Seeking out, collecting. Finding harmony where at first sight that seems impossible. Bringing it to life. Searching and finding something you never even suspected. Being surprised by the unexpected. Showing what is inside; what you think and what you feel, and capturing that on the canvas.

A core theme in visual artist Miek Diederen’s work is creating order among chaos. Miek has this to say: “in order to realise my ideas I need chaos. By making a few lines on a white canvas with a paintbrush, in a sense I damage it. I am driven by the ambition to restore order to that which has been broken”. A theme takes on a life of its own, a concept simmers and bubbles. A few large splashes of paint form the initial impulse for an artwork that will continue to shift in shape until its ultimate form expresses the perfection she is looking for. Quite often materials like concrete and jute are to be found in her work. Miek: “What I want to do is to use materials that don’t belong together in such a way that they form a whole again. Constructing with concrete, jute and paint to make a whole”. Yet another example of the search to create unity out of chaos.

“While I am painting I am also an onlooker of my own work. Before my eyes an idea develops out of chaos, to become a harmonious whole”. And on that road leading to harmony she likes to continually surprise herself. “I allow myself to set off down new paths. I don’t want to feel forced to be stuck with just one original idea”. And in this way a work keeps on changing form. Anyone who comes to take a look after two weeks of painting work will often see a completely different painting from the finished work some six months later.

Surfaces are worked on painstakingly, again and again. Searching for the ultimate form, structure and colour. She will re-style areas of colour up to twenty times. Looking for just the right extra layer or nuance of colour. There are 120 tints of just one colour, which express themselves slightly differently in every painting. Even overpainting with the same colour delivers a different colour ultimately, due to the layered quality and the different angles of the light. This layering is a very recognisable style element. Miek: “I work a lot with layers, because they give a painting structure. Every layer has its own dynamic, which makes it unpredictable. Those layers enable you to keep on discovering something new, every time you look at the painting”.


Other works (see Triptych - Diptych - Figures in the gallery) is a series of paintings which form, in a sense, one interconnected whole, whilst each retaining their own identity and character. The surprise is always to be found in the effect that these combinations set in motion. In the case of the Figures ("Gestalten"), each individual painting measures 170 x 90 cm.