My name is Cora Zuiderhoek. I was born in 1948 in Amsterdam. I live in a houseboat on the river Spaarne in Haarlem. For as long I can remember, I have loved to draw. It must have been in my genes, for my ancestors and family were all involved in the arts. Andries Hollinga painted brooches for the rich at the end of the 19th century , Bouke and Johanna design beautiful jewelry , Damiaen is a renowed woodworker and my mother painted amazing Indonesian watercolors. My family have been always the basis of my creativity.
In 1983, I was introduced to the wonder of silk painting by the well known Dutch silk painter Ria van Els. I became fascinated by all the possibilities and techniques and expanded my skills to include painting/designing clothes, Oriental techniques including batik, tie dye, Chinese silk painting and design/painting of kimonos. In 1986 I began to teach silk painting. My work has been shown at fairs throughout Haarlem, Heemstede, Spaarndam and Bergen.
In 1989 I created a series of painting based on King Arthur and was invited to exhibit my paintings at Baron Hotel in Zoetermeer. The series included 40 paintings in a variety of silks including pongé, satin, crepe de chine, georgette. My exhibition at the Baron Hotel was the prelude to multiple exhibitions (link to silk paintings). Striking paintings were the chess boards, which symbolized that Arthur was in fact a pawn, Wizard Merlin a great manipulator, but that the Lady of Avalon actually was pulling the strings.
Eager to learn more about watercolors, I became a member of a painters club led by Kees van der Horst. over the next 12 years, I have built up a collection of watercolors that features Indians, spiritual images, toreadors, famous people, goddesses and Power Women. I had several exibitions in hospitals and in 2007 I organized a large exibition in the nursing home Zuiderhout in Haarlem where almost 70% of my collection was sold.
After the death of our mentor the members of the painters club have decided to go ahead as a group. We come together every Tuesday in my home studio to paint and to learn from each other.
In 2016 I expanded my style. While attending a workshop featuring “fat ladies”, I was inspired by the cheerfulness and the humor exhibited in the paintings. I began to create narrative, cheerful acrylic paintings. My new style has been greatly appreciated and many of my “fat laddy” paintings have found new homes abroad. Many more requests are coming in for these custom designed paintings.