Ewoud de Groot visited the Roaring Fork Valley from the Netherlands. Learn what inspires the shimmering abstract backgrounds and wildlife in de Groot’s paintings in the interview with Aspen Public Radio reporter, Christin Kay. Original interview aired on Aspen Public Radio on Friday, May 18, 2018.
Ewoud de Groot (pronounced AY-VUDE) lives and works in Egmond aan Zee, a coastal village in the Northern Netherlands. However, he is no stranger to American collectors of western art as his works are widely exhibited throughout the West.
After receiving a degree in illustration and painting from the Minerva Academy of Art, he worked as a graphics designer illustrating nature books and magazines, as well as for the Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds before pursuing painting full-time in 1999.
From birds of prey flying at the viewer to serene scenes of Sandhill cranes, egrets, and loons, to occasional big wildlife such as elk, de Groot paints his passions: birds, game and light. Starting in his teenage years, Ewoud developed a passion for birding, drawing early influence from the late Rien Poortvliet, whose magical realist paintings depict animals in dream-like settings, and from whom he learned how originality comes from experimentation, and how to “be authentic to yourself.”
I want to convey a mood through color, offer an ambiance that can fill up a room
While realism is a factor of de Groot’s style, over rendering is not a curse of this artist. Instead, his images offer refined composition and design, paired with dreamy backgrounds of “pulsating, magnetic shimmer.” The alla prima painting style of de Groot often ensures he has 10 to 15 different paintings in motion, a method that sparks creativity and cohesion, rather than distraction.
“Although I consider myself a figurative painter, I always try to find that essential balance and tension between the more abstract background and the realism of the subject(s). I want to convey a mood through color, offer an ambiance that can fill up a room like sunshine coming in through the window,” he says in an interview with Western Art & Architecture.
Today, de Groot is recognized as a rising star in wildlife painting, bringing his unique perspective to the genre. His work strives to find both a balance and tension between the representational and the abstract, the traditional and the contemporary.
Ewoud de Groot has been featured in Western Art & Architecture (2012), selected as an Artist-in-Residence with the University of Utah, and as a profiled artist in Featured E-Magazine (2014). He was also invited to exhibit at the 27th Annual Western Visions Show (2014) and numerous Coors Western Art Exhibitions and Sales. He is pleased to count among his devoted collectors Bill and Joffa Kerr, founders of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, WY.