Inside the Studio

Hennie van de Lande

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
I started painting eight years ago during an emotionally and physically difficult time for me. I come from a creative past, but I never developed myself as a painter before. Just as for every artist, painting is not just painting. For me, personal painting helps me to organize my thoughts, to empty my mind, and to express my feelings. I have been through all sorts of emotions this past decade, and they are reflected in my work.

Depending on my state of mind, I tend to use specific colours, figures, or materials. Preferably, I like to use old, broken, and used materials, because it reminds me of the past. The darkness of the past, where things had once been hard and difficult, can change into something brighter and more colorful, something I’ve found useful to express on canvas. I can’t describe what I want you to feel when experiencing my art, as it’s not about what I want you to see, but what you see that matters.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
The best advice I ever received is to follow my heart. It took me years to truly feel what I feel and to act on what I feel. It took me years to follow my heart and not to think too much. Now I do. It makes me feel free, which can be seen in my art.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
Preferably I work in silence. While painting I am not aware of my surroundings or of time. It is my meditation, it’s my own music. I could paint anywhere.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
If I had to choose one favorite artist or painter, I couldn’t. I do love the paintings of both Antoni Tapies and Mark Rothko; they greatly inspire me.

Who are your favorite writers?
The book “Live in your Life” by Jeffrey Young & Janet Kiosko has been a great help for me in my difficult times. Currently, in a better period of my life, I am reading ” A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, and it already has taken my heart.