colour, or the size of an area, then put the canvas away,

and go on with it only after some months or even after a year

sometimes.

Time is very important in the process of my work, the viewing-

time, I have to put it away, and look at it, put it away, and

look at it again.

 

Inner soul-substance.

Slowly that what is to be seen on the canvas starts to

resound with my soul, and gradually I begin to understand

what the painting is about, and I try to intensify this

contents. Then I work with great care and caution.

 

Colour fascination.

Colours do fascinate me tremendously. When I look at

something it can be difficult to distract me from it,

because the colour takes me away.

There are two ways to work with colour. From outside (so

that you know beforehand which colour you will apply,

orange here, blue there, and you know exactly which kind

of blue) and from inside. I work from inside out.

This last option starts with very good listening (with your

eye) and letting the colours flourish by their neighbour

colours, letting them arise.

For me, the most beautiful thing is when a colour looks

different on the linen as it does on the palette. This capacity

of colours to change by the relation with other colours, this

endless metamorphosis, I can not have enough of it.

Endless curiosity, what will happen if I make this colour

a little bit lighter or more intensive.

 

Silence, rest.

I work on a painting till I am totally satisfied with it. It is

finished then. It respires silence and quietness then. All

my works do. This silence arises from the connection

between different areas, by likeness in light/darkness or

in colour (same brightness, intensity).

 

Unity.

It doesn't matter what I paint, only this is important that

the painting becomes a world of it's own, an organic unity.

A rithmical stream must be in the work.

If this stream is blockaded or something in the painting

does distract your attention, then the work is not ready.

And you have to make a choice for one thing and adjust

the other to it. This I certainly do, and without sadness too,

because my highest goal is to achieve strength and

unity in a painting. Which I can effect with carefully tuned

details, but these details may never rank above the whole.

In my paintings I strive for this, that you can take in a

painting at a glance, catched by one glimpse, so full of

simplicity and clearness it must be, and later on you can

jump with your eye throughout the painting without

loosing this unity.

 

Connection.

It is a bringing together of loose parts to a union. Making

a connection. I also search for tenderness. Warmth, the

vibration that unites. The subtlety, the twinkling.

 

Space.

The coming forward from certain areas and the going

backward of others, together in a rythmical relation,

this is what occupies me a lot. My eye does not only

jump to the left or the right or up and down (two-

dimensional) on the surface of the canvas, but

especially backwards and forwards, to and fro, so

three-dimensional, as if I enter the canvas, or just keep

on hanging before it with my eye at a little distance.

This space in my work does not arise from the use of

perspective lines, or by the use of schade, but by

the different intensifity of the colours and the use of

light/darkness.

This depth is sometimes small, but it is always there

in my work. Your eye feels that the areas in the

painting are not at the same distance, although it can

be difficult to define which area is closer to your eye

and which lies further away.

 

Meditative.

Unconscious your eye wants to discover the real distance

of the areas, but this will take some time. It is also not

possible to see all the used colors directly, by first

glance, although compared with my earlier dark paintings,

a lot seems to be very clear, because I now use more

contrasts in colour and light/darkness.

But still some colours are as if not existing, as if an illusion,

they arise before your eye, when you are looking, but

disappear as soon as you turn your head away. These

subtle colour differentiations, although not to be noticed

at once, cause a certain soft visual sensation.

Because 'keep on watching' will result in seeing more,

a greater attention and fascination will exist, longer

looking will be rewarded with a greater view.

So, for the viewer, it all arrives from watching, you

experience the painting like the way you listen to music,

it takes you away in an atmosphere, not using your

rational thinking, and so you go inwards in attentive

comtemplation. This retiring into oneself, this own

world of silence you thus enter, is meditative.

My work is an invitation to the viewer to look and become

conscious, by feeling unconscious.

 

It gives me such an satisfaction, and happiness to make

my work. Painting is for me a discovery journey.

 

 

Margreeth Oosterhof, february 2003

(I translated this in English as best as I could,

in august 2004)