July 10, 2024

Today, artist Emily Pals answers my questions. Emily discovered her love of oil painting in the cosy atmosphere of her grandfather's studio. Her work is realistic from a distance, but up close you can see the dynamic brushstrokes that give her work depth and life.

Emily knows how to transform fleeting moments into artful paintings. With a passion for detail and an eye for the small wonders of nature, Emily Pals invites us to see the world through her colourful and sensitive perspective.


What is your name?
Emily Pals

Where do you live?
In Breda, in the Netherlands.

What kind of art/creativity do you mainly do? (Painting, sculpture, photography, digital design, etc.)
I paint in oil, both nature and portraits.

Have you had any formal training, or are you self-taught?
I didn't go to art school, but over the years I have attended many workshops and courses with various artists and have continued my education in other ways.

Where can people see your work? Do you have a website or social media profiles you would like to share?
On my website or on Instagram.

The artist Emily Pals in her studio

You Are Creative. Why?

How Did You Get Into Art? Where Did Your Creative Journey Begin?

I started learning oil painting about seven years ago. I was excited and had found my medium. Even as a child I was creative, drawing and painting. When I think back, I remember my grandfather who also painted in oil and my mother who was a painter and is still creative with textiles.

What Inspires You?

Everything around me inspires me. Especially the beauty of everyday things. When I walk my dog here in Breda, I look with the eyes of a painter and collect images for compositions in my studio.
A beautiful poppy by the side of the road or a typical light in the forest can enchant me. I also like to paint people from life. Especially portraits. There is always so much to discover in a face and it is a wonderful challenge to capture a certain look in colour and give it my own interpretation.

Are There Certain Artists Or Styles That Influence You?

I like to paint with a soft, bold stroke and a lot of paint. I am influenced by the painters of the Hague School, such as Isaac Israels and Max Liebermann. Contemporary artists who inspire me are Nicolas Uribe and Mitzy Renooy.

What does your creative process look like?

What are your favourite materials and tools to use and why?

I look for compositions in the photos I collect. First, I often make a few pencil sketches to see if I like the shape and composition. Then I decide which format and size are suitable. I work on all kinds of surfaces, whether wood, paper or canvas. I work with oil paint. You can go in any direction with oil paint, so that's the medium I paint with.

Is There A Particular Project Or Work That Is Important To You?

My first painting, when I started to paint independently, has a special place in my heart. It's a large canvas, 70x100 cm, and it was a liberation to be able to play with colour on a large surface. That was in 2019, and since then I've been painting in a really impressionistic way, with soft and bold strokes.

What Was The Biggest Challenge You Faced As An Artist?

When I started out, I was excited about the idea of showing my work online. At the suggestion of friends, I set up an Instagram account to show pictures of my work. A few years later, a website was added and now I am proud to show my work.

How Important Is It For You To Connect And Interact With Other Artists And Creatives?

Connecting with other artists is very important to me. Together we are strong. We can learn from each other and be inspired by each other. That's why I like to paint in a studio with others. I recently joined a group of artists in Breda who paint live models once a month. I also follow a lot of artists and creative people on the internet.

What Does Art Mean To You? What Role Does It Play In Your Life?

Art is important, not only to me, but to society as a whole. Art shows us the beautiful things in the world, but art can also make us think. It can put a smile on someone's face, and art lifts the spirits in times when things are a bit more difficult. I think life would be boring without art. A lot of people are busy with their heads and less with their hearts. And if you engage a little more with your heart, then a connection is made.

Which Topics Are Important To You?

Is There A Theme Or A Message That You Want To Convey In Your Art?

The beauty of the everyday is reflected in my work. One example is the corn poppy, which you often see by the roadside in spring. It is actually a weed, but very beautiful to paint. I like to make small things big by paying attention to them. Happiness is often in the little things and I want to share that.

Thank you, Emily, for answering my questions.

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About the Author Lea Finke

Lea Finke is an artist with all her soul. In her blog, she talks about inspiration, passion, and encounters with art.

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