For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by the life stories of women from different cultures around the world. During my work as an expert in women’s health & rights, I come across the most exceptional life journeys. These stories inspire me to paint portraits of women as a tribute to honor female empowerment and femininity. Through my art, it is my mission to give color and meaning to interiors.
My style is characterized by an impasto technique. I use palette knives to create an interesting pattern of small distinct strokes of color, which together forms an image. My paintings are full of rich texture and sweeping blends of color. From a close-up view my artworks are very abstract, yet from a more distant view they are remarkably realistic.
My favorite pieces are female portraits. I believe that each woman is powerful and beautiful as nature has intended and that should be celebrated. Therefore, my paintings are bold, eye-catching, exuberant and luxurious. With my paintings I reveal the mystery hidden amongst the words, capturing it and then adding another, more prosperous philosophical thought. The details of my paintings are made from gold leaf, glitter and Swarovski to symbolize the glamour that each woman – regardless of her origins – deserves in life.
WHY DO I CREATE FEMALE PORTRAIT PAINTINGS?
I would like to spread a message to women to be true to themselves.
My impasto technique symbolises all aspects that make a woman unique.
Uncovering their pretty side, their shadow side. Their past, their story. Their dreams for the future.
Each woman is beautiful, just the way she is!
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Marjolein was born in the Netherlands in 1986 and raised by parents who encouraged her to become an educated independent woman. Growing up, Marjolein already loved to draw and make things beautiful. Her childhood wasn’t always easy, as her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when Marjolein was just 7 years old. Her mom lost her battle after fighting this disease for 12 years with immense bravery. These childhood experiences left Marjolein with an urgency to chase her dreams and make the most out of life every single day.
As a teenager, Marjolein was a feminist girl. She read literally every book she could find about women’s lives all around the world. She spend many hours philosophizing why it matters so much where you are born, especially as a woman. Marjolein figured that if there’s one thing vital to every girl’s future – it’s health and access to health care. She decided to focus on this topic during her studies. In her final thesis for high school, she was drawn to highlight the conditions of women suffering from female genital mutilation. After graduation, Marjolein went to university and studied Political Science and obtained her Master’s degree in International Public Health.
In her early twenties, Marjolein moved to Surinam for two years. In this Latin American country, she worked for a planned parenthood organization and the United Nations Population Fund. When Marjolein moved back to the Netherlands, she successfully applied for a job at the Ministry of Health. In the upcoming years, she worked on national policy regarding the abortion legislation, sexual health and ethics surrounding pregnancy and birth. Among other jobs, Marjolein worked for the municipality of Amsterdam on the city’s human trafficking and prostitution policy and prepared the foundation of a center for victims of sexual violence. In 2017, Marjolein obtained her PhD in midwifery. Nowadays, Marjolein has her own research and consultancy agency (Female Stories) and works for several institutions as an expert specialized in women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Art is Marjolein’s way of expressing her feelings and thoughts. It enlights her to paint portraits of women as a tribute to honor female empowerment and femininity. She is a self-taught palette knife artist with a remarkable talent and passion. Together with her soon-to-be husband and their three beautiful children, Marjolein lives in Amsterdam.