Growing up as the son of a sculptor, art has been an essential driving force in my life since I was young. As a five-year-old, my
family moved from The Netherlands to Canada to follow my father’s creative ambitions in a new country. I was surrounded by art, my imagination was nurtured, and I was encouraged to be creative. My father’s studio was open and inviting, he inspired me to never be afraid of the unknown, to explore, and to be bold with my creative works. The encouragement led me to find music as a creative outlet – saxophone, classical guitar, and later electric guitar, with a deep love for jazz. My art focused on media from jewelry and paper cutting to pastels and sculpture. As a young man, music and art were a serious pursuit, and my works were displayed in galleries and ended up in private collections. But as is normal in life things took a turn: responsibilities meant that art was reduced to a slow burn and there was no opportunity for fire. I love how paint scraped over the teeth of the canvas creates wonderful textures over and adjacent to colours, either still wet or dry. Alongside acrylics, I use soft pastels and graphite to make meandering lines. These lines connect the elements of the painting and improvise on the underlying melody. Like improvisation in music, when I paint each subsequent step is informed by the previous. My paintings are deeply personal and not about current events. Every painting stands alone in time and represents a moment in life. They are about my journey; they reaffirm what is important in my life. My paintings are my journal.
After a long life, why start to paint at 80? Maybe because I have not yet said all I have to say, or it might be much simpler. From a young age art, in its many forms, has been a big influence on me: From my grandparents’ paintings to an old uncle who was a painter and explained Impressionism to me on long walks, to a family member who took me to concerts – score in hand, to an aging actor who brilliantly portrayed a young woman, and wanted to feel what it was like to be young again by talking to me at age 16. My mother, who made the most beautiful needlepoint, and my father who collected art. Of course, the most important influence of my life was the sculptor Karoly Veress, my beloved late husband. He was the ultimate artist who lived and breathed art. He filled my life with beauty, and thoughts about what art means to our own life, our children’s life, and to society. I worked with my husband, my life was full and filled with art. Then the moment came that I found myself alone. I realized that if I want to feel joy again, I will have to produce colour myself. I love the colours of paint and the way they change because of the adjacent hue, I like the ease of acrylics, and the adventure of my emotions being exposed by gestures when the hand takes over from the brain. I even like the little mishaps that kick the equilibrium. Aware that my life is limited, I don’t have time for the sophistication of a restricted palette; rather, I celebrate my past and present in vivid colours. In my paintings, as in my life, I search for the light – literally through colour, and emotionally with a simple message to my peers: “It Can be Done”.