Herman Smorenburg

Born in: 1958, Alkmaar, The Netherlands
Lives in: Alkmaar, The Netherlands
Education: 1984 University of Amsterdam, Art Education
See More Work:  https://www.hermansmorenburg.com/ | Instagram

Aurora (Out of the Deep) - Oil on canvas 80 x 60 cm

"I see my paintings as archetypical images, as universal 'icons' that are for the most part unhooked from the limitations of the spirit of the age and culture. They invite the onlooker to experience the psychic power with which the image is charged. This interactive effect of the spirituality of the imagination is the deepest motivation for my being an artist."

What themes does your work involve?
In my subject matter I concentrate on themes of my 'personal mythology' and my inner imaginary landscapes, sometimes with architectural structures from Antiquity or a long gone era. Mostly female figures or animals inhibit the world of my dreams. They invite the viewer to come along and enjoy the serenity of the scene. They function as a kind of mediators between heaven and earth, living in a timeless, silent dimension.
Describe your creative process.
First I make preparatory drawing with charcoal and pencil. If succesful this drawing will contain the emotional 'blueprint' of the painting.The first phase in the development of a painting takes the form of a detailed monochrome under painting, in which full attention is given to form and composition. Next, various transparent colour layers are applied. This is a time consuming process, in which each layer has to dry well, before another new layer can be applied. The shadows are kept as transparent and open as possible while the light areas are mostly applied in more opaque layers. In this way depth in the colouring and a play of light and dark effects is created. It will be finished when I can look at my work without inner friction and the original intention seems realized.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I feel an affinity with nineteenth century romanticism and symbolism and contemporary movements such as Fantastic art and visionary realism. Further the beauty and hidden poetry of Nature are a source of inspiration for me...
What are your goals and plans as an artist in 2023?
No goals, no plans... apart from being alert for what needs to be expressed and to enjoy the process of creating...
What is the role of the artist today?
The artist can function as a witness to the potential and depth of the human soul.To be aware of this potential makes a more compassionate view of life and greater care for the world possible. Art can be a doorway to this awareness...
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
The worth of an art work is for me primarily determined by its quality and strength to effect the inner world of the beholder rather than the qualities and the characteristics of the work itself. It seems to me that the deepest function of art is to mediate between the surface experience of practical everyday life and the experience of hidden levels and meanings deep within the mind.
Castles in the Air - Oil on canvas 70 x 50 cm
Journey Home II - Oil on canvas 62 x 135 cm

Whispers from Eternity II - Oil on canvas 80 x 60 cm
Spirit of the Forest - Oil on canvas 62 x 135 cm
Dreams of Infinity - Oil on canvas 80 x 60 cm
Dream Cat - Oil on canvas 50 x 40 cm
Coral Dreams - Oil on canvas 80 x 60 cm
The One Tree Oil on canvas 100 x 55 cm


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

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