More about Ada

Ada Breedveld

Beeldend kunstenaar

Visiual Artist

Biography Ada Breedveld


Ada Breedveld was born in Dordrecht at the start of the Dutch “Hunger winter” in 1944. Together with Ada’s brother, her parents fled the ruined city of Rotterdam and returned back to Rotterdam, where her second brother was born in 1948. Existence was difficult and hard, just as for any post-war child. Happily, Ada found a lot of enjoyment in drawing and painting. From nursery school age she grabbed every opportunity to experiment with colours and lines. Not a single piece of paper was safe from Ada’s creativity. After her education she started work, but none of her positions gave her the enjoyment and satisfaction that she got from drawing and painting. So All her free time was spent on drawing and studying in order to improve her skills.

Ada experimented with colours, materials and different themes. A magazine in which the meaning of the word surrealism is explaine, focussed her work on “the so-called free world”. The occasionally rather cramped realism was by imaginative. colourful and most of all joyful combinations. By this time, Ada’s artwork had developed enough to qualify her for a Beeldende Kunstenaars Regeling (Graphic Artist Regulation). Now Ada could do what she loves doing: dedicate herself to art. Her career gained momentum. She came into contact with other artist and gallery owners and she contributed to various exhibitions, winning the public award at the Lijnbaan Artist Centre in Rotterdam. Together with other artists, who have a penchant for surrealism, she travelled to Spain, Germany and France in order to visit the principal museums in Berlin, Parijs Londen, New York, Madrid and Barcelona. This also gave her the opportunity to speak with artists and to visit new galleries. An explosion of drawings and colourful paintings followed. She got inspirations from her numerous foreign trips and meetings with writers, poets and graphic artists. Ada was inspired and formed by artists such as: Marcel Duchamp, Paul Klee, Salvador Dali, Felecien Robs and Henri Rousseau.


In 1980 Ada received her own gallery in a school building, where other artists also worked. There she befriended Edward Luyken and his wife, among others. Together with Edward, Ada decided a few years later to move to Amsterdam and to take up residence in a factory premises, where they could live and work. Ada’s children befriended Edward’s children and together they started a new adventure. Ada Breedveld became known a broad public thanks to her many exhibitions at home and abroad. Ada’s art became popular. She painted large fishes which are exhibited in a well-known Amsterdam restaurant. This helped her generate awareness among a specific artist public. It was in this period that she also went to Bergen aan Zee where her fish paintings were displayed in the well-known Sea aquarium. The work “Der Fisch Meines Lebens” (The Fish of my Live) was used for the cover of a German novel “Bite Wend(t)en”.

Her best known works, in which Ada pictures her corpulent  and vivacious women, originate from the comic series 'Sjaantje'.

Ada created this comic series for her mother, who had suffered from corpulence during her lifetime. Ada Wanted to let her mother come to life again in her work, emphasising the pleasant and jolly aspects. Her paintings are as were a joyful renaissance of her  mother. All this has been a source of inspiration for Ada Breedveld now more than 30 years. The joyful ladies are now popular with a broad public and not only in the Netherlands. Ada has held exhibitions abroad, where she now also has numerous admirers. Ada’s works are exported to Germany, United States of America, England, Switzerland, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norwegian, France, Romania, Turkey, Argentinia, Canada en Russia.

Ada Breedveld working method

The first paintings that Ada painted were in oil paint, somewhat gloomy and gray. The designs were also in shades of gray. In addition, she made etchings on zinc or copper plates in which she shaped her images with black ink. A great change took place in her painting style at the birth of her oldest daughter Roos. From a practical point of view, Ada chose to no longer use black ink. She started experimenting with other paint styles. After an experimental period of one year, she made the technique of working with acrylic paint powerful and became her means of expression. There was now a lot of colour in her work!

