“I had always wanted to paint a show with only animals as the protagonists. In most of my previous work the animal is always paired with a human and I felt it was time to give the animal the sole focus.
I have been involving myself with Shamanism and animist belief systems for several years. In this belief system there is no boundary between humans and animals. Animals play also a large role in my shamanic journeys in which they reveal themselves as companions that carry, sometimes, specific messages or tasks.
The bear in particular plays an important part in my life as a spirit animal that accompanies me over and over again, especially when faced with new, sometimes leadership tasks. I sense the bear as my guardian and guide. Other animals, like the Jackal were firstly inspired just by their look and may reveal themselves later. I do not need to know.
Painting is an ongoing inquiry in the desire to transmit a sense of energy, a state of being and feeling. When one inquiry feels completed I move on, often revisiting places in my older work, but finding new ways to interact with it.
In my work I try to be as honest and true to myself as I can without losing discernment. I aim as best as I can for sincerity, intimacy and openness in my paintings. In them I find the beginning of something that touches the universal. It is a place where others can touch the magic and sensuality that gets exposed in the process.
I think deep inside of us lives a longing to experience a sense of 'falling in love'. A visceral experience without words. For that to happen, this place needs to be free of irony, social commentary or conceptual humor. I am looking in my work to find the point in which we feel a certain ache – the ache caused by the knowledge that life is full of light and dark, sacred and profane, beauty and ugliness, life and death.