“If I wouldn’t be curious about improvement or change, not only would I be standing still but I’d be moving backwards.”
“Only through trial and error will you move forward. If you’re not prepared to make mistakes and always play it safe, you’ll end up going in circles. Self-righteousness is killing for your development in this field of work. So, to me my ‘very best painting’ will always be the next one…”
Astrid de Rie lives and works in Amsterdam where she was born and raised on the ‘Bloemgracht’. She studied at the Ruudt Wackers Academy in Amsterdam where she worked with renowned artist to develop her painting and drawing techniques. Hence, over time, she was taught intensively by, among others, Maarten Welbergen, Bert Osinga, Gyula Somos, Bart Holt (both painting as sculpting) and Kurt Löb.
In september 2005, she started taking lessons in (ceramic) sculpting led by Anna Hulzink at the MK24 in Amsterdam.
Astrid’s realistic work is recognized by its expressive style, the abundant use of colour and the strong contrast between light and dark. Her work sparks the imagination due to the daring clair-obscure, strong lining and brush strokes.
Each painting and each drawing originates from a very direct involvement with the subject. This passion can be seen in every chosen theme. Her themes are classic: the portrait, the nude, the landscape and the still life…
“To me there is hardly a distinction between themes or disciplines… Each work is essentially a portrait.”
For Astrid, to be painting and drawing is a substantial part of her life.
“Without this work, I wouldn’t be complete. When I’m working on a painting, I work on it inside my head during the entire day and even during the night.”
Astrid de Rie has a solid, traditional, academic background as a visual artist. Yet she still curiously searches for new ways to grow in her work. Aware of the fact that merely talent or technique aren’t enough. Astrid has a boundless passion for her profession which is driven by hard work and iron self discipline.
“An extraordinary talent!“
Drs Paul Spies, Art Historian and director of the Amsterdam Museum in Amsterdam
“…In 2007 I had the honor and pleasure to be opening the exhibition of Astrid de Rie at Galery Libbe Venema. To prepare for my speech, I visited her studio at the Zeeburgerdijk. There, I looked at different works of art that would be exhibited, in order to get a notion of her work.
Two works stood out to me in particular. Firstly the powerful portrait of a woman (Young I), that would deservedly adorn the invitation of the exhibition, and secondly a work that was propped up on an easel and was halfway finished: the portrait of Belgian sculptor Rik Wouters and his wife Nel.
Astrid especially admires Wouters and used an old photo as a model for her tribute in oil paint. But that nineteenth century photo was of course in black and white; Astrid made a colour portrait!
And this is where she proves to be a master; she has an extraordinarily strong sense of colour. She chose a very clear and deep blue for the background, against which the two faces and the oxblood jacket of Wouters (do I spot velvet?) stand out strongly and convincingly. But also the lighter shade of blue of Nel’s dress beautifully matches the background. Like I said: the painting was only halfway finished, but that blue background was so strong right away that it is burned everlastingly inside my memory.
In my opening speech I argued with the attendants that they themselves could be ambassadors of Astrids career and that they would best undertake their mission if they purchased a work of art for themselves to show to family and friends. I wanted to set an example; if the women’s portrait of the invitation would still be available at the end of the opening, I would buy it. But if someone else would purchase that painting, I would sign for the unfinished work that was left on the easel inside Astrid’s studio. The women’s portrait was of course bought by someone else…
A few months later, Astrid called me to say that the portrait of the Wouters couple was finished. We went to pick it up and I was curious to find out if my memory was wrong. Or if the work turned out to be less strong in the completion stage… But no, the painting exceeded my wildest expectations. Astrid had dared to strongly emphasize the facial features. What she had achieved by this was that the deep blue didn’t overwhelm the painting, it was a real portrait. A very skilled balance between colour and presentation.
When I look at Astrid’s work, I think that balance is what defines Astrid’s work; in her entire oeuvre of pictiorial art, she dares to use very powerful colours, however they never overshadow the image. A remarkable talent!”
(See paintings: ‘Young I‘ and ‘Rik and Nel Wouters‘)
“Unconventional and daring!“
Dr. Jan Teeuwissendirecteur Museum Beelden aan Zee & Sculptuur Instituut (Scheveningen)(during “Kunst & Kunde” MK24 in Amsterdam)
“… unconventional and daring to take on such a loaded subject. Well painted, beautiful textural expression…”
(See painting ‘Blue teapot‘)
“Stevie, our hero!” (23-08-1984 – 26-03-2009)
John Gulmans 1976 – 2006 Manager Film theatre De Uitkijk in Amsterdam
“…After visiting the exhibition of Astrid de Rie in 2008, we were completely touched by the painting ‘Us‘. Our Stevie started to become brittle and we knew there would come a time to say goodbye to her. We immediately asked Astrid to make a portrait of Stevie. The only thing we asked for was a portrait in which we would remember our little dog. And she succeeded fantastically! The portrait hangs in our living room and all of our friends and family are touched by the painting. We couldn’t have wished for a better reminder of our bear.
(See paintings: ‘Stay!‘ and ‘Us‘)
“Kunst ist Gabe”
Bernard LussingDirecteur Lussing Financial Planning
Astrid de Rie
“…. Kandinsky said: Kunst ist Gabe; keine Wiedergabe. That can surely be said of the work of Astrid de Rie. Very beautiful and colourful work. Work that shows passion, empathy and clarity. Very, very beautiful.”