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The Distinctive Style of Yvonne Vander Kooi

A mural of figures and faces, layered over one anotherSacred & Forgotten

Yvonna Vander Kooi is a painter based on Vancouver Island. In her artistic practice, Yvonne produces works that oscillate between figuration and soft abstraction, often combining the two methods into wildly colourful compositions that invite personal reflection and connection.

A painting of a childlike figure on a bright orange backgroundBecoming 3, acrylic on canvas


I really enjoy Yvonne’s distinctive painting style. In recent years, the artist has been leaning more into a blend of figuration and abstraction, creating a series of paintings that explore imagery and expressions from childhood, often by juxtaposing partially abstracted childlike figures with brightly coloured backgrounds that tend to intersect with the outlines of the subjects that they frame.

The front page of Yvonne Vander Kooi's art portfolio websiteThe front page of Yvonne's art website,


There’s an interesting tension between the human figures and the backgrounds in Yvonne’s works. The figures themselves are often distinguished from the backgrounds not only by their outlines but through the use of a more subdued colour palette. The points where background colours intersect with the figures, then, lend to the sense that these figures are being slowly swallowed up by the colours around them.

An abstracted painting of plant formsSedges on Red, acrylic on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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