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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The "Welcome In My World Of Art" Story

Our new artwork painted by Tess using the
sand painting technique.
It was an ordinary day.  Just found the perfect place for our new piece of artwork that we bought while on the island of Sint Maarten/St. Martin.  Carol and I discussed at length whether we should, or needed, to buy any more artwork for our Beach House.  Just about every room in the house has artwork on every wall and the entrance foyer has at least a dozen pieces of artwork hanging on the 20 foot wall.  Standing in the closet off our bedroom are at least eight to ten large pieces of art that we took down to accommodate newer pieces we like better.  And to top that off, most every table or cabinet has smaller pieces of art on them ... so what would we do with another piece or art?  Well, we bought one anyway.  
ArtCraftCafe is located on the right
about halfway down Old Street in
Sint Maarten.
Just had to have it since it was so unique.  Called sand painting and it has mostly pastel colors with actual sand covering most of the painting.  The pastel colors reminds one of the Caribbean immediately upon viewing it.  Luckily the new artwork is rather small and doesn't need a large area to display it.  The artist of our new find is a woman named Tess Verheij who was born in Zandvoort, The Netherlands.  She lived, studied and worked in Holland for 31 years before moving to England.  She has a variety of degrees in all areas of art as well as a degree in education which she put to use when she became an art teacher.  Tess mainly paints figurative compositions in oils and acrylics on canvas, pastels on paper, inks on paper, mosaics and experiments with Tie dye on canvas.  In September of 2008 she started traveling with her two daughters, visiting Europe and Egypt to explore and visit inspiring artists and art movements and to spend more time with her two girls.  
Tess on the right stands with the island Minister of Culture,
Silveria Jacobs at the opening of her new gallery/school.
She then moved to the tiny island known as Sint Maarten where she taught art at local schools.  After three years she opened her own gallery/art school on picturesque Old Street in the Dutch capital of Philipsburg known as "ArtCraftCafe".  At first it was on the corner of Old and Back Streets, but the place had no running water and no bathroom and was too small. The size of her classes required she move into a larger building so she moved once again in September of 2016 to a larger place at 116 Old Street.  
Students work on their artwork at ArtCraftCafe.
She now has over 100 students ranging in age from 4 to 72 years old.  She has displayed mosaics, linocuts, acrylics and sand paintings.  As soon as Carol and I saw the sand paintings we knew we just had to have one.  The fact that they were small and carried the pastel colors of the Caribbean islands was all we needed.  The accompanied paper which came with it states, among other things, that we shouldn't hesitate to call, you're more than welcome in my world of Art.  It looks perfect on our antique cabinet beneath our wall-hanging television.  We can now continue to say we have never traveled to an island that we didn't buy at least one piece of artwork from that island.  Now, we are either going to have to change that philosophy or stop traveling.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

MIxed media painting by Tess.
Now exploring using glass paint on canvas which is seen in this colorful painting.

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