May 2023

Tina Baas

Tina Baas

It’s all possible here

The one special chair, the view, your workplace or that shed. What makes you feel at home?

Where do you feel “at home”? Magazin VRIJ asks that question to Tina Baas today. “I will remain a West Frisian, but here in Beemster I feel completely at home.”

The sun is shining and there is a beautiful glow over the meadows in the Beemster. We drive across the North Holland greens. Once on the path towards Tina’s house you see already some art hanging.

Tina welcomes us and we walk straight into the garden, where iron art is visible. In the back of the garden there is a beautiful small house where her art is exhibited and precisely next to it there are apple trees. Behind it you look out over the beautiful view of the extensive meadows. The Beemster is Tina’s place. She was born in Hoogkarspel, but she lived across the street from her current home in the Beemster for 52 years. That was from the age of 20. After her husband died in 2007, and after another house for a short period, she ended up here. In the seven years that she has lived here, she has completely renovated the house herself and furnished it to her taste. Where the garden used to be full of tiles, there are now trees and green beds.

“I enjoy living here and now I also have a boyfriend, Fred. He lives in the Achterhoek on a farm.

Sometimes I am there. My friends and my family live here, my studio is located here. I remain a West Frisian, but I feel completely at home here. We just had a neighborhood barbecue. That was quite an event. The idea of “now I feel at home” came to me when I had gotten children here. I have very nice neighbors and that means that I have always felt at home here. That has gradually grown. On a special moment, when the kids are at school, it really becomes your place. I never wanted to stay in Hoogkarspel. Here I had the feeling that I could develop myself much more.”

Tina regularly has exhibitions of her work. It was only in 1997 that she painted her first picture “I was in  a depression and then I started writing poems. When I saw someone on TV who wanted to go to art school, I thought: I also want to paint. When I made my first painting in ’97, I thought it was colorful.

But it was close to black. I started attending courses, but wanted to keep it close to myself. I continued to paint.”

This is how Tina continued to develop. She followed the Crejat art course in Alkmaar and a masterclass at the Leeuwenburg in Amsterdam. Now her work is colorful, figurative and sometimes abstract. “It is not realistic art, you have to create yourself your own thoughts about it. I start by briefly sketching some lines and this eventually creates a composition in color. People often appear in my work. Nowadays I also work with old iron. I design it and a friend welds it together.”

Tina regularly has exhibitions, recently in Doetinchem and Zaandam. She paints a few times a week, nowadays often with her friend Fred in the Achterhoek. “Here I often get visits from friends, family and neighbors. The neighborhood here is so nice, like a warm blanket. This is my place, where I have lived for sixty years. I have always experienced freedom here: from playing in tree houses, diving into the grass, shouting very loudly: it’s all possible here. It’s a lifetime. I don’t want to leave this place.”

Where do you feel at home?
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