The focal point for many artists is to reflect on life experiences. Marianne Jansen concentrates on the beauty of life representing thoughts and feelings. Based in The Netherlands, this artist has continued her career drawing sketches, sculptures, and having her work displayed in many, famous exhibitions. One is the ‘World Art Vision Mexico’.
As an established creator, she reflects on her career journey, telling The Business Woman Today all about her thought process, and what other artists should do for success.
“Making good contacts and cooperating with colleagues plays a very important role here. Also, never stop creating!”
What are some of your favourite drawings and sculptures and why?
My favourite drawing that I’ve made for an exhibition was in Cancun, Mexico. The model is wearing an Afghan wedding dress; big, heavy, and voluminous. It allowed me to draw a female figure in many lines, that surrounded her with a rhythm and movement in space.
People told me that my drawings and sculptures were related to dance. In Mexico, I was asked, “Are you a dancer?” Moving, dancing, and theatre have always been a passion for me. You can see that in my work. My sketches have a directness, related to who I am.
Another favourite drawing of mine is a raw sketch. For me, a sketch is the essence of form. When understanding the form and drawing a few lines, you will recognise who I was working with and what I had in mind. A sketch is always new, authentic, and real.
A separate drawing that’s a favourite of mine, is the one I made for Florence for Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti. It is called ‘Slices of time’ and you only see the drawing when it is shown under the light. Giampaolo Trotta, art historian, and curator said “The paintings, sculptures, and installations are closely connected to the world of dance and theatre …. She tried to capture the drama of the human movement in her works and the effect of dance through sinuous and fluid lines.”
How has showing your work in the most famous exhibitions helped your success?
Exhibiting in the most extraordinary places gave me a lot of contacts and friends connected to the international art world. It also gave me opportunities to exhibit abroad elsewhere.
Why and when did you realise you wanted to launch a career in the Arts?
I am a visual artist, this was a choice I made at the young age of 16 and this has yet to change.
I came into contact with art at primary school. We were given a programme to go to the Museum of Modern Art and the Rijksmuseum. To get in touch with classical music, we went to the Concert Hall. The Scapino Ballet came to dance in our school.
My uncle was another inspiration of mine, who then studied at the Academy of Art in Groningen. When he came to Amsterdam, he always took me to museums and taught me what he had learned. I got so inspired!
How difficult was it to get your work recognised once you launched?
There are so many artists. I regularly showed my work at exhibitions. It took a few years before people started recognising my work and invited me to exhibit it in their galleries. Making good contacts and cooperating with colleagues plays a very important role here. Also, never stop creating!
What is your thought process like when creating art?
I don’t focus too much on beauty and clarity of form. I’d rather focus on representing a thought or feeling.
My images are signs that shape ideas, feelings, and movement. I want to understand what I am drawing. Seeing one side of the image and a sketch on paper, you realise that I know all sides like you when you observe a sculpture. While sketching with a sculpturing approach, I like to capture the essence by only drawing a few lines.
Working on a large format gives me the freedom to be involved in the act of drawing with my gestures and body. I work with large oil bars and these lines and strokes have to be perfect right from the start, as this material cannot be erased. I see, translate, think, capture, and express thoughts in a visual form. So, I am focused on creating art by translating and constructing my thoughts and ideas in the material.
When I start sketching, the thinking process is now behind me. I interact with what I see and work at a fast pace. In a very short time, several large sketches arise on paper. By creating small sketches, I can fill a book in one morning. When I sculpt in clay, the image comes intuitively. This material is so sensitive, you can immediately express what you want. My fingers are thinking and the clay follows in a form. Although it is a material that can be manipulated easily, the process of transforming takes more time. The material must first pass through my hands, and I also use wooden spatulas and palette knives.
I get my inspiration from real life. I feel connected with my surroundings. A world that I touch and that touches me. Connected with the environment, the sound, the light, and the energy I feel gives me so much information, all dimensions in one, including memories and experience.
My work is figurative. I stick to tradition. I like to abstract and play with shapes and lines. Lines tell a dynamic story and you can play with it as well. I am not primarily interested in a realistic representation of what you see on the outside. But what do you see? By making choices and being focused, creating art is translating and constructing your thoughts and ideas in the material. Knowledge combined with fantasy.
What message do you want to send with your work?
Life is the essence of my work. Essence, which I am always looking to capture and translate. The desire to bring the material alive is my message. I am looking for a visual authenticity of expression in the material. I search for shapes that express a feeling, thought, or a memory in all their variety before they dissolve in the flow of time.
I want to capture time, all of the precious moments of our life. I want my art to reflect life where moments that pass by in a flash are so precious.
What guidance would you give other artists?
My advice to artists: continue to follow your path, that which is closest to you and truly yours.