Artsy Shark is pleased to present the exquisite portfolio of artist Mark Van Crombrugge, who shares his passion for painting, and his technique. Visit his website to learn more.
I am an artist living and working in Belgium. I was born near Ghent in 1954 and graduated with a degree in graphic arts in 1975 in Brussels. For a long time, I worked as a professional advertising illustrator and digital photo retoucher.
Today, I go to work everyday as as a worker in a factory, and the rest of the time I create my still life paintings. I ignore time and deadlines, with only one purpose: to make every painting a better painting. I try to avoid artistic trends and go my own way, using my own abilities.
Ever since I graduated from art school, I have been torn between painting, illustration, digital work and photography. Today, I have devised a method which allows me to use all four of these together, to create a single painting.
A new work starts with some fast sketches on paper. Then, I make the necessarily photos if needed, create the final design on the computer. I paint on traditional prepared gessoed panels, using acrylic underpainting finished with several alkyd/oil layers.
I am deeply inspired by the Flemish Primitives, and it was the experience of copying one of the works of Jan Van Eyck (Man in a Red Turban) that made me realize that I could do things I had never dreamed of before. I have since developed my own unique approach to creation.
All still life paintings have a classic approach, nevertheless the design is a nearly purely digital one and photography is only used to paint the subtle details in oil paint. Details are necessary to reveal the extreme beauty of simple objects.
I am a painter who loves his craft. Rather than explaining things with words, I love to say it with paint. No further explanation from my side. Let yourself get carried away, get absorbed in the work. Don’t ask me, but ask yourself and try to enjoy a painting from its inner strength and the inner you.
I paint what evokes something in me and that same finished painting can tend to evoke something in the spectator, which doesn’t necessarily have to be the same. My work is not only about beauty. It is about things in life that have moved, upset, brought me to tears, made me laugh, objects from the present and the past… It is mostly related to my personal life. Every painting has a story that is mine.
My work is figurative, sometimes very realistic, sometimes a bit more free. I am the servant of the objects that I paint, and my goal is to make these shine in a painting, whether they are in the foreground or in the background, big or small. But as important as the subjects/objects that I paint is what I don’t paint . . . the space between and around the objects. The less I have to paint, the more important the empty parts become in my paintings. Controlling this balance is always a challenge and is of utmost importance in the sometimes minimalistic settings. Sometimes I feel like a painter of emptiness. When I paint, I forget about art.
I hope that with attention to detail, composition and color, my pieces come to life and represent a dynamic new contribution to the world of fine art.
My work has been exhibited and recently published internationally and is in several private and corporate collections.