Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine January 2019 - Page 592

Tes Verheij Artist Artcraftcafe Gallery Front Street, Philipsburg Sint Maarten Tessel Verheij was born in Zandvoort, The Netherlands. She lived, studied and worked in Holland for 31 years before moving to England in 2003. Since early childhood, Tes has been fascinated with art and history. Her biggest influences have been Surrealism and the Arts & Crafts Movement (Art Nouveau, Jugendstil) with artists such as Gustav Klimt and Mucha. She decided to follow her life’s passion to pursue a career to become an artist in her own right, and help others on the same journey by becoming an art teacher. Tes studied full time as a teacher of secondary education, receiving a Foundation Art Diploma for Secondary Education in Drawing in 1992, and earned her teaching degree in 1995. She went on to teach art to students of various ages in Holland. In addition to teaching, she worked in her studio, exhibiting with a group of like- minded artists in Zandvoort aan Zee, and building a base of collectors. Tes spent four years at the famous Merton Abbey Mills Market in London where she exhibited artworks and ran her art school for adults and children. While there, she received the honour of being commissioned to design and paint the front archway and mural at Merton Abbey Mills alongside renowned artist William Morris who founded the influential Arts and Crafts movement. In 2008, she left her successful London Art Craft Café behind to start a new life focused on spending more time with her children. This began a journey of extended travel throughout Europe, Egypt and around the world, fuelled by a mission to explore other inspirational artists and art movements. It was during these travels that she discovered the beautiful island of St. Maarten where she now lives and paints full time. Tes’ primary style is figurative with compositions in oils and acrylics on canvas, pastels on paper, inks on paper, mosaics, and her signature creations of Vitrail (glass paint) on canvas, which is a complicated and time consuming technique to master. In addition to stunning underwater scenes, portraits of animals and people, she also paints mystical and spiritual pieces inspired by her dreams and experiences.