Born in Apeldoorn, Province Gelderland, The Netherlands, grew up in Kitchener, Province of Ontario, Canada.
The Start of a Journey
I always tended to gravitate towards the arts. The images that are displayed, on this site, are intended to show my artistic journey. The content is all relevant to my experiences starting in grade 2 when my father gave me his Foth-Derby camera. Learning photography, from my father, at an early age, taught me to look at my environment differently. I was framing scenes focusing on light and shadow, colour and composition, balance, depth, seeking opportunities in situations. Much like a reporter would to get that one special shot that would define the moment. Building this site is part of that journey, reflecting my past, while creating my future works. I will continue to add content from both these sources.
The Amsterdam Connection
My moeder en vader lived in Amsterdam op de Keizersgracht during the war. That was the early connection I had with Amsterdam. My mother would tell me stories of their life in the Netherlands. So, after college I went to visit relatives, in Amsterdam, and decided to stay and work. For a time I lived op zolder by my aunt and uncle. During this period I walked the city with any free moment I had. My uncle had lent me his camera and off I went making photos of everything and anything. I can truly say Amsterdam was etched into my heart and my feet. This was the spark needed for me to restart my artistic journey on a different level.
In college I studied Theatre Arts. Interacting in the theatrical world with other creative minds and personalities was where I grew up emotionally and creatively. My experiences in college took several directions. I had produced a comedic sound clip on a reel to reel tape for my sound project, for radio. I was also involved with the props aspect of theatre productions creating objects/tools used by the artists during shows. As students we attended classes with the soul purpose of providing us the knowledge and experience to be able to work in the theatrical world.
I started drawing with pencil, doodling in all my school notebooks, and even painting a mural of dinosaurs on the basement wall of our family home. My father had given me his compass set and with his help start me to understand perspectives and how create technical drawings. Later the pencil doodles became actual drawings. For a while that satisfied me until a moment came where I needed to see colour.. That is when I started using watercolour pencils. There was a time I worked with Pastels but it never gave me the same satisfaction. This evolution of colour has now lead me to my present medium of acrylics.
There was a period, in the 80s where I dabbled with the metal sculpture. An oxy/acetylene torch would be used to braise metal usually copper and brass. Several works were produced from photographs of objects. Note, there was no abstract involved, always the realism.
What is the Motivation
The later water-colour period is where the scenes turned to Amsterdam. I believe, as I was now living back in Canada, my heimwee (home sickness) for Amsterdam started the present journey. Oddly enough I can’t pin down how some of my development occurred, but certainly the emotional aspect has a lot to do with it. As this has be a journey of emotion, so will it continue to be. The pure pleasure of the process keeps me, the art, alive and the purity of my development of keeping it simple is my goal.
Poetry has been in my life since I went to Niagara Theatre College, but there was one individual who was a catalyst to my development and her name is Mary Howard. Mary Howard was a teacher in Montreal and family friend. The wife of Michael Howard, colleague of my father, she and her husband loved the arts. She gifted me a copy of the poems by William Blake which I carry with me to this day. The poetry I have written will slowly be added to this site reflecting my feelings experiences and state mind over the years.
I’m at a point where I would like to expand my subject matter. Therefore I’m asking anyone, following my site, if they’re willing to submit a clear photo of a scene from their lives that means something dear to them. With your permission to paint that scene and post it on my site.
Some of my paintings take much time to finish and I must also be selective. Please take no offense and be patient.
Thankyou for your interest.