"Indeed, what impresses one about Schiltkamp's encounter with Japanese art is how little she strives to make her work actually look Japanese, even when she adopts traditional materials, subjects, and even formats, as seen in "Phoenix (2003)" and "Mandarin Ducks (2002)." Although both works are Sumi-e scrolls and depict subjects familiar in such formats in a traditional ink painting technique, Schiltkamp's brush strokes remain distinctively, recognizably her own, with the same sinuous grace that we see in the contours of her neoclassical compositions in oils on canvas.'
the November/December issue of "Gallery & Studio"
"Schiltkamp is one contemporary artist who approaches time-honored themes with genuine commitment and unmatched passion. What sets her work apart from others who would endeavor to revive similar themes and motifs as a vital aesthetic endeavor is her ability to forge connections between the classical and the modern, the figurative and the abstract, and thus, as T.S. Eliot put it in his essay 'Tradition and the Individual Talent' to achieve 'objectivity in the continuity of tradition in art.'
'Degrees of Freedom' demonstrates that the fragmented nature of modern reality can be restored to classical wholism with a harmonious composition featuring several figures aswirl in a rhythmic ritual dance. Perhaps the titles signifies the artist's ability to take liberties with the art of the past without abusing the privilege, for this majestic large canvas, with its sweeping compositional rhythms, is remarkable for its exquisitely balanced combination of joyous freedom and formal restraint. The painting can be seen as the visual counterpoint of a well-known definition of poetry: 'emotion recollected in tranquility.'"
" ............. Her way of unifying figural , landscape and architectural elements is markedly modern, for she treats the entire composition as a unified whole in the manner of an abstract painter, ............... Another way in which Schiltkamp makes her paintings resonate as simultaneously classical and contemporary is by giving her figures an intriguing combination of ideal and non-ideal qualities, as well as by introducing a metaphysical sense of space into an ostensibly naturalistic context ......."
".............Regarding trends and current art movements, she is " eccentric " , that is : distant from the apparent centre. It can be said that in her art-work she is breaking a lance for the restoration of tradition, and prepares a turn-about that could result in a changing of the art-scene. Her brilliant canvases meanwhile show us a world full of light and colour in which we can continue the conversation with Petrarca , Dante , Castiglione and other testators of Western-European culture which has not lost any of its vitality but stands open to the future ......."
Frans Jeursen, philosopher and historian,
" ......... yet her mythological and classical paintings are never staid nor stoic, but they possess a driving life-force in the tremendous movement and expressiveness that she creates ......."
"Schiltkamp's large canvases possess an unsurpased energy, owing in part to her compositional gifts , as well as to her unique way with color [...] Maryleen Schiltkamp is that rare painter capable of simultaneously reviving a tradition and extending it beyond its original barriers into heretofore unexplored areas of aestetic discovery ....."