Tag Archives: Museum Møhlmann


This time: The making of Tessa’s Portrait, Art–The whole story, Galería artelibre “20 years, in 20×20” , and News.

Portret van Tessa Tempera-olie

Portret van Tessa Tempera-olie-linnen 80x40cm

The making of Tessa’s Portrait

Once I started on Tessa’s portrait. I was struck by her pose and charisma, and the small chair from Honduras fitted in very well. Still, whatever I tried, I didn’t like the colors.

first designs portrait

First designs of Tessa’s portrait

I took a different approach and found a photo with lavender flowers on a mountain top in the Pyrenees, with beautiful violets and greens. Using Photoshop I filled in the background. All of a sudden I let that go on into the dress. Gotche! Sketching with Photoshop is so much quicker and it brings you all kinds of new ideas.
I didn’t want the lavender look like flowery wallpaper to continue into the dress, which I had seen somewhere. It should look ‘real’, spatial. Flowering, life, the pleasure of youth, a world that is open to you. Just as she stands there, with that smile.

Gezien van de Riet designs

Gezien van de Riet More designs

What had I got in to! Two differrent kinds of perspective had to be joined! The lavender plants themselves stood in the direction of an invisible horizon. But I didn’t want it to look like Tessa was standing among the lavender on that mountain. The dress with the lavender also made that impossible, because it made a standing plain surface. This whole idea turned out to go irritatingly slow, without any clue whatsoever for a happy turn out. Why oh why, you ms. Quixote! Only at the end would I know if I had succeeded. And if not: all those hours of work thrown away? But in my phantasy  it still looked phantastic. Giddy up, Rocinante! It turned out to be a two years quest.

Artbook forgot modern realism


My hobbyhorse. Gezien van de Riet

Recently I was given a Dutch translation of the book: Art – The whole story (editor: Stephen Farthing; first published in 2010).
Beautiful pictures, handy time bars. I can’t judge the quality, but the Dutch title and subtitle promise to tell “the whole story” and “the right perspective”. At once I look up the last chapters: does it include contemporary realism? No! No? No! Well, Lucian Freud is included. He is mentioned under European figurative painting, which according tot the time bar lasted from 1945 till 1966. What? Freud wasn’t dead then and went on painting with gusto and realism. Just as figurative art (also called realism) is going till this day.

What else?
Oh yes, hyper realism is included, dated 1968 till today. But, but, modern realism is so much more. This omission can be blamed on the taboo on realism. Well, let’s do something about that. We’ve got the internet, where you can see wonderful contemporary realist works of art. Just a handful:

Joke Frima Eternal Return

Joke Frima Eternal Return Oil-linen 19,6×35,4

Grietje Postma Kleurenhoutsnede

Grietje Postma Kleurenhoutsnede 2014-I 40x50cm

Art historian Peter Trippi, among many things curator of the exposition of Lawrence Alma-Tadema in the Fries Museum and Waterhouse in the Groninger Museum, once pointed out a significant and curious phenomenon. On the one hand we see long queues at the museums featuring 19th-century realist art. Quite a few spectators would love to have a Breitner or Mary Cassatt on their own wall. Well, we can’t afford those, can we?

Aurelio Rodriguez En busca de la memoria crayon-wood MEAM

Aurelio Rodriguez Lopez En busca de la memoria crayon-wood 50x50cm MEAM

Rob Møhlmann Droog staan olieverf-paneel

Rob Møhlmann Droog staan olieverf-paneel 40x40cm Museum Møhlmann

Ricky Mujica Proud oil-canvas

Ricky Mujica Proud oil-canvas 91,94×121,92

because on the other hand there is affordable top-quality contemporary realist art. We can buy those! Only, because of the taboo, this art is not prominent in the media. The potential buyer doesn’t know it. Or is reluctant because of this taboo.

Teresa Oaxaca The Pierrot

Teresa Oaxaca The Pierrot

Lorena Kloosterboer Tempus ad Requiem XXV

Lorena Kloosterboer Tempus ad Requiem XXV 80x40cm

Vincent Desiderio Theseus

Vincent Desiderio Theseus

Kenne Gregoire Voyeur

Kenne Gregoire Voyeur Acryl-olie-paneel 34x31cm

Nevertheless modern realism is alive and kicking – so much so that it is quite a movement nowadays in the US. It was already well established in the Netherlands. And now look at Spain. And Japan. And.. and..

Grzgorz Gwiazda Sitting man Resin MEAM

Grzgorz Gwiazda Sitting man Resin 150x100x100cm MEAM

Golucho Retrato de insomnios MEAM

Golucho Retrato de insomnios 120x170cm MEAM

My thanks to all artists who permitted to post their images:
Vincent Desiderio, Joke Frima, Lorena Kloosterboer, Kenne Grégoire, Ricky Mujica, Teresa Oaxaca, Grietje Postma, Museum Møhlmann (Rob Møhlmann), MEAM (Aurelio Rodriguez Lopez, Grzgorz Gwiazda, Golucho).

Galería artelibre, “20 years, in 20×20”

20 years, in 20x20cm

20 years, in 20x20cm

Galería artelibre in Zaragoza, Spain, exists for 20 years as an on-line art gallery. Founder and director is  José Enrique González. He is promoting modern realism thru all kinds of activities, especially the internationally renowned portrait competition ‘Modportrait’ – in co-operation with MEAM (Museu Europeo de Arte Moderno in Barcelona). He writes:

“From the very beginning we decided to create one of the first virtual galleries that would strongly support the figurative, realistic and hyper-realistic art.

Times were far from easy for this artistic current which was vilified, neglected and even forgotten by both, gallery owners and official bodies.

