Herman Moerkerk about Suze Slager-Velsen

Herman Moerkerk wrote the following story on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the painter in Ons Zuiden, Brabantsche Illustration of 3 November 1933.

Tears Slager-Velsen

1883 1933

In a happy atmosphere of domesticity, surrounded by many friends, who enjoy her happy optimism almost as much as her work, Suze celebrates Slager- On the 6th of November her fiftieth birthday. It will be best if we pick a colorful bouquet and put it by her easel in the morning, open the curtains wide and let the sun (which should shine on that day) gush in. 
She then gets the most beautiful thing she desires: color and light. the sunlight. She paints with joyful seriousness, content and happiness with her sweet talent, and while working, she builds on her happiness in life and that of her husband and her daughter.
Because besides painter is Suze Slager-Velsen a life artist who knows how to teach satisfaction to others. As her life is, cheerful and harmonious, so is her work. Motherly serious, firm, with the charm of the feminine grace and the power of joy. In such an atmosphere all that graceful work was born, which is a constant illustration of the Brabant land. Stiff farmhouses with stubborn, spiky roofs along which she painted the kindness of blooming hollyhocks and sunbeams; small villas whose banality she transformed into painting and from which she made small poems; inner houses without a hint of tragedy, but filled with peace. All her paintings and etchings, brought together in one large exhibition, would give a curious picture of picturesque Brabant. A story, faithfully told, adorned with flowers and drenched in sunshine. She paints with a firm touch, in her own way that hardly betrayed the influence of her teachers in the beginning. She could free herself from it, because her talent was supported by an original view of the fallen. There is nothing in her work that points to a cozy self-righteousness. Everything is conscious, fixed but light and freely painted with a fresh technique and a healthy view of life. 
Suze came very early, when the young talent revealed itself Slager-Velsen in the studio of her grandfather, the sculptor Pundke, who worked in Oldenburg, Stockholm and Bremen and was busy in her youth with the restaurant ratio of the Middelburg City Hall. Because she lived in Oostburg, where she was born, she visited this studio repeatedly.
She received the first painting lessons from Piet Slager Jr. Feldmann, the Lübeck landscape painter, also worked on her development and well-known etchers such as Dirk Harting and Van Raay taught her in the etching technique. When she herself had obtained the authority to teach, she took her students to the Veluwe and enriched, always working, her own experience as well as that of the young talents entrusted to her. 
Then she entered 's-Hertogenbosch into the Brabant painting family through her marriage to Piet Slager Jr.
This was the beginning of steady growth. 
Day after day she stayed in the studio of her husband, who did not take the work lightly and immersed herself in the portraits of countless contemporaries. She leafed through his studies, also got to know his vision of the landscape. Matured herself, she followed his labor and studied his technique. A healthy, honest mutual criticism kept the study fresh. Working side by side increased the intimacy of work, gave it a charm that is only understood by artists who know the shared joy of working together. She was surrounded by the cloths of her husband, her father-in-law Piet Slager Sr., studies of his student De Josselin de Jong and the work of brothers and sisters. She could not wish for a more artistic environment. Talent is family property in her home. It regulates the fine taste, it furnishes the workshops and the living room and it brings happiness.
Success did not fail.
Tears Slager-VeIsen often exhibited in Amsterdam, Arti and St. Lucas in Pictura Veluvensis, in Den Bosch and elsewhere. Her work has been discussed in many magazines, with great appreciation, Art collectors bought her paintings and numerous private individuals rejoice every day for the silent joy. who bring her sunny wipes into their living room.

Teyler's Museum in Haarlem bought an etching by her hand, the Bossche Centraal Museum bought a “weaver's house” and an “interior”. 
And no one who knows her work will marvel at this. There is a cordiality in all those things that makes them desirable. One must see the cheerfulness with which the painter leaves for the countryside, laden with her painting utensils. It is always an event for her. That is the secret. Remain brave and sit behind the donkey every time, as if only now the great luck is about to come. But, the urge has to be there, the inner urge that is irresistible. 
One should not be able to stop working because there is so much there is to say. 
And that is exactly her secret. She cannot stay at home.
As soon as the duties of the housewife are fulfilled, the painting box appears and goes out. The journey of discovery doesn't take long, because they can't wait…
In the heart of the Meierij is a small, old farm. Roses climb against the wall and green-yellow moss crawls over the thatched roof. There are venerable bars against the facade. The house has known the Sans-culottes, maybe even the Spaniards. A lean well hook stands bare between the lindens. 
A blackbird sings.
Tears Slager sees the sun shining on the roses - that's enough… she knocks on a faded door… But Hendrien Heesakkers, who has lived behind it for sixty years, opens hesitantly.
"Wette?" …. she asks.
If the painter was allowed to come in… to paint. No… è ”says Hendrien Heesakkers and she looks at the Bohémien hat, the painting tools and the hair, which blows a bit mischievously past your ears.
“You rent by the trailer…. there…. on the wheike…. outside meude mess as much as you want…. but derrin did not come. ”
The painter laughs and dares to attack the outside.
And when Hendrien Heesakkers, to be on the safe side, has closed her door and left, it becomes quiet in the yard and so poetic that the painter forgets everything, except the roses and the sun. While she works, above a brown hedge comes the neat head of the neighbor, with cheeks red and tight as a wine apple.
"Well, well, .. did you not get one van Velsen ... from Den Bosch!"

The friendship is renewed and while sunlight comes into the canvas on the easel, the neighbor talks about the past….
Suze is seated half an hour later Slager with currant and coffee behind the window of Hendrien Heesakkers. Because when Hendrien came home, she heard it from the neighbor, “that she was one of Velsen… from the receiver from Den Bosch…. where years ago she brews the golden yellow botter ”…, No, mar… And Suze Slager painted both the inside and the outside. This was her victory, in a double sense. for she brought home a charming sketch, which still fills up the wall. When on the 6th of November she sees all the bouquets that will be placed with her donkey, she may be convinced that she has many friends, not only because of her friendly personality, but also because of her work - many friends who meet her wish her family many more successful years.

Herman Moerkerk

Sunny door (cat. No. 27 room V).