In the city he visits
the studio of Willy Boers, who later founded the Vrij Beelden group. Willy, a
craftsman, teaches Herman the technique of oil painting. A year later Herman
van Valen rents his own studio at the Snoekjesgracht, in the heart of the
city. Here he masters a number of different techniques, such as etching,
dry-needle and lino-cut printing.
Early days: Herman portrays
his wife Philomena
After the second world
war Herman meets Constant, the famous painter who at that time belongs to "de
Experimentelen". Constant helps Herman to find his own direction in art, his
own world. Constant lets Herman stay in his house, while he visits his friend
Jorn in Kopenhagen (Constant and Jorn later founded the
Cobra movement.) Herman even gets
permission to use Constant's materials. Big deal; Constant appears to have
taken all the good colours with him on his trip...