He is one of seven children to Dutch farming parents. He worked in oil extraction in Angola surrounded by military. He was widowed from his first wife, is separated from his second and would like to travel more if he had the money. He has four children and wanted to give his portrait to his daughter who was interested in art. He has been working in the tar sands on and off since the 1970s and doesn’t have much connection to his Dutch family in Ontario. He has good aboriginal friends where he lives in northern Alberta, and has a good knowledge of Alberta’s rivers where he canoes.