'In essence my pastels are an "extract", the remainders of an experience of beauty, wonder, or desire.'
The works of Onno Boerwinkel (Middelburg, 1950) speak a language of living tradition. He graduated in 1975 at the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. Boerwinkel starts painting with oil paint but switches mainly to pastels halfway through the 80's. This allows him to combine painting and drawing.
Boerwinkel does not use any well-defined technique and often works on various pastels simultaneously. This way he tries to stay passionate about the work at hand and avoids the risk of an artist' block. The final result is never predetermined, it flows naturally from the creative process. Boerwinkel applies various layers of pastelpaint that he fixates throughout the process. The artist scratches, rubs and polishes in his paintings to uncover the underlying colors. This creates a dynamic and lively surface that defines Boerwinkel's distinctive atmosphere in his work. When the work is to his liking he defines contours with charcoal.
Boerwinkel wants to create a feeling of recognition with the viewer by painting everyday situations that he mainly finds in France and Italy. He is fascinated by the Mediterranean culture and lifestyle; places where it seems time has stood still. 'I believe in keeping traditions alive. Tradition mean communication and history. Or, rhetorically speaking: don't we just all want to keep the good things in life going?'
His unique pastel technique and his choice of subject matter convey his longing for the Romantic era and his affinity with nineteenth and early twentieth century art. In the end however, he manages to connect the world of today with times gone by.