With my representations, I want to portray reality. We are all part of a larger whole, but we do not always see that. I believe in the power and the endless possibilities of an image.
The longer you look at the water, the more abstract it will become. It will also get tangible and real.
The women in the water are far away and at the same time very close. Their eyes are usually closed. You wonder what they are thinking… are they actually still in this world with their mind?
Ever since I was a child, water and everything that lives in and around it, has had a great attraction to me: the sea, the forest with its lakes, ponds and ditches. I would like to wake up every day in it… the name “Marissa” therefore honors me, since it means “of the sea”.
My other great love, drawing and painting as true to life as possible, has also always been in my life. I sketched my own world in the most convincing way possible. From ants hanging the laundry on mushrooms to a frog that I kiss and hopefully someday will become a prince. Realistic yet susceptible to interpretation. This is how I still work today.
My latest water series “Washing Away My Sorrows” is about the then, now and later. Life without water is not possible. Water symbolizes purity, clarity, tranquility. It reminds us that we need to clear our thoughts every now and then and that we must strive for a state of purity. But is all the water that we see and drink every day clean everywhere? What does the future look like? Will the water stay as it is, will it be cleaner, or will it be dirtier? During my last trip to the Indian Ocean, I was shocked to see how much dirt washed up on a deserted island, while the nearest mainland was 90 minutes away, by boat. I spent hours picking up dirt. And I was saddened by the sight of fish, crustaceans and shellfish that were stuck in plastic objects or had laid their eggs on them. The objects eventually wash ashore, so that life has no chance. I also saw a poor sea turtle with a plastic straw in its nose near the magical, but largely dying coral. What does it hurt to see this in real life! I have to record this in MY way. I let my paint speak.
The pure beauty, but also the corruption in this world: there are not many people who really SEE it. With my new series, I want to open the eyes of my spectators. The series depicts a combination of nature, water and people. If they live in harmony, it is a beautiful spectacle. If they are out of balance, it becomes a picture that does not feel right, something is wrong. The series shows both scenarios. The first part, of the series of 10, highlights the beauty. The second part shows decay. In the second part of the series, the viewer wonders why a beautiful woman lies in polluted water, why her hair falls out, why the flowers have wilted, why the fish float… Something is wrong, the heart of the water… it is death. Yet this image becomes reality if we don’t make the world a cleaner place.
In a world where almost everything is made by machine, I also think it is important that crafts still exist. Realistic painting, drawing and airbrushing are the crafts that I manage and pass on to my students. The craftsmanship can ensure that everything is viewed with more love and feeling, and that is exactly the purpose of my last series! ~ Ruben Contreras
Drifting Away – Bird of Paradise 100 x 70 cm Oils on panel. Nikki is a teenager that has been followed since she was 11 years old, now being 16, for a documentary about “KOP” children, children with problematic parents. Nikki is. A little bird of paradise in a lonely world, where her sorrows and worries are momentarily drifting away by the energising power of water and flowers. The full story about Nikki can be read on www.doclines.nl
Close up Nikki
Washing away my sorrows II, Oils on panel 70 x 100 cm.
A self-portrait where I let water and nature and me come together in harmony. The water is taking care of my mind and body. It gives life, serenity, energy and washes every negative thought away for a while
A self-portrait where I let water, flowers and me come together , being at total peace with my inner self. The water is taking care of my mind and body. It gives life, serenity, energy and washes every negative thought away for a while. The flowers bring color and harmony to my life
Sleeping Beauty, acrylics on gessoed board 40 x 50 cm.
Achelois – A little light in the darkness. 40 x 60 cm Oils on gessoed bord. Achelois is a minor moon goddess, a sirene that washes away pain.
Washing away my sorrows IV – Vibhuti 30x40cm oils on board. She is letting go of all troubles in the water, charged by the sunlight gently touching her skin and warming up te water surface.
The forever search – Princess and the Frog 60×80 cm a self-portrait in search of myself
Angerona – Goddess of Secrecy and Protector of Rome. Acrylics on panel 120 x 100 cm. The moths are carefully laid in with 24ct gold leaf and Japanese Marble leaf. Moths represent many things including silence. Rest assured, all your secrets are safe with them.
A portrait of Jennifer, oils on panel 30×40 cm
Left Behind, acrylics on board 30 x 40 cm A contrast between 110 years ago and a modern little girl, left behind in her own world wishing upon a dandelion for something only she can tell you…
“Fox in the City -NY” Musicshop, Oils on panel 50x70cm.