Amsterdam-born artist, Philippe de Kraan is intent on taking Mornington by storm – art storm that is. His 48th solo exhibition, A Moment in Time, was at Oak Hill Gallery in September 2015 and the streets businesses and publications of Mornington are ablaze with images of his colourful expressionist paintings. De Kraan paints with exuberant passion and he wants to share that with others. Of the upcoming show he said: “I want people to walk away from his exhibition with their imaginations going wild!”
It hard not to be struck by De Kraan’s work; his bold, bright expressionistic paintings are eye catching both in content and in colour. He works meticulously over long periods of time with exacting precision. He spent three and a half years painting a one 10 x 6.5 foot canvas, The Gathering, with a miniature (000) paintbrush! It was the only way to achieve the effect he wanted. Patience and dedication to detail are clearly strengths. Have a close look at the pages of the book sitting open on the park bench in his painting, Mornington Delight.
“To have mastered the essence of expression is what I’d like my artistic legacy to be,” he explained. His portraits certainly do just that. There is depth, expression and fine detail in their faces. When he lived in Europe he used to pay sitting fees to beggars, the elderly, local fishermen and children alike to capture their personal stories. “When you paint a person, you have to make them live. You have to touch the soul,” he revealed. All his work always depicts the human form in some way.
Whether expressive oils and watercolours or meticulous brush and ink work, de Kraan has produced a body of work equal to his intended legacy.