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Oil paintings


Something about myself

Born in Maastricht on 2 August 1959, I have grown attached to this city and have lived there most of my life. I studied English at Groningen University and returned to Maastricht after graduation to get married, buy a home, have some children, a dog and so on. In my professional life I have been a teacher of English and work placements officer of Zuyd University since 1986. I am married to Gabbie Spronck, who Works at 'La Cafetière', a trading firm in glassware. We have two sons, Luc (1989) and Tei (1991), and a pet, Yup, the Welsh Corgi, the cat Puck and some chickens. Not an absolutely sensational story full of lurid drama that the tabloid press would gloat over. Where's the pain and suffering of the struggling artist? Ever strapped for cash, maybe conflicts with the law, any streaks of insanity perhaps? No? He can't be any good then, can he?

How did it all start?

My start in art is equally prosaic I'm afraid. A painting over the couch in the living room was my original motive for starting on a painting course. I wanted to explore my own creative talents rather than buy from another person, so thinking "now or never" I started on a course with Creative Centre "Art de Triomphe" in September 1997. When "Art de Triomphe" moved further away from my home, I opted for a change of scenery by registering with Kumulus painting classes in Maastricht. And since last year I have rented a painting spot in the studio of fellow-painter Oene Zwietink. Since 1997 I have surprised many people, including myself, with the quality and quantity of the oil paintings I have produced in my spare time. And thanks to the Internet a much wider public now has a chance to be pleasantly surprised as well.

Since 1999 I have participated in various art markets in the region (Vaals, Rimburg, Botanical Garden Terwinselen, Schinveld, Geleen, Nuth, Hoensbroek, Heerlen, Maastricht, Kerkrade, Deurne). Apart from that I have had exhibitions at Zuyd University in Maastricht and in Sittard (2000 and 2004), CBS in Heerlen (2002), hotel Barbothez in Blegny, Belgium (2002-2003), Herberg de Zwarte Ruiter in Gulpen (2003), art gallery Castor & Pollux in Bilzen, Belgium (2003), Rijkswaterstaat in Maastricht (2004), Kitchen design studio Liesens in Maastricht (2005) en Interior design company Eurlings in Voerendaal (2006). In March 2005 I won first prize at the 'Picturama' art event in Heythuysen.

The works: a revelation

Giving a general characteristic of my own work is hard for me, as I like to experiment to see how I can push back my limitations. One thing, however, is clear: I am not interested in conventional landscapes, flowers or still lifes. True, you may spot the odd still life in my paintings (e.g. "The Silence of the Hams"), but it is not life as we know it, captain. I produce figurative art showing "real" things - though abstract forms also creep in - but there is usually also a twist somewhere. And what I mean with it? I'd say you are welcome to read as much into the pictures as you like (Freudians, please do your worst, there is plenty of room for unbridled guesswork!), but remember that they are primarily meant for aesthetic enjoyment. The things are often represented in a way you would normally not see them in. I have used various techniques to obtain an element of alienation or surprise, apart from the choice of subject. I also frame the paintings myself, in order to be in control of how they look in the end. This has made it possible for me to include the frame in the composition of some of my paintings. Some are not complete without their frames.

I have put all paintings in chronological order to provide a sense of perspective and make any developments in style better visible. To give the spectator some anchorage I have also included some personal comments to each painting giving some insight into what possessed me at the time. Let's have a look!

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