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Interview with Justin van den Berg
Blog

Interview with Justin van den Berg

“For me Cobra was the answer, because you don’t need solvents and the brushes would clean in water, so it was a lovely lovely marriage of water solubility and oil together.“

Justin van den berg, Sydney Australia. Still life artist.

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“Aren’t you beautiful, I want to paint you”

Just from my surroundings, it’s so inspirational for me, to look at things at home and see the light on them and I think: aren’t you beautiful, I want to paint you. Everything is fuel for my artistic life. It’s a joy of life for me to paint, because the simplest things can give me tremendous pleasure.

“A lovely lovely marriage of water solubility and oil together”

Initially I have started with water colours. And then I have worked for several years with acrylics. I then decided I wanted to try with oils and I found that I was allergic to the solvents you need to use with oils. I then came across the Cobra brand. For me Cobra was the answer, because you don’t need solvents and the brushes would clean in water, so it was a lovely lovely marriage of water solubility and oil together.

I discovered Cobra and started to work with Cobra. The great thing with Cobra was there was no toxic solvents to work with, so there is no problem with my allergies and there is no smell. And also the great thing is that the brushes can be washed in soap and warm water.

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“The brush stroke stays where I put it”

The good thing about painting with Cobra oil (after have been working with acrylic) is that as I put a mark down with my brush it stays exactly there, and it maintains the integrity of my brush stroke. The colours don’t flatten as they dry. And they don’t get darker as they dry.

I find that I have a great deal of control and freedom in the same time with Cobra.

“The joy is in the colour”

Something I can’t live without in my studio would be the colour Prussian Blue. It is something that is used all the time in my artwork because the name delights me and the colour itself. So it’s something I couldn’t live without.

As I mix a new colour, I just need a tiny bit of it, because the pigment is so saturated, you get a tremendous shift in colour very very easily.

“Exhibition in France – Celebrating antique French plates”

Currently I have just finished my first exhibition in France. An exhibition celebrating antique French plates. When people see the work often they are surprised that it is actually a painting. While it’s actually wood with oil paint on it, they think it’s a ceramic. I find that quite delightful.

“I have made them happy”

My greatest success in my career would actually be when I realize that someone has seen my painting and that they have smiled and I have made them happy. That for me is the best response that I can ever have to my work.

That is the greatest success that I am looking for.