An aquarelle painting of the perfect snapshot
You can’t miss it the moment you walk into the office art Kinderdijk UNESCO World Heritage: a glorious image of a misty Kinderdijk morning, proudly displayed on the wall in life-size dimensions. The original photograph, shot by Lisette Haneveer, was a source of inspiration for artist Joost Heystek, too.
“The image is crystal clear, and yet it invokes a sense of mystery. It truly is a picture of exceptional beauty”, remarks Alblasserdam-raised Joost Heystek, who currently lives in Maarssen. On a misty Wednesday morning back in December 2018, Lisette Haneveer, marketing and sales staff member at the Kinderdijk World Heritage Foundation (SWEK), arrives in Kinderdijk to start a new day of work. Today, a particularly glorious shroud of mist covers the windmill area, subtly pierced by the first rays of sunlight stabbing through. Rather than settling down in front of her computer, she decides to grab her camera and head back outside to catch the moment in a quick photoshoot. Photography is one of her hobbies; one she regularly employs to the benefit of SWEK.
“I actually shot a series of pictures that day. I’m quite proud of three of them in particular. Personally, I like the one starring a swan best. When I noticed the comments on that other picture, though, pointing out its mystique, its perfect timing and its razor-sharp focus – that’s when I realised I’d managed a really nice shot. At the end of the day, all photography revolves about picking the right moment, and this just happened to be that perfect moment.”
This is not the first time Heystek has chosen Kinderdijk as the source of inspiration for his paintings. His studies urged him to move to Utrecht, but before that time, the polder and its mills were an important part of where he grew up. Back in those days, going for a swim in the Kinderdijk basins was part of everyday life, as was ice-skating in winter, including the windmill tours. Looking for new techniques and a change of scenery after painting charming French villages, he turned to Pinterest to find pictures he could use. That’s how he came across these Kinderdijk images. “To me, these are still some of the most stunning and impressive artefacts that I know.”
All in all, painting the 21 by 29 cm aquarelle took about two and a half hours. Haneveer: “I’ve stumbled upon painting before where I thought, het, that’s my photo! I just love it when that happens. Usually, the little boat gives it away. I think it’s an honour to have people use my picture as their inspiration.”