Born and raised in Amsterdam (1959) she grew up as the youngest one in a large “noisy” working class family near the canal in the then poor Kinkerbuurt (Da Costakade). At a very young age she paid many visits to the Stedelijk and Rijksmuseum with school and with her mother. The desire to learn to draw and paint remained unfulfilled for a long time. In 1974 the family exchanged Amsterdam for (West) Brabant. After some fashion drawing courses in the late 1970s, it would take until 1993 before she started taking classes at a cultural center. From that moment on, all brakes were released. Three to four times a week Debbie took lessons in various techniques with different teachers, 16 years in a row. Ultimately, in 2008, the training at the Art Academy IKO Hoogstraten 5 years of Higher Degree Painting was inevitable and in 2012 a successfully completed gift to herself. She is also the author of the book "Divorce: how 'it' can cheat you". Debbie remarried in 2016 to Peter den Haan and together they are proud of her two grown children Romy and Lars.
2018 was the year of A B S O L U U T, the grandly celebrated 25th anniversary and retrospective exhibition in the Stadsgalerij Breda.
Debbie's work is mainly about the paint, more than the subject itself. She paints quite monumental and expressionist. Since 2008 she has increasingly focused on social themes and likes to work on a subject for a longer period of time and always in series. She likes strong lighting and contrasts and does not want to pursue romance in her images. It is not uncommon for this to happen by means of the frequent painting of underlying cliché images in whole or in part, showing the raw and harsh side of life. Debbie's works are often flamboyant, which lies in the size of the paintings as well as the generous palette, the touch and the subject. She works partly linear, partly pictorial in all possible proportions and often starts from composite images and has a direct way of working.
According to her, art may scour, provoke, raise question marks, provoke discussions and have humor with or without a message. Enthusiasm, curiosity, contrariness, passion and also a great sense of perspective can be found in Debbie's work and are important components in painting.
“With all those sensitive painterly souls I have nothing at all, if the work is dreadful you have to dare to face it and a colleague with objective knowledge that you trust sometimes has to say that to you. If it's nothing, it's nothing, no sad feelings. Paint that trade away and fly in again ”, says Debbie.
Important inspirers include Francisco Goya, James Ensor, Peter Paul Rubens, Johannes Grützke, Per Kirkeby, Neo Rauch and Pablo Picasso. These magisterial teachers are often important components for the theatrical, dramatic, humorous, grotesque, frightening, topical and technical aspect of her work.
2008-2013: Art Academy Hoogstraten Belgium Higher Degree Painting
2005-2007: Cultural Sciences Open University
1998-2010: Painting with various artists in Chartreuse / La Valotte / Lormes (France)
1994-1997: Various communication training courses at Stichting Communicatie in Breda
1993-2009: Drawing and painting lessons, Cultural center Doornbos Etten-Leur