Paul van den Heijden
Paul van der Heijden attended Ricky Burnett’s art classes for the past 12 years, where he specialized in realistic oil painting. Paul would like to say a special thank you to Ricky Burnett for his guidance during this process. After Covid and experiencing a lack of inspiration, he began experimenting, and his work took a departure into a more contemporary style – ‘I had no idea what to paint except to paint from inside, but I knew I didn’t want to paint from a picture anymore. So I sat with paints, a brush, and canvas and began painting stripes of different lengths overlapping and watching what happened, and for the first time, I felt a freedom, feeling calmer and more contemplative, which hadn’t really been there before. I started drawing lines horizontal and vertical to help with a bit of structure to achieve what I was thinking. After chatting to a friend of mine, she asked if I had heard of the famous American abstract painter (Agnes Martin) and I hadn’t, and she said that what I was doing reminded her of Agnes. Discovering Agnes Martin for me was the best thing that happened; I’ve watched her videos and seen so many of her paintings now, and I wish she was still alive living next door. I get so much peace from being alone, painting exactly what I feel, and that’s all I want to do.’ Paul is extremely excited to be creating in a different space and feels a greater connection to his work and has a new appreciation of the ‘abstract’.