Frans de Leij
I did not go to art school – in fact, I trained as a biologist at the University of Wageningen (The Netherlands). Although, I am a self-taught painter, I have gained a lot of inspiration from the work of other artists, notably from impressionist water-colourists like Edward Seago, John Yardley, Edward Wesson, Nina Engle and Trevor Chamberlain. The work of these painters breathes an air of directness and freshness that is so attractive about watercolour and almost impossible to achieve with other media. In 2006 I became a member of the Sussex Watercolour Society (www.sussexwatercoloursociety.comfransdeleij). Galleries that stock my work include ‘Room with a View’ in Worthing, and ‘Achter de Beek’ in the Netherlands.
“I have always been interested in nature. It is therefore not surprising that the English countryside and the sea inspire many of my paintings. In particular I am attracted by the way light, shade and atmospheric conditions unify objects within the landscape. Furthermore, I like the feeling of space and tranquility that are found in the natural world. The challenge for me as an artist, is to get these emotional qualities transmitted to paper, allowing them to be shared with others.”
“I feel that each painting requires its own solutions to allow convincing expression of the particular qualities of light, complex shapes and colour vibrancy that were the inspiration for a particular painting in the first place. Every painting is therefore a challenge for me, and I spend more time planning and thinking about a painting than actually executing the work – the latter should be quick and assured to avoid a muddy and overworked result. At least that is the aim, and working towards it keeps my interest in watercolour painting alive.”