Dewy Elsinga’s (BUTTERFINGAZ) artworks give a colourful impression of the world around her. Born from observation and experiment, she records the things that arouse her interest.

Dewy has been creating from an early age, and it has always been that way. In 2013, she started the course Illustration at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, where her love for painting grew during an internship. In Dewy’s work, the structures and patterns immediately stand out. And the multicoloured large sizes. Through her work, she challenges you to connect with the world around you and to discover new things.

Cuypie, 2021

3.15 PM TABITHA, 2021

Dewy is also known as BUTTERFINGAZ, she says about this nickname: “My surroundings used to call me butter fingers, because I always let everything fall out of my hands. So, I already had the name before I became an artist. Later I started using it as a kind of contrarian name. I am very clumsy, but very handy with painting, there’s a contradiction in it.”

Doevoe Gang I, 2021
Doevoe Gang III, 2021

In her studio in Amsterdam-Noord, Dewy strives to keep challenging herself. She does this by searching for new techniques, researching and experimenting with different materials.

Three years ago, Dewy started capturing everyday moments that stand out and fascinate her. These snapshots form the basis for a method that is less abstract than before. “I don’t see myself going completely figurative, there is a limit to it. But I like to play with it, to find a balance between figurative and abstract. People may not immediately recognize an image in my work, but when they see a photo of the inspiration, they recognize it and think ‘oh yes, now I see it’. So, it’s kind of like a game, how can I make something seem abstract even though it’s derived from a clear image?”

Lost Toupee, 2021

Two Herrings, 2020

The elaboration of the snapshots starts with making sketches. Dewy uses India ink for this. The sketches are digitally edited and eventually developed into a painting. “I have a strong feeling that something needs to be added or removed. Until I get to a point where it’s all right. I’m not sure when I have reached that point exactly, it is something intuitive.”