Jan Teunissen, born in 1949, grew up in Zeelst, in the south of The Netherlands under the smoke of Eindhoven. He lives and works in Best, also located in North Brabant. Initially, he followed a technical education and graduated as a business engineer. Until 2002, he did this alongside a job in business, after which he focused on painting. Jan Teunissen is a major autodidact and his work is characterized by a high level of reality and often somewhat mystical, clair-obscurious atmosphere. Still life with images of utensils and food such as bread and fruit. So lifelike, and basically no bigger than in real life, these paintings are such that they evoke comments and have ratings such as: "So real you would take a bite out of it.", "You can smell what fruit it's all about." or "Any moment a worm can crawl out of those pears." Studying many pieces of art from the old masters, dealing with fellow painters, and especially experimenting with materials and subjects, gave Jan the ability to make realistic paintings in a responsible and artistic way.
The works of Jan Teunissen: still life, flowers, portraits and more, get more and more attention and are exhibited both nationally and internationally.

What is the origin of your paintings: where do your ideas come from?
"My paintings are made of oil on panel. In my work I strive for the most realistic representation of my chosen attributes placed in a somewhat mystical ambiance. For me, realistic means that the objects in my paintings are rarely depicted larger than they really are. Ideas for my work often arise spontaneously. An appealing image of an object, building, scene or (animal) portrait and certainly the play of light on it often form the challenge for me to capture this specific ambiance in a painting. In the case of a still life I create in my atelier the aforementioned ambiance around the attributes to be painted, as I want to put them later in my painting. An atmosphere of "somewhat mystical, not immediately revealing everything" is also that which I try to create in my environment and which I also attribute to myself as a character trait."

Still life with apples mossty stone and jug main

Still life with apples, mossy stone and jug
Painting made of oil on panel
Sizes: 50 x 70 cm

Finalist in contest for participation in Art Revolution Taipei (A.R.T.) in 2018

Why did you choose to become an artist?
"Becoming an artist was not a conscious choice of me. In the early eighties, my wife suggested buying a painting from a painting neighbour. My reaction was; I certainly like the painting, but first I try what I have in my field in that area. The study of the work of great masters, questions and looking at fellow artists and especially a lot of experimentation then gave me the skill to make my paintings in a traditional way."

What are your sources of inspiration?
"Sources of inspiration I find especially in objects where time has made an influence. An old piece of wood, a mossy stone, old fruit with leaves or a rusty piece of iron. Sometimes that is the lived face of an old person. In particular, this attracts my attention when the light on it already has a certain effect or when I see possibilities to bring about such effects of light and dark around these attributes in my studio."

Born naked dove main

Born naked Dove
Painting made of oil on panel
Sizes: 18 x 25 cm

Nomination AVROTROS-art competition with theme "Naked" in 2016

Can you distinguish stages of development in your work?
"Initially, I mainly painted landscapes and (flower) still lifes based on works by famous master painters. In the course of time I have become acquainted with painting still lifes, flowers, animals, special buildings and a single portrait. My greatest interest is currently in painting (flower) still lifes, while also the other subjects at times are also covered. Speaking about different stages in my work, my endeavour is continuously aimed at improving the quality of my work in the sense of realistic representation. From about 2012 a change in my work is visible from a slightly lighter to dark look. Slightly darker backgrounds and ambiance offer me more possibilities to better show effects of light and dark."

Gallery from left to right:
Still life with lanterns, chestnuts and decorative apples (50 x 60 cm) 
Finalist in contest for participation in Art Revolution Taipei (A.R.T.) in 2018
Still life with vase of Indus Valley from 2200 BC (55 x 69 cm) Awarded for participation and ending on 5th place in the election of "Painting of the year" in 2013. 
Both paintings are made of oil on panel

Is there a painting you consider your best work?
It will not come as a surprise that it is a still life that I consider one of my better works. A still life with a somewhat more classic appearance; "Still life with candle and dry roses" (oil on panel, 43 x 60 cm). Granted; the fact that this painting was awarded as First Winner (Gold) at AVISKAR - Van Gogh Award 2016 and then sold fairly quickly in Calcutta contributes to this choice.

Still life with candle and dry roses main

The future of yourself and your work?
I have no big plans for changes concerning my life and work. My work is my passion and I will continue to do so for as long as I am able to. Appreciation for my work is sufficient and increases steadily.

Look here for more work by Jan Teunissen