Through his painting, artist Steven Nederveen celebrates nature. He currently resides in Toronto, Canada, yet travels frequently and uses the photos he takes on vacation as inspiration. Steve has garnered much success from his artwork which has been intentionally displayed at galleries, art fairs and showcased in magazines, TV shows and private collections. Recently, Steven discussed his experiences as an #Artist and his hopes for the future. 

Origins 

Blasting News (BN): What drove you to become an artist?

Steven Nederveen (SN): My mother and I would sit together and paint for hours. As a teenager I became quite competitive and would compare myself to others.

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I wasn’t always the most talented in the room but I worked very hard at getting better. I never really considered doing anything else until my college years when I took an interest in design and sculpture. I received my degree in industrial Design, making furniture, then spent the next 13 years doing graphic design and video compositing. Eventually I came back to my true love of painting. Some of the design and compositing found their way into the work that I do now.

BN: What art inspires you?

SN: My parents didn’t take me to galleries or museums as a kid so my idea of art came from the furniture department in Woodwards Mall. As you can imagine, it was atrocious! But I didn’t know that until a family trip to Holland where I was introduced to the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam. This nearly blew my mind into outer space.

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Never before had I seen paintings like these. Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Leonardo and the other Masters were influential to me. About ten years later at the age of 22, I discovered Mark Rothko’s work at the Tate Museum in London. The profound experience of being immersed into his paintings changed me from that day on. I had few words to describe the experience but it led me on a journey into Zen Buddhism and changed my work significantly. 

BN: How do you describe your artistic style?

SN: Following the Rothko experience, my paintings and my personal life became about meditation and discovering an incredibly deep connection to both myself and the land. I try to convey stillness and resonance through landscape as Rothko did through abstraction. My zen practice led me to investigate Japanese art as well. I’ve been influenced by the shoji screen and scroll paintings with their whispy trees, foggy mountain-scapes and pools of carp. These things are a staple in my work but somehow fused with a Canadian identity. 

BN: How did you get your work recognized by the public? 

SN: I submitted a couple paintings into a group show.

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I was contacted by Canvas Gallery and the sales took off. I’ve never looked back since. I’ve been very fortunate to have spent the last ten years as a full time artist but I still get out of the studio and make connections.

BN: How did you tailor your style and do you have a favorite creation?

SN: Some pieces that transport me into a meditative mindset quickly and those are my favorites. My style is based on photo transfers; a technique I learned at a workshop. I’ve used the two to create dreamlike spaces where sharp, detailed images emerge from an ether of color. 

Ambitions 

BN: What has been the best part of being an artist?

SN: I love being at an art auction and seeing people bid on my work. It’s a huge thrill to witness such a direct appreciation for a single piece of work. When the bidding goes above asking, it’s all I can do from keeping my big head exploding with excitement.

BN: Can you give some advice to fledgling artists?

SN: Be true to yourself and do the work that inspires you. This is THE key factor in what people respond to. Authenticity. Then get it in front of people in whatever way you can. Apply to everything. Don’t be fussed by rejection, just keep it going. 

BN: What are your forthcoming shows?

SN: I have exhibitions coming up in Iceland and numerous parts of Canada. #Interview #Artwork