Meet Fleur a french artist at Artefleur’s Studio

Hi Fleur, Welcome! Can you tell us who you are and why you are in Amsterdam?

Hi Delphine! Thank you for inviting me to be featured on your blog, I really appreciate it!

My name is Fleur Spolidor, I’m a french painter, originally from Paris, I was living in California for 17 years before moving here for my husband’s new job in May 2019. We live in Amsterdam Oost. I heard about the Facebook page “Mamans à Amsterdam” for info and tips, I signed up and that’s how you and I meet!

Yes! And since then, you designed a special “AMA kraamzorg Française” drawing for us and we thank you so much for that!

You’re very welcome,I’m always happy to create something that represents the essence of a business. In your case, being a Kraamzorg, it was really interesting to listen to you describe how you bring little things to the older brothers and sisters to entertain them while you take care of the little one. I was inspired by your definition of family and how inclusive and diverse you saw it. You were very specific and it was very helpful for my creative process. I’m a little obsessed with Dutch houses at the moment, that’s why I had to put one at the center of the drawing, but I thought it was making sense, since you bring your help, experience and knowledge to the home of each family you’re working with. I can’t wait to see how the kids will add color to it!

Drawing or painting doesn’t come naturally to me, do you have any tips to create a little artwork?

Make it a relaxing moment, with a cup of tea and your favorite music. It doesn’t need to be complicated, maybe some doodling in a little notebook. Look at images that inspire you, like a photo of your last holidays or a bouquet of flowers. Anything can be a good start for a nice drawing, even the cup of tea you’re drinking. Personally, I really like sketching pastries before eating them. Concerning the material, you’re free to use anything, a pencil or a pen, but if you have some markers or watercolors in your favorite colors, you will enjoy the result a lot more. When you paint with the right palette it just looks nice right away.

I see that your website is called artefleur.com, Why the name Artefleur?

It’s the name of my business, Arte for what I do and Fleur because it’s my name. I’m a visual artist. I work for people, creating paintings on commission or showing my work with galleries. I also like to curate art shows. I just had the pleasure to organise one in Amsterdam East this August. It was called Ride to Art (ridetoart.nl) with 15 artists from the neighborhood. We were sponsored by Fonds Voor Oost, they gave me a grant to pay the artists for the materials and time needed for the creation of their artwork. It was a great community event.

Can you tell us how and where you work?

I have a studio in Amsterdam Oost where I paint and meet with my clients. When someone wants me to create a painting, we discuss the subject matter and the color scheme, I usually ask for multiple photos, especially  when it’s a person’s portrait or to represent a family’s pet. It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks for the painting to be done, sometimes a little more if it’s a large one or if I’m using oils instead of acrylics. I really enjoy working with people, they are very inspirational. It’s also a good feeling to know that I’m contributing in making something important to them last through time. A painting of a loved one or of a good memory is something unique, priceless. We have so many photos of everything we do nowadays, we even forget that we took them. But a painting, carefully thought and crafted, with lasting materials, will be the centerpiece of your living space for a very long time and even become a talking point with family members and visiting friends.

How did you come up with the idea of painting Amsterdam “living” houses?

Since I moved here in Amsterdam, I wanted to paint the traditional dutch houses, but I couldn’t find the right angle, I mean, my personal point of view on the subject. During the confinement, suddenly we were all asked to stay home, in our dutch houses. Our universe shrank so fast, the limits were so clear, it was our doorsteps. We had to find ways to do so many new things from inside our homes: work, teach our kids, entertain them, clean our groceries, enjoy happy hours on zoom and meet with family members on video conferences. It was surreal, in this series, I was inspired by the situation and my discussions with other moms.

You know that I appreciate your work, where can people see it?

Thanks Delphine! It’s easy, you can see it on my website, artefleur.com or you can schedule an appointment to visit my studio. I usually also have art shows and open studios, but with the virus, things got a little more complicated. At the moment the best thing to do if you’re interested in my work is to sign up for my newsletter to get my latest news and inspiration, in your mailbox, once a month. And to offer something special for you and your readers, the first 10 readers to use the code #AMA.KRAAMZORG when contacting me will get 20%off the first art piece they would buy or commission me to do.

Can you tell us what makes you happy?

Enjoying the sun while drinking a nice cup of tea with family and friends is a really good start. Traveling and living in different countries, meeting new people and discovering their way of life is pretty high on my list of happy things. But being creative is the best, because it brings all these things together. I’m inspired by people, their ideas and their lives and I get to give back what I make from this inspiration. It’s communication and understanding through textures and colors. Every feeling, frustration or happiness is translated in the work, on the canvas, transcended to become a work of art, it’s very fulfilling.