World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 27 – Adrie van der Ven
There is lots of color in the work of Adrie van der Ven. The colours in his abstract work stand for emotions and desires that may clash, but after that can also provide harmony.
Adrie van der Ven’s profession is therapist and aura reader. As a result, he works a lot with psychological themes. Van der Ven: ‘Many themes are not as purely individual as everyone thinks . Many suffer from separation anxiety, fear of commitment, narcissism or other properties that can play a prominent role in one’s existence.'
Adrie van der Ven transforms things like uncertainty and excitement into colours. ‘I strive to represent the experienced tension in its essence. There can be a huge collision, and this you see back in the hue. In the same painting you may see a harmonious solution, but not always.
In his practice Adrie van der Ven meets almost daily these feelings and person’s properties. ‘It is life itself. I guide people and try to initiate processes of change. One of the means to do this is creative expression. A succesful painting or a piece of music is an added value in life. Art inspires people.’
People are ‘caught’ by a movie or an image. This also applies to himself. ’Examples from the guild of painters that always inspire me are Van Gogh, Helmantel, Permeke, Monet, Manet, Van Rijn and Velasquez, just to name a few. Next to these also Klee, Pisarro and certainly Mondrian.’ A poem may have the same effect, and especially Music. ‘The music of John Lee Hooker, Queen, Bach and Puccini motivate me. Art experience is my inspiration. It is the opposite of boring.’
Initially, Van der Ven painted realistism. ‘I painted landscapes, still lifes and flowers. Gradually it went into abstraction. It’s like life, one stage turns into the other.’ But a beautiful still life painting is still a challenge for him.
A key work, that is a work by which he arrived at a different track, is not really there. ‘For me it’s more a steadily flowing development. Model painting and development of my technique are just as important as following your imagination. The last years I also have less problems of thoughts like ‘You do not come close to the great masters’ or ‘everyone is painting’. I start with more conviction on a painting and I carry through with the same conviction.’
Van der Ven took his first painting lessons with Rob Hessels, for three years. He learned to paint a portrait from a photo, how to build up, pigments, technical skills as dark – light, the importance of patience, to work phased in layers, the importance of the composition. With those skills he made the first landscapes and still lifes.
Then he became an apprentice to Cas Waterman. There he learned ‘deep and high’, as was done in the Middle Ages, a central principle then, in addition to the effect of dark and light, and the selective use of color.
Let the painting emerge
Paula Vermeulen’s lessons then focused on drawing quickly. Sketching a model for three hours each week in charcoal and then a more detailed diagram. ‘I labored a lot, but I was proud as well, especially in the modelling studies.’
Van der Ven had some more teachers. From Hans Verwoerd he learned to go quickly and directly on the canvas. ‘Trying to capture the brilliance of speed, especially with acrylic paint.’ Pavel Sizov stressed the importance of emptiness relative to the object in order to create space. ‘While working with oil paint, tempera and ink in a loose way, you had to dare to let the result emerge.’ Magda Zimmerman then put the emphasis on subtle touches and refinement in oil painting. Based on this, he worked on portraits and landscapes. He still takes lessons at Zimmerman. ‘I learned a lot of all of the teachers. They really shaped me.’
Adrie van der Ven lives in the Baarsjes in Amsterdam and is participating in the Open Atelier Route every two years. He exhibited among others at Isitra, Reina Oversteegen’s studio in Haarlem. In the Baarsjes he is involved in Ella Arps’ art circle.