Why paint? 

Why paint, when it’s far more ‘real’ and quick to shoot a photo or a video? The answer to this question is best given by images. In this exhibition the students of the painting course show us some of their exciting discovery trips into this both historical and always contemporary medium; adventures in which they trained their hands, eyes and minds to cooperate. Painting boosts the imagination and at the same time it nourishes the perception, the ability to see. No machines, no gadgets, just you, a surface, a brush and some paint. Slowly an image appears, quite magical. Still, it’s also work, concentration, sometimes even frustration. No discovery trip without obstacles. The course aimed to give tools to deal with those obstacles. The students talked about their challenges, about each others work, and about the works of the painters they saw in PowerPoint presentations. Classes were dedicated to the characteristics and use of colours and paint, to composition and brushstrokes. Others treated perception, with depth, still life, model and landscape. Unfortunately these lessons had to take place online. Later on it was a joy to be able to finish the course live at the KABK, with lessons dedicated to content and to the individual development of each student. Enjoy the show! 


- Tanja Smit, tutor Painting


Pauline van der Plas


When I entered this course, I wanted to learn how to communicate experiences and emotion through art. I hope to make the viewer aware of inconspicuous beauty and to transport them to a warm and positive place. Inspired by Jan Sluijters and Bridget Riley, I play with bold colours and rhythms of abstract shapes in my work.  

Zonnewilg, acrylic paint on paper, 420 x 297 mm 

Gemoed gegroet, acrylic paint on paper, 420 x 297 mm 

Annika, acrylic paint on paper, 420 x 297 mm 



Chaaru Jain 

He looks outside, the neon lights that were once blinding have become the new normal. The fog on the left window dissolves the line between the past and the present and the objects on the table are remnants that mean nothing today.   

Inspired by poem: Night by Victor J. Daley

Excerpt: “[…] when the moon walks on the waves, they whisper to each other in the graves. […]” 


Linear Vertigo, 2021, acrylic on canvas  

A Deconstructed Cottage and Fireflies, 2021, acrylic on paper  

Ancient Present, 2021, acrylic on canvas 

Sunaina Chander

This series explores changes in nature, from frozen lakes in Winter, to the sunny days by the canals in Summer. Nature has been a healer and an energy-booster, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. During the lockdown, it has allowed me to appreciate nature, and also the small aloe vera plant in my room. The first two artworks show different seasons with elements of Indian folk arts, namely Warli and Madhubani, amidst the Dutch scenery. This shows how my Indian roots remain a part of me no matter where I live. 


Winter Wonderland, 2021, acrylic on paper 

Spring is in the Air, 2021, acrylic on paper 

The Healer, 2021, acrylic on paper 

Annabelle Twigt 

My final project was about realistically capturing human skin texture as well as texture of fabrics. I chose a woman as subject, laying on a silk cloth. I added depth to the painting by using shadows and highlights on different layers. 

For my other more abstract work, I experimented with different brush strokes and chose a to create a more bizarre vibe. 

The portrait, called ‘Mum’ is a portrait of my mother, whom I adore. 

Resting Beauty, 2021, acrylics on paper

Captured Blossom, 2021, acrylics on paper

Mum, 2021, acrylics on paper

Myrthe Willemsen 


On my way to the academy I pass by a house that is still under construction. Again, and again, I make a pitstop - and sometimes a photo, fascinated by its appearance. Similar to brutalist architecture, the dark grey, artificial shapes and hard concrete make the building somewhat inhumane. And yet it is being created to accommodate people. Through my project I want to reconstruct the oppressive feeling of emptiness that modern architecture casts upon the human spirit.  


Vermelhos, os lábios dele, 2020, acrylic paint on paper, 30 x 42 cm 

Empty street, 2020, acrylic paint on paper, 50 x 65 cm 

Between concrete, 2020, acrylic paint on paper, 50 x 65 cm 

Xiaoqing Ji 


The idea for this painting came when I went to one of the parks in The Hague to practice roller skating for the first time. I was surprised to see so many people going about their own things, each pursuing their own little activity, or just sitting around leisurely. I wanted to capture this moment in a colourful and dynamic painting that invites more people to join in on this experience of sharing their leisure time with others. 

A Sunday afternoon in Zuiderpark, 2021, acrylic on canvas

Make it branch, 2021, acrylic on paper

Gabrielle Dembinski 


From imagination to reality, the painting classes took me on an experimental path of creation. I realised that it is not the final product that matters, but I now rather approach painting as a practice, a result of a process rather than a goal that I reach.  

Float, 2021, acrylic on paper

Mount Kenya, 2021, acrylic on paper’

Arthur, 2021, acrylic on paper

Annika Krüger 


It was the first time I went for a walk in a park before the rest of Leiden was awake. I came across a shed, half-hidden between the trees – a deep red, green leaves covering the forest floor and a carpet or small little ‘sneeuwklokjes’. I stumbled onto a little piece of magic. I did not freeze the moment in a photograph, but I did in my mind, and this was the inspiration for my final project. 


Bold, 2021, acrylic in paper

The Red Shed, 2021, acrylic in canvas

Flow, 2021, acrylic in paper

Maryam Albalooshi

In order to feel the warmth of the sunlight, we must first surrender to the cold and feel it all. Awakening is a series of paintings which are inspired by the long-awaited vibrant, warm colors of the spring. The pandemic has helped us re-evaluate our relationships with our environment and the world around us. We’ve come to realize as a society that even when the world is on lockdown and there is no place to go, nature and mother earth will remain and have our back. By engaging with our environment, we learn how to become more present and resilient.

Calm After the Storm, 2021, acrylic on canvas 50x50 

The Voice Within, 2021 acrylic on paper 75x50 

Hiraeth, 2021 Acrylic on paper 30x42 

Amba Klapwijk 

The three paintings are part of a study in abstract painting, consisting of many sketches and a few other paintings. I experimented with different layers of colour and painting fast and quickly, slow and more thought through. These paintings are the beginning of an exploration in finding my own voice within the use of acrylic paint.  

painting I, 2021, acrylic paint on paper 50 x 70 

painting II, 2021, acrylic paint on paper 50 x 70 

painting III, 2021, acrylic paint on paper 70 x 100 

Charlotte Meyer


With my final project, I looked inward and reflected upon who I am. It is so difficult for me to express my thoughts and feelings in words, but the medium of painting offers a whole new world of self-expression and reflection. The image of a deer standing in a wide meadow full of flowers during golden hour came to me quite quickly. I am kind and sensitive, like the deer. But if I lift my gaze to the sky, I might just spread my wings and fly like the colorful parrot depicted in the sky. Now that winter is gone, I am colorful. I am one with the flowers and fauna around me. And I am following my own little bird. All the while, I carry deep and heavy shadows within me; They shape my light as much as my light shapes them, and it’s okay to also have darkness.  


Pit, 2021, acrylic on paper

Selfportrait, 2021, acrylic on paper 

Portrait of My Inner Self, 2021, acrylic on paper