Jeltje Baas - artist

Jeltje Baas was born in Friesland, The Netherlands in 1944. She has been involved in art all her life, but when her children left home there was more time for her to pursue her artistic dreams with study, experiments and connecting with fellow artists.

She paints portraits, landscapes, cows and also more abstract work using acrylic, oils and watercolour on paper, linen,board and rip stop nylon. From time to time Jeltje paints on commission.The majority of the commissioned paintings/drawings are portraits, other subjects have been cows, dogs, landscapes and abstract work with a prescribed theme. An old passion for kite flying, re-ignited by some keen kite flyers, has resulted in two extended series of paintings on kites in the last decade. Since the start of these kite projects Jeltje has been invited to kite festivals in the Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Italy, New Zealand.

Jeltje lives and works in Oosterstreek on the border between the provinces Friesland and Drenthe. She was educated at the Art Academy Minerva in Groningen, the Netherlands. She enjoys teaching painting/drawing courses and workshops from her gallery called Grensweg (=Border Road), named after the raod running alongside the property. The gallery is located in a unique location with views over the fields and offers Bed & Breakfast options as well. The gallery runs continuous exhibitions with recent work, and is open Friday and Saturday from 13.00 to 17.00 by appointment. 

Jeltje Baas 

Dwarsvaartweg 78, 8388 MN Oosterstreek (Fr.) 

Telefoon (0561) 433122 

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Jeltje Baas about her work

The Canterbury Quake Triptych

In March 2011, I painted the aftermath of the earthquakes in Canterbury, New Zealand. The three paintings, a triptych, were shown at the  Souza-exhibition (25th anniversary of this painters collective) in the CBK buidling in Emmen.

The paintings were inspired by my personal experiences with the damage and loss caused by the earthquake (7.1 on the Richter scale) and aftershocks in Darfield & Christchurch, New Zealand. My daughter lives in Darfield, a couple of kilometres from the epicentre. Earthquakes are always a scary experience, but everyone was relieved that thanks to the time 4.35 am and the strict building requirements, there was no loss of life and only a handful of injured people. Just after my return to the Netherlands the 6.3 earthquake on  February 22 February with the epicentre under the centre of Christchurch had a much worse outcome. Despite the lower Richter scale, the quake caused devastating damage above and below ground. Buildings and infrastructure (roads, water, electricity and sewerage services) were destroyed in seconds, 181 dead mostly from two collapsed buildings, and many more wounded. The combination of the direction of the quake, the proximity to the city and the surface caused immense gravitational acceleration (more than the earthquake in Japan), far beyond what buildings are build to withstand. See for an explanation. The city centre was cordoned off for months and thousands of buildings had to come down, because they were damaged beyond repair or would not be able to survive another earthquake. This time I experienced the results via news, photos and videos. The paintings were shown in the CBK building in Emmen and later for KEA in the residence of the New Zealand ambassador. The plan is to sell the triptych and donate the proceeds to the Red Cross in Christchurch. The paintings were exhibited to show support for the people who suffered through the shattering earthquakes. The disaster is still hard to comprehend, costing so many lives, businesses and heritage buildings, destroying parts of the lovely 'Garden City'. In my mind it was like the beautiful New Zealand landscapes were covered in debris, and I painted that. The first demolition of an historic building I saw was the Home Bush Homestead in Darfield in 2010. There have been many since and buildings still need to come down. The left painting is about the movement of the Port Hills, the middle symbolises the cordoned off Central Business District, the right shows the broken remains of buildings and history with a glimpse of the normal beautiful views. 

The landscapes and cows

The landscapes of New Zealand, Portugal and the North of the Netherlands with cows and portraits are my main subjects. The New Zealand landscape is so divers and imposing, every day that I painted here I savoured the inspiration, the experience of getting there, the loneliness, the majestic. To experience a landscape by painting it, is travelling too.

The portraits

Kite project

In the spring of 2008 I launched a new project for a special premiere in June 2008. I painted 6 portraits 'Children of the World': Djanillo, Rajanee, Niño, Jildou, Ciara and Daan. Six Wynpûst kite club members made the kites and flew them in several kite festivals. The next kite project, cow kites, had its première a year later during the 18th Nelson Summer Kite Festival in New Zealand. The cows no longer grazing outside in the Netherlands, I set them free from manure and mud and let them fly over the pasture. The series Tegenvoeters (Antipodes) Kites includes over 15 kites.





An earlier series of portraits has my mother Eva as the subject. She posed for me, while looking at her I created my own reality, capturing the likeliness, but surpassing it, trying to capture my memories as well as the present. Trying to show the face of today with the past shining through. The thin, sparse way of painting in many layers created a network of brush strokes re-creates frail, older skin.  

The portrait is a subject of all times, which stays attractive to creator, model and public. Exploring forms, atmosphere and appeal of a person is often more exciting than doing the same for a landscape; there is an inner life behind the face that needs to be painted as well. 

Mata Hari series

Another portrait project is "Mata Hari portrayed". I have been interested in the phenomenon and person Mata Hari. This made me explore this fascinating personality in a series of portraits. A lino print of the execution of Mata Hari by Johannes Mulders to illustrate a ballad by Douwe Tamminga, was the final push to start this project.

After gathering material from sources such as the Friesian Museum, I started with a series of small portraits. These portraits, showing Mata Hari as a person without her Mata Hari attire, were first exhibited in 2004. After that a series of bigger canvasses showed other aspects, Mata Hari dancing or posing. In 2017 it will be 100 years since the execution of Mata Hari.