Born 1946, in Arnhem The Netherlands.
Wouter Janssen has been passionate about drawing and painting since his early childhood. During high school he followed drawing classes and his love for arts kept growing over the years to eventually start studying fine arts at the age of eighteen. During his study he had a side job in a restoration workshop. Working here gave him the opportunity to not only discover the secrets and painting techniques of the old masters, but also try to make them his own. The passion for restoration had stuck to him since he ran his own restoration studio for over thirty years. During his whole life he nourished his interest in art history and it’s art movements that later on proved to be valuable when he also started a career as an art dealer. You could say Wouter Janssen dedicated his life to fine arts, especially when you realize that during these two demanding jobs he also kept painting himself.
The evolution of his life as a fine art painter has, by coincidence, synchronized with the history of painting. During his teenage years the 15th and 16th century had his particular interest. His first painting, at the age of sixteen, was a copy of the famous painting ‘Madonna’ by El Greco. After this period his attention shifted to his favorite painter: Rembrandt. For about ten years he worked on unraveling the mystery of this old master. He studied and implemented these painting techniques to the level of rubbing the pigments to approach and recreate a more historic effect on the canvas.
Although the love for Rembrandt would never vanish Wouter, now in his early thirties, started immersing himself in the Romantic School movement with artists like B.C. Koekkoek and A. Schelfhout. He was fascinated in particular by the wide skies and the translucency of the natural ice in the typically Dutch landscapes these artists portrayed.
A new painter to research rose up on Wouter’s horizon after seeing a documentary about Vincent van Gogh’s life and work. This documentary made him wonder how it would be to paint a more gutsy and freestyle canvas. Initially his attempts hardly worked. Eventually one time after downing half a liter of gin it went like a plain sailing. Time to move on as you can imagine. Gradually his eyesight and patience started to diminish which made him decide to go bigger, brighter and more colorful than he’d painted up until then. He found his voice in making modernistic work.
The journey of mastering and expressing his practice in almost every possible stylistic branch of fine arts he has utterly enjoyed.
Parallel to his success as a painter (his first solo expo was on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills) Wouter Janssen managed to also maintain his own gallery for over fifty years. The gallery is named ‘De Schildercamer’, a 17th century term referring to a room with light coming in from the north where the painter had his atelier and also sold his paintings from, as well as selling paintings from fellow artists.