Anouk Bijsterbosch is an artist based in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. Her oil paintings are dedicated to the realistic tradition: figures, portraits and landscapes.
“Linseed oil runs through my veins and I paint only from life. The last decade I spent studying the works of the masters of Renaissance and (Russian) Impressionism. My influences range from painters as Raphael, Repin, Serov, Levitan, Cézanne, Israels, and Monet.”
About Anouk Bijsterbosch
Anouk was born in Warnsveld, the Netherlands in 1987. She has been studying drawing and painting at different art schools in Groningen, Madrid and Florence since 2005.
“When I was 18, I entered a Dutch art academy. Eager as I was to develop my painting skills, that took a turn: an academic training - I was often told - would limit ‘personal freedom’. Disillusioned, I took this as a truth and practically gave up on becoming an artist.
A few years later, two occasions occurred when I had a ‘Stendhal’ experience (also known as Florence syndrome, a psychosomatic condition involving rapid heartbeat, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations, allegedly occurring when individuals become exposed to objects, artworks, or phenomena of great beauty). I clearly remember the first time was when I saw a drawing of a living Russian artist, and the other was during a classical concert. They were short and emotional split seconds, but I think these moments made me decide to dedicate literally everything to painting.
I quit my job and left for Florence. It was the best decision I had ever made! We were trained to use professional skills to translate ideas to compose images on any subject and any complexity. Now this is what freedom means, I think. The artist who drew the particular drawing I was so moved by turned out to be one of my dear teachers at the academy.”
At the beginning of 2020, she opened a private studio called “De Florence Studio” in Apeldoorn. From this studio, she works on her paintings and teaches techniques inspired by the old masters. “I love to see and hear the operas of Rossini and Verdi. I enjoy very spicy Chinese soup with a cold beer.” Anouk enjoys other countries landscapes and cultures: she is fluent in Dutch, English, German, Spanish and Italian.
From a young age, Anouk was drawn to the classical traditions of painting. Since her first art history class at age 14, her goal was to study Greek and Roman art. Later, she became obsessed with the Renaissance period of art.
Anouk is inspired by musicians, maybe even more than by other painters. Musicians remind her what the profession of artist means through their technique and discipline. She thinks the best thing about being an artist is that she always carries the most important instruments with her. “And I don’t mean a favourite pencil or clean brushes. The most important of all instruments: all five senses. I draw all my information from that. Sound, flowery smell or a cold autumn storm. I memorize them in my inner ‘archive’ and these are what I paint with.”
Find out more about Anouk
A realistic body study in oil paint.