Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Passion for Art: An interview with Fine Artist Erna Goudbeek

Erna Goudbeek in her stuido.
A Passion for Art: An interview with Fine Artist Erna Goudbeek
Archived interview from the March 2017 Issue of Arabian Finish Line Magazine
No duplication without permission.

From Holland, Erna Goudbeek paints gorgeous paintings that move, dance, and inspire. She captures the beauty of each creature, painting in a signature style that is soft and elegant. From muted tones of desert landscapes, to majestic birds and gallant horses - all seem to entice you to the canvas.

GM: Growing up in Holland with beautiful scenery and native fauna, you were inspired at an early age to create breath-taking masterpieces. What is the key to capturing the essence and spirit of wildlife in its native habitat?
EG: When I was growing up as a child, I lived in the centre of a city, but I was very fortunate to have parents that ensured I learnt about nature. We used to cycle and walk in the nature, visiting nature reserves to see wild birds and animals in their natural habitat. Also as most children do, I had a succession of family pets. When I met my partner Brian, we decided to look for a house, and in 2002 we settled in a small German village just over the border from Holland. We found that we had settled in the middle of a preservation area for wild birds, also there is a large amount of wild deer. In that same year, I decided to become a full time artist, leaving my job at the NATO Base in Holland. In this little village where we live, surrounded by nature and wildlife, I find the inspiration I need to create my oil paintings. Here, I feel like I’ve gone back in time yet finally have come home and settled down. When I am not travelling to shows, exhibitions or fairs, incidentally where I can find a great deal of my inspiration, you can find me in my studio, where I can work peacefully, just painting.

GM: You are a natural talent. Are your parents/family supportive of your creative endeavors?
EG: My parents have always been extremely proud and supportive of me. They would surprise me and my partner by turning up at shows in Holland where I was exhibiting. Unfortunately, my dad passed away in October 2014, but I feel so blessed that he was still with us to see three of my most significant achievements in my career.  It made my parents so very proud when I was chosen to represent Holland as an artist at the International Falconry Festival in Abu Dhabi and also when I was invited to exhibit my work at the Mara’ee in Bahrain in March 2014, where I was introduced to the King of Bahrain, who bought some of my paintings. During my stay in Bahrain, I also got the wonderful news that one of my oil paintings was selected for the David Shephard Wildlife Artist of the Year 2014 exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. My mam continues to be very proud of me and I am sure my dad is watching over me. He told me to keep painting and I will certainly do that!

GM: Sincere thoughts of your dad. Your family certainly has played a role in your creativity. Falconry, horses and more -  all show your passion for life. Do you have a favorite piece from your collection?
EG: It is very difficult to choose an individual painting, I always put my heart and soul into every painting that I create, they have all something special in them. I am a perfectionist, after every painting that I finish, I always feel that I could it better… as I said before, I don’t have a favorite painting, but if I have to choose by best one… that will be my next painting!

GM: It’s always exciting to visit an artist’s studio; all the paints, colors, and aromas of a work in process. Describe your studio….
EG: My partner built an extension to the house which is my studio, where I can paint quietly. Attached to the gallery there is a small conservatory with a glass roof, in the summer I sometimes see the squirrels on the roof looking at me when I am painting, that is so nice to see.  What takes pride of place is a large wooden table what I work on and I also give lessons once a week to a small group of people. It is very satisfying for me to see how they have progressed over the years and their feeling for art now.  

GM: Your studio sounds peaceful and serene. Do you have a muse or other inspiration to get you going in the morning and to your studio?
EG: I can’t say I have one muse, I have several. One muse in particular is my partner Brian, he always motivates me to move forward and supports me with everything I do, especially with new projects. Another muse is a beautiful horse, waiting for me on panel to bring alive in my gallery.  As I have grown as an artist, I still feel heavily influenced by my teacher Mr. Guust van den Noort. Unfortunately, he passed away in November 2012, but I feel he is always with me, he is also definitely my muse! When I need it, I just think of his last words… “I believe in you and you will get there, just keep painting with your heart”.                                                                                                     

My dad will always be my muse, I think of him every single day, he was so proud of my achievements. I am also most at peace while listening to beautiful music or just the sounds of nature around me when I start to think about painting.

