About Mattie van der Veen (Dokkum, 1974)

It all started with watching..

Mattie developed a sharp perception early on by watching and observing. The colorful 70’s curtains in the bedroom, the patterns on the child’s travel cot, the sunny yellow of her father’s Renault 5. The images and colours were engraved in her visual memory. Crayons and sketch paper were always within reach. As a child she enjoyed drawing a lot. After high school she followed her heart and chose for an education to become a professional artist.

She has since established herself as a visual artist. Mattie 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.

Live your life with attention, look consciously, observe. Discover the beauty in everyday life. And be amazed..

This is typical for her attitude to life. That attention is reflected in her paintings. She draws inspiration from her immediate environment. Authenticity inspires and fascinates her in people, but also in her environment, materials, fabrics, and objects. For example, light through a transparent linen curtain or an old French chair with it’s history, sacral medieval music, rich velvet fabrics and colorful woven carpets or even the red-haired family dog, an Irish Setter. The surprising colors of a lamb’s fur or a glimpse into the characteristic scenic landscape where she lives.

When she travels, she prefers to go to Southern Europe, to observe the art and culture of Renaissance and classical antiquity. To Italian landscapes with gray-green olive groves and pointed cypresses or the rugged and isolated hills of the French Haute Languedoc, and to view gardens: Monet’s in Giverny, with a field full of dahlias in a castle garden in France. But also her own September garden inspires her.


All these impressions contribute to the atmosphere in her paintings. 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 elegant 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.

Work in progress

Mattie van der Veen was educated at the Academy of Fine Arts Minerva in Groningen (1998). Her work was noticed by many galleries and art experts during the graduation exhibition and has since been exhibited in established figurative galleries and public spaces in the Netherlands. Her paintings have been purchased by enthusiasts in the Netherlands and abroad and included in collections of public and private collectors.

Her 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.

Atelier Mattie van der Veen