World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 105 - Claudia Schmit
Claudia Schmit paints flowers, landscapes, fish, cityscapes, but especially sisters. Sissies she calls them. She’s already become quite well known with it. The Sissies get a second life on tableware, including in Delft Blue.
I speak with Claudia at Café Vrijdag, near the Amstel. Six years ago it al started, she says. “Two of my friends were on painting course. ‘Do you wanna join us?’. We were laughing, but I decided to do it anyway. Thus I made my first painting. On A-4 format. I was satisfied with it. I put it down at home. I made another painting. I lived together in Amsterdam in a big house with white walls. There was a place for a large painting. I made a painting of New York, and it worked perfectly.”
Discover her style
At that time she worked as a funeral director. “I left quite some footsteps on several cemeteries.” Her parents saw what she had made and also wanted a painting. Ditto friends. Claudia decided to take painting lessons, also to discover her own style. “I found out that I did not like small. Large, loose, free and colorful, that was my style.”
She took these lessons with a friend. “She did very detailed things, my friend. Sometimes with a brush with a single hair. That was not my thing. Our teacher was Clare van Stolk. Then I took lessons with Vincent van Oss and then a few years Marjan Lahnstein. I’m still there. We work in an open studio. Everyone does their own thing, meanwhile we all the time get tips. I do it once a week.”
Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Selwyn Senatori are great examples to her. “And especially Picasso. The Sissies, the females, are inspired by Picasso.” And it also refers to the collaboration with her sister who is a graphic designer. “She creatively thinks with me, also about the ‘Sissies product line’ that we now have. Mugs, bags, phone covers. In different color variations.”
But she also paints landscapes with their own colors. Farmhouses in orange, red and pink, surreal, meadows with flowers. “Also big, not super detailed.” In addition there is the leaves motif with leaves in various colors. “Sometimes I scratch with the back of the brush in the paint. That gives a nice graphical effect.” Everything in acrylics. Her paintings are cheerful and a little mysterious. “That’s how I am, not exactly mysterious, but cheerful. I enjoy life.”
The Sissies is a succes story. And so soon. How she got the idea? “I liked Picasso. I decided to make a Picasso male/female. That worked. I made two females on a large canvas. Picasso females with a twist in it. I sold the painting within a day to a colleague. The following week I made another. ‘Apart’ I heard, ‘Haven’t seen this anywhere else’. Meanwhile they have hung in various places, in a gym, in upscale spaces. I made about twenty and I’ll continue for the time being.”
The Sissies will appear in Delft Blue, not only on canvas. “I went to a manufacturer of ‘Delftware’. It was a nice idea, they thought. We are now working with a sample in China. The idea is to provide mugs, tea glasses, cups and saucers, teabag holders with a Sissies nameplate. Within a month it comes back from China. I’m sure it catches on when it is available in stores. We can also approach hangouts, restaurants and hotels.”
Meanwhile, she continues painting. Her studio she has at home, near the Arena, the playground of Ajax. “Everywhere paint and paintings.” But the production takes place not only at home, this winter she works in the Philippines. “My friend goes there to work at a diving school. And I’m going to paint there. Fish, among other things. My friend will film fish and I use the screen shots as an example. I have fish painted before.” She herself also takes a dip in the water, she has a diving license.
“I will bring a thick roll of canvas. And then I come back after a few month with a lot of paintings. And not all of fish.” Meanwhile, her webshop stays in business. Her mother sends all packages. “My old bedroom in The Hague is the warehouse.”
She is still improving and she enjoys the response. “Such an honor that people want something you made above the couch where they really want to watch to. For this I do it. My technique is getting better. And I like to do new things, explore new themes. My style will always be the ‘Claudia style’, lots of color, less emphasis on details and great attention to the composition.”
Finally, what is her philosophy? “Painting I do out of my feeling. My feeling tells me what to do. You can not learn everything at an academy. My experience of the art world: top, really my thing. You should feel free to make beautiful things. If you have no stress of a job, creativity comes up. You open, as it were. My friend is also a supporter, I think it’s great to have somebody behind me.”
Around the turn of the year 2016 / 2017 Claudia Schmit had a large exposition in the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital.