The studio is founded on being open to minor everyday observations and commentary, which are later fluently developed in a series of sketches and preparatory studies that smoothly flow into larger works. The student’s everyday life must undergo a certain friction and spontaneous hunger for visual nourishment. But not just visual nourishment: We also need literary, philosophical and scientific inspiration – a perspective that includes the broadest range of possibilities.
So how to define the studio’s focus and orientation? It should develop certain latent social abilities and sensibilities, such as the ability to instinctively decipher the essence of events in society and to take a non-dogmatic stance towards them without repressing the natural essence of the painting. We know it is difficult, but why not try?
We endeavour for our selection of students to be the best. We seek a broad range of diverse individuals, from introverted seekers to spirited extroverts. We are especially interested in those students who are not suited for anything else (in a good way) because they are so obsessively interested in painting.
We take an individual approach and combine the assigned tasks. The assignments exist on roughly three levels. Playful group work, special individual work, and theory and discussion. The group assignments involve the entire studio working on one subject.
But the most important assignments are the individual ones. We try to assign subtle, almost inconspicuous tasks, based on long-term observation of what students work with to realize their ideas.
Our work with the students is roughly planned out for the entire duration of their studies (six years). In the early years, this often involves the simple mastery of technique and learning the skills they still lack (study of models). By these skills we don’t mean rote learning, but learning how to combine mind with hand – as a result of which the outcome of our studies shouldn’t take us by surprise. Of course, we are glad when this combination is at its best and flows easily. During the final two years of study, our communication with the students begins to be on the level of a collegiate exchange of opinions, since both parties should by now know what they are talking about.
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