1957 – 2012
Originally from Holland, Luc Leestemaker’s paintings combine the Dutch landscapes of his native land with skies of his home in the new world. In 1990, Leestemaker immigrated to the Unites States leaving behind his family and a successful career as an artist advocate. Experiencing a difficult and dark period in his life, he left in search of optimism and found a new life.
Leestemaker comes from a long line of artists. Both his grandfather and great-grandfather were painters who supported their families by teaching art. Though his grandfather died when he was only three, Luc continued to feel his grandfather’s presence whenever he would experiment with the paint box he had left behind.
Luc pays homage to Dutch traditions with his dark under painting of ochre and deep reds pigments, but he draws from more current influences as well. His treatment of the canvas with layers of concrete is inspired by the rich textures of the California coastline. He is enamored with the order of Mondrian but also the chaos of Van Gogh. He finds freedom in the raw, authentic language of the American abstract expressionists. His current period of art emerged after a series of dramatic events in his life including the near loss of his sight in one eye.
His media includes the use of acrylic paint, concrete and oil varnish. These combine to create dramatic color, texture and luminosity. He has been painting steadily for 15 years and has been working in his current style since 1998.
Leestemaker has shown extensively throughout U.S. and Holland. Most recently, Luc was honored with two solo museum retrospectives at the Bakersfield Museum in California and The West Valley Museum in Arizona in 2004. His work has been featured in several major films, including Erin Brokovich, Bringin’ Down the House, and Steve Martin’s film Shopgirl. The fall of 2005 brought another museum exhibition at the Riverside Art Museum in California.