On the cover: Terns by Jeroen Allart
Tell us about ‘Terns’.
I’m always very happy when I see a tern because of their sharp, distinguished appearance and the little caps they wear. They are very aesthetically pleasing, the perfect subject to paint. Terns often live in a large group – as in this painting where they are preoccupied with one another and all looking in one direction. Except for that one character looking the other way.
What are the ideas you’re trying to capture in your art?
I think that my art has something to do with the beauty and comfort to be found in life and in stillness. There’s no real activity in my work but there is always a certain emotional feeling, perhaps something to do with the soul
What rules have you set for yourself for your landscape paintings?
My painted skies are usually one flat colour and I do not focus on the foreground. It’s so that the viewer can give all their attention on the horizon without being distracted – although it definitely also has something to do with the flatness of Holland. I’ve always been interested in the horizon, in what’s in the distance: you want to be there but it’s an artificial concept, it disappears when you try to go there.
Where do you take your inspiration?
In the past I was fascinated by the beautiful illustrations and graphic design of postage stamps. As a child I went to the library in my village to get to know about artists like Picasso, Monet, Kandinsky and Mondrian. I started painting late, when I was 25, and initially I limited myself to self-portraits: these are very handy, because your subject accompanies you everywhere. I painted hundreds of them, inspired by artists like Max Beckmann, Modigliani and Fernand Leger.
What’s your process for creating your paintings?
For the landscapes I always travel and take thousands of pictures, I don’t feel comfortable painting outside. I shoot what I see and edit the pictures carefully on the computer. Then I get started with oil, using the photo prints as a starting point.
What’s your relationship with the news?
I’m a real news junkie. But I’m not interested in political painting and it has nothing to do with my work, I’m just curious. When I was a child I had nightmares about the Cold War, I was really afraid of atomic bombs. And now we have the same situation between Korea and the US, and I’m still a bit afraid of these annoying and dangerous world leaders. It’s so much better to make art!
You can see more of Jeroen’s work and purchase prints at dutchluxurydesign.com and jeroenallart.nl
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