This painting is a free interpretation of one of the production halls of the former steelworks 'Forge Lunaire' in Northern France. In this factory, scrap metal was melted back into steel, until competition became too fierce and it was forced to close its doors.
In Forge Lunaire, also known as the "Cathedral of Steel", up to 3000 tons of steel was produced daily until 2009. It seems as if everything was suddenly abandoned after the catastrophe of the end of steel production. The story behind this process and the mystery of the abandoned equipment demands an answer.
The title of the painting, 'Don't walk away', refers to the figure in the center of the hall. Why is he running away and what's in his suitcase?
I was born in Voorburg (1947) and live in Rotterdam. My interest in drawing and painting started at secondary school in Tilburg. I took drawing lessons there from a well-known painter, Jan Asselbergs. I actually wanted to become an architect myself. Instead, I went to study law.
Nevertheless, my interest in (spatial) drawing and painting remained and since the end of the eighties I have picked up that thread again carefully, in addition to my work. I took painting lessons at the Stichting Kunstzinnige Vorming in Rotterdam (SKVR) in acrylic, watercolor and oil painting. I started specializing in oil painting. In line with my previous interest in architecture, I focused on industrial and cultural heritage. An inexhaustible theme.
In my work I have been influenced by artists such as Pieter Saenredam, M.C. Esscher and Hopper and the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, among others. I have been making my oil paintings since 2013 in my studio at Vest 69 in Gouda. The source of inspiration for my paintings are abandoned and often dilapidated industrial buildings, which I usually capture just before demolition or renovation through sketches and photos. In addition to industrial heritage, I also paint cultural heritage: well-maintained or restored buildings with a cultural value.
I want to make my paintings a special experience through the use of color and light. Dark desolation has to make way for light and warmth. I regularly add characters to the heritage that give the image a different or extra meaning. Some paintings contain a "hidden message" or a reference
When creating my paintings I draw the basic pattern of the buildings and monuments based on previously taken photos and usually sketch directly on the canvas. I often use acrylic paint as a base coat. For the details I apply acrylic modeling paste and sometimes gold foil or parchment paper. I paint the top layers with oil paint and to get a depth effect the painting is often made up of different layers of glaze.