Renate van Nijen

Renate van Nijen


I am a Dutch-born, internationally-exhibited, artist, but I'm also a published writer. I use my own artwork for the covers of all my books (8 so far) I live in Southern Spain and have been here since 2004. I trained in expressive art in The Netherlands and New Zealand, this was in my twenties. After this, I worked in the studios of two professional artists in Italy and in the Netherlands, I lived in Italy for five years.

In 1987 I had my first exhibition in a luxury hotel in The Netherlands. I showed approximately twenty of my early works and almost sold out.
Since then, I have held 100+ exhibitions of my artwork, in galleries, large business buildings, art and culture festivals, municipal exhibitions halls, etc. both solo and group exhibitions. This was in the Netherlands, Italy, France and Spain (including Amsterdam, Rome and Paris). My work appeals to an international audience and I'm delighted to say that buyers have come from Amsterdam to New York to Moscow and more.

I refer to my work as impressionist art. I work wet on wet, mixing my colours on the canvas and I avoid the use of black paint. I work in layers, this is an intuitive process and what ends up on my canvas springs from my imagination, I don’t use models when I create the human figure. I create a basic background in very bright and strong colours and then build up the painting.

My subject matter is diverse and I love to use surreal colours in my art. I usually work on a specific subject for a period of time to then change to a different subject. This way creating series of my artwork.
Some of the main series I've created so far:
Colourful Women: female figures depicted with strong colours, without the use of models;
Flamenco dancers: I live in Spain which inspired me to create a series of paintings with Flamenco dancers. I call this series 'flamenco with a twist' as my dancers are mostly standing or sitting down.
Angels: A series of paintinngs of angels painted in a slightly sensual way.
Buddha impressions: Colourful Buddha faces, I love painting Buddhas and they always put me into a calm frame of mind, both creating them and looking at them.
Animals: I've embarked on painting animals, something I've never done before. I use bright colours and some have a positive message hidden inside the painting.

It is my intention that my audience feels drawn in by my use of colours and that my art inspires them to see their whilst observing my work.

Over the past 35 years I've seen my work change and although my basic style is still the same, the work is stronger. I intend to bring a message of acceptance and beauty through my art and I trust that the viewers who find themselves attracted to my work pick up on this. It’s expressed through my use of colours, and working with certain feelings and sensations, transmitted intuitively. I've just finished working on a series of 'Animal Art', but I feel inclined to go back to painting the feminine, this time with a deeper meaning. The message that is transmitted through my work will be recognised by those, who might need it at that time of their lives, whether it’s a sense of happiness, calm or nostalgia.

I've hidden a special message in my last four paintings, specifically for the person who will, eventually purchase the work. It's a written message but not immediately obvious, something I intend to pursue in my future work. I will also develop the use of some symbolism in my art. I know that my work emanates a strong energy that positively changes the space where it 'lives' and this, as well as my own need to paint and express my feelings through my artwork, is what I desire from my fine art work. I never use models when I paint the human figure; I work from my imagination.
I seek perfection in imperfection as naturalism in pose or dimensions do not have my interest. I believe that beauty comes from the inside, this is also true for my paintings, apart from a pleasure for the eyes for those who like my work, it is also about the energy that emanates from my paintings.

I have two websites. My main Art website is My other website is, which includes my art, my books and my art classes.

Overview of exhibitions:

Gallery exhibitions
I've exhibited my art in many galleries, below an overview of some of the most important galleries where I have exhibited my work. I did not keep record of all the exhibition names and dates.
Between 1988 and 1991
Galeria OIDA...................................Rome, Italy

Galeria Grigioni...............................Bastardo, Italy

Between 1992 and 2003
Galerie Maya Wildevuur..................Hooghalen, the Netherlands

Galerie Emma.................................Den Haag, the Netherlands
Galerie Kunst & Co.........................Amstelveen, the Netherlands
Galerie Kunst & Koffie.....................Leiden, the Netherlands
The Sultan Art Gallery.....................Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Int. Art Gallery Greenwich Village....Zuidwolde, the Netherlands

Group exhibitions
I've participated in many group exhibitions. Below the most important group exhibitions I participated in:
Between 1992 and 1999.
Grand Marche D’art Moderne...........Nantes, France
Arrondissement 7.............................Paris, France
Artística Mecenas 2000 IDEES.........Paris, France

Other exhibitions
In the Netherlands I have held numerous solo exhibitions in municipal art halls and in Italy I have exhibited my work during various art-festivals, mostly solo-exhibitions, for example in Spello and Gualdo Cattaneo.
Since moving to Spain, I have held many solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions in various municipal exhibition halls in so-called ‘Casa de la Cultura’ buildings in various towns and villages. Below an overview of the most important ones.
as of 2004 to date:
Alfaz del Pi, Alicante - solo exhibition
Torrox, Malaga - solo exhibition
Frigiliana, Malaga - two times a solo exhibition
Mijas, Malaga - Collective Fine Art Exhibition
La Herradura, Granada - various exhibitions, both solo and in a group.
Almuñécar, Granada - various exhibitions, both solo and in a group
Nerja, Malaga - various exhibitions, both solo and in a group.
Galería Nexo...................................La Herradura, Spain
Galería Carmar ............................. Almuñécar, Spain
Galeria Blue Bay………………………….. La Herradura Spain
My work is also featured on the Saatchi online art gallery.

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Renate van Nijen