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Petronella G.W. van den Berg was born in the Netherlands on September 12, 1958 to loving parents of a family of eight children. From an early age Petronella showed an aptitude for colours but her personal journey as an artist would not begin until her mid-twenties.
She married at a young age in 1979, but tragedy struck in the early eighties when her young husband passed away. Her parents and a brother died not long afterwards. These terrible events precipitated a re-examination of her life, whereupon she left her professional career to devote herself to her artistic talent, attending the Academy of the Arts in Zutphen for 5 years.
By the late nineties, Petronella had found her true métier: sculpting in stone. For over two years, she apprenticed with some of Europe’s and Africa’s leading sculptors:
In 2002, Petronella immigrated to Canada. She now lives with her husband in Naramata, B.C., where her UNIQUE Art Studio, Sculpture Garden, Art Gallery, is located. Once settled in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, Petronella began sculpting and painting in earnest. She has been a full-time, contemporary acrylic and sculpture artist since then, developing her unique and moving perspective on the human figure. For Petronella, each painting and sculpture is a creative adventure involving a personal and lonely journey.
Working with mostly hand tools, Petronella sculpts directly out of stone using its contours as her guide and respecting its natural material. She has created sculptures from Soapstone, Alabaster, Marble, Granite, Limestone, Pyrophyllite, African Wonder stone and Serpentine from Zimbabwe. She works mostly without sketches, using the inner vision of her mind's eye as well as a photographic memory to guide her
For more than 20 years, Petronella has mastered techniques by learning from her mistakes while she paints and sculpts her dreams into reality. Her works are currently in the homes of private collectors throughout North America and Europe
Petronella's journey has led her to create a strong brand. Her paintings and sculptures are a style of grace and simplicity in figurative and abstract design with elegant presentation. The major characteristics of her art depict the human condition
Art is all encompassing in Petronella's life. It is part of her soul.