Pauline Bakker (1966)
I settled down in this lovely village about 20 years ago because I shared a studio here with my friend and sculptress Elly Baltus. It was in an old primary school building, the Paulus School on Prins Hendriklaan. I organised team-building workshops there with two other artists and it gave me the space to paint large canvasses like the triptych I made for the Grote Kerk (Great, or St Lawrence Church) in Alkmaar. I taught painting courses, too.
The studio is no more, but I stayed in Bergen. Bergen has it all, if you ask me; it’s a lively, friendly village close to the coast and yet not far from Alkmaar and Amsterdam.
I often paint themes close to home, but like to venture abroad, too. American light fascinates me, for instance, and the atmosphere a painting that captures it transmits. These are the two ingredients that perhaps best characterise my work and make it recognisable – the theme I paint is an instrument with which I manifest an atmosphere.
I still very much enjoy teaching workshops, introducing people to Bergen’s beauty spots and watching them paint them. If you’re interested, let me know!
Photography: Pauline Bakker