Henk Molenaar (born 1933) started his career as an artist ('plateelschilder', painter on unglazed bisque) in the workshops
of "De Porceleyne Fles", the sole manufacturing company of the famous and unique Delft Blue ceramics.
Soon he completed his formal artistic education at the "Koninklijke Academie" - the Royal Academy of Art - in The Hague,
and set out to be an independent artist.
At first, he focused on drawings with ink on paper. In these works, often of a naturalistic nature, ink could at the same time be used
as a medium to paint. Subject matter were originally landscapes and cityscapes, usually created outdoors. Later he could be fascinated by
quite ordinary objects and meticulously went about rendering what he perceived.
Gradually, this evolved into expressionist
drawings and watercolours; examples being several thematic series, inspired by eg tables; or the collection 'A rose is a rose', a series
of 100 drawings of roses in various gradations of abstraction, each combined with an aforism by Trudy Molenaar, his wife.
This series was acquired by Museum Het Prinsenhof in Delft.
During the 1960s and 70s Henk made many etches. When he moved into a spacious studio in the centre of Delft in the 1980s, he abandoned etching and
started to work with oil on canvas. A number of quite sizable canvases saw the light in the years after. At first, expressionist works inspired by the sea, and later
Throughout his life, his love for the sea and its shores lead to numerous watercolours about that subject.
Henk feels indebted to several Dutch masters, in particular Van Gogh, Mondriaan en Schoonhoven.
To live, to draw, to paint, all feels to him to amount to the same.
"My painting tells something about my way of life. Sometimes easy going, sometimes with great difficulty - like life itself.
But greatly gratifying, certainly when one succeeds despite oneself."
Henk's meanwhile long life has been fully devoted to his work.