The work of Cindy van der Aa can be described as cinematic and atmospheric. In her oil paintings she captures a moment, giving the viewer part of a story and enticing them to question what came before and what will come after. The contrast of realism and expressionism is seen in her specific painterly style where the movement of the brush is highlighted and used to suggest movement in her figures and landscapes.
In her early works, each canvas is like a frozen projection from a science fiction film; dark ominous clouds and cold industrial structures mix with acidic pink skies and burnt earth tones. The sound of dust caught in a gust of wind can be heard as the viewer gazes at these foreign yet familiar locations.
In her more recent works Cindy van der Aa has taken to examining a new kind of contrast. Where her early works explored abandoned landscapes with contrasting natural and industrial forms, her new works explore the lone figure and the ‘recently departed’ figure, presenting landscapes that make us question who or what inhabits this place. Cindy continues to use the visible brush stroke to suggest movement and nature and her palette retains its early pink and green tones with the inclusion of more earthen colours inspired by her recent trip to Chad.
In Cindy’s own words, a painting is an abstraction of reality.
“Oil paint is a wonderful medium, the texture of the paint creating the image. Each area that you put on the canvas is a surprise, a gift. For example, how the colour you have blended reacts with the substrate, depending on the drying time of the layer below it. Layers and colours, which actually are nowhere to be seen, still play an important role in the final result. I never begin with a white canvas, the first layer is a layer of bright pink acrylic. Painting is the search for the ultimate combination of the artists signature style, the materials, the image and atmosphere that you want to show. Sometimes I can lose myself in a simple line in the landscape, other times I am fascinated by the construction of a crane or a building. The atmosphere it exudes is most important. You have to feel it, almost smell it!”
-Cindy van der Aa
Cindy van der Aa is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (1998, Fine Arts). After her studies she participated in a number of exhibitions before turning her attention to other projects such as scenery for film, theatre and festivals.