Niels Schouten started painting in the mid 80’s. Inspired by old fort walls various materials (such as sand, lime, cement and different soil types ) were used in is paintings. When he first saw the work of Nicolas de Stael, he started using more colors in his work. Gradually he stopped using the various materials and nowadays he mainly uses acrylic paint. He finds his inspiration in landscapes, especially the Dutch landscape. Also old fort walls are interesting, they are actually landscapes in itself.
Before he starts painting Niels takes a lot of pictures. For him it works as a sketchbook. The pictures are giving him ideas about the composition. The first act on the canvas is a sketch with charcoal. Sometimes this can only be a horizon. “It is very important where the horizon is located on the canvas. I like wide spread lines and I’m looking for the tension at the horizon.
A wide landscape with a lot of space evokes a strong desire for freedom”. To paint Niels mostly uses a putty knife and a palette knife. Sometimes he adds a few transparant layers of paint, to make the colors deeper.
My paintings can be described as abstract landscapes. I always start with a preconceived plan, but go to work intuitively. Action and reaction. There always coincidences happening while you work and it influences the painting.