“Dear Marie-Jeanne and Eduard,
I was still in shorts when I was drawn into your world full of color 45 years ago. For years I was able to watch over your shoulder how everything took shape and grew spontaneously on your white canvas. They were countless and unforgettable, those moments when you let me start my new oil paintings. After that, the smell of turpentine lingered in my clothes for days. My cat complained. All the mice fled from that pungent smell.
Around that time I crossed the E3 motorway, under construction, in Waregem, every Saturday on my bicycle, on my way to your painter’s guild “De Vierschaere” where you both taught me to convert my environment and feelings into symbolism and color”.
No one would have guessed that half a century later a naked giant and his eagle would appear and claim that spot. Indeed, until the end of 2021, the giant’s house had become a place where young visual artists had the opportunity to express themselves during corporate events. Today the giant is being exposed in many new locations. His eagle at the other hand has permanently moved to Torres Vedras (Portugal), where he gazes over his immense valley.
In that new place I live, your student, and I create new pieces of art.
Today I live in a world of hard extremes, as if there is no longer a gray in-between zone. In my portraits I also see the duality that everyone carries with them: the dark, unresolved weight of sadness and unhappiness balanced against the intellectual victory over all negativity. By looking at my paintings I hope that everyone will learn or remember something of this symbolism.
Marie-Jeanne and Eduard, you have both passed away for a long time. I am very grateful for the collection of beautiful painted memories, which I want to display permanently in my art gallery and in this website.
Eduard, with the old tubes of paint that you gave me just before you died and that once came from your teacher Leon De Smet (+1966), I now connect the Flemish Masters of the past with the 70 Flemish Titans of today and combine them extra with 126 International Icons into a unique tribute. Today there are in total 196 different countries worldwide.
My wish is that you choose the largest paintbrush available in heaven. Paint the ceiling there in turns and as many days a year in blue, then we know that you are also thinking of us all in the meantime. Bless you.
your grateful student Hervé Missiaen,