Painting Nights is your one-night painting studio at a special place. Some fifty painters braved a chilly sea breeze on Saturday, April 9, during the seventh edition of Painting Nights. Overlooking the sea, near the Royal Villa in Ostend, they brought out brushes, canvas and jars to capture the spectacle of light, sky and water with paint.
For several years now, spring in Ostend has been accompanied by the kickoff of the street art festival The Crystal Ship. At that time, the seaside town is crowded with national and international street artists who work on walls and buildings. Not only did the brand-new street art route through Ostend opened on Saturday, April 9, but with Kunstwerkt we also set up our easels together in the garden of the Royal Villa, where a beautiful sea view awaited for us. Under the guidance of painter Han Coussement, we painted until we saw the sun go down.
That evening was dominated by the murmur of low tide, the rumble of the first tourists and the play of light on the surface of the water in front of you. From the garden of the Royal Villa, perched atop the Venetian Galleries, you could see the North Sea from a unique perspective. The perfect opportunity to capture all those impressions on canvas or paper. As the warm winter sun showed itself, we took a look over the shoulder of some of the participants.
Lieselot Deckers: "For my paintings I usually start from landscapes and interiors that arise out of my imagination. Or I use a photograph to get the proportions of an image right. This is the first time I am painting outdoors. It is a whole new experience. Especially in these weather conditions. The wind has already blown my easel away a few times. But besides that, it is very relaxing. The sound of the sea and the cadence of the waves are very inspiring. Moreover, the light is also constantly changing, allowing you to keep looking and discover new elements."
Jerôme Bartolomeus: "I attended previous editions at the Afgietselwerkplaats and the Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels. This is something different: you really have to consider the weather conditions when working outdoors. But you also get something in return: a lot of landscape, with many details to pick from. Although in the end I chose a self-portrait: I started from a landscape, but added myself in front of it. The result will hopefully remind some of Ensor, which would be nice, since we are working in Ostend. As a film mechanic, I'm used to think in compositions. Although there I am mostly dealing with time. Maybe during painting I could have emphasized that too today: how a landscape changes over time."
Coralie Lagae: "I have drawn and painted outside before, especially in forests. It feels very good for me to work close to nature. Today I am going to work with watercolors and watercolor pencils. With those pencils you can draw first, and then rub out the paint. That gives a nice effect, especially to get the sea on paper. I started with the beach first and looked for the shades of sand. The beach cabins were also quickly on my sheet. Only at the end came the sea. It is not easy to work with so much wind, but it also has advantages: my paper sometimes blows away a bit, and so the wind takes control of the paint. Some paint strokes are therefore different from what I had envisioned. But that's also how the sea breeze is really in my work today."