Artist Statement, Awards and more

Artist Statement

As a young boy it was comics that inspired me to draw, and art has been my passion ever since. In my observations of daily life, I explore the effects of light and reflections on contrast and colour harmony. With an eye for randomness I view the ordinary from extraordinary angles or at extraordinary moments. In my still-life and (urban) landscape oil paintings, I seek the drama, the exaggerated and the surprising in objects and places. My painting style is grounded in classic and impressionistic oil painting practice. To share my observations, I view and interpret; I then isolate and emphasize my subjects. My still-lifes take this approach, creating visual narratives of moments in time, and of lives well lived. The paintings reveal rich colours and the play of light and shadows.
In printmaking I work primarily with linocuts, including reduction prints, blind emboss, collage and text. My painting and printmaking are both influenced by European graphic novels and Dutch graphic tradition. My approach to layout and composition is significantly influenced by my experience in advertising and graphic design in Europe and Canada. Similarly, narrative and visual contrast—in colour and value— are essential elements in my work. Traditionally, relief prints were used for illustrations; likewise I create my linocuts as narrative pieces.

Awards and Grants

Exhibition Assistance Grant, Ontario Arts Council, 2020
Annual Juried Show, Art Gallery of Bancroft, honorary mention in the Still Life category, 2019
Leadership in Arts & Culture Recognition Award from Peterbrough County, 2015
Exhibition Assistance Grant, Ontario Arts Council, 2013
Annual Juried Show, The Lindsay Gallery jurors award, 2012
Colour and Form Society Biennial Open Juried Exhibition, third prize, 2012
Seventh Annual Juried Art Show, Quest Art School + Gallery, Midland, Ontario, second prize, 2011
Buckhorn Wild Festival Amateur Art Competition, Buckhorn, Ontario, 1st prize Open Section, 2004


‘Channel’, Book of linoprints from Roll-O-Matic – Public Acts of Printmaking, ArtsWeek Peterborough (2018)
Impressionable Impressions, Chromatic Contrapposto art blog, 2013
‘Rob Niezen reveals the overlooked dream world of our cities at Gallery in the Attic’ by Michael Fazackerly in KwarthaNow, 2013
AGP Inaugural Triennial exhibition catalogue, 2012
Centennial Anniversary Calendar, Siemens Canada, Burlington, Ontario, 2012
100: A Century of Siemens in Canada, Siemens Canada, Burlington, Ontario, 2012
My Favourite Place Calendar, Art School of Peterborough, Ontario, 2011, 2010 and 2009

Corporate and Public Collections

Siemens Canada, Burlington, Ontario
SickKids, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario
Peterborough Optometric Centre, Peterborough
Peterborough Regional Health Centre, Peterborough, Ontario
Siemens Milltronics Process Instruments Inc, Peterborough, Ontario


Launch Gallery — Peterborough, Ontario
Studio 22 Fine Art — Kingston, Ontario
Art Gallery of Bancroft — Bancroft, Ontario
Colborne Street Gallery — Fenelon Falls, Ontario
Watson & Lou — Peterborough, Ontario
Arts at Work

Rob Niezen Artist