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My first impression of Reinder Oldenburger was definitely a good one, as he seemed laid back, kind and very sweet. Off the bat you can tell he was artistic, which he totally is, and he looked quite handsome that one winter day. You see I met him and my friend Jen in NYC to take photos of their wedding at city hall. It was such an honor to capture their special day.

Interview with Artist & Musician Reinder Oldenburger - © Jen Lombardo
Photo Credit: Jen Lombardo

Since that day, I have kept up with what Reinder has been creating and I have to say, I am impressed. Not only can he write and play music but he paints as well. Born in the Netherlands, he started playing guitar at 13 and then later moved to attend the Conservatory of Amsterdam. The artist, 28, now resides in Queens with his wife and fabulous makeup artist, Jen Lombardo.

Interview with Artist & Musician Reinder Oldenburger - © Reinder Oldenburger

Color plays a big part in his art as well as his music. In 2011, he decided to start putting his thoughts on canvas and through this has become a self taught fine artist with clear intention and abstract vision, one held by the great expressionists that have truly influenced him. His work is playful, raw and childlike with a touch of maturity and sensibility. It’s amazing he has only been painting for about a year.

I asked Reinder if he would do an interview with me for the blog and he kindly said yes. I am very happy to share the Q and A we had so you can learn a little more about this unique young man too.

What would you consider your first love, music or art? And why?
I started playing guitar in 1997 when I was 13. I took lessons and started playing in some local bands and eventually moved to Amsterdam to study music at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. I didn’t start painting until much later in 2011 after a visit to the van Gogh museum so it’s safe to say music was my first love.

How do you feel art and music/songwriting influence each other in your life?
I think they are essentially the same. They both have rhythm, color, and structure. I get inspired to paint a picture from listening to music and vice versa.

Interview with Artist & Musician Reinder Oldenburger - © Reinder Oldenburger
Andy Warhol

What is it that draws you to use vibrant colors in your paintings?
I think they’re just mesmerizing! Some of my favorites are cadmium yellow, naphthol red and azure blue. They’re so powerful I find it hard not to look at them.

Interview with Artist & Musician Reinder Oldenburger - © Reinder Oldenburger

How do you feel your upbringing and surroundings have influenced your artistic vision and what experiences have influenced you the most?
I grew up in a generation without cell phones and social media. There was less distraction and more time to use the imagination. I’ve had a very free and untroubled childhood growing up on the Dutch countryside. The skies are amazing over there! The Dutch landscapes are a painter’s dream and I definitely believe that has influenced my perception of space and color.

Where do you look for inspiration?
Most of the time inspiration comes as I’m working. Music and books are some of my favorite sources. I believe that everything I see, hear and experience influences and inspires me when the time is right.

Explain your artistic process when starting to work on a painting.
A blank canvas can be very intimidating. It’s all about being open and fearless, adding and taking away. Every brush stroke leads to another. I often have no idea where I’m going. I basically start building on a simple idea and let the current take me to unknown waters. When I paint I like to listen to loud music and drink lots of coffee.

Interview with Artist & Musician Reinder Oldenburger - © Reinder Oldenburger

Is it ever hard to part with a painting when it’s sold?
For me it’s all in the process of creating. I’ll give it everything and when I’m done with a painting I’m ready to part with it.

Who are your favorite artists and why?
Picasso, Matisse, de Kooning, Karel Appel, and van Gogh are some of my favorites. Mostly because of their incredible use of color.

Interview with Artist & Musician Reinder Oldenburger - © Reinder Oldenburger
Vincent van Gogh

{To learn more about Reinder, you can visit him at reinderoldnburger.com and ryan oldcastle.com. You can purchase his paintings in his Etsy shop. Also currently for sale are limited greeting card boxed sets featuring 8 paintings from his 2012 work which you can buy for $20. He is kindly donating 25% of the profits to the Red Cross to help Hurricane Sandy victims.}