Heleen Cornet

Date of Birth1945
Born inGorinchem - The Netherlands
  • Bio

    Heleen Cornet was born in the Netherlands. She obtained a degree in education and a master's degree in fine arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Amersfoort (the Netherlands). After having lived in Norway for a few years she moved to Bonaire in 1975, where she taught fine arts at the high school for five years. After living for one year in Curacao and St. Maarten she moved to Saba in 1986, where she was an art teacher at the Saba Comprehensive School for three years. Together with her husband Tom van't Hof and their two children, she has made Saba her residence ever since.

    Heleen opened her own gallery. She also illustrated several books that were published by her husband, marine biologist Tom van't Hof, for the marine parks of Bonaire, Curacao and Saba. The books Saban Cottages and Echoes of the Past are illustrated with watercolors of the picturesque historical houses on the Caribbean islands Saba and Sint Eustatius.

  • Initially she only worked in watercolor but Heleen decided the paper was getting too small. This made her switch to oil, after studying this medium in Amsterdam with well-known artist Rik Lina. Later on, she discovered the advantages of watercolor canvas and renovated her style. It became less realistic and more colorful because she used the unpredictable creativity of this medium.

    Heleen can often be found at the top of Mount Scenery were she makes dramatic drawings of the rainforest. She has once set camp on the mountain for more than four weeks. These drawings have resulted in large paintings of oil and watercolor on canvas. Heleen also did a mural in the Sacred Heart Church, a Roman Catholic Church in the Bottom on Saba. Here she combines rainforest scenes with religious symbols.

    Another source of inspiration for Heleen is the underwater world of Saba. She made drawings while diving together with her husband in the pristine crystal clear Caribbean Sea. This resulted in the series of paintings of dolphins and other underwater creatures.

  • Cornet has held several prestigious exhibitions of her rainforests and underwater world paintings, such as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Biennial, Santo. Domingo, Republica Dominicana and, the 23rd Bienal International, San Paulo, Brazil.

    More information about the artist visit:  www.heleencornet.com