Maike van der Kooij lives in ‘t Waar and works in the city of Groningen.
She received her education at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, her city of birth.
After several years of teaching drawing at secondary schools, she has been working as a painter since 1983.
Since 1987, she lives in Groningen, where she was immediately taken by its wide, imposing landscapes.
Van der Kooij regularly works on the sites that form her inspiration. She absorbs the essence of the landscapes and captures it in vivid sketches. She has an eye for fleeting moments, which might present themselves at any time and pass before anyone can grasp at them. The notes she takes, occasionally supplemented by pictures, she translates at her studio into paintings. Departing from the tradition of northern expressionism, she gradually developed her own particular style: hers is a restless signature, sometimes applying dense layers of paint, sometimes applying paint only sparsely.
Her paintings never arrive completely rounded. They find their definitive shape only after a longer period of time. This is partly the result of what Maike van der Kooij wants to depict: the shapes of the landscape, the contrast of light and dark and the rhythm of different elements that make up the landscape. As a whole, her works need to convey the expanse, atmosphere and ‘drama’ that characterize the northern landscape.
A landscape that had to affect before it could be painted.