Meet Ton Schulten, the master of color and emotion, whose brushstrokes not only touch canvases but also hearts. Born and raised in the picturesque town of Ootmarsum, this Twente painter is known to art enthusiasts around the world.

Als klein jongetje in Twente ontdekte Ton al snel de magie van kleur en vorm. His talent was discovered early: at school, he was often allowed to decorate the blackboard with beautiful drawings. Captivated by creativity, he chose to pursue an education at the art academy in Enschede. In the world of advertising, he was able to further develop his creativity.

However, with success came doubt: he had less and less time for painting, which was what he truly wanted. He left the advertising world and became a full-time artist. 'The most beautiful day of my life,' as he himself says. He started with abstract works and discovered the Twente landscape in the early 1990s. Through his paintings, full of life and expression, he showed us how beautiful the world around us can be. His canvases invite you to a moment of peace and contemplation.

Ton's creative spirit continued to evolve. What makes his art so special is his rich use of color, his unique sense of composition, and his deep love for nature and the Twente landscape.

In this exclusive interview, we asked him 6 questions that were sent in by you, our customers and followers. Ton was very enthusiastic to take the time to answer them.

Ton Schulten and his wife Ank Lammerink-Schulten. They got married in 1965.

1. If you had to choose one of your own paintings to keep forever, which painting would it be and why?

That's not difficult for me. It would be the painting 'Between Life and Death.' I painted this after my wife and I were in a serious accident in Tenerife (1991) and fell into a coma. A good friend of mine died in the accident. Painting this work was the beginning of processing, my healing process. At that time, I had an almost-death experience: I heard fantastic music and saw the most wonderful colors. I also don't like to look back on that time, but rather forward. Therefore, I am mostly future-oriented.

2. Over the years, you have created many artworks. Are there specific paintings that have a special meaning for you and why?

A very beautiful canvas that I immediately think of is 'Twente, the other Holland.' This painting was exhibited at the first exhibition 'Twente, the other Holland' at the Cultural Historical Museum in Magdeburg (1994).

3. Can you tell us about a challenging moment in your career as an artist and how you dealt with it? [Think about creative blocks, technical challenges, criticism and rejection, balancing creativity and commerce, artistic development]

I learned a lot as a graphic designer, but ultimately, the lack of freedom was decisive for me to continue as an artist. Then I have the total freedom to do with my work what I want. Painting also gives me a lot of freedom and peace. It's then the nice challenge to see where a new work leads. I also don't mind at all if people don't like the work, as long as I find it beautiful myself. As long as the feeling itself is good and I want to further elaborate on it. And whether it's positive or negative, as long as your work evokes something.

4. What is the most unusual or unexpected compliment you have ever received about your art?

That people are so touched that they cry because of the work. That touches you deeply. That the work evokes so many emotions. For example, one man was so moved that he spontaneously bought me a box of good cigars. Were they delicious cigars? Yes, very delicious cigars!

5. Besides painting, do you have any other creative interests or hobbies that inspire or influence your art?
Music, especially Gregorian music. And Mozart. No rock'n'roll or the like. When I'm alone, I like to listen to classical music, which moves me a lot. It makes me quiet and still, and that inspires me to paint again.

6. You use beautiful colors in your work. What is your favorite color to paint with? And have you ever tried to create a black and white artwork?

All colors are so beautiful, for me it would be a shame to only paint in black and white. Royal blue or red, beautiful! Purple tones, beautiful! I don't see myself quickly painting only in black and white.

Finally, I would like to say that our museum is very worthwhile! Here you can see many highlights from my life. I recommend everyone to visit it!

Ton ends enthusiastically by reciting the first verse of the Twents Volkslied:

Between Dinkel and Regge lies a land
Our beautiful and industrious Twente
The land of labor, the land of nature
The ever invaluable Twente
There the golden grain waves on the fields
The swiftly flowing brook turns the mill wheel
There lies the heather in its purple-red gown
That is our beloved Twente.

Would you like to learn more about the beautiful works of Ton Schulten? Visit his museum in Ootmarsum at the perfectly named Ton Schultenplein 1, 7641 MA. Or feel free to browse our collection of his items at this link.