One discovers a book slowly, on reading it, page after page, music more quickly from reacting to its melody, but, with a painting, the effect is immediate. It is all or nothing. One's interest is divided between a quick glance, to learn more and a certain curiosity at differing levels. The complicity between artist and viewers isn't always present, it isn't automatic. An appreciation of a painting can happen gradually. It can come later as a result of a closer study or another viewing.

The painting’s subject of itself, isn’t very important as long as it has a focal attraction. Whether the painting is realistic or abstract doesn’t much matter. The painting must have essence and convey this essence to the viewer without sacrificing artistic integrity.  Paul Delvaux remarked: “An artist isn’t an explorer, he isn’t always discovering new subjects, he returns to the past and rediscovers old themes, which he reworks according to modern tastes.” Briefly: there are perennial subjects, but the same framework and each successive generation reworks it according to his skills. Anyone who tries to reinvent by improving on perfection, will lose his way. 

Therefore, one must find one’s own way to paint and to express one’s art. As Léon Spilliaert said: “Be true to yourself, getting better all the time”. That is a lifetime work, painting in a few hours, each picture. You have to forget old rules which get in the way of discovery in order to make way for progress. Once the art of painting becomes automatic, the work gets dull. Being influenced by someone else, and searching for growth and success doesn’t mean rejecting the ideas of the greats, who influence us. A painter is the heir to the masters who have inspired him. He will be true to this legacy by being guided by them rather than copying them.  

How can one not be charmed by the subtlety of Louis Artan’s work, his beach scenes, or the wonderful landscapes of Guillaume Vogels, in rain and snow, or Léon Spilliaert’s composition of seawalls? And Richard Baseleer’s and Lucie Vermandele’s paintings of harbour views, the seascapes of Frans Hens and the Ardennes village scenes by Albert Raty ?  Finally, the beauty of the works by Auguste Oleffe with his freehand strokes depicting rolling waves, the feeling of pride in the Constantin Meunier's portraits, or the fine drawing and exuberant sketches of Henri Evenepoel and Frans Smeers, not to overlook  the magic art of Jan Stobbaerts and Jacob Smits ?

Didier Van der Noot was born in Brussels 20th September 1961. He is married with two children. Van der Noot is self taught and has painted in pastel and in charcoal since he was 16 years old. He has exhibited his work on fifteen occasions in various galleries in Brussels.

Between 1971 and 1976, Van der Noot perfected his drawing technique by copying the comics of Greg and Dany. In 1977 he discovered pastels, while on a visit to Venice.

Then from 1977 to 1989, he changed his technique, releasing the use of colour from the constraints of lines. First, the image is traced naturally, before being worked over throughout. Then the colours are reworked and blended into the whole, to assure the coherence and unity of the image. In 1989 Van der Noot exhibited at the Gallery “Nuance”, a body of his work. Many pictures from this period are amongst the Gallery’s collection, under the tab “exposition Nuance”.

Between 1989 and 1999, he gradually changed his manner of depicting his art. Van der Noot wanted to move to a larger format, making a bolder statement. The colours remain strong and blended. In 1999, he presented the results of seven years research to the Gallery “ L’Oeil & Racines”. Some of those paintings are reproduced at the Galleries of the present site, under the tab “exposition L’Oeil & Racines”.

In 1999, Van der Noot met the Brussels editor Bernard Gilson who suggested that he would use some of his work, in reproduction, in other art-publications.

From 1999 to 2007, those pastels and charcoal works were used to illustrate four books of the collection “Beaux Livres” and “Abécédaire Sentimental”. Others appear as book covers for novels.

Following this experiment, he decided to concentrate in one subject, doing fifty to hundred examples of the same topic. The Gallery of the present site shows, separately, examples of that endeavour, themed works painted in the recent past. e.g. Ardenne Border, North Sea Adventure, Brussels Adventure, Celtic Sea, Ardennes Adventure, Gaume Adventure, Personal View, The Opale Coast Adventure, Northern Surf,  Soignes Color, Cliffs, Elégante.

Down through the years, Van der Noot search for beauty has remained steadfast and unwavering, proving that the figurative image isn’t boxed in by the frame, but remains fluid and open to the imagination. His hope for his viewers is that they should share the experiences that inspired him, smell the perfume, hear the songs, dream the dreams, again. Art, for him isn’t something just to be admired, but to be tested too.  It is a two way process, an exchange, before being a gift.