GM: Your art truly shows your passion and dedication to beauty. What are you currently creating?
EG: I am currently working on two commission paintings, a Bird of Prey with two chicks and another beautiful Arabian horse.

GM: Where are you currently exhibiting?
EG: At the moment, most of my collection is on display in a gallery in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

GM: Is there a specific artist who has inspired your creativity?
EG: Certainly, while working with other painters in Almelo, Holland, I studied with my teacher Mr. Guust van den Noort, he was a Dutch old Master! When he was young he in turn studied with a Master of the school of Den Hague. He gave me a great gift; the confidence to paint, he always told me that I am a natural talent. This in turn gave me the will to develop my own technique. I believe by just following my inner artist, feeling at one with my work I could experiment with different styles and techniques. Alas, I am also a perfectionist, and I am never satisfied. I strive with each piece to get better, become the best artist I can be. I also get inspired when I see work from the old Masters, for example Rembrandt, he was a unique painter and I love the impressionistic oil paintings from the Masters of the school of Den Hague, for example Maris, Roelofs and Mesdag.

GM: As an artist with great success, do you have advice for novice artists?
EG: Never give up on your passion! Love what you do, because it is who you are. No matter if you are formally trained or self-taught, keep painting with your heart. Work hard, we all have to. It all takes time, but if you really want to succeed, you will!

More about Erna...
Erna Goudbeek, born in 1966, grew up in Almelo, a town in the province of Overijssel in Holland, a place where her love of painting began. Her once hobby became a true passion, giving us the magnificent internationally recognised oil paintings we see today. From a successful career at the NATO Base to working full time in her studio and gallery in her home in Neugnadenfeld, a small village in Germany, Erna has grown as an artist developing a unique captivating style. She has evolved into the one of the best loved nature artists of this time, influenced by her love of the natural world, the impressionistic oil painters of the School of Den Hague and deftly guided by her now deceased mentor, a Dutch old Master. His recognition of her natural talent steered her present techniques, inspiring her and giving her the conviction to progress to where she is today. “It feels like I’ve gone back in time and have finally come home; here I have settled down”, surrounded by nature and wildlife, she finds the inspiration she needs to create. Erna’s admiration of nature and wild animals are the life force of her work; evident in the captured soul of her subjects on panel, like the purity and grace of an owl, or the strength of a horse or dog, the intensity of the hunt and stare of a bird of prey. It’s their passion for life that is the same passion with which she paints, bringing their existence to such lifelike skill, one could believe you are watching its life unfold before you. When painting, Erna feels she expresses her true emotional self. She knows she has been successful when she sees that same depth of emotional response in the eyes of those who view her works. 

Responses to Erna’s latest works have garnered a dedicated following and she has engaged with some challenging projects worldwide, most recently with Royal commissions in the Middle East. Notably; Abu Dhabi 2011, where invited to the International Festival of Falconry in Al Ain (UAE), representing the Netherlands with two paintings as a finalist in the art competition. Bahrain 2014, invited along with only two other artists to Mara’ee in Bahrain exhibiting work that caught the attention of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain, to whom she was introduced. London 2014, one of her oil paintings was selected for the David Shephard Wildlife Artist of the Year 2014 exhibition at the Mall Galleries. Bahrain 2015, International Art Fair Bahrain. Erna’s work continues to inspire, and her fan base grows year on year, not only for the unequalled work in capturing nature but also for her commitment and passion to the subjects she portrays. She can be contacted for commissioned works by email and her works can be viewed on Facebook and her website. e-mail : e-mail : FB: Erna Goudbeek/ Oil Paintings Erna Goudbeek Instagram: oil_paintings_erna_goudbeek

Instagram: oil_paintings_erna_goudbeek
FB: Erna Goudbeek or Oil Paintings Erna Goudbeek

Gina McKnight is an author and freelance writer from Ohio USA.

(c) Erna Goudbeek

(c) Erna Goudbeek

(c) Erna Goudbeek

(c) Erna Goudbeek

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