meeting gineke zikken

gineke zikken in her studio
a week ago saturday, i had the honor of meeting one of my favorite artists, gineke zikken. (for a bit of back story, see this blog post.)

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's studio

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.

gineke's studio

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.

small paintings

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!

gineke's palette

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.

the paintings i purchased

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!

8 responses to “meeting gineke zikken”

  1. Anna says:

    I love your choices, especially the chilli. That is one tasty looking number.

  2. jaimehotdish says:

    are you sure you didn’t buy one more….for a favorite sister….for her next birthday present? fun! i can’t wait to hear more about the trip!

  3. Anna says:

    How fabulous to buy art straight from her in her studio. That really adds emotional value. Both paintings are wonderful but I like the landscape one the best. I’m so happy that you had the gumption to meet up with her, I probably would have been too nervous.

  4. Dean says:

    J, what a great story. And, wonderful photos! Sounds like a wonderful trip and I’m sure you made her day. Very, very cool that you would take the time for her and her for you. Art lives!

  5. annieb says:

    gorgeous paintings – I love both of them – lucky you, how great to meet gineke like that. I have already been on the artacasa site and love the one of two pears on there…no prices that I can see though…probably just as well as I am broke!

  6. kristin says:

    i love these kind of connections. i had a similar experience when i lived in Bogota…his painting now hangs on my wall and is all the more meaningful because of our meeting and my getting to see his studio…i’m so happy for you! both your selections are treasures xx

  7. Jackie says:

    I’m so happy for you that you got to spend time with gineke and come home with two of her paintings. I can see why you are drawn to her work. It’s beautiful!

  8. Gineke Zikken says:

    Hello Jen,

    I would like to inform you that I started a weblog as well. Maybe you are interested.
    I work in a studio now. Much bigger than at home. When you visit Amsterdam, don’t hesitate to visit me again.


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