I was born in Delfzijl in 1973, and grew up in a small village in the province of Groningen, The Netherlands. In my youth, I loved to gaze outside, or make drawings, instead of paying attention in class. It was not long before my drawings appeared on the front page of the school magazine. I continued drawing during my school career, so that I also committed caricatures of teachers and classmates to paper.
When I was fifteen, I illustrated folders, which were distributed throughout The Netherlands. Later on, this included greeting cards and illustrations for political magazines. In the 1990s, I started a course at the Vrije Tekenacademie art academy. Unfortunately, this study did not produce what I was looking for, as it focused very much on modern art. When I was about twenty, I made my first acquaintance with the works of great classical painters from the 17th to the 19th centuries. This meant a lot to me. I suddenly realised: ‘This is what I want, to be able to paint like that with these techniques’; thus the artist in me was born.
Around my 23rd birthday, I took private lessons in 17th century painting techniques. I supplemented this with self-education and studying paintings. In particular, their construction intrigues me enormously and I want to know how it is done. Although reading books was never really my hobby, now I devour books about painting and making my own paint. I have never lost this fascination and I still increase my knowledge about classical painting every day.