For more extensive artist's bio, articles and list of exhibitions, visit artist(s) website(s). Many of the images displayed on this site are copyrighted, and are used here only for purposes of education or critical review. All rights are reserved by the artists who created the works referenced herein.

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

Avril Thomas

Avril Thomas

Avril Thomas, born in Malaysia, has enjoyed a lifetime of drawing and until 1996 it was essentially was a private pursuit. Whilst living in Queensland Avril's talent was recognised and was asked to teach.

On returning to South Australia she has participated in many joint and solo exhibitions. Avril is now a full time practicing artist.

Her main focus is portraiture in charcoal, graphite, pastel and oil, all with a
tonal realist style, Avril's works can be found Hong Kong, U.S.A. as well as round Australia.

''The cream of South Australia's medical profession has been brought to life by two local artists in a specially commissioned art show celebrating the 125th anniversary of the University of Adelaide's Medical School.

Fifty-nine portraits of the State's best known medical personnel will be on display in Bonython Hall for four days from 30 August, thanks to the work of Avril Thomas and Meg Brassil.

The two artists have spent the past 12 months working around the clock, painting high-profile South Australians who have made a major contribution to medicine and health in this State.

Avril Thomas is a full-time artist based in South Australia who was selected as a finalist for the Archibald Prize in 2005 for her portrait of Alexander Downer.

She has entered previous Archibald Prize competitions with portraits of SA Premier Mike Rann, University of Adelaide frog expert Associate Professor Mike Tyler, well-known Adelaide identity Dr Joe Verco, TV personality Anne Wills and mountaineer Cheryl Bart.

Avril has also been commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to paint Her Excellency Marjorie Jackson-Nelson AC, former Governor of South Australia, and Anne Edwards, former Flinders University Vice-Chancellor. She has also been commissioned by Monash University for a series of academic portraits.

Avril's main focus is portraiture in charcoal, graphite pastel and oil. With a resume of over 80 private commissions, all with a tonal realist style, her works can be found in Hong Kong and the United States, as well as Australia.''



Jan van der Kooi

Jan van der Kooi

From the middle of the 1980's his work began to detach itself from the 'Northern Realism Style'. This new direction manifested itself in his work - it was no longer a question of stylish still lives that appear motionless in time and space.

His moving to a new home and workshop was reflected in his work. The surroundings - Full of light and Space, have given his paintings a new focus. They are lighter, livelier and appear to "breathe" in the southern atmosphere.

Since then van der Kooi has established a good reputation with his 'floor still lives'- steaming cups of coffee, baskets with cow parsley and glasses filled with water on his work shop floor bathed in sunlight.

Apart from painter Jan van der Kooi is also a talented sketch artist, this being reflected in the many facets to his drawings.

Miguel Padura

Born 1957 in Havana, Cuba
Immigrated to United States in 1969
Became United States citizen in 1976


Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York.
Art in Public Places, Miami, Florida.
Cintas Foundation, Institute of International Education, New York, New York.
Bacardi Imports Inc. Visual Arts Collection, Miami, Florida.
Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas at Austin.
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Norton Gallery of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida.
Museum of Art, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.


Miguel Florido

Miguel Florido was born on October 6, 1980, in San José de las Lajas, Havana, Cuba. Florido, a self-taught artist, has garnered several awards and honorable mentions including: First Place, Salón de Pintura Vedasto Acosta, San José de las Lajas, Havana, in 2002; Third Place in the International Competition La Mariposa Blanca, given by the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, Cuba, in 1988; as well as other awards at provincial and national levels given to young Cuban talents. His works are part of private collections in Spain, France, the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Panama, Grand Cayman and Cuba. The artist resides in San José de las Lajas, Havana, Cuba.

In 2003, journalist Justo J. Sánchez contextualized Florido's works as follows:

The still-life genre, in the manner of Sánchez Cotán and the Dutch masters, is present in two of Florido´s series: Bodies Without Life and Blue Door. They are not works undertaken as virtuoso exercises in painterly technique. Florido considers them "self-portraits" or deep explorations of the magic of his environs. […] The notion of vanitas appears in the Florido canon removed from its Judeo-Christian denotation. In a work like La última alegría (2001), the dramatic tension of the fleeting moment --life ephemeral -- is communicated with the same tenebristic intensity of the followers of Caravaggio. There is memento absentia rather than memento moris in the oeuvre of this young artist. Absence prompts the pictorial meditations of this Cuban incarnation of Sevillian Renaissance poet Fernando de Herrera.

Piet Deunhouwer

The work of Piet Deunhouwer is very clearly inspired by such greats as Hieronymus Bosch and Carel Willink. Yet he prefers not magic or surrealist, but rather a story-teller and neo-romantic. His paintings evoke a world where reality seamless to his imagination. He upholstered his landscapes and buildings often with figures from the commedia dell'arte. Like balloons, parades and colored ribbons, they are part of the grand symbols of which language he uses.

Academy of Visual Arts in The Hague
Academy of Visual Arts in Rotterdam
Free Academy in The Hague

free translation from here

Ruud van Empel

Dutch artist Ruud van Empel has taken digital manipulation of photography to a new level.

''His colourful images are synthesized from a myriad of elements, manipulating their fragments and traces rather like an artist uses paint. With digital software he creates complex and exotic images, sometimes spending months working on the sydthesis of a particular photo-derived scenario. Van Empel does not pretend to represent the truth or convey reality, but so seamless is his work that the eye is unwittingly coaxed into believing in the reality of a total fantasy world.
Beginning his career in theatre before moving on to graphic design and filmmaling, van Empel entered the world of photography in the early 1990s at the commercial end of the spectrum. Initially working in black and white, creating photo-collages od scenes from the natural world, he quickly graduated to colour photography and soon the enhanced oppotunities offered by digital manipulation presented him with a whole new palette of possebilities. Since the mid-1990s, he has devoted all his time to art photography. When van Empel exhibited his work at a gallery in the Netherlands, he showed a series of images depicting blonde, blue eyed girls and was both shocked and dismayed when he was labelled a racist and a Nazi for displaying images solely of white girls. This prompted his most distinctive series of images. In a riposte to his critics, he created Moon, World, Venus, depicting the innocence of childhood through a series of images mostly od black children surrounded by lush tropical vegetation are as contrived as the famous jungle paintings of Henri Rousseau, who derived his images from plants sketched in the Tropical House of the Jardin des Plantes, Paris.

His work methodes are complex but, typically, van Empel will photograph four or five agency models in his studio, and then take a series of detailed shots of leaves, flowers, plants and insects. After collecting hundered of images, he carefully selects those images that can best achieve the required effect. These artificial paradise of van Empel’s appeal, of cource, to our romantic sentiments and are a hair’s breadth from outright kitsch, executed with such skill and aesthetic sensibility that the visual impact eclipses the satirical message. It is this threshold between the original and rhetorical that van E mpel adroitly navigates in the creation of his ultimately seductive images.''

Ron Exley

1958 Breda, The Netherlands
Ruud van Empel works and lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Academy of Fine Arts Sint Joost Breda 1976-1981

1981 St. Joost prize
1993 Charlotte Köhlerprize
2001 H.N. Werkmanprize


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