Realistic painting
The beauty of the rose is the rose itself. If I want to capture that beauty, I have to paint that rose. That is how I arrived at realistic painting. If the painting is ‘just like real life’, that is only because that way it expresses beauty.

If you paint in a realistic manner you discover a world full of light, colour, form, atmosphere, or patterns, impossible to capture in one painter’s life.
Rembrandt said: nature is our first teacher. Another indispensible source is the history of art.

The old Cennini was right: making lots of drawings is good for your painting teqnique. Besides, it’s lovely work. With a pencil and a paper, a train trip is over before you know it. I like doing a very small drawing with a fine pencil point just as much as a large mural with broad swaps.

I like to paint an under-layer, mostly with tempera. Tempera is nice for daubing. It works great for tree bark, but not for a clear blue sky.

Finding my way
Although I have always loved to draw, even as a child, I also had a keen social interest. That´s why I went to Bolivia as a sociologist, but I came back an artist. Finding my way in painting was a journey of exploration, during which I encountered many artistic views that made me think. More about that in my book Gezien van de Riet. In ‘t leven vindtmental (with a summary in English).


About the pastel drawing of Djuri’s birth card:

“It was so beautiful as proud parents of a new born son to recognize and admire him in Gezien’s pastel drawing. How is it possible to seize such a miracle of life in a drawing. To us, that was a very special experience.”

Rachel Laan, 2016

“Your little oak-tree shows peace and power.  Well suited in that splendid landscape.”

Maria-Anna Werner, 9 maart 2017, LinkedIn

“Your pastels remind me of wonderful times at the seaside – long walks at the beach, cycling through the dunes, beautyful sunrises and sundowns… You know to catch moments and bring them to paper as if they were real. It is to me, as if I was there right in that moment. You bring a piece of Holland to my home, although I am far away. Thank you so much!”

Nicolas Pospisil, Stuttgart, 2016

Education and training

Master’s Degree in Sociology, University of Amsterdam, subsidiary subject History of Art

School of Fine Arts, La Paz, Bolivia

Ruud Wackers Academy, private classes by Ruudt Wackers

Private advice from Diederik Kraaijpoel, formerly from the Minerva Academy, Groningen

Professional career

The Netherlands: The teaching profession
Latin-America: Development co-operation
1997-2007: Editor of Palet art magazine

Works: Mural paintings in Bolivia

Women of La Paz In the office of the Federation of La Paz Slum Women’s Committees

From early morning till late at night In the ‘Dutch Hospital’ in El Alto, La Paz

In 1997 I painted a mural in the new Dutch-financed hospital in La Paz, Bolivia, assisted by Bolivian artists Alberto Medina and Filhy Torrelio. First of all, I asked staff, patients and community members about their ideas and wishes. Doctors suggested I should paint ailing patients being saved by medics, but patients themselves preferred subjects like flowers and children playing. They also insisted on Jesus being depicted, and their own Indian deities like mountains and rivers. I tried to gather all suggestions in a story line about reproductive health – except the ‘ailing patients’, who would only scare off people.

From early morning till late at night, 200 x 600 cm

Traditional and modern culture intermingle, just as in real life.
At the far left, just before dawn, a father to be is undergoing a ritual before his wife’s giving birth; after the birth, he hands his wife a plate of soup.
In the middle we see a marriage and a visit to the hospital for a birth. Old age is depicted at the far right, late in the day, where the sunset casts a pink glow over the perpetual snow of Mount Illimani.
Collecting the images to be included in the mural was exciting. People loved to pose for the different scenes; this way the mural almost painted itself.

Left: detail from mural. Centre: Alberto Medina, Filhy Torrelio, Gezien van de Riet.
Right: First ritual haircut by godparents at baptism.

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