Anita was born in a small Dutch town just near the German border. She lived most of her life in a rural environment. Long walks, even longer rides on her bike with her beautiful Dutch Shepherd dogs walking next to the bike, the painter enjoyed nature in all its forms.
In The Netherlands seasons are obvious, you can’t miss the change in colours and atmosphere. This formed the painters outlook on how things changes in life and she underwent it at close range. For her it is one. The universe, life, change and growth. Without growth there is no progress.
Painting has helped her with the difficulties and challenges in life, has given her the freedom to deal with them in her own way and eventually made her realize that every stage in life has its own beauty. Even the tough times. Maybe not at once, but hopefully when you have taken another step and you have crossed another bridge you can look back and see how it made you stronger and wiser.
Coming to New Zealand at the age of 52 years was a major step which she hasn’t regretted for a second. The beautiful scenery, the hospitality and the mild climate up north has charmed her. Living in the Bay of Islands and Auckland with her New Zealand partner has formed her conviction that life is an adventure and that you have to live it to the fullest.
She has no formal training in painting although she joined many courses and classes. Basically she is self-taught. She works in periods and every period has it’s own theme and character. There can be several years between the periods when she doesn’t paint but is involved in other pieces of art including sculpting and mosaics. She has exhibited in several cities in The Netherlands and the northern of New Zealand and her work has gone to Portland America, Canberra Australia and Auckland and Wellington New Zealand.
Next to painting she is a prolific writer, finishing her first book four years ago. It tells the story of her 7 week holiday in Australia and New Zealand to close the mourning period for the death of her husband two years earlier. She combined her exceptional experiences during that holiday with her memories about his illness and death from melanoma. It is a book about tragedy and despair but next to that it is about beauty, happiness and prosperity. It is not a sad story though, of course, it contains very sad memories. She received very good reviews from the Dutch publishers she approached.
Just before leaving The Netherlands to come to New Zealand she published a book of poems – over one hundred poems that she wrote from her early twenties until her early fifties. Another step revealing who she is.
Flowers stand for fertility, happiness and transformation, themes that reflect the painters life in New Zealand. Being able to transform those feelings onto the canvas is like meditating for her. “It is digging deep inside to bring out what you feel and how you feel it in the purest form.”’
Her work is described as: “bright, colourful, mirror of emotions, sparkling, erotic and full of life.” She hopes others will recognize themselves in it too.