A small explanation of how the beautiful works of Ada Breedveld come about: Ada paints daily. When she starts a new work, she first determines the size of the canvas. She does this on the basis of a sketch. The canvases on which she makes her work are all made of universally prepared linen. After she has worked out her sketch, she adds structure to the canvases with a palette knife. She uses a Lascaux pasta modeling for this. This paste is extremely suitable for a flexible surface and prevents cracks and cracks in the cloth. The use of this paste creates structure on the canvas that makes the work lively. The crackle effect creates a vivid light on the canvas. This effect also gives the fabric a beautiful skin.

The pasta has a drying time of at least 24 hours. Ada then applies a neutral layer of paint and after this paint has dried she starts sketching the work on the canvas. She makes this sketch with a white blackboard chalk. Hereafter she applies the most important lines of the composition with paint. For most of the works Ada has already figured out which colors she wants to use and which combinations of colors will appear on the canvas. This is the most important thing in her painting process. The colours determine the atmosphere. Ada sees it as a challenge to keep making color combinations that are surprising. She applies the colors layer by layer with acrylic paint to deepen the colors. Sometimes she also chooses to make an underpainting in a contrasting color, this color continues to play a role in the top layer. The process of creating a painting is completely absorbed by Ada. She never paints two canvases at the same time.

The outcome of the work is also not certain. From day to day she determines how the work develops further. In addition, the presence of natural light is very important. In the summer Ada starts painting very early to be able to use the light all day. In the winter she makes sketches in the early morning or does other preparatory work. When her work is completely finished, only the title is needed. Ada did not come up with this so appropriate title in advance, but falls in when painting.



​Ada Breedveld appears regularly in the publicity. Along that there were also many books published or she took care about a lot of illustrations in books. Also a German book cover she illustrated. Below a short list of publications about and by Ada door Ada Breedveld.


Publications in newspapers:

An article in the Story magazine of June 2015 in which Ada Breedveld is called the the Van Gogh of the 21th. century.

'In the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh. Ada Breedveld paints tough women.



    Ada Breedveld

    Hapax Den Haag

    Published 2000

    ISBN: 9076768013

    Bulky woman with a happy appearance

    Collection of works Ada Breedveld put together by Liselot Prumper

    Ada Breedveld (Uniepers, Published 2004. ISBN 9068253239


Collection of works:

    Selected works of Ada Breedveld with texts of Jan Petrie. The inspired by Ada's works Jan Petrie made a lot of poems plus some poems of Jan Slauerhoff, form

    a nice supplement to the many artworks, collected in this book for the first time.   


Der Fisch meines Lebens

    Bitte wend(t)en. Der Fisch meines Lebens

    Heidi en Jurgen Wendt Books on demand

    Published 2014, ISBN 3735727379. Ada Breedveld took care of the cover.


Thousend little mouths

   Kunstcentrum Haarlem

   Published 2007

   24 poems of Jan Petrie illustrated by door Ada Breedveld.



   Ada Breedveld       

   Kunstcentrum Haarlem

   Reproductions of paintings from Ada Breedveld special selected for Sail 2005 with text and music by Jan Petrie. With two screen    


   Signed by door Ada Breedveld. Limited edition.

Tribute to Modigliani

Tribute to Modigliani Amedeo Modigliani's work "Nu couche" from 1916 was recently purchased by a Chinese billionaire who once started as a taxi driver for $ 170 million. An astronomical amount, the second highest amount for a work of art ever. Is this art? Was what Modigliani made art? When he painted it it was not appreciated he was sick and poverty-stricken. So poor that he offered to sell his entire Paris studio for 100 pounds, probably including this nude. Does the Chinese buy "art connoisseur" because he had dreamed of this painting for years? Or simply because it is so expensive? Ada Breedveld has copied the work with a wink. The work Homage to Modigliani is 110x80 cm, production year 2007.


Ada Breedveld

Beeldend Kunstenaar / Visual Artist Amsterdam


Copyright Ada Breedveld