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Rikki Tollenaere

Rikki Tollenaere

Marieke (Rikki) Tollenaere was born into a Flemish family of artists and raised in Antwerp.

Rikki studied Art at St Lucas Institute during high school; followed by Interior design at the Academy In Antwerp and later honed her skills in a Master Painter course at Meylemans’ School for professional painters, specializing in trompe l’oeil and marble and wood imitations.

After her studies Rikki ran her own painting business in Belgium; completing many projects in private homes and commercial premises. Often working closely together with Interior designers and antique dealers.

From a very young age Rikki was attracted to the sea; then in 1998 she had a chance to sail to the Caribbean; she did not hesitate. Rikki packed her bags and this led to a career as chef on private sailing yachts.

After having sailed for many miles around the Mediterranean, Caribbean, North America, the Indian Ocean and south East Asia; the sea is Rikki’s most significant inspiration; the colors, its movement and the different moods of the ocean reflect in her work. Rikki’s training and painting background enables her to paint with great detail and precision.

Rikki now lives in Mallorca where she started painting on canvas in 2004. She has held exhibitions in the Uk, Mallorca and Antigua. However, her paintings are all over the world, through commissions. and sales.

Rikki’s favorite medium is oil paint, at times her paintings are hyper realistic, but she also likes paint seascapes in an more abstract way to give the viewer room for their own interpretation and the ability to dream away.

You can see more of her work on her web site or follow her thru social media .

Click on any image to see as a slide and get more information

Artist Statement

I am an artist of the sea

Capturing her forms, colours, and moods on canvas.

Whether realistic or abstract, drawn from my imagination or a photo, I hope that the viewer of my work can immerse themselves in the vastness, the mysterious, the calmness and yet great energy that water is.

Oil paint is my favourite medium, that I build up in many layers to create depth and richness.  But when I create more abstract seascapes, I enjoy combining oils and acrylics, and using not only brushes, but pallet knifes, pieces of wood, syringes... anything can work…

And I love the unexpected effect of using different mediums, as if the painting paints itself and comes to life.

I do not only draw my inspiration from the sea, but all the beauty that is around us in nature and try to combine this in my work.

When I started painting on canvas in 2004 my paintings were more abstract, using collage with fabrics, stones, gold and silver leaf. 

As my skills improved I challenged myself to paint more and more realistic, not only the water but also the sky, often using a picture as reference. Which led to my ongoing project #Making100waves. A body of 100 works depicting waves in all their different forms and colours.

Alongside I have a collection of paintings painted from my imagination,  leaving room for interpretation and a connection with nature; Be able to dream of a far away place, and feel tranquillity, happiness and peace.

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