The Hero’s Journey of Edwin IJpeij

What is the best thing that I love about my work? The best thing that I love is that I do what I’m made for, which is to create and to inspire. I call this OSense, a portmanteau for Eau (French for water, the source for life) and Sense (to feel), and together it forms the word “essence”. Therefore, I paint the female nude, since it represents the essence, without garment and make- up: just how you are. Exactly this I like to share by my artworks, to bring you in motion to be your pure and beautiful self, your naked truth!”
What is my idea of perfect happiness? “Happiness comes from itself when you live close to your essence. Like the sun, this shines bright and warm through your physical appearance, resulting in irresistible beauty, attractiveness and success. This is for me true beauty, a sustainable beauty that in contrast to external beauty doesn’t perish.”
What is my greatest fear? “Like anyone, I’ve had my fears in life, however, I learned from those fears that they are the result of not to dare to surrender to life. In life we get many challenges, and it is how you deal with them. It requires confidence, courage and a “letting go”-mentality time by time. If you can let go, there is space for something new. That makes life exciting: life starts where your comfort-zone ends!”
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? That I can be impatient and perfectionistic sometimes.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? “I admire people who dare to follow their hearts and are able to make things that not many people can do. Therefore, I need to mention Henk Helmantel and Olav Cleofas van Overbeek. Both are painters of the still life. The way they compose their artworks, create an atmosphere and express the texture of the material is simply overwhelming mastership.”
What is my greatest extravagance? “I feel that I am a pretty down-to-earth person. However, from feedback I learned that people may see my work, the female nude, as extravagant. When I explain why I paint the female nude and what I want to achieve with that, the most people change their view from extravagant to beautiful.”
On what occasion would I lie? “I am convinced of the power of the truth. I may only lie, in case I can prevent something very nasty to happen to my family, to kids and to nature.”
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? “I love to spend time in the atelier. However, being a successful artist, requires more than that. Despite I like to network and to deal with people, I prefer to paint.”
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? “I am nearly always happy when I create. I can mention the creation of the Venice Girl Triptych. It was during a transition period in my life, that initiated a next evolution in my work”.
If I could, what would I change about myself? “I wish that I could better deal with perfectionism. I find it quite a challenge to keep the balance between striving for perfection and perfectionism. I need it to create what I want to create”
What is my greatest achievement in work? “My next exhibition during Art Nocturne Knocke in Knokke-Heist (B) this summer. It is one of the nicest Art Salons in the summer in Europe and it is very nice to be present there to share my mission.”
What do the words ‘The Financial Freedom to Create’ mean to me? “This is a very good question. For me, it means that the creation process is not contaminated with the feeling to sell my artworks. That doesn’t work, money is poison for creation. Creating from a pure base, from an OSense basis, results in beautiful art for which is always a market.”
Where would I most like to live? “In the Provence in France. The light, the colours, the sun, the language, the food and the wine and Pastis are of such a beauty and inspiration that a daily bath in this would be wonderful.”
What is my most treasured possession? “My paint muller to rub my own paint and my chemical knowledge. With this I can create sustainable art: art that can survive centuries. With my chemical degree I have access to genuine pigments, of which I can make my own paint accordingly the Old Masters’ techniques. The prove that their art is sustainable can be seen in the musea worldwide. Unfortunately, many contemporary artists don’t have this knowledge and their artworks often need restoration within several decades after their creation.”
What is my most marked characteristic? “That is the balance between pragmatism and sensitivity. Sensitivity is a prerequisite to create since it means that you have an eye for beauty. The pragmatism translates this into artworks, rather then only enjoying beauty.”

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? “That is a village very close to where I live: Maaseik (B). The inventors of the oil paint Jan en Hubert Van Eyck were born there.”
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? “On the terrace of the very nice restaurant Silvester’s in Sittard (NL). Next to the very nice creations of this Bib Gourmand awarded chef, the hospitality of the guest lady, the terrace feels as if you are in the Provence.”
What books influenced my life and how? “That is for sure the story of Artemisia Gentileschi, who was a very typical 17th century #metoo example unfortunately. It is very inspiring to see how she transferred what happened to her into her own success. She stayed close to her heart and persisted to have an artistic career as woman, which was very rare that time. It currently influences me to empower women with my work by offering a different perspective on their beauty: sustainable beauty.”
Who are my favorite writers? Toon Hermans, very famous in The Netherlands, is born in the same town as me. He was a master in playing with words and emotions in an impressive simple way. A true master. Next to him, I love the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown: a very nice story about art”.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? “I love music, from Monteverdi till Metallica, it inspires me a lot. It is for me as a palette, in many colours and tones. For my last day I am very critical and the music must be very special and of exceptional quality. For this occasion, I choose music of Johann Sebastian Bach: “Erbarme dich, mein Gott” from his St. Matthew Passion, the music is so peaceful”.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Katniss Everdeen out of the Hunger Games is a female hero played by the excellent and very beautiful actress Jennifer Lawrence.”
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? “Emma Watson. She is so strong in her work for gender equality in the United Nations. Everyone should see her HeForShe presentation for the main counsel. Very impressive.”
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? “As it is in Heaven, a Swedish movie from 2004 directed by Kay Pollak and nominated in 2005 for an Oscar for the best foreign language film. It is a beautiful movie about a famous conductor who gets a heart attack and needs to stop conducting for big audience for medical reasons. He returns to his home town. Because he returned under his artist name, nobody recognised him else way than the famous conductor. The movie has very strong statements about music, love, self-development and karma.”
What role plays art in my life and work? “Art communicates on a different and more powerful level than the ratio. Art in general, thus also music and literature, is more influential than many people estimate. I am very aware of my role as artist, with everything I create.”
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? “That is certainly my wife, who encourages me a lot to do this.”
Whom would I like to work with in 2018? “Jennifer Lawrence.”
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018? “Henk Helmantel. He is currently the most famous painter in The Netherlands and I am sure he can teach me things to further develop my skills.”
What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? “Oh, on this I cannot answer. I am busy with many projects, but I don’t disclose them before the paintings are finished.”
Where can you see me or my work in 2018? “You can meet me in my atelier and during exhibitions. The closest opportunity is during Art Nocturne Knocke (B), from the 10th till the 15th of August 2018.”
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? “A big Amen. Passion is the result of doing what you are made for, living close to your heart, OSense!”
Which creative heroes should Peter invite to tell their story? “Henk Helmantel, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Olav Cleofas van Overbeek, Abbie Vandivere.”
How can you contact me?
“You can contact me via my email: info@edwinijpeij.nl and my website www.edwinijpeij.nl

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