about Erna van Lith

My name is Erna van Lith. I was born in Berlicum in 1961.
Portraits fascinate me; I prefer my models to communicate with the viewer, face-to-face. The most exciting moment for me when creating a portrait is when the subject starts to look back at me.
Each portrait reveals a unique personality. In a face, there is much hidden about who you are, how you perceive the world, which family you belong to, and who you resemble the most.
I feel like I have “always” been drawing.
I discovered my talent at a young age. I learned to faithfully capture what my eyes saw on paper, preferably the people around me.

Driven by this innate interest, I studied art history in Nijmegen and completed my studies in 1986. During the course, I learned observation skills.
Virtually anyone can see, but for an artist, the ability to observe is the most crucial skill.
In the years after my studies, I further honed my technical skills by taking classes and workshops from various teachers. I continue to do so. It is particularly inspiring to acquire new techniques, perspectives, and ideas in this way.

Under the inspiring guidance of artist Henk Groenendaal, with whom I took lessons until 2016, I gained the confidence to step more into the public eye.

Today, I create both painted portraits in oil and drawings with pencil and ink.
For the creation of a good portrait, technique, skill, and practice are undoubtedly important. However, the best portraits often emerge by not overthinking and purely responding to what you see and feel. This is when uniqueness, character, and emotion come together into a face, resulting in a remarkable painting.