I have been wanting to share this interview with my readers for a while. This Etsy European is an artist that lives in the Netherlands. Before I read her answers to my interview questions, the thing that was most striking to me about her work is her broad brush strokes, her use of color, and her wide range of theme. Since reading her interview, I am very much taken by how her creativity seemed to always lie in the background of her life, although one can say that she's always been in touch with her creative side. In reading about how she came to develope a new relationship with her internal creative self, I get the sense of feeling that her creative self somehow was able to rush forward and envelope her, almost swallow her whole with great energy and exuberance. It seems to me in any case that this rushing forward, in almost a sense of abandonment can be seen in her work, the brush strokes and the colors I first fell in love with.
I have chose a variety of her paintings to show her range of ability, but one must check out her Etsy shop as well as her own website to get a true feel for her talent.
With no further ado, here is the interview.
Name: Nancy van den Boom
Married/Children: I live with Cor and my two children, daughter Roos (15 years old) and Son Bas (22 years old) and 3 three cats.
Occupations: painter/artist and accountmanager internal facilities for the beautiful city of Haarlem.
Important Links: Nancy Van den Bloom Etsy Shop, Nancy Van den Bloom Homepage, and Nancy Van den Bloom Blog
I grew up in the village of Heemskerk in the Netherlands, a place close to the dunes and the NorthSea with sandy beaches. A wonderful place to grow up. Lots of space to play outside, ride horses, dwelling and experience nature, weather and all the nice things of being outside which I love so much. The house where I lived with my parents and brother was half a mile from the castle “Assumburg” , which was a youthhostel . This castle and its function made my youth very special. Lots of foreign visitors, people to talk with and even work in the weekends, when I was 15.
I prepared breakfast, cleaned the bedrooms and it was a very nice opportunity to explore the castle and almost feel at home in this special, romantic place.
I also had the possibility of ride the horse of the farmer next to the youth-hostel and I had a great time there. I still remember it all so well and I cherish the memories of it all. I had a very happy childhood.
Where do you live and what is the best part of living there?
Now I live in an even smaller village not far from the castle I described. The village is called Uitgeest. It is near a lake with lots of recreation, flat land with cattle, dunes nearby and luckily, also the NorthSea. I like it a lot to live in this village, I am familiar with the surroundings and enjoy the rural touch of it. And the cities Haarlem, Alkmaar and Amsterdam are very close (about 30 minutes drive), so when we look for something else than rural elements for a day, it’s easy to do. We can visit these towns with all the wonderful elements like art, culture, shops, movies, people and restaurants and then go back to the “peace” of our village. Here we can smell the grass!
Is there a particular secret about where you live that only the locals know?
I don’t think the people in my village are very good at keeping a secret longer than 1 hour! They love to discuss all, and very much in the open. Perhaps it would be a nice secret that there’s a treasure on the bottom of the lake (a non-discovered painting of Vincent van Gogh in a big trunk, I would love to dive it up!).
I see my talent as an intuitive creator. I just put up a canvas and grasp those brushes! I kind of intuitively check the connection between me and the subject that I choose. If it feels ok, I start painting and if I don’t feel a connection, I let it go and start looking for something else. In this way I keep on working in the flow.
How did you begin with this creative process and how does it add to your life?
I used to draw a lot as a child and my father was quite an example for me. And I remember he played a lot with light in his work and I loved it. When I was a teenager I didn’t draw so much any more, other interests…Both of my parents are very creative, my mother did wonderful watercolors, she discovered this also quite late in her life, but was always creating, like making cloths for her and me and my dolls. So for a long time (from my 14th till my 44th) no painting or drawing….
In 2004 I had a negative, frustrating feeling about my work and I asked myself lots of questions about changing my career. I looked for help and got advice from an internal advisor, who works with people that got stuck in their work, like me at that time. She had clever strategies to get people in contact with what they really love, their passions. For example, I had to write a fake diary about my dreamed life when I would be in the right place doing what I love. I remember visualizing myself as an author at the time. I had no problem at all visualizing this! It was a great feeling. Another task was to make a painting of myself. I painted (with acrylic, no experience but for school) a tree, with strong roots, some broken branches, lots of light. I liked it a lot to paint I noticed. I thought, wow what’s this? She was surprised with what I presented her. I started another painting, a selfportrait of me, at 8. I remember thinking this is really me and I loved the vibrancy of this early painting. I loved to paint and quite fast I tried oil paint and that’s when I ultimately fell in love with painting. This medium was really mine and I painted very much in a short time. I painted so much I forgot about the problems at work so the advisor had done a wonderful job letting me discover my passion. From that moment on I developed my skills quite quickly since I painted every day, like crazy almost and wanted to learn. I had no education and found it all out by myself, on my own. In 2 years I got lots of commissions, even big ones (portrait of 5 people for a magazine) and I must admit, this was going all very, perhaps, too fast. The pressure got high and I forgot to enjoy almost.
Where you creative before this time? If so, what other creative arts do/did you dabble in?
I did a part-time education directing movies and made quite “non-professional” but quite ambitious movies, together with Cor, who’s a great cameraman/photographer. Together we made a 40-minutes fiction-movie (I made script, did direction) with which we became the champions of the non-professional league in the Netherlands and the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxumburg). We also made a shortfilm on making coffee. Sounds dull and like daily routine, but in this shortfilm making coffee is full of suspense, and we managed to make this ordinary subject quite special by giving it a glamorous and suspense-look. When the cup of coffee is prepared in the end of the film, it looks like a great achievement. This was fun of course.
I loved making films, it’s a great process from scratch to showing an audience, but it’s a very intense, energy-swallowing exercise with lots of people (just like the work I do), locations and technique. Painting is something I do by myself, no negotiations, just color, composition, my own ideas, I love working like this. It’s very good to keep balance for me.
When you have a quiet moment to indulge yourself and there’s no one around to bother you, what is it you like to do best?
Hot bathtub, lots of foam, smell of perfume, candlelight with enough light to read a wonderful book, and ideas in my head for a new painting!
Where is the place that you have visited in the past, that you have particular fond memories of? Why?
It is a place in the Netherlands I visited last year, B&B De Ziel in Diepenheim. I was surprised by my own country. A green region so close, so inviting and wonderful. I spent 4 wonderful days there with Cor, the two of us. That was really special because we enjoyed the simple things in life so much: a good hotel, good bikes to ride on, the sun in our faces.
Is there anything else you would like to add to this interview that you feel our readers should know?
Being able to create is of the important things to be really happy for me. I wish all people to live out their creativity, for themselves but also for all those who can enjoy what we create. Therefore I am so glad I discovered ETSY!