With a passion for art that sparked from a very early age, Belgian-born artist Isabelle Scheltjens uses glass in a surprising way to create spectacular portraits. By fusing together hand-cut pieces of glass in an oven at 800 degrees Celsius, Isabelle manages to create abstract images up close, yet dramatic and precise portraits from a distance. Minute, painstaking preparation goes into every portrait. It is a labor-intensive method that is in stark contrast with the “fast-forward” lives we currently have. But in order to fully appreciate Isabelle’s creations, we must first take a step back and understand how she developed her unique technique.
Isabelle Scheltjens “The Queen of Dots”
Isabelle Scheltjens was born in Belgium. Encouraged by her parents, she decided to pursue her innate passion for art. She studied at SISA – the Antwerp City Institute for Decorative Arts and Crafts. Her first contact with glass as a creative artistic medium took place in the workshop of her husband, Dirk Neefs. He is a glass craftsman who creates glass windows for churches, monuments, and other interior design projects. Inspired and fascinated by the colors, Isabelle started experimenting and playing with the glass. It all came somehow naturally and intuitively.
However, after this first contact, it took her years of intensive practice to perfect her technique and to fully master the color theory. She managed to create a unique glass-fusing technique. Thousands of pieces of glass in different colors, textures, and sizes are juxtaposed one on top of the other and then melted together in an oven at 800 degrees Celsius. The result: a completely new color from a distance. The unique arrangement of colorful glass pieces is similar to the technique used by pointillist painters: they form an abstract image up close, yet a striking and precise portrait from a distance. It was this technique that gained her worldwide recognition and the nickname “The Queen of Dots” in the art world.
Isabelle Scheltjens has had an amazing start to her career. Having been present in the art world for almost a decade now, she has managed to acquire international acclaim and recognition, and have her artworks exhibited for sale in galleries all across the world – Dubai, Saint-Tropez, New York, Monaco, London, Paris, and many other places. In June 2021 she finally decided to take things a step further and open her own private gallery in sunny Costa del Sol. BLIZZ ART GALLERY is happily waiting for art lovers to pay a visit to Puerto Banus (Marbella) so they can experience directly the beauty and uniqueness of Isabelle’s creations.
Isabelle’s style produces dramatic optical effects: she captures the dance of light and color in such a way that a snapshot taken by a photographer is transformed into a black, white or sometimes colorful portrait. An interesting and intriguing process whose result relies on the viewer’s perceptual capacity. Since all the pieces of glass (from the smallest to the biggest one) are hand-cut, the process by which an artwork comes to life is extremely arduous. Every portrait created by Isabelle carries forward her message: every now and then, we should hit the “pause” button of our busy and frantic lives, and stand still for a moment. Contemplate. Reflect. Enjoy the beauty around us. And inside us.
Isabelle’s work is centered on portraits, as she has always had a fascination with faces and how they can be “read” to understand someone’s personality. Every face hides an entire unseen universe behind it. As an artist, she has always been intrigued by the duality between the apparent perfection – especially from a distance – and the imperfect reality when viewed from up close. Isabelle has very high artistic standards. That is why no two works are alike, even if they might seem similar. Every artwork that comes out of Isabelle’s hands is unique. All the pieces can be created in many different dimensions ranging from 100×100 cm to 250×190 cm (her biggest artwork yet), depending on the needs and specificity of the client.
As can be seen below, she also creates personalizations – meaning portraits based on a photo provided by the client.
If you’ve fallen in love with Isabelle’s creations as much as we have, or if you are simply fueled by the curiosity of seeing and admiring her artworks up close, the contact details of BLIZZ ART GALLERY can be found below. The gallery is open to all those who want to enjoy a moment of beauty and authenticity in their lives.