I have a vague plan to start working on a painting and I begin with an idea. The painting needs to take shape, blossom and grow during the working process. I start rather chaotically: no preliminary sketch, somethimes a written description of form, texture and colour. I evalve in complete freedom and I do not stick to a specific topic or theme.

This means that all options remain possible. It is an adventure and I endeavour to keep on improvising. The original colours can be altered by overpainting or can be eliminated in part. It inspires me to carry out new interventions, perform new actions or make new associations. The complex layers of paint gradually reveal a correlation, an overall image that is rich in structure, organic or sedimentary, not abstract or geometric but jagged and sentimental and filled with my emotions. My paintings have their own language, a language of paint, mass, relief, shadow and colour. My search for shapes, shades and nuances eventually results in compositions, tensions and order in the initial chaos (orderly chaos).

As a teacher and conservator of paintings, I am perfectly familiar with materials and techniques, the build-up of paintings and the way in which layers are placed on top of each other. The expertise I have acquired in terms of painting techniques is essential for the realisation of my oeuvre. As opposed to my job as a painting conservator, painting gives me the freedom to impovise without having to follow a clearly defined deontology.

Nico Van Dale (Nicko)



1952: Born in Bruges, Belgium

1967: Academy Brugge

1971-1974: Sint-Lucas Gent monumental arts

1974-1976: Academy Gent Graduate restauration & conservation of paintings

1977: Painting restorer / Visual artist


Artwokrs Nicko for sale at Robinsons Art Gallery

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