Out of my comfort zone

Steps Mineke Reinders Watercolor 080820-2

Two things collided this week to propel me out of my comfort zone. One was the continuing heat wave, which made me long for winter. The other was a post on Facebook by contemporary Dutch watercolorist Kees van Aalst, who is a master of abstract realism. If you’re an artist, and especially a watercolorist, go check out Kees’ blog, which is full of the wisdom gained from his years of experience. Most of his articles are available in both Dutch and English (and I’m happy to say I translated the majority of them).

As I said last week, I felt the need to shift gears a little, so I’m interrupting the Closer to Home series for a few small watercolors with a winter theme. I always want to paint snow in a heat wave… I also wanted to get away from the degree of realism and tight rendering that I felt myself slipping into. Unless you’re firmly dedicated to either realism or abstraction, there’s always a tension between the two, and you have to find the place on the continuum that suits your artistic temperament.

I’m not ashamed to say that a lot of my attempts at abstract realism went straight into the trash. You really have to push through your inhibitions and be willing to fail if you want your work to grow and change. In any case, here are a few of the ones I’m happy with.

Winter World Mineke Reinders Watercolor 080820
Winter World Watercolor, 13×18 cm
Hush Mineke Reinders Watercolor 120820-2
Hush Watercolor 13 x 18 cm

I’d love to hear your opinion – leave a comment below or send me a quick email if you’re reading this in your inbox.

Till next week,

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One thought on “Out of my comfort zone

  1. Brian Marshall says:

    Hi Mineke,
    I came across your paintings looking at Kees Van Aalst paintings on Google. I am 72 and teach traditional watercolour on the cruise ships as I take these as free holidays, paint the odd “doggie” commission and have a local Art group. Although I am not a professional artist I have been painting on and off for about 50 years and fortunately most of the people I teach are beginners ! So I can get away with it. I was a professional comedian for 30 years then a scriptwriter and finally an Agent and Director.
    I guess I have reached a certain standard as a watercolour painter but never really been altogether happy with my paintings and always searching and trying the style and methods of all the great watercolour artists and contemporaries too. So, the book, Realistic Abstracts has changed the way I paint, and I am delighted with the paintings I am now producing for myself . I have to say though that your painting “On and Offline” is breathtaking. For me it is probably one of the best, clean, transparent semi abstracts I have seen. What an inspiration. You’re other paintings are wonderful too, but for me this is in a class of its own.
    Keep painting and I look forward to looking at more of your work and wonderful semi abstracts.
    Kind regards
    (If you Google “ Brian Marshall Comedian” (not to be confused with the brian marshall guitarist from the Creed) IMDb and other sites pop up with some of my history.)

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