INTERVIEW with CARY JURRIAANS
LOCATION: Langley, Whidbey Island , WA
Artist and founder of the Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio
(WIFAS), a studio/school where artists can come and study in classes and workshops with nationally renowned instructors.
EDUCATION: Studied public relations in the Netherlands, attended the Florence Academy of Art, Gage Academy in Seattle, WA, and various workshops throughout the Seattle area.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT: In general, I always remember that Picasso was baptized Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso. He was named after various saints and relatives. Me personally, I was born and raised in Holland near The Hague and my husband is from Amsterdam. We both came to the U.S. with two small children and we have never left! My first career was decorative painting, murals, tole painting, finishes and more.
WHEN WAS THE MOMENT YOU KNEW YOU WANTED TO BE A PAINTER?
I was always drawn to art but thought I could never learn how to draw. After taking many classes at The Academy of Realist Art in Seattle (now called Gage Academy) and a semester at the Florence Academy of Art, I came to realize that you can actually learn how to draw: it is a learned skill, what you do with it is art!
WHAT IS YOUR STYLE OF PAINTING?
My style is definitely inspired by my classical education. I love the Dutch Masters and Still Life work.
DID YOU HAVE A MENTOR OR SOMEONE YOU LOOKED UP TO?
My mentors are all the instructors that I have studied with; Jeff Legg, Robert Liberace, John Morra and many more instructors that teach at the school I started with my husband now called Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio (WIFAS).
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL THAT IS SPREADING THROUGHOUT THE ART COMMUNITY... WHIDBEY ISLAND FINE ART STUDIO.
Our nationally recognized instructors are exceptional and dedicated to teaching. We are so lucky to have them. We enjoy paying close attention to detail and our workshops have great refreshments and a class dinner... we have a ton of fun and are very well organized. We are located in the quaint seaside village of Langley, Washington, which is very close to spectacular landscapes, coastlines, farms, and other viewpoints that provide inspiration. We are close to Seattle and Seatec airport. WIFAS offers drawing and painting from still life, figure, and landscape: studio and plein air. Our classes and workshops are small and intimate, allowing for more individual attention and a personalized approach. We will also pick students up at the Ferry in Clinton. Check out our workshops page on the website and come join us this summer!
WHAT DO MANY ARTISTS NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I don't like cleaning brushes and have tried every shortcut possible. This is my process: I have 6 to 10 dirty brushes in my hand at a time, rinse them in a large container with Gamsol, then rinse them in a mixture of dish washing liquid and warm water. After this, I then swirl the brushes in masters brush soap and rinse them with warm water to finish the process. I am hard on my brushes!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
The wonderful feeling of ‘zen’ when you paint all day and time is not an issue. Also, the challenge of learning more each day and with each painting.
WHAT IS THE LARGEST HURDLE IN THE ARTS YOU HAVE HAD TO OVERCOME?
Making enough time available for myself to paint. Running the school takes up a lot of my time.
WHAT IS A GOAL YET TO BE ACHIEVED?
First and foremost is to make the school, WIFAS, as successful as possible by making it a special place for students to excel in the arts. My second goal is to paint the way I want... Effortless, which I don't think has happened YET!
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM PAINTING?
The more you know the more you learn, the more you learn the more you know you need to learn! I am not sure who said this, but it is so true. Painting is never boring, there is always more to be learned, discovered, and the satisfaction is enormous.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU PROVIDE TO ANYONE ASPIRING TO PAINT PROFESSIONALLY?
Draw, draw and draw... it is all about drawing. Drawing is a skill necessary for painting in the representational style, whether it is impressionist or classical. After drawing comes painting. It is very important to paint from life first, then use photographs in addition if you really need to. I know it is not always possible to paint from life, however, only painting from photos will eventually hamper your ability to become really excellent.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PAINTER?
Wow, too many to mention. However, I love the Dutch still life Painters. A contemporary still life painter I really like is Henk Helmantel from Holland, my native country.
WE HAVE TO ASK... WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NEW WAVE PALETTE?
The one I have is the Grand View Confidant. It does not hurt my arm and neck when holding it and is so light and easy to hold. I can hold it close to my painting to see the true values and colors that I need to use.