Quality is the first norm for art, but its final norm is love and truth, the enriching of human life, the deepening of our vision.


Geelhoed, Adri

Adri Geelhoed

I was born in 1957 in the province of Zeeland, the Netherlands. Except during my studies this environment has always been my horizon and a source of inspiration for my paintings. In the ’70’s I studied in Tilburg. I am married and live in a village close to the town of Goes. I teach art at a secondary school.
(Photo: Huibert van den Bos)
During the ’90’s I took up painting again. Since that time I have exhibited in various galleries in the Netherlands. I became a member of the Zeeland Art Society. Besides free work I love to paint commissioned works. I also make collages, as preliminary studies for paintings but also as independent works of art.
Work process and sources of inspiration
Ever since painting became important to me, I have predominantly painted one theme: landscapes. After a few years abstract works were added to that. There is actually also a correlation between these two ‘themes’.
My method of working as to landscapes moves between figurative and abstract. The paintings are never completely realistic and definitely not detailed. I like simplification. After a period of very abstract landscapes my work has become more figurative again. I paint the landscape that I know well, that of Zeeland. I like to capture the expanse of it on elongated canvases. I prefer to work on large canvases; the viewer should be able to be absorbed into the work. An interesting texture is important for me, that’s why I paint in many layers of acrylics, leaving the underlying layers visible. In recent years I use a knife, except for the first stage of the painting.
Also visual art itself forms a source of inspiration, although often indirectly. I love to visit museums and galleries and appreciate the work of many artists. I have a strong preference for painters who combine the figurative and the abstract and for purely abstract art. Examples of such artists are Paul Cézanne, Ben Nicholson, Edgar Fernhout, Mark Rothko and Richard Diebenkorn. Artists with distinctly Christian themes who fascinate me are Stanley Spencer and Colin McCahon.
As a painter I have no other goal than to represent my vision in the best possible way. This vision evolves, also leaving room for surprise. A constant factor is my love of balance, simplicity and harmony, both in life and art.
Faith and work
My faith has little direct influence on my work as far as I can see, a few exceptions aside. One exception form the paraments I designed for a church building. The designs were carried out by members of the congregation. Although these paraments are abstract, I did work biblical notions into the colours and texture.
For my free work I do not feel myself specifically attracted to Christian themes. As an artist I want to occupy myself with the visual reality, finding landscapes the most interesting. Yet I also like abstraction and restricting myself to form, colour, texture and composition. That is what my abstract paintings deal with: they have no symbolic meaning, no message in paint.
1. High Sky is characteristic of the landscape I am familiar with and love. I have searched here for monumentality in the landscape. The emphasis on the sky is an exception in my work. Acrylics on canvas, 2009, 80x180 cm, photo Laurens Jobse.
2. October Morning, acrylics on canvas, 2010, 40x70 cm, photo Laurens Jobse.
3. Summer’s Day is based on the idea that the expansive landscape can seldom be overviewed al at once. Acrylics on canvas, 2007, the four parts together 180x225 cm, photo Rien Lous.
4. Spiegel im Spiegel. Titles of abstract paintings are derived from music that I enjoy listening to while painting, in this case a musical work by Arvo Pärt, the most beautiful music that I know. Acrylics on canvas, 2008-2011, 80x80 cm, photo Huibert van den Bos.
5. Crossroads is based on three small collages. The triptych has been exhibited in a church building. Acrylics on canvas, 2011, three parts: 180x50 cm, 180x60 cm, 180x50, photo Huibert van den Bos.
28 April – 30 June 2012, landscapes in the Church of Ellesdiek (Ellewoutsdijk, Zeeland).
On the internet
Extensive information can be found on my own website