“I find inspiration in everything, light and space of nature, the colour change of seasons, travels or history of art.”
Anke Roder’s Fascination With Natural Landscapes
Anke Roder is a skilled painter who resides and creates art in the tranquil and captivating coastal region of the Netherlands. Her father’s career as a textile designer has roots in her German heritage, while her Dutch mother expressed her creativity through jewelry design. Throughout her childhood, her family placed great importance on culture and nature, often embarking on lengthy mountain hikes. Anke developed a deep appreciation for the ocean and continues to cherish the peacefulness it brings. She possessed an extraordinary talent for capturing mental snapshots of how light interacted with the natural environment from a young age, resulting in a mesmerizing display of shifting hues. She was fascinated by cloud formations and entranced by the subtle changes that occurred over time. Each moment felt as if it occurred in slow motion, solidifying her passion for the serene beauty of the natural world.
Anke’s primary focus is creating landscape paintings using encaustic and oil paints on wooden surfaces. For smaller works of art, she utilizes recycled found wood with various shapes, while for larger pieces, she works on constructed wood panels. On occasions, Anke dedicates several days to crafting series of collages to explore unique combinations of color or to engage in playful experimentation with botanical motifs.
Ideal Workspace and Sources of Inspiration
Anke Roder’s ideal workspace is her studio, which boasts a northern view of the garden through a single window, while the remaining windows are crafted from milky glass to allow light in without distracting her focus. She finds her cozy and serene space perfect for artistic pursuits in both winter and summer. Anke is often engrossed in her creative process, often painting while listening to an eclectic mix of musical genres that she replays for extended periods. Despite her artwork often referencing natural landscapes, Anke chooses not to do plein air painting.
She draws inspiration from various sources such as the interplay of light and space in natural settings, the changing seasons’ chromatic transformations, and the immersive narratives of travel experiences and art history. Anke curates a collection of works that stir her imagination through her secondary Instagram account, @le_jardin_robo. She is fascinated by cyclical phenomena like the timeless motion of clouds, the dramatic bursts of light that mark the beginning or end of a day, and the haunting hues of blue that fill the night sky. The rhythmic ebb and flow of tides, akin to a slow and steady breathing, remind her that time is eternal while reminding her of her fleeting presence in the world.
Unleashing Creative Potential with Encaustic Painting
Anke Roder has always been attracted to painting techniques that require a certain level of craftsmanship. In her earlier years, she extensively worked with homemade paints like tempera and oil paint. During her post-graduation paint research, she stumbled upon encaustic, one of the oldest painting techniques. This process involves heating beeswax until it reaches a liquid form and then mixing it with pigments to create the desired colors in a work. For almost three decades now, she has been exploring the boundless possibilities and limitations of this paint and is still discovering new facets of this ancient art form. However, she has come to realize that not every pigment is suitable for heating, and the proportions for mixing color gradations vary for each pigment. The process requires subtlety and sophistication.
The beeswax, being a little transparent, lends an ethereal quality to the color layers, which appears to radiate from within. This quality makes it a perfect medium to portray the intangible world. To express the captivating act of painting itself, she combines this technique with oil paint.
Anke Roder’s journey as an artist began with the creation of abstract monochrome paintings, and as time passed, she ventured into exploring various landscapes. She spent a considerable amount of time as an artist-in-residence in India and Norway to expand her creative horizons. Currently, her works are infused with lively hues that effectively convey the feeling of space, light, and atmosphere.
Her primary interest lies in the unexplored domain that lies ahead of her, brimming with boundless possibilities and unrealized potential. When Anke reflects on her previous artistic pursuits, she takes great pride in the interplay between space and painting that characterized some of her more substantial installations. In 2013, she embarked on an ambitious project called “Sun Moon Clouds,” which involved creating 365 daily landscapes, with a full moon theme that spanned all twelve months.
&Gallery: A New Series of Minimalist Landscapes
In 2021, she designed an awe-inspiring installation called “Sea Planets” for the innovative De Utrecht project space located in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. The circular compositions were skillfully placed on tilted walls, inviting visitors to lose themselves in their own unique universes.
Until recently, Anke Roder had not devoted much contemplation to a singular dream project. As a painter, she found great satisfaction in the work she created and the effort she expended towards exhibiting her pieces. It was a serendipitous occurrence when projects materialized and an opportunity to explore new and varied themes emerged. Currently, she was immersed in preparations for her upcoming solo exhibition at &Gallery in Edinburgh, scheduled for July. Her focus had shifted to a new series of minimalist landscapes, which sought to convey the ambiance of boundless freedom and timelessness. She aimed to capture the interplay of light and glow within these works, evoking the vast, untamed expanses beyond the ocean’s horizon.
Art offered manifold benefits to human existence, operating on a level that was both intuitive and subconscious. For Anke personally, her connection to her artistic pursuits remained steadfast and unwavering, even in the face of loss or adversity. Engaging with the creative process imbued her being with a sense of transcendence, allowing her to fully immerse herself in the present moment and respond to the dynamic interplay between the imperceptible forces at play and the emergent work of art.