Persona September, 23rd 2022 by

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 382 - Nicole Schaap

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World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 382 – Nicole Schaap
When I recently walked into one of the galleries of Korte Vijverberg 2, I saw elongated city views in bright colours. The paintings were by Nicole Schaap. I made an appointment with her to learn more about the work.

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The following week she is there, in Galerie First Class Art. She is an enthusiastic lady. She is sitting behind a table. Gallery owner Chris Konijnendijk also joins in.

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Goldsmith and jeweler
Nicole Schaap tells that she had a jewelry store in Breda and was going to make paintings for the shop window. She sold the business when she was 50 and painting grew into making larger canvases. She comes from a well-known family of goldsmiths and jewelers. She studied at the renowned High Council for Diamonds in Antwerp and obtained her master’s mark as Master Goldsmith in Schoonhoven at the Applied Arts School for Gold and Silversmiths and Watchmakers, now called Vakschool Schoonhoven.

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Travel is an important source of inspiration. She travels all over the world. “Wherever you go, there are rivers. The cities are built around that.” We see skylines of cities, usually on the water. “I leave a lot to the imagination. The space of view is very important to me. That you get the idea that you are not in a closed world. That breathes better, that lives better.” She also makes smaller works, for example the Zaandam windmill, but those smaller works are also spatial.

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It’s imaginary art. The skyline can be that of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Paris or any other city. Berlin for example. “I saw round spheres there. I took pictures of that. In Mexico I saw all kinds of houses on top of each other. That comes back in work. I also embrace history.” She points to a painting of The Hague in which the old city and the new city are united with the help of old postcards from the 1930s depicting the Buitenhof and the famous Bonneterie.

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Mixed media
Not only paint in bright colors – “I’m a real colourist” -, but also corrugated cardboard, wood, paper and a piece of silver can be seen in almost all of her work. “The paintings are signed twice. With my signature and a piece of silver with my master stamp: ns with a sheep.”

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What can also be seen on each work is a horizontal band with different successive colors, exactly on half of the canvas. They are hand-woven colorful strips from the Bedouin that she bought at the market in Beersheba and Old Jerusalem. Depending on the color of the strap, the painting also gets its colors.

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She works from the inside out, she says. First there is the colorful strip and then the painting is built up. “I have to have the muse and the feeling, only then will I start painting. I did try to paint purely ‘technically’, but that doesn’t work.” She knows the feeling of flow. “One time I was making six paintings at once, going from one to the other. Sometimes it doesn’t work either, and the work is destroyed.”

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From figurative to semi-figurative
Nicole has been making jewelry since she was 12. “I designed and enameled them. As a result, I learned to work with many colors.” In her painting work she developed from figurative work to semi-figurative work. The work became more detailed. “The work is growing. It is vital to me. It appeals to people. There is great freedom for the viewer. People can dream away with it.” She also makes commissioned paintings. Then she goes on site to see where the work should be hung and discusses dimensions and interpretation. It is for young and old and her paintings hang all over the world.

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What is her experience of the art life?
“It’s a nice life. It gives you freedom. You often meet nice people. I enjoy making people happy with my work.”
Finally, what is her philosophy?
“I want every work to become a unity and that it brings joy. The colors together complete the picture.”
1) Magical, 120 x 40 cm, 2) Sunlight in the City, 120 x 100 cm, 3) Yellow mill, 30 x 40 cm, 4) Connecting, 100 x 50 cm, 5) City by night, 120 x 40 cm 6) Magical stips, 120 x 100 cm, 7) On the road, 120 x 40 cm, 8) Berlin 80 x 20 cm, 9) portrait photo Nicole Schaap, 10) In the city, 100 x 150 cm 

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