The live of Mies van der Perk is fully dedicated to her art. Her living room is also her studio, wit both easel and a well filled material cupboard.
There is also an antique table with chairs and a comfortable armchair opposite a huge flat screen. Van der Perk regularly draws images of sporting, dancing or making music from television images. She makes these quick sketches in pencil, graph or drawing pen on small format paper. She later works some from metacrylic, ink or watercolor on canvas, or luxury drawing paper. Browsing through albums with photos of her work, it is easy to see how she used different styles over the years and keeps looking for the form that could best express her feelings. Her albums prove to be silent witnesses of a remarkable development process.
Already at primary school in Rotterdam South, Mies van der Perk already showed a striking talent for drawing. She did not score high in any subject, but every teacher praised her drawing skills. The advice was therefore to go further. Because her father an siblings had to work outside the home to feed and dress the large family, Mies stayed at home for a long time. The poverty was great. She still has conscious memories of the hunger winter and the arrival of the Americans with their “tasty cookies and chocolate”. During the reconstruction of Holland, hard work and austere life were also central for a long time. At the age of 29 she started doing housework in two consecutive hospitals. She keeps good and less good memories of it. There were the harassment of colleagues, but also the renewed encounter with her creative side. With a colleague friend, she went to make Christmas cards in a hobby club in the evening. In a group of nature friends from NIVON, her old love for drawing finally reappeared. In a naive style and with different materials and techniques, she made lovely scenes and landscapes, sometimes based on examples, sometimes based on her own imagination. Because this gave her too little satisfaction, Mies started taking courses at the Rotterdam Foundation for Art Education. Following the example of great masters, she started experimenting with different styles. Her portraits and figures show influences of expressionism, surrealism and realism at the beginning of the nineties.
Jamming junks and dream drawings
During her period at Via Kunst, Van der Perk got to know (former) junks, who sometimes made music at the opening of exhibitions and who jammed together every Friday in the Pauluskerk on percussion and string instruments. Although it took her some time to be included in this group of addicts, she managed to outline their poses. She was forced to develop a quick notation style, without even looking at her drawing sheet. These quick sketches are often true gems. In a minimum of lines, she noted the caricature and pain of people who can agree with the music. It seems as if Mies recognizes herself in the tortured person who expresses himself creatively. Because drawing is so fast, she has to let go of her thoughts. It is precisely in this kind of drawings that her work is so authentic.
a New start.
Since the end of 2007, Mies van der Perk has been working in the Herenplaats studio for talented people with an (ex) psychiatric background. After a selection round, Mies also started to belong to this group. Here she works under expert guidance and continues to develop. All kinds of phases of her art and life come together in her current work.