I was an Ice cream man, a motor mechanic and a designer of lighting fixtures. I studied psychology of religion at the University of Nijmegen and industrial design at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. I am a runner, a surfer and a father.
And I am a painter ……
After university and my training as a designer, I chose to be a painter. I can use both head and hands in it, honoring both my philosophical and my practical side.
I could state it more simply: I feel happy when painting.
The first ten years of my life as an artist I made contemporary and experimental work. In 1999 I took a retreat in Brittany: six months for surfing, studying my predecessors and to reflect on my own course. I decided I wanted to immerse myself in the craft of the 17th century Dutch masters in painting.
Back in the Netherlands I found a mentor in the person of Cornelis Lemair. For years he was very critical of my progress – and became a friend along the way. I made still lifes and other works with a 17th century slant, in the technical and thematic sense. Eventually I even became a teacher myself, both in The Netherlands and in the United States, where I give a masterclass in Los Angeles, every November.
My passion for the craft has remained unchanged – I just love the classical ‘Dutch touch’. My vision on the theme however has evolved, since I decided to use only contemporary objects.
The basis of my art is the wonder of what is. A good still life is a monument for the moment, a tribute to the temporary into the timeless. It shows the depth of the everyday look and focusses the attention of the spectator on the soul of things.
It is not easy to find the right words. Perhaps it is not that important. What matters is what happens between the viewer and the painting.
I’ll be happy to help you look deeper.
Paul van Ernich