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ArtistRaerenBelgium

As being both visual artist and interior designer, I create artworks on canvas as well as entire living spaces for the joy of my clients. My portfolio contains various projects, from which many are realistic paintings and illusionistic murals.

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ABOUT ME

With my oil painting "Feierabend," which captures the treasury "Al Khazneh" of the rock city Petra in Jordania, I am starting the art series "Nichts ist in Stein gemeißelt," which means that nothing is set in stone.

The choice both of motif and realism being the art genre is motivated by my appreciation as an artist for the wonders man created and creates. It is also driven by my belief that we carve our lives into stone the way we want.

I have always loved the diversity that comes with my profession and the creativity that leads to the best solutions for the tasks given. My experience of over 30 years creating and executing art projects records this quite clearly. Here, I have been designing interiors including suitable objects such as lamps or water spouts, both modern and traditional, while refining the overall by integrating murals. I have been further creating canvas art and sculptures, a few mosaic and relief pictures mixing up the pool.

Creating my art autonomously does not mean that I stop taking commissions. It is rather that I now have found to create meaningful work both for my clients and for myself. Every piece of art has a story to tell. If I do it autonomously, it is mine. If it is commissioned work, it is yours. Not always do you find what you envision on the market. Although my art carries meaning, its main purpose is to bring you happiness.

My art equals the joy of life and the joy to live. And it can be yours to own.

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BIOGRAPHY

Right now, my job role describes me as visual artist and interior designer, who started his autonomous art path in 2021 after more than 30 years of practical experience. But this section asks me for my biography, so here is my (life) story.

 

Where the Story Begins: From School to University

Already all those years ago, I had been drawing and tinkering, but it was my art teacher in school who encouraged me to switch my main practical subject to art. Back then, I tried many things, e. g. fashion or car design. I even painted a mural with "Disney" characters for a local orphanage. Despite many people's voices urging me to do all kinds of things with my talent, I found myself studying fine arts and illustration in Liège, Belgium.

I will be blunt: I didn't know what to do with it. In the classroom, I adopted a painting style between realism and caricature where I preferred swinged brush strokes and overly sized human body parts. You can see an example in Section Image 1.

Section Image 1: "The Witch" was painted with Ecoline colors for a task given by one of my university professors. The task was to create a painting containing only one light source and to apply respective shadowing.

Outside of the classroom, I created advertisement and event materials, menu cards and more for a hotel.

 

How I Became Involved with Interior Design

After graduating from university in 1987, while I was still seeing myself illustrating books or trying caricature paintings live on the streets of Liège, I stumbled upon an opening in a newspaper searching for mural painters. Guess what? I got the job. For two years, I would paint realistic murals.

Then I found that one of the firm's products wasn't performing very well. For example, the photo paper that was used was fading out sooner than expected. So I proposed a solution to the management. Instead of trying to fix the damages over and over again, I would design and create something entirely new for the clients concerned.

My credo became to design unique art that meets the needs of the clients and creates a holistic atmosphere for their interiors.

Not only were the clients overjoyed with the results, I also got to satisfy my constant hunger for new challenges. This way, I became the lead artist in the firm.

 

What Made Me Independent

Many projects later, I had already taken on so much responsibility that I was ready to found my own firm. In 1994, I made it happen and put together a team. Under the firm name "BelArte," we brought various projects to life all over Europe from designing and painting swimming pools over diverse living rooms to entrance halls of other companies. Section Image 2 shows you an example.

Section Image 2: In the Netherlands, my team and I painted the swimming pool of a mansion. For the murals we referenced the lake Lugano in Northern Italy, which was the clients' favorite motif. In order to match the motif, the ceiling was made to be a day sky. However, the sky was splitted open to give way to a starry sky where we captured the star signs of the clients' children.

After 14 years, the team broke apart and I wanted to spend more time with my family. So I took the path of solo freelancing, taking on interior designs as usual, but also commissoned orders for paintings and sculptures. In some ways, I became the guy you would go to when others were at their wits' ends.

