Fridtjof Gorter Art - Logo

My Approach

I did not draw or paint during my working life. But decades ago, when eight years old, my grandmother encouraged me to participate in a drawing competition organized by a newspaper in The Hague. And after I somehow won the main prize, I thought: apparently, I can draw!

Despite the memory of this wonderful prize, I waited until I retired before giving it any further attention. By purchasing paint and brushes, registering for a course at Ars Aemula Naturae in Leiden (the oldest artists' association in the Netherlands, close to where Rembrandt started his training) my enthusiasm was aroused. I felt I would enjoy it.

During my studies in Leiden and Birmingham and especially in my professional life as a publisher, I became fascinated by interpreting what people really meant by the words they chose and whether underlying meaning could be deciphered from facial expressions.

Hence, my first course was focused on drawing and painting portraits of a great diversity of models. I discovered how to use creativity to interpret the hidden character and personality, not just depicting what the individuals looked like.

It was the approach of Rembrandt and Turner, and it appealed to me. Inspired by them and by others such as Frans Hals, Constable, Monet and Kokoschka, and strongly encouraged by my wife and my family, I started painting landscapes - which after all have their own hidden characteristics behind their appearances. And later still, producing etchings really attracted me.

With all the techniques I experimented with, I tried to develop my own style, working intuitively. Starting with a sketch, looking for the emotion behind the image. Unafraid to dare.

It's for you to judge the results!

Fridtjof Gorter
Leiden, the Netherlands
May 2024