By Yasmijn Jarram

Gijs Frieling paints landscapes, animals, plants, still lifes and portraits – in fact everything that traditional painting encompasses. He works with egg tempera on canvas and paper, but also creates mural and ceiling paintings or even works of embroidery. In recent years, Frieling’s murals enter into a direct relationship with their surroundings: they are related to the skirting boards, doorways and window ledges of the room they are in. His ornamental paintings of plants, animals, columns and loops confirm the existing architecture, while fundamentally changing the room at the same time.

Frieling’s wall paintings sometimes serve as backgrounds for small paintings or works of embroidery. These small works of art are sometimes created by Frieling himself, but they can also be copies of existing works of art – ranging from ancient masters to anonymous or forgotten artists. The embroidery are usually replicated paintings by Frieling and other artists embroidered by others. Not only art history but also religion is an important theme in Frieling’s work.

Frieling always works with assistants for his large murals. As everything is painted by hand, without using either projections or sketches, the end results are a mixture of different personal handwritings. The emphasis is not only on the visual end result but also on the painting process leading up to it.