‘When I’m searching for a new subject, I’m dependent of the coincidence. It’s hard to determine when and where the light on a certain spot can become the subject of a painting’
Gerard Huysman (Zaandam, 1953) currently lives in Alphen aan den Rijn. He studied from 1973 to 1978 at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. His paintings show architecture or landscapes, in which the depicting of light is the main theme. The atmospheric conditions play an important role in this.
Huysman searches for his subjects in Amsterdam. The moments in which everything is in harmony are rare. The artist doesn’t show the fuss of the city, he wants to show the stillness of the city. Light plays an important role and determines the atmosphere of the painting. Figures are rarely found in his paintings and when they are, they aren’t emphasized. The lines of the typical Amsterdam architecture determine the composition.
When he grasps the right moment in the city, and he envisions what he wants to paint, he will start to paint in his atelier. Here he can distance himself and come to the essence of the painting. He does this through a drawing in which he brings everything back into big shapes by using light and dark contrasts. After he made his panel the right size he will apply four layers of undercoating and a yellow underlayer. After that he will divide light and dark sections and he will start by painting the lighter sections. In the process he sometimes removes or moves a tree for example to get the composition balanced. This results into poetic images that gives the spectator a different view on well known cityscapes.