My name is Christel Hoppenbrouwers and I live in Zundert (the village where Van Gogh was born) in the Netherlands.
Ever since I was a little child I have been drawing and painting, but I'm not a professional artist and I don't have a website and I never showed my work to the public. I don't have much of my work at home, because most of the things I created I gave away.
A few years ago, I followed lessons in an art school (something I never did before) but decided to stop after three years because I felt that my work was empty, meaningless, and useless. I was only painting with my head instead of my heart, like I couldn't feel anymore. It has always been my wish that people will be touched by my work, that somehow it will help them a little bit, so I felt it was best for me to stop these lessons. I haven't done much painting [recently] until last October. I did [Judith's] Grandmothers workshop, and at the beginning of the first day, Judith told me that she felt that I should ask for an image for a painting during meditation. So I did and a few times during that day I saw an old face of a woman. That same evening at home, I decided to paint this face. While I was painting, I constantly had to think of Lya (she organized the workshop with Judith). Next morning, I felt that I should give this painting to Lya and so I did.
When Judith saw the painting she knew that she now had the cover for her book about the Grandmothers, because according to Judith this was the thirteenth Grandmother. Lya told me that the thirteenth Grandmother has a special place in her heart. I didn't know this and also not about the book. In fact, I hardly knew anything about the Grandmothers, so this was all a weird "coincidence" for me. I was just painting!
Later that day Judith, came to me and told me that she felt that I would be painting all the Grandmothers and asked me to think about it, if I felt the same. The following night, I dreamt about all these different faces and there was only one I could remember the next morning. (This became the second painting.) So I had my answer.
The Grandmothers appear to me one by one. Sometimes I know her eyes or skin color before I start painting, but most of her face appears while I'm painting. It can be a real struggle for me to just feel and not think while I'm painting. I know I have to let go of controling this and have faith that it is [going to] be all right. (These painting are already helping me!) I also know that this all isn't about me.These paintings are just another piece of the puzzle. I know about the process the earth and mankind are going through right now, and hopefully these paintings can be a little bit of help for some people. (Isn't that what I always wished for?!)
I'm just a hollow bone, like Judith always says so beautifully.