WITH, IN, FOR, THROUGH

WORDS & IMAGES: DORIEKE SCHREURS

Working with nature, in nature, for nature, and through nature has enriched my life, widened my perspective, left me in awe, and given me purpose. 


My latest painting is a tribute to this journey—a path taken, a perspective changed. A tribute to all that is green and good in this world! It is still a work in progress and far from finished, but I will give you a sneak preview at the creative process!

As you know by now, my work process is completely sustainable. This starts with the surface I choose for my work. For this painting, I used burlap because it is a sustainable material and biodegrades. The burlap needs to be glued and prepared with a gesso to create a surface ready to paint on. All of the materials I use for making glue and gesso are carefully chosen.


With this painting, I wanted to start with green from the very beginning! So I mixed in green pigments with the glue and later with the gesso. The result was a green canvas to start working with. I deliberately left some of the burlap exposed, wanting to show the material as is, appreciating and respecting the materials given to me by nature.

When it comes to creating my image, I often work on the idea for a long time, sketching it out in my mind. The process of drawing itself takes a long time but I don’t mind, because I know this part of the process is so very important! 


Once the drawing is complete, I start adding the first layer of paint. Working with paint made from natural pigments is a slow process—you have to add thin layer over thin layer to build up colours and depth.

I will be working on this painting whole summer and will be experimenting with changing colours with natural acids. This will (hopefully!) expand my range of greens. I will also be working outdoors a lot, because the sun will work with the acids. And because it is just so blissful and humbling to be working in nature! 

Working with nature, in nature, for nature, through nature…researching, discovering, failing and learning along the way. I love every part of it! For me, the best part of my work is not the end result, it is the process, the journey…