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Impressionist paintings by plein-air artist Sonja Brussen

11 December - 2019
by Femke van Leeuwen

Plein-air artist Sonja Brussen daily makes impressionistic paintings of sea- and landscapes. Nature is both Sonja’s source of inspiration as well as her workplace. Her works show nature at her purest, without any human influences. Occasionally a small farmhouse can be seen in the distance, but it is no longer recognizable which one it in reality is. As an impressionist, Sonja tries to capture the moment. Her works are alla prima (wet in wet) painted with oil paint, to show the rapidly changing clouds and the light on the canvas. In this way, she makes the flux of nature visible. The places at which she paints are never two times the same; it always delivers a new perspective on canvas.

Sonja Brussen, Never ending love
Sonja Brussen, Never ending love

Stepping into nature

Sonja therefore has certain places which she likes to visit more often. One is near the water of the Berkel, which is close to home in Lochem. However, she is also regularly found in places further away from her home in the ‘Achterhoek’, such as Moddergat and Texel. Sonja: “I always have my office with me; all my materials are in my van, which thus travel with me. My work is exposed at several galleries throughout the country, so when I deliver my paintings I can paint in the area of the particular gallery afterwards. That's how I get to other places." So there is a rhythm in her workplaces, "but sometimes a beautiful is found by mere coincidence", says Sonja.

Sonja Brussen, Snow Heart
Sonja Brussen, Snow Heart

Sonja paints in the open air in all weather conditions. Sonja: “I am an absolute nature person; I have been since childhood. I feel most at ease in nature. The animals that are around me while I’m painting also find it normal. They just continue with their thing, so sometimes a mouse suddenly runs over my shoe for example. I was once painting against a ditch when I wondered what I heard. There turned out to be an animal chasing something behind my back. As soon as I saw him, he stopped and looked at me. It turned out to be a weasel. Moments like these are wonderful, that you can immerse yourself in nature. And these kinds of moments are also included in my work; that's pure pleasure in painting.”

Sonja Brussen, Back to you
Sonja Brussen, Back to you

PaintBox Project

Sonja recently started her PaintBox Project, for which she sets off almost daily with a paint box and makes small paintings (16 x 20 cm). In the end, all these small works become a total work of art, which will be exhibited on a large wall next year at Galerie Posthuys on Texel. Sonja: “Each painting is something new and every work shows the specific weather conditions. But once these small paintings all come together, the differences in the seasons can be seen very clearly."

Sonja Brussen, panel from the PaintBox Project
Sonja Brussen, panel from the PaintBox Project

Expositions

Sonja’s work is currently hanging in the exhibition "Impressionism en plein air" at Galerie Année in Haarlem, which can be seen until December 28, 2019. In January, her work can also be found at Naarden the Art Fair. Other (future) exhibitions can be found in the agenda on Sonja’s website. You can continue to follow Sonja via Instagram.

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