Tuesday, August 21, 2007

first post: the background

Biography: I was born Elisabeth Johanna Herweijer on February 24, 1942 in Hilversum, the Netherlands. As a child my artistic development was encouraged by private art lessons in drawing and painting. After middle school I studied fashion design in Amsterdam and worked in a animation studio in Hilversum for Polygon.

In 1963 I traveled to the United States (Worcester, Massachusetts) to work as an au pair. During this time I met Pieter Paul Donker, a dutch journalist working for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. We were married on May 16, 1964 and have two children Coert Henri (1965) and Cornalijn (1966).

We currently reside on our farm outside of Worcester, where I do my best to work daily in my studio.

Artwork: My experience up to 1978 was focused on stained glass; learning techniques and later teaching. I did my oil painting primarily during vacations on Cape Cod. In June of 1978 we were lucky enough to buy the North Bend Farm, in the Tatnuck area of Worcester. It was here that I became interested in wool fiber. With much hard work we rejuvenated the run down farm and started sheep and Angora goat farming. Between spinning, weaving and knitting I also gave educational tours for local schoolchildren and daycare groups. During these years the oil painting was again in the background.

In 1988 I started painting on ceramic tiles and mugs. These quickly became too small for my designs so I moved on to plates and bowls..... and bought a kiln. After extensive research in Europe I registered a trademark, Worcesterware and started producing complete services and commemorative plates. My work has been presented to former First Ladies Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton. In the meantime I also did ceramic repairs and restorations.

As Worcesterware became more business oriented I, as an artist, began to lose interest. I slowed down and eventually stopped the commercial operation and once again started oil painting.

On my 60th birthday in 2002 I decided to retire. Since then I have devoted my time to painting, mostly in my studio or garden. I also enjoy painting with the Princeton Art Society and periodically volunteer time as an art teacher at a local rest home. Occasionally I accept commissions for portraits or other works.


Anonymous said...

Hallo Bertha wat een mooie pagina, ik sta versteld van je kunsten. Ik hoop dat je er veel reaktie's op krijgt.
Fantastisch..... Jil

First Taste said...

Elisabeth, I found you! I am so pleased that there is a way for the world to meet you, your art and the joy you bring to all that know you! I am a big fan..your friend (and garden rejuvenator)-Lorinda