Dutch artist Chantal van Leeuwen (1973) was immersed in the world of art from her earliest childhood. Her father is an artist, while her mother is a stylist. They often took her to art exhibitions in The Netherlands and in Paris and other areas of France when she was young. She always showed an extraordinary interest in the artistic world. She studied textile, fashion, and interior design, where model drawing and compositions were a focal point. “After my creative studies, I took lessons in drawing, abstraction, and mixed techniques by different artists. And I studied 17th-century painting techniques for three years.”
Chantal worked for twenty years as an interior designer, counting fashion labels, real estate companies and design studios as clients with her own company Osmosis Interior. She even worked on a Dutch Television program. Now living in the Algarve, she is focusing on her artwork, which has all been inspired by her past life experiences. Her style, a mix of abstract and figurative, is incorporated in her 17th-century painting techniques and mixed media style. “A subject that inspires me is the contemporary time in which we live, that define our society. The transformation we are undergoing, the resonant truth, a journey to an inner mature consciousness.”
In other artworks, Chantal focuses on expressions and movement in human bodies, having completed teacher training at the Body and Mind Language Institute in The Netherlands. “The Body says what words cannot. It can bring us into contact with parts of ourselves that we have concealed and blocked.”
In her series of sketches and paintings, called ‘Body & Mind Language’, Chantal represents the process of the expressions of the body on paper and canvas. Either by using an array of colours or by limiting her work to brown or grey lines, she manages to capture movements. Chantal seeks to find the balance between sensation and emotion, which is the challenge of her art.