Artist Statement

'In the labyrinth of my thoughts there are many roads leading to the unknown'


Engelina Zandstra is a Dutch artist living in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

My way of working is spontaneous. It starts with a concept, an idea in my mind, which is in most cases not well-defined. It can have its origin in the images that are stored in my imagination, or in the impressions of daily life.
The paintings made in this way can be considered as 'Landscapes of the mind', because they are reproductions of the ideas
that are formed in my head.

The style of the paintings can best be described as lyrical-abstract.
Sometimes they are more figurative, at other times fully abstract.
Colour is very important for me : the alchemy of colour. This defines for me the atmosphere of a painting.
Usually I work in many thin layers of paint on top of each other. I let myself be guided by the forms and colours that develop
during the process of painting. Each new layer gives inspiration for the following one, with new ideas.
Because of the different layers and colours, the acrylic paint gets depth and character.
Sometimes the beginning is abstract, and then at some point human figures are coming into shape.
As if the human presence then is necessary for further inspiration, defining human relationships.

On the meaning of my work : I consider my paintings being like music, they don't need words for explanation.
Each one tells his own tale, that can be different for each person looking at it.

My art education is mainly autodidact. I builded my knowledge and experience by following a great number of courses in Amsterdam in the field of painting,
etching, silk-screen painting and modelling.
During the last years I have concentrated myself on painting.

If you would like to see more of my paintings, other works which are not present on this site, you can visit my website :

You could order them via Absolute Arts, if you would prefer buying safely.

Artist Exhibitions



- Sillekunst Galerie en Kunstuitleen.
Goudsestraatweg 8 3421 GJ Oudewater.

- Permanent exhibition in my own studio, Meeuwenlaan 15 1021 HR
Amsterdam, Netherlands
��You are welcome to come and see my work in reality.
��Send me an e-mail for an appointment.


2011 Artists Haven Gallery - Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A.
2011 International Fine Art Painting Competition, june 2011
2010 - Het Kunstbedriif, Raadhuisstraat 56a 2101 HH Heemstede
2010 - De Lange Litanie, Roeselare, Belgi�
2010 - Diaconessenhuis, Meppel
2010 - Galerie De Kleine Hoogstraat, Kleine Hoogstraat 14, 8911 HE Leeuwarden

2009 - Marziart International Gallery. Hamburg, Germany
2009 - Collective Exhibition by Selected Artists from the Netherlands
Opera Gallery, Budapest, Hungary

2008 - Het Kunstbedrijf, Heemstede
2008 - Galerie Oost 99, Hoorn
2008 - Open Atelierroute, Amsterdam-Noord
2003 - Galerie 'de Opsteker', Amsterdam
1999 - Galerie 66, Amsterdam
1999 - Galerie �de Opsteker�, Dorpskerk Durgerdam, Amsterdam
1998 - Presentatiecentrum 'Het Slakkenhuis', Soest
1998 - De Badcuyp, Amsterdam
1998 - Art Expo, Amsterdam
1998 - Galerie 'Tussen de poortjes', Hoorn
1997 - Galerie 'de Opsteker', Amsterdam
l996 - Galerie 'A Vue', Maarssen
1996 - CLB (Sanquin), Amsterdam
1996 - Galerie 'Three of a kind', Amsterdam
1995 - Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam
1995 - Hogeschool Amsterdam, Amsterdam
1995 - Hogeschool Alkmaar, Alkmaar
1995 - Amsterdam Studio's, Amsterdam...

Artist Publications

Opening of the Exhibition of Engelina Zandstra, March 5, 1999, Galerie 66, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The truth of the artist

In the history of art, inventions have been made with something of Sesam-u-open nature in them. The shortened drawing is maybe one of them, a way to show the working of depth ; modeling with light and shadow, the glimmer-lights to show the texture of fabric.
This so-called representation inventions are not the key to the meaning of a painting or the truly reproduced nature of the images, but whether paintings where these can be found allow an interpretation in natural objects.
The extent to which this succeeds depends on our own institution as a viewer. We react differently when we are prepared, either by our expectations or our needs, either by the culture in which we live.

The art of Engelina Zandstra is averse to all representation inventions. It is not hampered by academic conventions, and training modes.
Her work provides access to the mind, it is an inner exploration of its spirit. Engelina's fascination with images that are not possible or are no true representations of reality, has linkages with the idiom of the art of Surrealism .
This relationship is primarily in terms of shape ambiguities. Such ambiguities give access to the maze of the representation and the spirit of the artist.
The artist who wants to paint a real thing or something existing only in his imagination, can not start to open his eyes to look around, but has to take as his starting-point the choice set and the forms which he referred to for building the presentation. The reason that we as viewers sometimes forget this is a result of the simple truth that in the past every shape and color had a meaning connected with reality.
In Surrealism forms and colors can have different meanings. The viewer is thus forced to give attention to the different meanings of each color and each shape.

What essentially matters is the personal style of painting, the personal style of Engelina Zandstra. Her work focuses on exploring the limits of the representation. Her art is created by means of a spiritualized process.
In her work you recognize the personality of the artist and vice versa. A modest and true style, with vibrant colors and shapes. Engelina is not influenced by images and influences from outside. Her art images are created in her head, in her mind and perhaps in her subconscious. This is second important relationship with Surrealism. Engelina find inspiration in the subconscious, dreams and ordinary objective coincidence. The idea is worked out directly on the canvas, without any prior study.
Each painting is as a link in her creative development, a frontier process of her personal style. In this way her style development occurs fast. Color, composition, figuration and abstraction are not constant components in her work, but subject to her spiritual exploration trips.

Engelina Zandstra is not aware of the lies of the styling or the inventions of the representation. Her images are no images on the retina, but images and messages from the spirit. Her artistic intuition brings these aspects together in the present paintings. That is the truth of Engelina Zandstra.

Marieke Neervoort, art historian, Amersfoort, Netherlands...

Artist Collections

Work acquired by :

* 2008 MoreforYou, Barneveld, Netherlands

* 2008 Art for Company, Diessen, Netherlands

* 2007 A. Cicilia, Rotterdam, Netherlands

* 2007 H. Röhm, Zeist, Netherlands

* 2003 M. Neervoort, Amersfoort, Netherlands

* 2003 Galerie de Opsteker, Amsterdam, Netherlands

* 1999 Tandartspraktijk Wintersberger, Amsterdam, Netherlands

* 1999 Corío, Utrecht, Netherlands

* 1998 A. Evelein, Amsterdam, Netherlands

* 1998 Architectenbureau Evelein, Amsterdam, Netherlands

* 1996 Hogeschool Alkmaar, Alkmaar, Netherlands


Artist Favorites