How would you describe your art - in one sentence, or a short phrase.
My art generally shows nature and wildlife in a realistic way. Next to giving a true impression of the animal’s appearance, I am trying to capture its character and personality.
Photo of you in your studio; or beside an art piece that you like.
One sentence to describe your studio / the place you work.
My studio is pretty much well organized, with all equipment stored next to my drawing board and, as a source of inspiration, an extensive library about art and nature.
Photos of your 3 best artworks, the title and a short description.
Descent from the Mönch, with Finsteraarhorn in the distance (Bernese Alps):
I love the mountains and regularly go to the Alps. One of those trips was to the Bernese Alps. Evidently, I didn’t carry up my easel, but based this watercolour on pictures I took during the descent of the Mönch on an exceptionally beautiful day. The following day was very foggy but, although we couldn’t see anything, we managed to climb to Jungfrau’s summit as our mountain guide luckily knew the way!
Future of the North Sea:
As a marine biologist, I am happy to collaborate with the Dutch NGO ‘Duik de Noordzee Schoon’ (‘Clean the North Sea through diving’). Recently, they published a beautiful book about the North Sea (entitled ‘In de diepte’), because one of their aims is to raise awareness among the general public. I made this artist impression showing how the North Sea may look like in the future. We hope that it will harbour a very diverse fauna including oyster grounds, schools of tuna and cod, and large stingrays and sharks.
Long-nosed horned frog:
I made this watercolour for a fellow biologist, Merlijn Jocqué. He is a true field biologist going on expeditions to Southeast Asia, Africa and Central America to study the biodiversity in tropical forests. Although the main aim of the illustration was to show the diagnostic characteristics of this species, I like to think that I also captured something of its character.
Most memorable art commission - what was the piece about, who commissioned the art, what was the experience like.
Recently, divers from the Dutch NGO ‘Duik de Noordzee Schoon’ (‘Clean the North Sea through diving’) commissioned illustrations to show the seafloor and its typical fauna in 6 different areas of the North Sea. For each area, they described which species they typically encounter, the amount of pollution (such as ghost nets and fish lead) and how the seafloor looks like (e.g. the presence of ship wrecks).
Thanks to this close collaboration we managed to give true representations of the different areas. This group of divers knows the North Sea and its fauna exceptionally well, and I got a lot of feedback on earlier drafts, including comments on which species need to be shown, their densities, interactions and behaviour. This series of underwater landscape paintings has been published in a very beautiful book about the North Sea, entitled ‘In de diepte’ (meaning ‘Into the deep’).
How you work with your clients - a short description of how you develop concepts and ideas, and collaborate with your clients.
If the client lives closeby (in Belgium or the Netherlands) I always meet in person to discuss the project. Otherwise thanks to email and the internet, we are able to do all communication online. After listening to the ideas and wishes of the client, I research the subject, develop new ideas, and assess what is feasible. Like that, I attain the most suitable solution in close collaboration with the client.
What/who inspires you?
I draw inspiration from the work of nature artists such as William T. Cooper, Charles Tunnicliffe and Wilhelm Kuhnert. Further, I follow the work of contemporaneous watercolour artists such as Thomas Schaller and Joseph Zbukvic. Also, I like to jump into a museum or visit an exhibition once in a while, to learn and admire.
Browse Hendrik Gheerardyn's artworks on The Commissioned.