I am Peggy Kuiper (34), based in Amsterdam the Netherlands. I live with my rescue dog in an old garage that has been converted to a beautiful loft. I love daydreaming, I’m a slight hypochondriac, little bit hotheaded, I like watching the same movies over and over again, slightly addicted to coffee biscuits, Small facial expressions, especially the uncomfortable ones, intrigue me. I regularly dance barefoot to Togo Soul ‘I Tcho Tchass’, I’m a terrible cleaner, I love the smell of sage, Bright brown eyes and a wagging tale waking me up in the morning is my favorite part of the day, I paint.
PIECE WITH ARTIST
FEB 01, 2021. AMSTERDAM. NETHERLANDS.
Tell us your story, how did you come to painting?
I graduated in 2006 as a graphic designer. After working a few years in the design industry I quit my job. I wanted to be independent and became a photographer. For 6 years I took on commissioned work for magazines and newspapers. Made a decent living, had many adventures, and met wonderful people. In fashion you never work alone. You’re always part of a team. Trying to stay focused on delivering that one perfect picture, while managing the needs of the client, stylist, the model, the creative, and muah.
Being a photographer is a wonderful occupation, nevertheless slowly I felt an urge growing in me. An urge to create and make decisions solely on my feelings and ideas. It was time for the next step of independence. As a kid I was always drawing so I decided to begin with what felt natural to me; painting. I started and it became a drive. Almost hypnotic. I paint every day since.
How would you define your current painting?
Its a self portrait. My very first!. The grown up me, holding my inner child. They are both adults but you can see the expression is different and tells in witch state ‘I’ am. Winter has inspired me by its colour.
Tell us about your style and technique. Any secret that can be told?
My paintings are defined by colour, graphic composition and hidden emotion. I don’t emphasize too much on technique, because most of the time I’m in a hurry. In a hurry to put the expression on canvas. I need to be quick, because emotion does not wait. Thats also why I paint with acrylic. Acrylic is very forgiving, which makes me not afraid to make mistakes. Very liberating!
How do you usually start your paintings? With a sketch, a draft or is it just an improvisation?
I have a daily ritual which is very important to me.
Balou and I spent our morning in nature (the beach or woods). We walk and everything slows down. It opens space, space for me to think and feel. When I walk my inspiration comes naturally to me.
Late morning I arrive at the studio and start with a rough sketch. About the time the sketch is done, I usually feel the urge for a coffee and make my way to my favorite local coffee shop. Returning back at the studio it is time to paint. But not before I put on some good music. Lately I find that ‘Perlas’ fits perfectly with my working flow.
The sketch made earlier is a guidance, but I feel free to let the moment take me in a new direction. I go with intuition and what feels right at that time. Like mentioned before its important for me to work fast, because the energy will change eventually.
What are your motivation forces? And the artists who have been and are an influence for you? My motivation is to express myself and discover what that means. As a kid I was dreamy and not present. I expressed myself in creative ways like painting and dancing. So it is something I cherish now that I am older. Artists as Marlene Dumas, Modigliani and Gauguin are big inspirations. Especially Marlene Dumas I love for her authenticity. She paints about difficult matters in the most beautiful way. She gives me the idea that she is free in her creativity. That’s my ultimate goal. To be free in creating what you want without fear.
What can you tell us about your studio, what kind of place is it?
My studio is in the center of Amsterdam close to the Rijksmuseum, and about a 30 min walk from my home. It’s an old dance studio. Its spacious, has lots of windows and the light is amazing. The mirrors and dance barre are still there and reminds me of my childhood. So often when I have a break I let my body respond to the music and dance!
What is art for you?
I think art is an important language of expression. It reflects emotion, concept and ideology. It can make you happy, sad or melancholic. It can make you feel and wonder. It makes me aware and it gives me the freedom to be myself.