Artist statement

Registration Netherlands Institute for Art History:

Pauline van de Ven (Houthem-St. Gerlach, 1956)
Autodidact painter and grafic artist, writer
Graduated at University of Amsterdam
Digital vector painter. Started around 1998 with linocut and etchning ground on glass. Changed to digital painting in 2004, initially raster. Proceded through a combination of raster-vector to vector. Lorenzo Award for digital painting at the 2015 Florence Biennale, several other awards. Author of Digital painting explained and illustrated, (2013-2019) an online survey for artists and collectors.

I am exploring the new medium of vector. My work develops in cycles from figurative to abstract and back to figurative. Hard lines, monochrome colors and perfect gradients limit the emotional palette of vector. ‘Ceci est un oeuf’ (2015, below) expresses my initial dislike. Still, manual vector is the only cooperation between the artist and the computer that offers a new language of form while leaving the artist in charge. On one side we have digital raster painting, where the artist is fully in charge but forms are in no way different from traditional painting. On the other, computer generated painting such as fractal art offers renewal, but the computer takes the lead. These images are impersonal and repetitive and in my view emotionally void. Compared to our own, the soul of a machine is a flat and flimsy thing.

I have been trying to give vector some of the soft nuance and broader range of expression of raster. For a practical reason as well as for the pleasure to experiment, since working in vector would relieve me from the enlargement of raster paintings, which is always a lot of noncreative work. I restrained colors to black-and-white gradients, supplemented with one or two monochrome color planes. With these clair obscurs I became more or less comfortable with vector, especially with the latest works: Waiting, Diner, Thoughts, Rainy day, Woman. After these I long for color.

To promote understanding and straighten out some general misconceptions about digital painting I wrote ‘Digital Painting, explained and illustrated’ (2013-2019) which is now in the Public Domain and can be freely used at

February 2019

’Ceci est un oeuf’ (vector-raster, 2015)