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Oleander Nr. 2 - April 2011

Passion for Music & Lifestyle Passion for Music & Life


INTERVIEW with Dutch Realist paintress

Joke Frima

Music & Visual Arts

Lifestyle & Fashion

Culinary & Travel

Passion for Music & Lifestyle


is a creation by

Boni Li-A-Sam Chief Editor

Welcome to the 2nd edition of Oleander Magazine. In this edition I would like to show my admiration for the Dutch paintress Joke Frima. One afternoon in 2004 I was about to meet the work of Joke Frima for the first time when I walked alongside a small canal in Amsterdam. My eyes were drawn to a couple of beautiful realistic paintings of Water Lillys through the windows of Gallery Mokum when I walked by. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of 2 gigantic paintings of Water Lillys in a pond. I immediately entered this small Gallery to find out who the painter was. The paintress is Joke Frima and the painting that touched me the most is called ‘Still Waters’. (see next page) I hope you enjoy reading this Visual Art edition of Oleander Magazine.

Exclusive Artist - Founder and President of Oleander Concerts

Still Waters - Joke Frima © 2004 - 95 x 160 cm

Surinam Lotus - Joke Frima © 2005 - 125 x 225 cm

Photo: Boni Li-A-Sam

Born in 1952, The Hague. Lives and works in France. Although she attended two art schools in The Netherlands, Frima had to go to Florence to find the kind of training she was looking for. There she was under the tutelage of the elderly signorina Simi, who taught drawing and painting just as her own father had taught her: by studying plaster feet, terracotta jugs, and living models. Frima trained six hours a day, six days a week. The result of this training is a keen eye for detail and a steady hand for form. Yet her paintings and drawings are not simply reflections of her retinal images. Although nature and vegetation play a strong role in her work, she chooses her subjects carefully and meticulously sets them in sometimes almost surreal compositions. The intense light and powerful concentration lends an other-worldly quality to her work.

Interview Joke Frima When did you become aware of your interest in drawing and painting? I began drawing as a young child and never stopped. The people who saw my drawings then complimented me because of the way I created my subjects. Most children at age 4 are just scratching on a sheet of paper. But I already had the skills to be able to draw according to my visual observation. How did you develop your talent? I stimulated myself first and was encouraged to continue by my school teachers. The History of Art education during my secondary school period gave me a primary stimulus as well. Later, after my secundary school I visited the Academy of Arts which was a very disappointing experience to me. At that time I felt that the education at the Academy didn’t provide me what I really needed to develop myself any further because it lacked of the classical and traditional teachings I was looking for. So I kept on going to create in my very own way.

Have you always been supported to develop your artistic talents? My parents never encouraged me extensively or neither did they withhold me from doing what I loved to do. When I was 13 years of age they send me to mould classes. But mainly I was my own motivator. What or who inspired you to become a professional painter? The motivation to become a professional painter was feeded by the fact that I had an urge to study and develop myself with knowledge. And when I was 24 years of age I went to Florence, Italy to visit the Art Museums. During my stay in Florence I discovered an Art School that was led by Signorina Simi where I finally was able to learn all the real basics of traditional and classical drawing. Signorina Simi made us draw in black and white with charcoal first before we where going to paint in colour. Her philosophy was that we first had to master to capture all shades of black and grey before we could fully understand the full potential of working with colours. Signorina Simi had a small classroom of 15 students. We worked 6 hours a day, 6 days a week to improve our skills and our technique. In her atelier I really could enrich myself with the academic way of drawing and painting. In the 4 years that I studied in The Netherlands, there was no real education given regarding technique. I finally felt really home and comfortable with the teachings of Signorina Simi.

…vegetation and flowers are very close to my heart… Which people or subjects inspire you? My general inspiration comes primarily from Nature itself. I absolutely love botanic structures because vegetation and flowers are very close to my heart. Especially water plants and the structure of leaves.

Do you have other interests besides your profession?

I love gardening and to travel. What interests me the most in other countries is the original cultural richness of the country and its people. And off course the genuine Art. I have visited Gambia, Surinam, French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Dominica and Egypt. And when I visit a museum I am always more drawn to the paintings than the other artifacts.

Why did you move to France?

Claude Monet – Parc Monceau

When I came back to The Netherlands after residing in Italy for many years, I had the urge to have my own atelier near my own garden with good natural light coming through the windows. In The Netherlands, my wishes regarding to obtain such a place were not easy to fulfill. A friend of mine had a very nice summer house in Bourgogne, France and I became familiair with the beautiful landscape of the Morvan. In 1999 I decided to move to France with my family permanently.

Joke Frima - Naked Ladies - Oil on Canvas

Joke Frima – The flamboyant Onion - Oil on Wood

Joke Frima - Souvenir d’Egypt – Oil on Wood - 2009

What is your favourite animal and most favourite landscape? My favourite animals are living in the forest such as deer, badgers, foxes, birds, wild boar. The Tuscanian landscape is very close to my heart. When I visited Ravenna to visit the old churches, I was confronted with the landscape that surrounds it. It was quiet similair to the Dutch Landscape and that made me aware that I had missed the Dutch landscape very much for a long time. It was an emotional event for me to acknowledge this fact. What is your favorite kind of music? I love music from the Rennaissance and Arabic music as well. I prefer acoustic music because it goes to the heart. Amplified music is not something I like. It is too noisy and too mechanical.

