Leo van der Vlist was born and raised ‘op de Molenbrug’, located near Bodengraven. His father and his grandfather were house painters and had a painting studio. Leo started going the same path by attending the Lower Technical School, department house painting. After that, he went to the painting school ‘Nimeto’ in Utrecht.
Slowly is preference grew to the artistic possibilities. Besides the painting studio of the Van der Vlist family was the studio of the artist couple Bruno Mertens and Susan Burki. A place Leo would visit a lot. Spending time between large paintings, sculptures, architectural models and special designs for wind mobiles and furniture.
Innovation and spiritual expressiveness were the sources of inspiration for this artist couple who formed Leo’s artistic views, but he chose painting in the realistic and recognisable representation of subjects from the immediate area.
Like the great painters of the Dutch Impressionism in the late 19th century, the so-called ‘Haagse School’, he likes to work “en plein air” to capture the atmosphere and the light of nature at once.