“It all started with this,” says Marco Krauwinkel. He points to a beautiful realistic portrait of his father and his husband. “In 2019 I send a picture of this painting to the BP Portrait Award, a portrait competition of the National Portrait Gallery in London. And as a result, we are currently sitting in my Fine Art Academy in the Netherlands.”
The BP Portrait Award is one of the most prestigious contemporary arts competitions. From the six thousand entries in 2019, the portrait of Marco was selected and chosen to be on display in the National Gallery in London and the Ulster Museum in Belfast. "The moment I saw my own painting hanging in those museums was so special," he says. “All kinds of people came to look at my art and my story. That feeling is indescribable.” After the BP Award, a lot changed for Marco: “Because my portrait hung in these museums, I received many commissions. I could make painting my full-time job and quit my job as an automotive engineering teacher.”
Automotive engineering teacher
“I started drawing from an early age and wanted to go to the art academy or the conservatory, but I decided to choose a profession with certainty. I like to work and create with my hands and that is why I studied automotive engineering. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge with others and being among people, so a switch to teaching was a very logical next step for me.”
Career switch to painter
“Seven years ago, on my birthday, I went to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam with my wife. I really did not feel like going, but once I got there, I was touched by the paintings of the old masters. Particularly the portraits of seventeenth-century painters impressed me. I had never worked with oil paint before, but when I got home, I thought: I am going to do this too. I immediately bought painting supplies and study books and just started. The corona pandemic made it more difficult to carry out assignments. I received many international applications, but the closing of borders made this process difficult. In addition, I spent hours painting, all by myself, and I found that so boring. I am a social person and enjoy being around people. That is why I founded the Fine Art Academy.”
Shared passion at Fine Art Academy
"The purpose of the Fine Art Academy is to offer various masterclasses, lessons and workshops on portrait painting, so that I can share my passion with other artists. Other painters also give courses at the Fine Art Academy. At those moments, I take on the role of the host. At other times I paint together with other artists in my studio or I teach students myself. The best thing about my profession is that I can make people happy with the art I have made. I make something precious for people and that is really a great honor.”
Proper daylight lamps are needed
“I turned a farm in the Dutch village of Molenaarsgraaf into a studio myself. I painted the walls, installed heat lamps and a beamer, and invested in high-frequency daylight lamps. In addition to my teaching position, I also studied physics, so I know that the right daylight is needed to determine the correct color fastness (the CRI). By working under a lamp without a high CRI, you cannot see the real colors properly and the painting can look completely different in a different light, for example under a halogen lamp, than in daylight. That is not the intention and that is why I specifically looked for lamps with a high CRI. That's how I ended up at daylightlamps.ie. I am very happy with my daylight panels. Having good daylight lamps hanging is half the work for an artist. And the LED panels look like skylights, so it is not noticeable at all that there are lamps hanging in my studio. I will therefore no longer look for an alternative, because these high-frequency daylight lamps work perfectly.”
Future plan
Finally, I ask Marco what his further plans are as a painter, to which he replies: “I can really lose myself in the Fine Art Academy at the moment, but I would really like to expand the academy in the future. A registered academy, where I can teach myself. That is my future dream.”


Do you want to know more about the Fine Art Academy? Check out the website: https://www.fineartacademy.nl 
The lamps in the photo’s:36 watt LED panel 60x60 cm 

Text: Elise Spiering