October 2020 – April 2022

Stories of Transition

The series is inspired by transition periods in life. Moving from darker, difficult periods into the lighter ones, navigating through life to find our own path and the inner spiritual transitions to restore the connection with our souls.These transitions often lead to breaking points in life, crossroads, difficult necessary choices and the need of letting go of the negativity from the past. The paintings are abstracted metaphorical translations about these transitions and processes. 

These abstracted metaphorical translations are staged on the island Patmos (Greece) where the beauty of the earth seems to touch a glimpse of heaven. Van de Graaf has visited Patmos several times and has used a lot of his documentation and research into this body of work. 

The inspiration of this body of work is semi autobiographical, but this given is not of any importance to Van de Graaf, who thinks that themes like spiritual processes, depression and letting go of the past are universal themes which concern a lot of people around the world. Van de Graaf is very interested in how the very personal can relate to the collective issues on these themes. Everybody can start their personal dialogue with the paintings and give them their own meaning.

The poems written by Van de Graaf, created during the process, start to play a more important role in the creation process of the works and he likes to further explore on that. Sometimes the poems are written before the creation of a work, while others are written during the process or even after completion of the work.

In this body of work Van de Graaf is also further exploring his mark making which is charged with meaning, representing a deeper (subconscious) feeling and desire. The mark making should form a language which speaks directly to the heart and soul, not only the ratio and the mind. To intensify his mark making Van de Graaf is also interested to incorporate connections with music into his painting, like the mark making is forming a sort of music play, moving from pianissimo to forte, from the bass and drums to the cello and piano. On an early age his painting teacher already learned him a good painting should also have the quality of musicality. Van de Graaf is also very much interested how this musicality in painting can give a poetic quality to his paintings. In that philosophy Van de Graaf is inspired by and feels a connection with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Zao Wou-Ki, Joan Mitchell and Cy Twombly.

Work in Progress of ‘Stories of Transition’

WORK IN PROGRESS, ‘Stories of Transition’

September 2020 – April 2022