|Arlette Steenmans -
was born in Mechelen, Belgium in 1958. She finished her studies in 1980 at the High School for arts in Antwerp where she specialized in painting. The economic crises around 1981 offered no perspectives to young people in Belgium and Arlette moved to Southern France. The strugle to survive in primitive circumstances, living in the ruins of an old barn with freezing temperatures inside during winterdays... These experiences marked Arlette who is strongly attached to nature and animals. She had very little possibilities for painting. All the paintings of the early 1980's were sold to visitors from all over Europe.
Year after year more people discovered the village Puimichel visiting Arlette and living conditions improved became reasonable. From 1989 until 1991, Arlette stayed long periods in Huddersfield, England where she rented a flat and where many beautiful paintings were created. Although Arlette did not want to commercialize her talent, her paintings easely found fans in various European countries. Arlette participated in several exhibitions in France, Belgium, Switserland, Monaco, she won art competitions and obtained several awards.
Begin 1999 some people decided to found Artventure, a non-profit association of art friends around the artist Arlette Steenmans. A website was prepared, a CD-ROM produced, exhibitions organized, watercolor painting courses are being organized. Since 1999 Arlette can live as a professional artist on a permanent bases.
Description of art
Over a period of years she has experimented with a number of techniques and many different materials- her favourite techniques being mixed media, water colour and oil painting. She has a skilful hand and manages to depict images with photographic accuracy, having mastered the colour palette perfectly. Portrait painting is not her area of first choice, but she is also outstanding in this speciality.
Her deep love of nature explains why animals and often insects, occur in many of her paintings, sometimes as a way of catching the eye, sometimes as an enigmatic detail. We often see strange worlds in the paintings-such as frogs presented as observers-with lifelike animals in unreal scenery. Sometimes the spectator's eye is deceived by a masterly trompe-l'oeil. Some pictures are constructed to include their environment in unexpected ways, for example, the picture involving a shirt and a clothes hanger. Due to the pinpoint-sharp detail of the painting, combined with its ingenuity, its originality and the whimsical nature of the imagination, the artwork of Arlette Steenmans is highly distinctive.