When art is in your heart it’s never too late to start.
Evelien Sipkes knows a lot about that. As a matter of fact, you might say it’s her mantra. At age 35 her desire to incorporate the art of jewelry making into her daily regime had finally come to life.
Born in Amsterdam to a mother who supported her passion for the fine arts and to a father who wished she would “snap out of it and get a real job” Evelien Sipkes turned her purpose towards teaching children and managing an institute for the mentally retarded. This filled a piece of her soul for many years but still, there was always an empty space where her creative energy needed a place to express itself.
Having lived in Curaçao since she was eight years old, amid the serenity and beautiful scenery Evelien stirred with a creative restlessness that she could not deny. The pull toward studying art became a force within her.
At 18 years old she went to Utrecht, Holland to study. Planning her work schedule around the course load proved challenging but Evelien was both motivated and organized which helped her stay on track.
In 1995 Evelien had her first few exhibits in Holland and she basked in the “oohs and ahhs” from the people who viewed and purchased some of her pieces. A year later she returned to Curaçao to work as a consultant, the very work that carried her through those tumultuous years as a student in Holland and eventually came to make her living as a full time artist.
Since she was a little girl Evelien was making something from nothing. A piece of cloth, an old button, a stick, some random beads and with those stray items, she would somehow manage to design a thing of beauty.
Living in Bandabou, surrounded by the calm of country air, Evelien says, “the older I get, the happier I am! What I love most about Curaçao is living on the edge of inside and outside. The climate is so lovely and I get a lot of inspiration from nature.”
Another source of influence for Evelien is 13th century physicist Fibonacci. He discovered that most structures in nature are mathematic. After studying his ideas she has taken to using a lot of structure in her work. For example, the underwater world in Curaçao is loaded with coral and shells and she uses these structures as well as other unlikely material to create her one of a kind designs.
When she’s at work, Evelien imagines what she does in her work is not all that different than that of a composer who writes a beautiful piece of music. “He ‘becomes’ the music,” she says, “Sometimes I have a design in my mind and I start to make it but my best pieces make themselves; they are ‘born’. That is when I am one with nature and my mood is in perfect balance.”
Happy to be residing in Curaçao where her creative juices flow to the rhythm of the ocean and her hands speak to the natural materials they are manipulating, Evelien is living her dream.
Evelien Sipkes’ art can be seen and purchased at Mon Art Gallery.
She will soon be showing in various galleries in the USA and the Netherlands. Her studio is open (call ahead for hours) workshops are available and she will accept commissioned orders.written by Shari Reinhart