World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 5 - Liesbeth Oudshoorn
Liesbeth Oudshoorn’s work has bright colors and is exuberant and cheerful. She works under the stage name Lbetho. That name has something African. Animals are central to Liesbeth's work.
Liesbeth: 'I don’t copy animals. I create my own animals. I do not paint realistically, I think this is too little exciting, I want to add something and create by myself. My first inspiration was Africa because I had adopted an orphan elephant there, Sian. She died when she was four years old. That was sad. I let the elephant playing in my paintings. And further I paint a variety of other non-existing animals. Meanwhile I have a new orphan elephant adopted in Sri Lanka.’
Animals in the forest
The theme “ animals” is important because she lives in the middle a forest. It is a large forest of 800 hectares, it is adjacent to another forest with more hectares. ‘It is not open to the public. It's part of the project "Natura 2000", which is adjacent to the Zoompark and the heath area Kalmthoutse Heide in southwestern Brabant. Nature there is special because of the swamp area, there are huge pools, including the Great Lake. This is unique in Europe .
I walk every day with my dog in the forest, that is full of animals : roes, foxes, hares, rabbits, marters. There are also special birds like woodpeckers and nightjar. The forest lets my creativity flow, I see animals all around me. When I see a piece of wood or a tree trunk, sometimes I see animals in it. Whether they are real or not, animals are important to me.’
‘In 2010 I started painting. I searched for a particular artist name. I ended by the name Lbetho. I thought that was a nice name, because my name it is recognizable, and because of the African sounding. Besides, I intended from the beginning to work internationally, and then my own name is an awkward one to pronounce.
Painting and everything that has to do with it takes a great deal of my time. I'm always busy with my paintings. When I walk in the woods, as I lie in bed, I even dream of it and often I lie awake during nights. I have trouble sleeping, and when I sleep I have many lucid dreams. Sometimes I get brilliant ideas. I just finished three paintings for an exhibition in Brazil during the World Cup. The theme is "Show me something about your country."
The paintings pop up in my head and I'm busy with it 24 hours a day. I think at those moments: how am I going to do that? I have often so many ideas that I can make more paintings. And when I 'm that busy, all kinds of everything comes in. The titles of my work are important for me as well. It says something about what I see in it. It may take some time before I get the right title. It should also sound good to me. Often suddenly the good title comes to my mind, sometimes after a couple of days.’
Passion for Freedom
‘I work in series and my latest series is called "Passion for freedom". While painting I ask myself what freedom means to people and animals. This series is not finished yet, I come up with more and more new themes that relate to the topic. I think a step further than where I am. I have no formal training. But I followed an artists masterclass and I studied at the Filarski Academy.
I experiment frequently , so I get new insights again and again. I did as an experiment a couple of monochrome works in brown / white shades in the "Passion for Freedom" series. I wanted to see how a more austere painting looked like in my style. It has become more attractive, I think. I have received many enthusiastic responses. Three of these paintings were on exhibition at Grang de Paul Gallery in Den Bosch. The curator, Sharlon Maria, loves it. Now I have something in my head with brown and yellow.
Liesbeth has had several exhibitions in the United States. ‘I would like to spend more time there. There is a lot of interest and sales run well there. I have one or two exhibitions in the US this year. I also participate in other exhibitions abroad. In June there is an exhibition in Brazil during the Football World Cup, the exhibits are in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. The paintings are made in the shape of a regular hexagon, and are exhibited in a large flat football three meter length.’
The exhibition is open to artists from neighboring countries of Brazil and the countries participating in the World Cup . Each country has one representative. Liesbeth is the representative of the Netherlands. ‘I also participate in May at an exhibition in Vietnam. The embassies of the Netherlands and Vietnam created a lot of attention for this exhibition.’
Five days painting in the Keukenhof
Like last year Liesbeth will participate in the exhibition in Keukenhof, where the audience can see the painters working. In five days they portray an interpretation of a given subject by the Keukenhof. ‘I really like it. I love it to do live painting, there is very easy interaction with the audience, viewers generally find it very nice. The Keukenhof is very cozy. You meet the other artists and there are many visiting tourists, like Asians and Americans.’
Liesbeth has a business background. She holds an MBA grade, Master of Business Administration and is also active as an interim (financial) manager and coach. ‘There are not many artists like this. It is definitely an advantage. I approach it businesslike. With my work I also direct myself to businesses that are in my network.’
She donates a substantial part of the sales revenue from the paintings to charity. For this year Master Peace (www.masterpeace.org ) is selected as primairy charity organisation. For next year, she is talking to the Kidney Foundation (Nierstichting). Currently there is an exhibition at the Hospice in Bergen op Zoom, where 50 % of the proceeds of the exhibition is intended for the "Friends of Hospice".
As for exhibitions, the agenda for 2014 is already quite full. There is already an exhibition planned for 2015. Liesbeth is certainly not standing still and wants as many exhibits in the Netherlands and abroad as well.