Fire and Ice

Jackie Pinto | May 26, 2023 | Art

Marit Harte with her artworks


Harte’s artworks at a studio in Amsterdam 

Using a range of textures and distinctive monochromes, Marit Hartes’ mixed media work is making waves – quite literally.

With clients ranging across cities worldwide, Dutch artist Marit Harte believes that mixed media as a form of abstract expressionism is highly liberating. Her spacious atelier, Studio Harte in Aalsmeer, near Amsterdam, feels like a construction site having an art attack. Impressive monochromatic canvases in
a wide range of sizes, eclectic mirrors, vases, sculptures and even a series of limited edition photographs jostle for space with paint, plaster, mud and a variety of sealants and materials that she boldly or subtly mixes into her 3D art  pieces.

200 x 200 Lava

It is easy to get caught up in the ebb and flow of her works that are evocative and reminiscent of waves, sand, wind, lava, ice, fire, rain, bubbles and foam.

“I found that any limitation – a particular media imposed on me could be forfeited when I began to blend totally different kinds of materials to create my own style and technique. Inspired by nature, it’s always the little imperfections that are generated in the layering process that I employ which gives each of my works a sense of organic presence and unpredictability that I find very enriching. In fact the lack of barriers helps me to expand the possibilities of a canvas, bringing out my creativity in a way that allows water or oil-based media to position itself alongside acrylics, foam, paper mache and sealants,” she begins.

Marit’s self-taught journey began when her parents gifted her a large blank canvas a few years ago on her birthday, and a subsequent memory came back to inspire her – one of a giant clam she had spotted on the ocean floor while she was snorkeling in the Great Barrier reef ten years ago.

The wave-like movements, the soft glowing colours and gentle motion of the giant shells underwater had stayed with her long after her trip was done and dusted, and as she began to create something, it returned.

Harte taking through her process  

“I started to recreate my three dimensional interpretation of the clam using different materials and textures. The textures were coming along nicely, but the colours were not working. So I decided to leave colours alone and go with pure white – the result was better than I anticipated. I’ve always been intrigued by nature so I began to experiment with materials that could simulate waves, bubbles, lava etc.”

On her creative process she explains that she lets her “eyes do the initial work then my brain takes over. I use a mix of materials like plaster mixed with acrylic sealants, paper mache and foam for volume, depending on the structure and size. I work layer by layer, over days, weeks and even months! I also enjoy working with colour but I never mix colours in together. I stick with monochromes and it has become my signature style. Every colour naturally brings its own energy to a piece and adding colour is the last stage of my process.”

20 x 20 diptych Lava 

Marit feels that using mixed media allows her art to reinterpret and expand on traditional media. It also helps to create strong textures that create distinct tones in the same painting with an overall significant and evocative design. With a growing client base in the Netherlands and overseas, Marit’s work is recognizable by her strong texturing techniques and her eye for overall design and composition. Each of her pieces would look right at home in a minimalist fashion ad or stand-alone quite effectively, but with a little trickery of the mind involved.

Vase sculptures 

“I craft and compile a whole piece of work from individual elements and I don’t hold back on using any media that will help to shape and convey the piece. Experimenting with shape, forms, materials, mediums, and subjects is an attempt to present perspective and create something you would want to live with
forever – whether it’s a picture, a mirror, a vase or a sculpture.

Essentially I use a combination of different mediums or materials to create one truly unique piece of art. The malleability and the space for fluidity that mixed media provides is definitely its most valuable feature. And given the impact of AI and technology asserting its influence into almost every aspect of our lives, mixed media is perhaps the most natural direction towards which the future of modern and contemporary art is moving.” she says.

60 x 80 Water & Cracked Mud 

Harte with her artworks 

Gearing up for her next big exhibition in August, she hopes to have an exhibition in India sometime soon and concluded by stating “Each piece of my art also comes embedded with an NFC chip that details the whole creative process, along with all the relevant information and a special affirmation, related to my emotions while making the piece. The chip is locked into the work for perpetuity – it’s a great way of staying connected to clients and art lovers alike across space and time.”



Words by Jackie Pinto.
Photographs courtesy of Marit Harte.

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