Thursday, January 14, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Ans Debije

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Ans's painting "Witzig" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Ans's DPW Gallery Page:

18th of Januari 2020

I am proud to say that I have won the third prize with my painting ‘Starring’ in the 'Painting of the year 2019' competition. It is absolutely fantastic that my paintings were immediately sold during the opening of the exhibition at Kunstzaal van Heijningen in The Hague (the Netherlands)! 

The jury's judgment is as follows:

A great work in its expression despite the small size. A daring classic and therefore timeless work. The background is perfect in its simplicity and the limited space is optimally utilized. From a distance it is a very photorealistic work with a fantastic material expression and up close it is an almost modern and expressionist work with large brush strokes. The painting is painted ton sur ton with a limited palette and consists of only exciting parts.

(click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

From an early age I have loved drawing and painting. On my fifteenth birthday I got a set of oil paint and I started a short course in oil painting. The teacher must have been a fan of Dali because the works I have left from that time all have something surrealistic about them.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

After high school I was accepted at the Art Academy in Rotterdam, but also at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. I had to choose and chose the latter. I don't regret it, but it did mean that the freedom of painting was considerably limited by the fact that what you create had to be applicable to the consumer market. I chose to design interior and fashion fabrics.

Witzig
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Ans's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Over the years I have tried many techniques and mediums. Watercolor, ink, mixed media and printing techniques such as monotype and drypoint etching. I wanted to make larger works and therefore started painting with acrylic on large canvases. I also used multiple mediums on those large canvases such as modeling paste, sand, pieces of patterned fashion fabrics, acrylic and oil paint to create textures. At that time I used the oil paint very diluted with a painting medium to let it run as a transparent layer over parts of the painting.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

At the moment I only paint with oil paint on a small sized panel (up to 12 x 16 inch).

Unadorned
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

The development towards new techniques is gradual and sometimes occurs 'by accident'. The thought of having to radically renew my style or technique from one moment to the next paralyzes me. I had one of my small paintings (Nikka whisky from the barrel) enlarged to 75 x 55 inches, printed in 3D on Dibond (aluminum). It's impressive! I would like to try in the future if it is possible to paint it directly in that size and with the same look as the little ones. A challenge, I don't have the strength, the space and money for it right now.

Who or what inspires you most?

I lost my job about two years ago. All of a sudden I had time to paint more often. I was already working on still lifes but wanted to paint more loosely. During a search on the internet a painting by Carol Marine came across. Her story about daily painting immediately appealed to me. No more staring at a large blank canvas for weeks, but just making a tiny painting every day, yay!

I try to make an impression of the object with as few brushstrokes as possible. Sarah Sedwick's tutorials on Stroke Economy are very helpful. So many good artists from past and present are an inspiration to me.

White balsamico
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Sometimes, to postpone painting, I would go to thrift stores in search of small utensils with a quaint look. Now that all stores are frequently closed due to the Corona lockdown, I don't get out very often. So no procrastination, but work with what I can find around the house. I now know that you don't need to have any special things. The way you paint something makes it special.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I still get up every morning with the happy thought that I can paint another day!

Nikka whisky from the barrel
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I almost always have still life as a subject. For me it is important that the light does something special with the object that I want to paint. I spend a lot of time setting up and lighting a still life.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I enjoy looking at the work of others. At the moment mainly via social media and the internet. I look forward to the time when the museums can reopen. Together with my three painter friends we are a group that meets twice a month. Sometimes we paint and sometimes we chat all evening. I have to admit that I don't get outside enough at the moment. I think it's a joy to play a round of golf. That is actually the only time that I am outside in nature. Something completely different from painting. I should do that more often.

Up close
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I have to learn not to be too critical of myself and my work. Easier said than done.

What makes you happiest about your art?

It's great that my art is increasingly appreciated and bought by people all over the world. I paint with great pleasure and it is nice to know that people enjoy it!

Grape Escape
(click to view)

Thanks, Ans!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

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