MARION VAN NIEUWPOORT'S PAINTING TECHNIQUE

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In the middle of the room, there is a white canvas on the table. Marion first wets the surface with a brush. Next, she blends a medium with quartz sand through the water. She then applies large pools of diluted acrylic paint to the “virgin” canvas. All components blend and spread over the canvas. To Marion, this is the most exciting moment, for chance can still take its course. When the mass of water starts to collect in a hole or threatens to run off the edge, she intervenes. 

By hand, brush and blow-drier she leads the pools to their final places. She then leaves the canvas overnight. Anything can happen during this drying period: the paint can dot and dry up in attractive structures; also an unstable pool can drip down off the canvas and make a beautiful stain on the floor. Time and again it is a surprise to Marion what she will find. Thus she regularly comes across a cat’s footprint on the linen, silent witness to the presence of the cat of the house, Dosha.

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The foundation largely influences the composition of the representation. A stain can reinforce an action, for example, a stamping foot of an elephant, but in the wrong place, it can also have an inhibiting result. Thus days may pass before the first line counterbalances the abstraction. The foundation Marion thus lays activates the imagination. The fear of the white linen has been taken away and it seems the subject already emerges from the colour stains.

The canvas is now on the easel and Marion begins to sketch with charcoal. The abstract forms in the background are left to their role of supporting the line pattern. She then carries out the definitive drawing in dark grey acrylic. After that, she proceeds to execute the values. Subsequently, when the painting is horizontal again, Marion puts on pools of strongly concentrated paint, which creates its plasticity. Gradually a face is given an expression, waves start to roll or a dancer leaps up high.

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The big brushes and the water are then put aside. The time has come for interaction. Once again she takes place behind the easel and starts working with a drier kind of paint and finer brushes. Having applied a coat of varnish, the oil paint is allowed its shining part. Large parts of the painting are covered with transparent, warm tones. Because the “filter” in oils has a long drying period, she can continue to work in it to position all the details.

The values are temporarily reduced by this layer. When everything has dried, they are highlighted again with a small brush. The painting is completed with a retouching varnish. By now a couple of weeks have passed since the first pools of paint ran over the canvas.

Text by Liesbeth Gerretsen 

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in atelier, okt. 2006
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