Emotional Realism


Marta Oliehoek-Samitowska

Photo by Daga Samitowska-Oh - http://dagaxstan.photography/

I was born in Krakow, Poland in 1977. My youth in a grey, communistic country - which Poland used to be back then - had a great influence on me. I found myself constantly looking for colours.

I was fascinated with the illustrations in my children's books. I still remember them very well. I think I could call Jan Marcin Szancer, a wonderful Polish book illustrator, my first real inspiration. His drawings were detailed, colourful and exciting and very often had lovely, intriguing light sources in them.

Another big influence was Disney's "Sleeping Beauty," especially the scene when the Evil Queen hypnotizes Aurora and leads her to the spinning wheel. This part was haunting, ethereal and beautiful, with its green light and spooky atmosphere. I wanted to be able to create something like that as well.

And so drawing was a crucial part of my life spent in Poland. But although I had always been very passionate about art, it never occured to me that I could actually do something with it in the future. It remained a hobby.

In 2001 I moved to Delft, the Netherlands, the city of Johannes Vermeer. And I put my art aside. My life was full of so many different impressions, emotions, people, and I didn't miss drawing at all. I occassionally would draw something for a friend or my family, until....


In october 2012 I lost my dear daughter Emma, after 40 weeks of pregnancy. After that I found a lot of solace in writing; just putting my thoughts and feelings down on paper. I also felt the need to draw again.

Since the summer of 2015 I have been working with my mentor Cindy Wider, a fantastic artist and teacher, on improving my technical skills and the conscious use of specific tools and techniques in my art. Cindy's intuition is great and she always knows what a specific drawing needs to have that something special.


My style is realism with very personal and emotional content. As much as I admire artists who have mastered their techniques to perfection and as much as I hope to learn to be the best technician I can be, it is the emotions that I want to share with the world.

Most of my drawings are centered around the theme of motherhood: what it is to be a mother, how special this feeling is, the connection I have with my children and the loss of my daughter Emma.

A wonderful and intriguing Canadian writer Helen Marshall said in one of the interviews, "Write the stories that only you can write." In my art I hope for just that: to create the artwork only I can create.





All works of art on this site are created by Marta Oliehoek-Samitowska.


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