'I would like to paint the way a bird sings', Claude Monet
Before I start, I want to thank you for your interest by taking the effort to visit my site and reading this little biography. Here, I will tell you all about my art life...
Dutch Animal Artist
As you probably know, I’m a fine art watercolour artist of animals, born in the autumn of 1992 and living in the south of The Netherlands. I grew up in a forest area of Brabant: this is were my adoration for animals has begun, mainly through forest creatures, especially with Golden Retriever dogs and horses. My parents gave me the French name Dominique, but, since many people have shorten it into ‘Do’, in French written as Deau, I decided to use it as my signature. My logo is a wild, Spanish Mustang horse, symbolizing the artistic freedom.
Academy of Arts
In 2012, I was accepted at the highly recommended St. Joost Academy of Arts in Breda. But, I rather consider myself as a self-taught artist, since I’ve learned all the techniques by myself, not by school or anyone else. I started as a three year old amateur with coloured pencils, now worked up as a professional wildlife, bird, pet and horse artist, working with watercolours. Or, returning to the French version: an animalière...
The reason why I only paint animals is more like an ultimate primal feeling. Since I was born in November 1992, I have watched all Disney films, especially The Lion King, Bambi and The Jungle Book for more than a million times, and was constantly drawing animals. As a child, I never wanted toys like Barbies: only animals, like the pluche ones. Every animal has its own beauty and characteristics, like a striped coat or a majestic appearance. Or, think about the role they play in cultures, like Oriental and Iberian horses and species of wildlife. Because of this early beginning of loving the Animal Kingdom, animals became ‘my specialty’.
I do not have a specific art influencer, but the ones I really appreciate are George Stubbs, Paulus Potter, Alfred Munnings, Melchior d'Hondecoeter, John James Audubon, Johan Hoekstra, John Gould, Edwin Lord Weeks and Rembrandt. Their interesting compositions, use of colours, appreciation for animals are always inspirational. I like my art to be a combination of modern and classic, such as bold compositions and traditional colours.
What I really like to achieve with my art, is to show you the magnificent diversity of this planet. Every specie or area has its own charme and beauty: what is 'normal here', is 'exotic' elsewhere. So, every animal is special! I also get a lot of inspiration from cultures and places, especially the Mediterranean ones, like the south of France, Italy and Spain, with Seville and Rome as one of my favourites. I just adore that atmosphere. Or, the cozy feeling of the Alps, Cotswolds, Burgundy and Brabant... Animals have their own, perfect way to represent all those different places, which makes this all an artistic voyage through the Animal Kingdom.
Artist Statement: Not a Trophy
Once, the animal kingdom was full of colourful species, until humans took a role in that... Nowadays, the numbers of animal species are enormously decreasing, especially by human actions like illegal markets or trophy hunting, that 'in the name of sport', or old fashioned ideas, like stories of 'medicinal effects'. But, taking the life of an innocent creature who hasn't any idea it is going to be killed, such as a bullet from a distance, is nothing else than a brutal, coldblooded murder. Animals are never ours and not subordinate to humans: never ever do we, as humans, own the rights over them. So, if you genuinely care about nature, honour those animals with a painting, not their own lives...
Because a killed animal is never a trophy.
Many people from the artistic world agreed that watercolour is ‘by far’ the hardest medium to master. Water does what it wants, you cannot use white for highlights as well as building layers like you can with pencils or acrylic, and a mistake cannot be removed. So, why watercolour? For me, it was the ultimate challenge to master a medium that’s very to most difficult, especially when it comes to the art style of photorealism. But hey, I'm Dutch; we know how to handle water ;) Due the result of practising every day, I’ve learned myself a lot of specific techniques and so it became my favourite! I love the transparency and the contrast of light and shadow, as well the serenity of the watercolours.
Photorealism is the style I’m most comfortable with, like Van Gogh with his stripes and Mondriaan with his color blocks. I prefer the natural look of animals when painting them, which you can do very well in the figurative style of photorealism. Because it’s realistic, you can show those specific features very well. And, it’s always a challenge to put them on paper as beautiful, mighty or gentle as possible…
Vegan × Durable Art
I always work with durable materials, like high quality paper made of cotton, paint that keeps its natural brightness for more than 75-100 years and vegan materials. I refuse to work with brushes that are made from animal hairs, like squirrel or marten: those innocent creatures belong to the wild or to live a happy life, not to be used for tools. All my artworks are created with synthetic brushes: no animal hair is used. A handmade piece that lasts a lifetime. By every sold artwork, a small part will be donated to several animal rescue organisations. You're not only buying an artwork, you will help our animal friends as well!
When buying a piece, you don't buy 'just an artwork' made in several days. You buy more than decades of dedication, experiences and exercises, years of frustration and euphoric moments when you finally reach the result you were looking for: that is the real time for creating an artwork, not the amount of working hours. You're buying a piece of heart, a part of the artists soul...
So, overall: do not compare, but love it all.
All those differences that makes a specie or breed just that special.
All by its own, fascinating beauty.
Just like I can.