Describe your own definition of Spirituality. Spirituality has all to do with my own experience of timelessness and the flow of energy. When I am painting, time stops. I do not feel any presence of time whatsoever. I feel that I am in contact with a special energy source…another experience of Time. For me, spirituality has nothing to do with the institutional religions. What is your favourite kind of food? I love the Tuscanian kitchen. The smell and flavours of basil, olive oil and all the other ingredients and herbs that grows in the region itself.

What is your current or next project? In November 2010 I have had my exhibition at Gallery Mokum in Amsterdam. At this moment I will take the time to create new work. The way I paint is very labor intensive and I need a few years to create for the next exhibition. In the mean time I also participate in different group exhibitions. Every year in November I participate with Gallery Mokum at the PAN, Arts and Antique fair at the RAI in Amsterdam. From April to September this year, one of my paintings is exhibited at Museum 'De Zwarte Tulp' (Black Tulip Museum) in Lisse, The Netherlands. And I would like to explore my newest ambition to teach. I love to pass on my knowledge within the classical tradition to other people. I have been teaching when I was young, but then I had not much time left to create my own work. For many years I have had the time to be able to create my own work. And now I feel the time is ripe to pick up teaching again.

What is your own definition of success? For me, success means that I am able to make my profession of something I love to do in all freedom. I honestly can say that I live my dream every day. There are so many people who are trapped in their daily jobs in order to earn the money that they need to be able to finance the life that they really want. I am blessed to create what I want to create in life. â–

INTERNATIONAL SUMMER ACADEMY JULY 2011 Joke Frima organizes an International SUMMER ACADEMY in her atelier in France where people can explore and develop their artistic skills .

see advertisement on next page

International Summer Academy 4 – 17 July 2011 In her studio in Central France Joke Frima has room for 10 students who can look forward to receiving personal instruction and enlightenment in the classical painting tradition. The Academy course runs this summer in the month of July and classes will be held in Joke’s spacious studio’s or in the academy grounds every week from Monday to Friday.

Content Students will be expected to work from nature (still life and models) under Joke Frima’s guidance, which is adapted to each student’s personal possibilities, development of skills and progress. We work half a day with life model and half a day with still life or plaster cast. This permits continuity and the time necessary to elaborate on the construction of proportions, tonal values and shapes.

Entry Before your admission to the Summer Academy Joke would like you to answer some questions designed to give her an insight into your motivation and abilities in painting, and what your expectations of the lessons are. If you have any experience in painting she would like to receive a modest portfolio documenting your work.

Fee The fee is € 600,- for two weeks. This covers tuition, drawing materials, as well as a meal at noontime.

More information and subscription

Morvan - Bourgogne

Manifestations Joke Frima’s latest book “Manifestations” was presented at her 2007 exhibition at Gallery Mokum in Amsterdam. This 70-page publication presents sixty-one paintings. The introduction is an essay by Diederik Kraaijpoel, well-known Dutch artist and authoritative art critic.

You may order the book through Joke Frima.

All the art of Joke Frima is viewable at Art Revisited.

Art has the potential to move people. The passion that an artist invests in his or her work provokes a response in the observer. This passion lies at the heart of everything that we at Art Revisited do. From 1985, we have been reproducing the work of a group of leading artists (for the greater part contemporary Realists) with great fervour and craftsmanship. The artwork is captured in our own studio, employing a technique that is both unique and state-of-theart: 64 separate exposures are merged into a single digital photograph. The resulting file is used for each of our products, from art books to postcards and from calendars to GiclĂŠes. The inks used during the GiclĂŠe production process are guaranteed colourfast for 75 years. In this way, we can offer our customers a reproduction that is barely distinguishable from the original, and with the potential to move people.


Oudezijdsvoorburgwal 334 1012 GM Amsterdam THE NETHERLANDS

Phone & Fax: +31 (0) 20 6243958 After hours: +31 (0)20 - 62 58 025 Cell phone: +31 (0)6 - 51 54 99 96

by Joke Frima

Fettunta (Toasted bread with olive oil) Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 10 minutes. INGREDIENTS: Bread Extra-virgin olive oil Fresh Garlic Salt Black pepper

This dish is generally associated with the month of november, when the olives have been gathered and the oil is newly pressed. Obviously it is eaten all year round, but in other seasons it lacks that characteristic pungent flavour of the new oil. Cut the bread about a centimetre thick, grill well on both sides and rub one side generously with a clove of garlic. Place the slices on a large serving platter and drizzle the oil over them. Season with salt and pepper and eat while still hot.


Oleander Magazine - Nr. 2 April 2011  

Passion for Music & Lifestyle MAGAZINE - Interview with Realistic paintress Joke Frima

Oleander Magazine - Nr. 2 April 2011  

Passion for Music & Lifestyle MAGAZINE - Interview with Realistic paintress Joke Frima