|Bianca Berends was born in Gouda, The Netherlands and until the age of 12 she travelled the world with her parents and among others lived in Japan, Canada en Oman. From a very young age she has a fascination with people and faces and spent a lot of hours perfecting drawings of famous people from magazines. In 1989 at the age of 17 she starts the Academy of Fine Arts in Maastricht (The Netherlands) and gets her degree in 1994. Not yet ready to finish her studies she starts at the University of Rotterdam and receives her Master of History and Arts, with honours in 2000. From 2002 she has been working fulltime as fine art painter and portraitist. To be selected for the BP Portrait Award exhibition 2004 has given Bianca an extra boost and she sees it as the official start for a professional career as a portraitist. A free, strong painting stroke and solid and expressive shapes characterize her paintings. Frans Hals, the Dutch painter who lived from 1580 – 1666 and was a great portrait painter is her big example.
"I like my portraits to emanate a certain joy of life, a twinkle in an eye or smile around the mouth. I am a perfectionist and don’t want to only capture someone’s face in a most exact way, I also want the portrait to show someone’s character. To me it is important that the brushstroke is part of the painting and through that my portraits have a contemporary, modern look and are not painted photographically. The background is mostly one colour that I think complements the character of the sitter, unless it is a family or group portrait in which case I like to include their personal surroundings in the portrait."