I started drawing at a very early age. When I was eight years old, I made my first attempt in serious model drawing. In my teens I followed private classes with a number of different artists. They gave lessons in all kinds of techniques like oil-painting, Surrealism, landscape-drawing and the washed ink technique. When I was seventeen, I visited Italy for the first time, admiring the work of Renaissance artists like Michelangelo, del Sarto and many other famous artists. Then a new world opens my artistic eye. It was of great influence for my career. At eighteen I went to the Academy of Art at Groningen, a good old classical academy where I learned for instance making my own oilpaints, acrylic and inks. For several years I ran a gallery, and my studio in the backhouse, on the Prinsencanal in Amsterdam and one of my frequent visitors was a journalist of an art magazine. Each time we discussed my drawings he commented that they were very Romantic. Unconsciously, I took "Romantic" to mean "sentimental" – the gipsy girl with tearful eyes. The comments haven't left me, and I now realize that I have been drawing in the wake of Romanticism as an art movement. Beside having a great number of exhibitions I gave directions to other artists.
Artist: Ellen Grael