(…) Even though there is still a long way to go on this, this is the beginning of an unstoppable era.”

The “20 years” are being celebrated extensively, with works of art of 20×20 cms by 165 artists from all over the world. All framed in the same way, they are being exposed in beautiful rooms, shining like stars in the sky.

To be seen in Zaragoza in the beautiful Palacio Bantierra,
from March 7 till Apil 5.
In Barcelona in the swinging MEAM Museum, from July 9 till September 1st.

Gezien van de Riet Our Gingko in Autumn Tempera-oil-panel

Gezien van de Riet Our Gingko in Autumn Tempera-oil-panel 20x20cm

I am happy and proud that it includes my work “Our gingko in autumn”. And that I am part of Galería Artelibre, under “Grandes Autores”. https://www.artelibre.net/


Kunstzaal Van Heijningen
This art gallery in The Hague has created an on-line art platform, where my work is to be found as well.

Art Gallery Clatia
I was invited to participate on this on-line art platform from China. It includes internationally acclaimed artists, it looks real good! My page will come on-line shortly.

I was invited by the Fundación Cultural del Banco Central de Bolivia to expose in the Museo Nacional de Arte in La Paz, Bolivia, and the Centro de la Cultura Plurinacional in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. A great honor!

Gezien van de Riet Watercolor

Gezien van de Riet Watercolor for video

This is wonderful, because I lost my heart to Bolivia, where I worked for many years with lots of love as a sociologist, especially in developing educational material, and where I was able to study at the Escuela de Bellas Artes, the classical art academy in La Paz.


Translation NL-EN: Jeroen Strengers


At great pains

“At great pains”
Museum Møhlmann invited me to participate in the exposition “Vee op stapel” (“Cattle in stock”). Great! I have always wanted to paint the horses and cows of the Pyrenees. They look gorgeous in that landscape. No litter there. Pure air, meadows ful of herbs. I love to walk there. The eye assumes its painter’s look as soon as these animals appear. Excitement surges at all kinds of painting opportunities. I run or steal about, clutching my camera, my eyes everywhere, except on the ground… Just a small hole, but I fell and sprained my ankle.

What are you doing here?

Nearby was a drinking trough, where I dipped in my painful foot. The cows gathered curiously and I somewhat feared their big bodies and large horns… They all stood around the other side of the trough, their eyes with their bigh lashes directed at me: “What are you doing here?”
How was I supposed to get back to base camp? My husband saw a jogger, far away. He took his emergency whistle and blew. The jogger ran on. After the third signal he turned. I waved my arms, signalling an emergency.
The man presented himself as an officer of the Guardia Civil. Well trained as he was, he said that, if necessary, he could carry me over the mountain streams we had to cross. Or should I stay back? No, I dragged myself on with my nordic walking sticks. Down in the village, the doctor reassured me. “If you were able to walk this far, it can’t be fractured.” X-rays weren’t available. Unfortunately, back home it turned out that my ankle was broken. Cow’s legs is what you need in the mountains!

Foal in the Pyrenees

Foal in the Pyrenees
No, this foal is neither a parade-horse nor a a wild one. Its legs are shorter than of its Dutch cousins. The young animal already has well developed muscles: running about among the rocks and ravines demands acrobatic skills. So far, I have not been able to ascertain what breed or race it is. The foal itself probably couldn’t care less. It will live its carefree life till it is fully grown. These horses are catlle, and are bred for their meat. No false romanticism here.

Mare with foal
For this image I would gladly suffer two broken ankles. Well, the suffering came anyway. Originally, the horses stood in the middle of the green, while I saw them before me in a spatious blue, a sort of horses’ paradise. Of course for the horses themselves that makes no sense at all, they prefer the green.
I photoshopped around: the blue could be the sky, but I preferred a mountain. A bluish mountain has to be far off: was my mountain not too high, and was there nothing between the horses and that far-off mountain top?

Mare with foal

While I was painting, the contours of the mountain changed continuously. Some mountains appeared, others went away. That’s rather nice work. Nicer than painting those manes, that’s not so exciting; it’s rather slow and tedious, especially where the hairs are entangled. In the past, I used to be less hung up on details, and the painting process was nice and quick. But the way to the end doesn’t have be smooth all the time, if the end result gives pleasure. There has to be room for the irregular, the non-schematic. The concrete is often in the details. When to stop detailing? When it grows rigid. But…

Upside down

The contours of the mountains: should they echo or contrast the forms of the horses? Maybe I should add some snowy mountain tops?
I turned the painting upside down to get insight into the composition, independently from its representation. All of a sudden I find there is too much green-yellow facing the blue. So I put in more rock, white rock painted with titanium white mixed with a litlle burnt sienna. That contrasts better with the blue.

The painting is still unfinished…

Galerie Petit

Sad news
Ton van Dijk, owner of Galerie Petit in Amsterdam, passed away in 2015. His widow Dobs followed him late 2016. The gallery is closed. I recently recovered my work in stock there.
How many good galleries for representational art are there left in Amsterdam? The can be counted on the fingers of one hand. That’s a shame, as one American art critic recently said, in the country that has seen a reflourishing of realism in our days.


My hobbyhorse. Gezien van de Riet

Galerie Staphorsius, which also shows some of my work, got a lot of attention from the Dutch press this time. Part of the exhibit is dedicated to Rein Stuurman, illustrator of the birds’ guide in the Netherlands. For six weeks now, visitor numbers have doubled to an average of forty a day.
Mounting my hobby horse, I repeat: if the media would pay more attention to realist art, it would be in a much better position. For that, you need to educate the art journalists, and for that, you need to better the academic curricula, etc. etc.

Translation Jeroen Strengers