Did you do art school?

A lot of people ask me what art school I did.
Well, I didn’t. I’m self-taught.

At high school I was a kind of self-chosen loner because of the cranky circumstances at home. Saving some distance between me and my school mates seems to be a good idea to me back in those days, to prevent I had to invite them to my home. A child don’t want to be different or having weird parents. But social pressure is a big thing when you are young, so … the logical cause and effect was; I didn’t like school. I wanted to get out of it as soon as I was allowed.
Beside that, I didn’t get much direction from my parents. They had other things to deal with. An education after high school never crossed my mind. I hardly knew such things existed for people like me. University was meant for people of a whole other species. Another planet.

So, after high school I immediately started to work. Jobs like dish washer in a restaurant, cleaner in a hospital and worker at an assembly line in a cosmetics factory. I did make a kind of progression though, because I ended up as the assistant in an accountant office. For me that was a kind of real and serious job, for grown-ups. I was satisfied I had made it so far.
But when I was 26 I slowly started to fall asleep on my desk every afternoon. I didn’t hate my job, but it wasn’t very challenging too. It was time I got serious about what I wanted with my life.

I knew I was creative. People had said it. But I thought it was something belonging to my childhood. Everyone’s childhood, because most children like drawing, painting and playing with clay, isn’t it? I never considered my creativity taking to a serious level. For some reason playing with pencils and crayons on that age felt like cheating. Like refusing to take your responsibilities as an adult. Just like university students, I thought artists where another species too. Not my world.
Anyway … I still was falling asleep every afternoon, I knew I had to make a decision soon, before I never woke up again. This couldn’t go on for the rest of my life. So, encouraged by my boyfriend I quit my job and I started to paint. From the library I studied books about the techniques of oil painting and my inspirations came from the art galleries I started to visit.

This was my very first oil painting, 25 years ago. With a fantasy signature.
Technically it was okay. The paint is still on the panel and not cracked. Perspective-wise I was … well, still in training.
And please do not ask for the ‘meaning’, because I had and have absolutely no clue. Those days I just wanted to put unlikely things together in 1 unlikely scene.

And I have stuck to that theme for a long time.

kikker, art school

4 thoughts on “Did you do art school?

      • Yes, yes! I worked in an archive and it was situated in the attic of an old building. As soon as summer started and it was quiet after the first work rush, I would doze off! Luckily the stairs were wooden and creaked lots, so usually I would wake up before people entered πŸ˜€

  1. Haha, en dan schilder je een kikker die piano speelt terwijl zijn kind baddert in de vleugel…
    Goeie tip van die boyfriend πŸ˜‰

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