Foto kunstenares Ineke de Rijk met zwart goud kunstwerk

Ineke de Rijk's inspiring travels

Rijk is the Dutch word for "rich" and Ineke de Rijk certainly does her surname justice. She lives a rich life, full of unique experiences. Her travels keep inspiring her to make more drawings and paintings. Now that she's retired, she really enjoys discovering new techniques and materials.

About Ineke

PASSIONS painting, drawing and photography INSPIRATION from life, different cultures and the countries I've visited, as well as other artists FREE TIME I love to spend it with my family and my dog

From the Algarve to The Gambia

"When I was young, I already loved to draw," Ineke begins her life story. "But then I got married, had kids and ran my own beauty salon. So, there wasn't much time to practise my hobby. After my divorce, I lived and worked in Portugal for four years. When I came back to Haarlem, I picked up my profession as a beautician again, as well as my old hobby of painting. I took a number of watercolour courses at that time, and my travels to Thailand and Africa gave me plenty of inspiration. My visit to The Gambia made such an impression that I decided to move there and to set up a foundation to support the local people. I learnt a lot from the people and the culture there, an experience that I'll never forget."

Watercolours and pastels

Ineke has since stepped down as chair of her foundation. "Now that I'm retired, I can devote a lot of time to my hobbies: painting and drawing. To a large extent, I draw inspiration for my work from my own life. The experiences I've had, like the different cultures and countries I've visited. My current style is very diverse, but primarily figurative and romantic. There are so many different materials, I just want to try everything. But I use watercolours and pastels the most because they take up the least space. I don't have a lot of room at home, so I can't make massive paintings."

Beautiful in the end

Along with her own life, Ineke gets a lot of inspiration from Pinterest. "But other artists and photography books inspire me a lot too. My visits to various museums generate loads of ideas." But how does Ineke actually start work? "There's usually already an image I'd like to make or something that's been on my mind for a while. I then usually don't know how I'm going to capture that, whether it's with paint, pastel or something completely different. But once you start, inspiration shows up of its own accord and that's the fun thing about working. Sometimes I'm instantly satisfied, but other times I have to leave it for a while and I'll still keep changing things. But actually, everything you make ends up beautiful anyway," she smiles. "It's your own work, beautiful or not, and that's a great feeling. But obviously it's great when other people like it or think it's beautiful too!"

Proud woman

Retired Ineke still has plenty of dreams. "What's still on the bucket list is a trip to Portugal with my son. A trip from the north to the south, criss-crossing the country taking loads of photos. But I also like taking little trips around my beautiful home country, the Netherlands, and capturing that. Again, these photos give me lots of inspiration for painting." That leaves us with one question. What's her favourite piece? "My favourite picture is 'Portrait of an African woman with gold'. The piece depicts a confident African woman who is proud of her heritage. It's the first picture I posted on Art Heroes and I've sold quite a few of them. That gave me a lot of confidence to continue with my painting."

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