Shahnez Van De Slijke has shown great talent in drawing and painting from an early age. After post graduation, with a Master’s degree of Art in Literary Translation in UEA in Norwich in the UK, Shahnez professional career took her around the world in the translating and editing business. Today she lives with her family in Southern Spain.
As the mother of two wonderful teens ,the artist must reconcile her family life with her passion. Every day, at her Art studio in Marbella, she dedicates time to what she calls a “colourful meditation”.
Among some artistic influences, the artist feels a special connection with style and narrative found in the work of classical portraitists of last centuries and even in earlier steps of realistic techniques.
The first being in the 14thC, Shahnez she says she discovered during her multiple journeys in Tuscany. The cradle of realism to her eyes, the quattrocento in Florencia with the first appearance of three-dimensional paintings with Masaccio, Mantegna, and Piero della Francesca through a precise realism, enfolded in a gasp-worthy atmosphere.
Also, and because of the artist’s multicultural background, a big inspiration came to influence Shahnez’s work from the 19th century. Many European artists depicted the beauty of the colonial countries, and today masterpieces are still appreciated in many international museums. Works of Renoir, Jean Léon Gerome or Frederic Arthur Bridgman had the same denominator: Their art pictures beautiful figures and portraits in a mesmerizing oriental decor.
After living in more than 8 countries, Shahnez finally settled in southern Spain, where she started being more productive after a couple of intensive figurative Art courses with renowned Artists. These academic few courses of Realistic Art, she had, provided her with a unique opportunity to master one of the world’s longest and most important artistic traditions; an academic approach to observing and rendering nature as accurately as possible. And while Still Life is an attractive theme, the challenge to the complexity of painting human figures remains her favourite.
“How fascinating it is to be able to reproduce the beauty of facial expressions”
The privilege of an expat life is to seize opportunities to learn the artist revealed. As a joint venture between the artist’s passion for painting and writing , in 2019 Shahnez also completed a diploma from a university in Istanbul, allowing her to hold the title of calligrapher as well.
For an emerging artist we must admit that Shahnez has done quite well, as after only a few years of practice; the hobby turned to be a professional business. Today Shahnez Van De Slijke art is seen in important galleries and museums in France and in Spain, of which The Famous museum The MEAM in Barcelona.
“I speak more than five languages and Art is my sixth”