Every day in the studio begins with the breaking of an egg. With this action, I start preparing my egg tempera paint. The egg yolk is the binding agent. Egg tempera is an emulsion paint in which the yolk acts as an emulsifier. Pure pigments are mixed with egg yolk, which creates a paint that both oil and water can be added to. The yolk connects these elements into a homogeneous liquid. A characteristic of the paint is the combination of a matte, velvet-like surface on one hand, and a crystal clear reproduction of color on the other. The nature of egg tempera is somewhat reminiscent of frescoes. During my studies in 1988, I started to experiment with this technique. I never stopped. The traditional aspects of the painting are dear to me and my work process is closely linked to the content of my paintings.
Egg tempera has been used since ancient history and was the most important painting technique until the invention of oil painting. However, the method that I use differs significantly from the meticulous and repetitive style of painting with hatched lines that was usually practiced. Only after several transparant layers of abstract undercoats I start building the figurative structure of the painting in grisaille (black, white and grey tones). The brush strokes of the first layers continue to play a role in the image formation. I don’t want my paintings to be photo-realistic. The subtle play between illusionism and figuration one hand and the material, painterly aspect, the visible composition and skin of the image on the other hand, is important to me.
Before I start the process of painting, there has already been a lot of preliminary work. Photographs that I take during my work travels form the basis for every painting. Before I start painting the composition is predetermined in a sketch or selected part from the photo I use as a source. But the final painted image, the result, announces itself much later in the process of painting. Painting is a process of building and removing, sometimes performing actions that deviate from the original design, it’s always all or nothing. I recognize the final image when it’s there. That moment is euphoric; it always surprises and amazes.
You can always make an appointment for a visit to the studio. It is also possible to arrange group visits to the studio, up to 25 people.
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