i walked about 2 miles to her apartment, which is right outside of central amsterdam. i was a little nervous, and when she invited me in, it was a bit awkward. but she offered me tea, and we chatted a bit about why i was there. then, up to the 3rd floor, to her studio!
it was so neat to see her workspace, and to see so many of her paintings in one spot. after much fawning by me and a few intelligent questions, i think she realized i wasn’t completely nutty, and we both were at ease, and were able to talk about art, traveling, and life. more about my visit, about gineke, and what i bought after the jump…
gineke was a computer programmer, but in her mid-30′s she decided to go to art school to become a painter. she went to art school at night, for 5 years, and worked during the day. i was inspired: to work days, then focus on school 3-4 nights a week, for 5 years, would be hard. she said that out of 24 students that entered the program, only 7 finished…
she works only in oil, and when i noted that i didn’t see a single brush stroke, she pulled out her favorite palette knife, which is what she uses to apply the paint. i was impressed — it didn’t occur to me that brushes were never used in her work! gineke does paint in the field, but also works from photographs that she takes. (i do that as well, and for some stupid reason, i always considered that cheating. i guess it’s all of the art history classes i’ve taken, and learned about all of the masters that didn’t have the advantage of photography and relied on their sketches and memory to create their work.) most of her work is dutch in nature: landscapes, stadsgezichten (town faces), and industry, but she has also completed some pieces from a recent trip to new york.
i asked if it’d be possible to buy a piece from her, and she graciously started pulling out all of her available smaller paintings. the smaller paintings were within my budget, and i also did not want to worry damaging the painting on the trip home.
gineke paints many of her landscapes in the field, and she dug out her palette for me to see. since she works in oil, she can keep the paint on the palette for long periods of time. and by not using brushes, she avoids all of the stinky, icky chemicals that you need to use for cleaning. she simply wipes off her palette and palette knife, and that’s it!
finally, the paintings i purchased. i bought a dutch landscape directly from gineke, but i still had a little bit of money left over, so i was also able to buy one of her paintings in artacasa‘s gallery. i purchased spanish pepper, a still life painting.
both paintings are hanging in a temporary location, until i can figure out the perfect spot to put them in my home. for now, i have my own 2-painting exhibition!