Back into the unknown

Detail "Woman Emerging From Red" by Jeroen Carelse - Acrylic - 2019

Back into the unknown every time I begin to paint. When I start the illustration of an idea it is very different and it feels very different. The paintings, I rather call them sketches, that very well illustrate the latter are for example Daily life, Street life 1 and Street life 2.

The painting I currently work on, with the working title “woman in red” “woman emerging from red“, started with three ideas:

  • Red background
  • Female or femininity
  • Conscious realm


The reason for these three anchors, just making up this term now, is because Leena and I watched a wonderful documentary called The Price of Everything (2018). In that documentary one of the art collectors said something about red paintings to be a favourite. This coincides with the relatively many positive comments I got on “Red Room“.

Feminine art

Female of femininity is a theme for me as I read and hear people talk about female artists portraying femininity in (such) a different way compared to men. And with all respect, take the wonderful works by Chantal Joffe, Cecily Brown or Marlene Dumas. I have not heard any of these wonderful artists talk about their art being typically feminine or “feministic”. They are straight shooters, honest and hard-working. But I cannot see the difference between their depiction of the female nude and many male artists depicting the female nude. In short: bollocks.


Then the “conscious realm”, where does that come from. Anyone who has browsed through parts of my site must have encountered references to consciousness. In an interview with Barbara Rose, whom I like a lot, she spoke about consciousness and art. This is a combination I simply love and seem to live by. I mean, this combination is about creativity, to express oneself, to find yourself, to transcend fear and the unknown.

When I started the painting, I knew I start with yellow. Then I wanted to discover my voice, my way to depict this “female” whatever it is going to be. So gradually I began to fill the canvas (cardboard – 186,0 cm x 115,0 cm) with elegant and less elegant curves and depictions.

The red figures become the background but, I think some of the lines will emerge later. I am not sure. The feeling of not knowing is what I simply love, the unknown. Now all that remains is the love for the brush stroke, the mixing of the paint and the endless decisions.