Mattie van der Veen’s work is strongly individual. Separating herself from the cacophonic world around her, she descends into the oasis of her paintings. Through the people, often women and children, whom she portrays, Mattie evokes the atmosphere of her own spiritual world. An atmosphere of silence, a universe in which everything organizes itself, because the trust in the higher is greater than the human tendency to manipulate it. That in this pursuit of harmony there is indeed room for contrasts in color, light and dynamics becomes immediately clear when viewing the paintings. The contrasts between external and internal, between profane and sacred, make her work fascinating and hopeful at the same time. Mattie van der Veen’s spiritual position is reinforced by the fact that she mainly focuses on the heads. Even the physical cannot divert attention from the tranquil purity on which Mattie van der Veen focuses in her works. (Piet Bogaards, De Twee Pauwen)
Mattie van der Veen (Dokkum, 1974) lives and works in Friesland, in the shelter of the characteristic Frisian landscape. She has her studio at home surrounded by peace and space in which to work in.
She draws inspiration from her immediate environment. Authenticity inspires and fascinates her in people, but also in her environment, materials, fabrics, and objects. Mattie mainly paints in oil and acrylic and occasionally in watercolor. She is also very familiar with the pastel technique with which she often makes large and colorful pastel paintings with her clearly visible signature.
A theatrical light-dark contrast characterizes many of her works. Characteristic is also the intensity of colour, the transparent layering and an fluent handwriting.
The bottom layer is visible to a greater or lesser extent in the end result, so the work retains a spontaneous, open structure. The pure linen structure creates a natural atmosphere in the painting. Especially in combination with a warm, earthy use of color, inspired by the colours of Italian frescoes.
Mattie van der Veen was educated at the Minerva Academy of Visual Arts in Groningen (1998). Her work was noticed during the graduation exhibition and has since been exhibited in renowned galleries such as De Twee Pauwen in The Hague, Galerie Wildevuur in Hooghalen and the former Galerie ZoFier. She also takes part in exhibitions in Museum Møhlmann in Appingedam. In 2020, paintings by Mattie can be seen here at the annual O.R.T. (Independent Realists Exhibition).
In 2007 she participated in the International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Florence, Italy. A special project was the work “Amen” with which she took part in the exhibition “Laudate Dominum” in the Grote of Jacobijner Kerk in Leeuwarden. This large panel with 49 hand portraits on canvas was purchased for the quiet room of a church. Her work has also been exhibited at Unilever’s headquarters in Rotterdam, Museum ‘t Coopmanshûs in Franeker, Galerie Mebius in Noordhorn, at the Holland Art Fair in The Hague and during Kunstmaand Ameland.
Her paintings have been purchased by enthusiasts in the Netherlands and abroad and included in collections of public and private collectors. The work has been included in various catalogs and published in newspapers and magazines, such as art magazine Tableau and Pratique des Arts. This French trade journal devoted an article to her pastels and pastel technique.
Because of her academic education, she has broad technical and art history skills, but she is also experienced in educational projects, transferring knowledge and passion for the profession to pupils and students. For years she worked alongside her visual artistry as an art critic and freelance copywriter. In addition, she made illustrations for various projects. Since 2015, she has been part of the Frisian Drawing Society Tsien where she regularly practices classical model drawing skills with other Frisian artists.