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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Ellis Tertoolen

Ellis Tertoolen

Born in 1951 in Gouda, she lived and worked in 's-Gravenhage. From the beginning of 2008 she lived in France and in Holland alternate.

In 1973 she completed her education at the Royal Art Academy in 's-Gravenhage.
From 1980 until 1999 she was a teacher at this same academy.

The subjects in the art by Ellis Tertoolen are the stillife and the portrait, both in commisioned works as in her own pieces. One can discribe the style of Ellis as almost classical. The way in which she works is very much a traditional one. The base layer is drawn in tempera, after which the rest of the painting is done in oilpaint. Every now and then Ellis uses a technique called "encaustic": bee-wax is heated until it is a workable fluid which is applied as layers in between the oilpaint. These layers are then reworked later on with the use of a heat source (bee-wax dries reasenably quick and turns into a rather hard surface) to give a painting more texture. The artist uses both woodenpanels and canvas. She prefers antique wooden panels; the old wood gives an extra intensity to the work of art.

Ellis discusses her own art:

"I love light, for me light is the desire for something new, it allowes things to change."

All my life I wanted to be good at something, as a child I had a thing with music. In my dreams I played everything I had heard a friend of mine play, she was having piano-lessons. Beautiful music is comforting. I used to listen to the radio a lot, my mother would then put on some classical music. Mozart for example, everything he created is so beautiful. Such a creative genius that died so young, just like my inspiration in painting and drawing; Egon Schiele. And Chopin, sounds of love, everlasting through time.

I love living. It is unacceptable that this life will ever end. If I had the choice I'd only concern myself with things that are beyond life. Beauty is central in that thought. What is beauty? A complete absence of uglyness, everything in perfect harmony.

When I was a child my father often took me to a museum. There was a painting there of a dead child. The little face was porcelain, transparant almost. This picture made a big impression, especialy the lonelynes in the painting, I can still draw it by heart today."

This is only a short outtake of a much larger piece of text in which Ellis discusses her own art. In order to read the entire text you can use the button below.

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