 

Long Story Short: My Transition to Autonomous Art

Maybe it was age or maybe it were the troubled times we are currently facing that woke me up. In any case, I was prompted with the realization that nothing is set in stone. You don't have to get going like you did before and you certainly don't need to bend to others' ideals. Life is about choices and if you want to make a difference, then simply don't leave any stone unturned.

As an artist, there is nothing you can't do. A rock gets in your way? I'll make it a sculpture. In fact, I may even decide to give it a role in my paintings.

 

If my (life) story was not what you were looking for, perhaps you would like to view my career path on LinkedIn?

CONNECT WITH ME

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TECHNIQUE

The pieces of the "Nichts ist in Stein gemeißelt" series ...

I paint in oil, predominantly realistic and slighly impressionistic in the details. While I have chosen realism as the main art genre to make a connection to man's perception of reality, I further interpret certain elements of the motif to either create a harmonious look or contribute to the painting's message.

To do so, I pre-sketch the painting in perspective. Afterwards, I use several kinds and sizes of brushes to first mix the oil colors on a palette and then apply them with various techniques on the canvas. Going from section to section, I use contrasting hues for light and shadow, especially at the edges of the objects painted such as in Section Image 1. 

Usually, you will find that my paintings look like photographs from afar and then more decorative from up close. Even if my paintings appear to be still, you will find movement somewhere, which attributes to the thoughtful, but powerful atmosphere of the painting. The first piece of the series is shown in Section Image 2.

For murals and ceilings,

I use acrylic colors instead, proceeding layer by layer. Since most of the surfaces I paint are large, I make use of many more utensiles such as sponges, airbrush pistols for skies or architectural elements and other tools to apply specific effects. However, my brush collection stays always in the center of my artistic work.

Both murals and ceilings I paint using the trompe-l'œil technique, which means that I create a realistic scenery to conjure the illusion of a three-dimensional space that can either enlargen, extend or open a room. Many of my murals therefore contain architectural and landscape motifs.

 

You Like My Artwork? This Is What I Offer

?️ If you feel like you do not see enough of my painting within the photographs given, send me a message. I am happy to send you photos of details that help you with your decision.
?️ If you want to know what the painting will look like in your room, send me a picture of your room with the dimensions of the aspired space for the painting. According to the dimensions, I will then digitally insert the painting into the picture of your room.
?️ For an additional charge, you can buy the painting together with a custom frame that smoothly transitions to the style of your room. Please message me to discuss the specifications.
?️ Please note that I take special care in packaging and shipping my artworks. If for any reason you find any damage(s) on the painting that just reached you, please contact me right away. I will then restore the painting.

LET'S TALK ABOUT IT

 

Possibilities of Commissoned Artworks

What techniques, materials and styles I choose for commissioned artworks depends on your premises, your personal needs and requests. This way, every one of my artworks and interior designs is unique, allowing a variety of possibilities from which we will choose the best one for you.

Remember that there is more you can do with your interiors or artworks than choosing which colors, motifs and techniques should be used. For example, unique frames can be designed and created; three-dimensional applications, glass mosaics or artificial plants can further accentuate the art that is part of the interior design.

In my portfolio, you can view some of my projects as a whole.

VIEW MY PORTFOLIO

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EXPERTISE

A wonderful way of supporting me and my artworks is by liking them. Simple, right? My newest is the realistic oil painting "Feierabend," which you can see in Picture 1 and Picture 2 of the previous section.

LIKE MY ARTWORK HERE

 

When and How We Work Together

Your home is a special place with a unique set of rooms. Often enough, a room can challenge you to decorate it. This happens most of the time when you are trying to fit something you found rather than when it was made based on your room. If you are facing this issue with your room, it makes perfectly sense to order a commissoned artwork or start a commissoned project with me.

Usually, I will first take a look at your room and take its measurements. We then talk about what styles and motifs you like. Maybe you already have some ideas or you have seen something you liked somewhere else. Further considering the specifications of the inner architecture, I will go ahead and draw a digital or watercolored draft. As soon as you love it, I will take care of the planning, get suitable partners on board and create all the art that is involved.

Sounds good?

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