Marleen De Waele- De Bock
I am an artist who presently lives in the United States. It is the fourth country and third continent in which I find my inspiration to create my artwork.
Born in Belgium, Europe, I finished my art studies there just before moving to Mozambique with my husband in the eighties.
In 1990, after a short return to Belgium, we left for South Africa, where we stayed for 10 years. This country, with its rich cultural diversity, was a source of inspiration.
I initially painted colorful market scenes and people but moved away into sculptures as subjects for my paintings.
The painting process itself has become more expressionistic: a new painting starts with a vague idea or impression and takes shape without initial planning. An abstract background is often the start of a picture shaped by the colors I added.
I enjoy the creative process of painting: one cannot describe the feeling when time and surroundings “disappear” during these moments of concentration, which can also be healing when I feel lonely, being so far away from my family and friends in Belgium. There is no specific subject preference to paint: it may be people, objects still lifes, etc… although a certain “isolation” of people or objects transpires in the works.
I had exhibitions in Belgium, South Africa, USA and sold artwork to private collectors in different countries.
I have known Marleen’s work since approximately 2001. I was instantly struck by her uncomplicated manipulation of paint combined with a sound graphic style. She treats different mediums with a sensitivity to their strengths. Her paintings appear fluid while linocuts are strong in design.
Design is often thought of as a surface feature. But, in my decade of experience as Curator I have developed a formula to follows. Very good work, initially exhibits good design but pulls the viewer in to expose a many layers of both idea and technique. In other words, the concept has been followed thought to the very completion without distraction by the artist. Marleen’s work exhibits this important quality.
It is strong and rich in both depth and color with interesting detail. Her diverse and interesting background and life experiences have enhanced her current paintings. I am a great admirer of her work.