Letting Go of Everyday Things - Riky van Deursen

Letting Go of Everyday Things - Riky van Deursen

October 02, 2018

Riky van Deursen (1962), Dutch based, self-taught, living in Amsterdam.

"Painting for me is a journey in which my feelings and the exploration of various techniques are the key elements. Usually I previously do not have a specific image in mind. I focus on the colors and the painting develops while painting.

By painting I can let go of everyday things and I come back to myself. My intuitive abstract works are showing my experience: sometimes exuberant with lots of color and movement, sometimes subdued with soft colors and soft shapes. My inspiration comes from everyday things like images of a city, nature, a picture in a magazine, something I see on television, a thought, music, a work of art, a conversation.

Besides painting, I developed a passion for photography, which teaches me above all to look consciously and with a different look at things."

"Festival of Colors", Riky van Deursen, Acrylic on Canvas, 30x40cm, 2017


What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?

As a child I was creative, drawing, working with colors, painting. Then a few years  I didn’t do so much on painting, but one day I just had to start painting. 
I love to paint, I have to paint, because it makes me feel good and happy.

How would you describe your own personal style?

Abstract, although sometimes I experiment on trees or florals, but after a period of experimenting I recently came back to abstractism.

What pushed you in that direction and how can you see your work evolving in the future?

I just tried different things, different materials, but I recently found out that I have to paint abstract paintings, that’s what makes me most happy and makes me feel good.

"Abstract 2018-03", Riky van Deursen, Acrylic on Canvas, 50x40cm, 2018


What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?

There are several things that inspire me, it can be music, nature, a photo in a magazine, a conversation, all kind of daily life things. But I don’t wait to get inspired, I paint when I want to.

Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, maybe even other artists?

Yes, many years ago there was a friend who encouraged me to start painting. And I did.

When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?

I love to work with brushes and palette knives.

"Winter Forest", Riky van Deursen, Acrylic on Canvas, 80cm x 60cm, 2017


Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?

Most of the time I don’t have a particular image in mind, I just start painting, focus on the colours on my palette and follow the flow, go where the paint brings me.

Could you describe your normal day as an artist? Have you set routines and rituals or is a more a case of when the moment is right you work?

My normal day during weekdays I work as a management assistant, so I paint in the evening and in the weekends. And sometimes I take a few days off to paint.

When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?

I focus on one piece at a time until it’s finished.

"Abstract 2018-04", Riky van Deursen, Acrylic on Canvas, 50x40cm, 2018


How has your art evolved to be where it is today?

Trying different styles and different materials, follow the process and still learning. Painting is a lifetime of studying, learning and trying.

Which of your artworks are you most proud off?

The ones I painted this year.

Is there a fellow artist alive today that you admire? If so, why?

Yes, there is. It’s my teacher, I follow online courses of him. Very helpful to become a better painter.

"Summer Forest", Riky van Deursen, Acrylic on Canvas, 80cm x 60cm, 2017


What challenges do you feel the 21st century artist has to overcome?

It is not only painting. Nowadays you have to be an entrepreneur too, working on your website, social media, getting your artwork out to the public.

What advice would you give to a young aspiring artist currently studying art?

Be and stay close to yourself, be true to yourself and just enjoy your artwork, enjoy the process.

We have all heard of the unfinished masterpiece, even Da Vinci laboured away at the Mona Lisa for years and years, have you works that are in a continual process of evolution? When working on an artwork do you find it hard to let go? Knowing when enough is enough?

Oh, yes! In the beginning I really didn’t know when to stop, so the painting became a mess. During the years I learned to let go and when to finish. Then I take some time to look at the painting and see if it needs any changes or improvements.

"Abstract 2018-02", Riky van Deursen, Acrylic on Canvas, 50x40cm, 2018


Many people see artists as storytellers or advocates for a cause, do you believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to shine a light on a particular subject / theme, or do you create purely for the sake of expression your creative nature?

I create purely for the sake of expression of my creative nature. I paint for myself in the first place, because I love to paint. And when others like and buy my paintings, wow, that’s great, but that is not the reason that I paint.

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I am following an Abstract Painting course and therefore I make study paintings. So for this moment no paintings to show to the world. But following this course means there will be beautiful paintings soon.

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