Vanessa Van Meerhaeghe is a contemporary painter living in Ronse, Belgium who studied fashion design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. Her career originated in fashion, where she was a successful designer and illustrator. Now focusing chiefly on painting, her portraiture is influenced by this interest in fashion, with composition and subjects often referencing current icons, colours and trends in the industry.
Van Meerhaeghe lived in Benin in West-Africa for a period where she developed an affinity with tropical landscapes, a penchant that is heavily represented in her work. This marriage between femininity and the holiday lifestyle, creates a softness and whimsy that exudes Van Meerhaeghe’s style, a style that is elegant and colourful punctuated by application of bold colour.
The artist states, “Ever since I can remember, I was drawing at every moment. Simply, my work attempts to depict colour and form in an aesthetically pleasing way. I see myself as a colourist rather than an artist. I experiment with spontaneity and chance, and intentionally avoid using art as a platform to push my own agenda. I believe that colour and form are sufficient to carry a painting. I look for the beauty and let the painting to unfold intuitively.”
Ever since I can remember, I was drawing at any spare moment. I didn’t have much tools back then, only pencils and a black felt tip. My art is an attempt to depict colour and form in an aesthetically pleasing way. I’d rather see myself as a colorist than an artist. I also experiment with spontaneity and chance. I put an effort into not using my art as a means to push my own personal beliefs onto the audience. I truly believe that colour and form are enough to carry a painting. I just look for what is beautiful to me and let the painting come alive intuitive.