Lenie Kamstra’s art radiates vitality and has a distinct personal signature. Her paintings and wooden sculptures give a feeling of being in paradise or in the sphere of poetry and myths. She has been working as a professional artist and art teacher since 1990.
Lenie Kamstra has received commissions to make large artworks for various hospices and companies. Her work is exhibited on renowned Art Fairs and in various galleries. Her paintings and wood sculptures are part of art collections of business organisations and in the private sector in Europe, The United States and Japan.
My connection with nature, animals and with the subconscious are recurring themes. Other cultures, music and powerful women inspire me.
Light plays a very important role in almost all my work. Soft light in the distance, sunlight to warm, radiant light between the branches of trees, light that reflects.
It is not my aim to portray nature, animals or any other subject realistically. I am looking for the core, the soul, the connection I feel with it.
Actually, I also paint my longing for a paradise world, a place where I would like to be.
Colour plays an important role in both my art and my life. In my paintings I’m constantly searching for new combinations and shades. Applying them in many layers to create depth. I use colours to create the right expression for the painting. Sometimes the result is poetic and stilled, but mostly expressive and powerful.
I work only with premium paints and inks with brilliant pigments with which I can make my paintings sparkle.
Ink, gels and linen as mixed media
In my latest series such as Into the Forest, I start with ink and gels that allow me to create whimsical shapes and momentum in the image. There is a great deal of “coincidence” when using inks, which I find challenging. New patterns and pieces emerge in the work as a result. The trees in these series are made from cut and torn pieces of linen, creating depth and texture.
My technique and the experiment
I start with an idea, a plan, but during the process of painting spontaneity takes over. I am not afraid to take another direction if it is more interesting. I like to be surprised by the paint and what the painting ‘is telling me’.
I like to experiment with different materials. Starting a new series, I choose materials that I feel best fit the expression of my subject. I like to use materials and techniques in an unusual way to obtain a gripping result. Sometimes I use art resin and gels in my paintings, not only on top of the painting, but also in between layers of colour, thereby creating depth and transparency.
Contrasts like matte – glossy, thin transparent layers of paint versus pasty layers occur in my work.
Literally nature in my work
The Wild Flowers series is painted with spray–paint, using flowers, leaves and branches from my garden as a template. In the Hidden in Clay series, I printed berries, flowers and twigs from my garden into clay, painted them with acrylic and finished the tiles with art resin. I have also used these natural materials in my amulet pendants and brooches. To print into them, but also to leave some in the clay.