Anouk Jonker set up her showing of paintings on Thursday, and I was enchanted by this young Dutch painter and her mother. I’m always interested in the relationship between artist and work. I like to draw the connecting lines in my head from the painter’s inner being to what I see hanging on the wall. I am often intrigued by what is shown and by what is hidden, perhaps my curiosity is piqued by knowing that I hide and display certain things in certain ways in my own “exhibition” of art. The word that best describes Anouk and her mother is “grace”. There is something truly lovely about European women and each nationality has their own distinct sensibility, and for me the Dutch women certainly have a sense of grace. Perhaps it is because my mother was born in Holland and I like to think that my mother was full of grace.
Nevertheless Anouk’s work now hangs in our store, and as I look at it, day after day, it grows on me. Initially I didn’t care for the muted colours that she used and I held a certain affinity for the piece called “Dodge” (Which is, by the way, the smartest word to put on the front of a truck.) I liked it immediately for two reasons. It was reminiscent of a youth spent in rural Ontario and it had a vibrancy that was lacking in the other pieces. But as sat in their midst, other elements of my youth begin to surface. The painting “Windmolen” reminded me of a Dutch landscape that used to hang in my grandmother’s house, which stood beside a farmer’s field. I often slept over at my grandmother’s house listening to the cars and trucks passing on Highway 24 and as the early evening light began to dim, I would see the cows in Mr. Thompson’s field. When I look at that painting I feel like I’m seven again.
If you have a moment, stop by yourself to see what feelings and memories Anouk’s paintings stir in you. You can find the hours and location here.