In such a short time, Patricia Van Lubeck has quickly become a leading neo-surreal artists. Born in Amsterdam in 1965, Patricia’s life has quite recently changed dramatically. She used to be book-keeper until 2000 when she started the 21st century by becoming a full time professional artist. She moved to the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand in 2005. Since then her work has taken a new direction.
Although her style is often regarded as surreal, her work does not strictly fall in that category. Her paintings are apparently simple in composition but executed amazingly detailed and visually very dynamic. Her paintings have realistic elements, but above all an alienating atmosphere. Her works in recent years show landscapes and weird plant species which she calls her psychedelic gardens.
`` I consider my work an invitation to explore the ways we experience our environment. My inspiration comes from the ordinary things around me, the artist in me just sees things in an unusual perspective. Picture a baker looking at a corn field. He sees bread, cookies and pies. I see shapes, patterns and colors. I like to zoom in on an everyday object such as the pins of a hair brush and imagine a tiny landscape with rows of hairy trees.’’
Remarkably, Patricia is a self-taught and self-starting artist. She sets a high benchmark for all her works and seeks to achieve a high level of craftsmanship. It takes her up to eight hours just to prepare the surface on some canvases. Then she oils up to 10 layers to achieve rich colors and a smooth finish.
``I am always trying to achieve high contrast within an unlimited color range. I love working with geometric patterns. Before I started painting on canvas, my cars had always been willing victims to this passion. Consequently patterns, natural or artificial, form the foundation of a lot of my images.’’
Due to her time-consuming technique Patricia is only able to create about 10 paintings a year. She loves painting at night in her rural studio setting with no distractions – just the call of the ruru (a New Zealand native owl) to keep her company. Patricia thrives on the repetitiveness of her patterns. She feels the calming aura in concentrating with a small brush in her ‘psychedelic garden’.
Since 2002, Patricia has exhibited in The Netherlands, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.
She was a finalist in the 2006 James Wallace Art Awards. She was runner-up in the 2006 Tivoli Audio PAL Case design contest in the Netherlands. She reached the finals of the 2007 NZ Painting and Printmaking Award and her painting was chosen as the public’s favorite. Two of her paintings are featured in the 2008 Artfind calendar.