“The Australian landscape is my inspiration, contrasting strongly with the country I grew up in. My paintings are the result of a combination of planning and spontaneity, always allowing for wonderful things to emerge in the process. Layers of paint obscure and reveal simultaneously, enhancing colours and shapes.”
Emma Niehof was born in the Netherlands, migrating to Australia 20 years ago after marrying her Australian husband Frank. Emma has an intuitive approach to colour and composition, influenced greatly by the teacher and mentor she enjoyed lessons with in the Netherlands, Yolanda Mathijssen – Di Bortoli, who also taught Emma the importance of light and telling a story.
Emma has travelled extensively throughout Australia and found inspiration in the diverse colours and textures of the land: the vibrant reds and ochres of the outback, the majestic rocky escarpments of the Australian Alps and the seasonal colours of Victoria and Tasmania. While travelling Emma enjoys day-dreaming, taking in the views around her – often seeing something ‘different’ in vistas such as rock-faces, the silhouettes of tree-lines and clusters of wildflowers – resulting in paintings that focus on colour and interpretation rather than real-life accuracy. In her latest works, Emma’s primary concern is to capture the feeling of a place – her sophisticated palette and abstracted forms hinting at the majesty, the time of day and mood while inviting viewers to place themselves in the landscape; allowing their imagination to wander and create their own story.
The signatures on Emma’s artwork are initials GON, the first letters of her Dutch maiden name: Germa Oude-Nijeweme. Emma feels strongly about continuing to sign her artwork this way as this was her signature when she first started painting in the Netherlands all those years ago.
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