My name is Willem Johan Hoendervanger (1980) and I work as an international marine artist. As an artist whose main motif is the sea, you won’t be surprised to read my studio is located in Vlissingen, The Netherlands. Situated at the crossroads of the Western Scheldt delta and the North Sea, what inspires me is always a few miles away. The world’s largest ships pass Vlissingen on their way to one of the largest European ports.
After completing high school I faced a major choice: listening to the call of the sea and become a sailor, or pursuing a career as an artist. The latter won the battle to the sea, so back in 2005 I graduated St. Joost art school in Breda. However, the lures of the sea were never far away. As an maritime artist I’m in the privileged position to merge my love for ships with my fascination for visual art.
Many major shipping companies found their way to my studio, asking me to capture their fleet. These companies include Vroon, Port of Rotterdam, Van Oord, Seafox, Shipyard De Hoop, Fairplay Towage, ACL (Atlantic Container Line), Damen Schelde Naval and Waterfront shipping. My portfolio contains several types of ships, from classic Ocean Liners to state of the art offshore ships.
Not only I do work for large shipping companies, I create original maritime artwork for everybody. Many people, like retired seamen, ask me to create a visual memory of their beloved ship. Commissions involving an emotional aspect are always special to me, because you are asked to capture other people’s feelings from the past in a piece of artwork. Leaving these clients satisfied with their new artwork makes me extremely fulfilled.
One of the great aspects of being an artist is the freedom in choosing material. Every artist does have a signature material, for me this is water colour. However, that doesn’t mean I never use oil paint or pencil. Every material has it it’s own feeling, so the choice of material also depends on the motif. Despite the highly detailed and realistic level of my pictures, I always intend to add the artistic element in my works. I also make sure all my paintings are technically correct.