In his landscapes, Gerrie Wachtmeester imagines the surroundings of Groningen with its stately town houses, roads, canals and bosses. Partly the picture is based on reality and partly of memories of his childhood and partly of dreams and desires. The atmosphere of a place and the memory it evokes will make it a subject for a painting.
He holds on to that atmosphere. The artist creates a still world, nothing moves, there are no humans around.
Still you can feel the presence of humans in the buildings around the land and the canals dug out straight and the trees planted on the shore.
His paintings are composed from horizontal and vertical lines. The house or other architectural forms and the trees contrast with the flat horizon and bosses.
Through the years the paintings have changed a little bit. In the beginning Wachtmeester painted landscapes from Groningen, with a certain non terrestrial tension, because of the threatining sky on the foreground and the indefinable light in the distance. The sight has been blocked by bold trees in the middle of the landscape.
The houses are a symbol of the menatility of the people of Groningen, but also of a safe home. This is the region where the artist is born. This feels like home. His paintings show the safe and the dark side of life and associate with paintings from Carel Willink and Raoul Hynckes.
More recent work of Wachtmeester is lighter and with more simple compositions.
in the past he painted from observation, today he makes the images up. Reality and memories are just reminders.
The landscape of Groningen is still his inspiration, but not directly. The picture seems painted as if we pass the spot by coincidence. A road or a canal phades into the horizon, while green trees merge with the landscape, the clair-obscure is less strong, but the stillness is as strong as ever and the light still seem a bit unnatural, which gives a feeling of alienation. We observe more attentive, because the image is not as casual as it looked before.
After graduating at the Minerva Academy in Groningen, Wachtmeister choose for textures in his artwork.
When he starts a painting, he only has a basic idea. The he draws the horizon to make the composition complete.
Elements of the landscape take place and then the sky is painted. The sky defines the atmosphere of the painting.
He puts this together quite fast with a fan shaped brush. Then the landscape is filled in. This part is done intuitive: What does the painting need? Where to put it? What time of year is it?
In the evening Wachtmeester puts the painting in his livingroom and hopes for more answers about the composition, by watching it.
The image is painted in thin layers, this takes a lot of time, but time is what the artist needs to get into the atmosphere of the painting. This is the way to turn deep inside himself and give the painting the characteristic atmosphere his work always has.