The sea, its ships and the constantly changing light on the river Wester Scheldt in Flushing [the Netherlands] the town where Michiel de Ruyter was born, has always inspired me from since I was a boy.
Sketchbook after sketchbook was filled with drawings of old sailing vessels, like clippers and barques, as well as present day ships, to be worked up later into oil and watercolour paintings. There were lots of visits to museums, where “The Dutch tradition of Maritime Art” became my favourite exhibit.
This book of (maritime) art is my artist’s palette, where I have done my best to depict the beauty, proficiency and power of the 17th century ships of the line and her crews.
I can hear the roar of the cannons, the flapping of the sails and the splintering of wood, the people yelling as the smoke from the gunpowder slowly thickens.
Many famous maritime artists have preceded me and inspired me to follow in their footsteps of a tradition . This book, with its portraits of ships, battles, details and extensive studies, provides an insight into the way I work and how much I respect my subject.
I am completely fascinated by the men who sailed on these beautifully decorated ships, with their decks full of cannons and their towering masts.