Siemen Dijkstra – Woodcarving

Siemen Dijkstra was born in Den Helder on the Northsea coast in 1968. “Can’t remember it, but maybe my lovefor the sea was also born there. Raised in the Northeast part of Holland (peatbog and oakforest).”

I always wanted to become a scientific illustrator, but during my study at the Minerva Art Acadamy in Groningen I developed my interest in printmaking and landscape drawings. At the end of the eighties I made my first series of landscapes in drawing-ink. It was a hesitating start. Up to then imagination and the story had been the most important ingrediënts of my drawings. It’s true the interest in the landscape had been potentially present in my work, but it hadn,t assumed a definite shape by then. Surely I felt a strong association with both the landscapes of Groningen and those of Drenthe, when I cycled through them at unseasonable times. It took me back into the landscape in which I had grown up. Omewhat later after my ink-studies, the first colour woodcuts having the landscape as a subject appeared. These landscape still had a strong symbolic character and showed a Nordic atmosphere, but it did mean the beginning of this “oeuvre”. It where also the Scandinavian painters of the Fin the Siècle, who inspired my vision of the landscape. In a time when French impressionists where busy with painting what they saw, the nordic painters were also looking for the spirit of the place; the Genius Loki. To paint space is one thing, to paint the soul of a place is quitte something else. I wonder: all these years I am busy to record all these animated landscapes, before they are lost forever..

Siemen will one of the three artists giving demonstrations in graphic techniques in cooperation with Graphic Centre Friesland.  The demonstrations will be held on every conference day between 14.00-19.00. On Wednesday May 2nd , Siemen will give a demonstration in Woodcut (reductiontechnique).