Engeline Logtenberg, dairy farmer-turned-painter, defies conventions in pursuit of her most vibrant life

By Rebecca ChristophersonMay 7, 2024No Comments

Engeline Logtenberg, dairy farmer-turned-painter, defies conventions in pursuit of her most vibrant life

By Charlotte Settle
Photography by Jill Johnson

Engeline Logtenberg’s essence is perfectly encapsulated in the phrase “unapologetically herself.” With boundless talent, unwavering determination and infectious energy, she effortlessly commands attention everywhere she goes.

Logtenberg’s home in Crowley is adorned with an artist’s touch. Every detail not only exhibits immaculate taste, but also embodies the Dutch painter’s life experiences and interests. Delft Blue pottery — traditionally produced in Holland — decorates her kitchen walls. Built-in floor-to-ceiling shelves, complete with a sliding ladder, house artifacts and books about art, nature, gardening and baking. Antiques from around the world sit alongside black and white photos from Logtenberg’s childhood, arranged so artfully one can’t help but lean in for a closer look.

Engeline Logtenberg fashioned a studio out of a natural light-filled room in her home.

“Every single thing in this house tells you a lot about me,” she said.

For the last decade, Logtenberg has built her career as a painter brick by brick. After a long stint in the agricultural industry and a number of life-altering challenges, she is finally paving her own path — and eager to share her journey.

Logtenberg was born and raised in a small farming community in Luxembourg. Her parents were originally from The Netherlands and she maintained her father’s Dutch nationality. At 19, Logtenberg married into another farming family. She and her husband leased a farm for 10 years, at which point the owner’s family inherited the property. Logtenberg had three young children by then, and due to the state of agriculture in Luxembourg, a future there no longer seemed viable. 

In 1999, Logtenberg and her family followed in the footsteps of hundreds of Dutch dairy farmers who had been migrating to Texas since the 1970s. Among several reasons for this trend were ongoing milk surpluses in Europe, which led to quotas that limited farmers’ production. Not to mention, land in the states — particularly in Texas — was far cheaper than it was in Europe. Logtenberg’s family ultimately settled in Hico, a small city near Stephenville, a little over an hour outside of Fort Worth.

The year they arrived in the Lone Star State, Logtenberg and her husband wasted no time establishing a dairy farm. They leased their land until 2003, when they were finally able to purchase a property of their own in nearby Dublin. Logtenberg ran the back end of the business, comprising 2,000 milking cows, 1,000 heifers, 500 calves and 25 employees. In 2013, she and her family sold the farm.

Leaving agriculture was the catalyst for other big changes — a year later, she and her husband divorced. By that point, her kids had moved out of the house, so she rented a duplex in Stephenville and lived alone for the first time in her life.

“All of the reasons I came to Texas were gone,” said Logtenberg, whose ex-husband died later. “The farm was gone and my marriage was done, so I had to pretty much start all over again.”

Over the next few years, Logtenberg dove head first into reinventing herself, using her newfound time to indulge in passions she had set aside for years. She started a bakery, which she operated out of her duplex, and rediscovered her lifelong love of art.

“I’ve loved to draw ever since I was little, and I am fascinated with paintings by the Old Masters,” she said. “I always knew I was going to paint with oil one day.”

When she realized that day had come, Logtenberg bought a box of oil paints and hasn’t looked back.

In 2018, she moved into her house in Crowley, which became her safe haven and creative oasis. Having lived in leases for much of her adult life, she was determined to create a home that truly felt like hers.

The space not only featured a serene, natural light-filled room that would become her new painting studio, but also plenty of extra bedrooms to host her kids and friends. She even had space to grow fresh vegetables and herbs in the backyard, reconnecting to her gardening roots.

“To have a place that I can really call my own is very important to me,” she said.

Much like her home, Logtenberg’s artwork tells a story of who she is and where she came from. Many of her paintings are inspired by the idyllic European countryside, where she spent her formative years roaming the woods and pastures.

Throughout her agricultural career, she ironically found herself spending less time in nature and more time behind her computer. Her painting practice marked not only a return to her love of art — but also a return to her connection with the earth.

“I want to show the world how beautiful nature is and encourage people to be good stewards of the environment,” she said.

Logtenberg’s body of work features intimate renderings of flowers, landscapes and still life. Known for their photorealism, her paintings portray natural elements with pristine clarity, untouched by decay or pollution.

A single flower, for example, is crafted with realistic textures, colors and light effects, while the background fades into the periphery. Her style mimics what a viewer’s eye would do if it were focusing on the actual object in nature.

For several years, Logtenberg painted mostly for herself, occasionally selling work to friends. It wasn’t until she attended a baby shower in 2020 — where she met Deanna Kienast, a Southlake painter — that she began to consider pursuing it as a profession.

Upon one brief look at some photos of Logtenberg’s work, Kienast immediately asked her where she was showing and selling. When Logtenberg admitted she wasn’t showing anywhere, Kienast insisted that needed to change. Kienast, an artist of 20 years, frequently speaks to art groups and university students about the importance of marketing.

“I told Engeline, when you’re that good, you need to get your work out there,” Kienast said. “There is a true market for still life, for the realism and the quality that she paints, and I’ve not seen anything that comes close to her level.”

Shortly after that fateful meeting, Kienast suggested that Logtenberg present her work to the William Campbell Gallery in Fort Worth. The next day, Logtenberg walked through the gallery doors, showed samples of her work to the manager, Peeler Howell, and secured representation on the spot. Before Howell even saw Logtenberg’s work, he was immediately attracted to her genuineness.

“I could tell that she was very passionate about what she was doing and that she was committed to doing the best work she possibly could,” he said.

About a year ago, when Howell left William Campbell to establish J. Peeler Howell Fine Art, he took Logtenberg with him. He was impressed not only with her rapid growth as an artist, but also her unique ability to create undeniably beautiful work.

“A lot of artists shy away from beauty because they think it’s cliched or overdone,” he said. “It’s a real compliment to her that she’s able to pull it off.”

In addition to securing representation from Howell, Logtenberg has also partnered with the high-end designer Adrian Wright. Two of her paintings are on permanent display at his storefront in The Shops at Clearfork in Fort Worth.

Recently, Logtenberg has taken a step back from realism, challenging herself to paint from her intuition, rather than relying on external inspiration. Her latest paintings, which capture her inner world and emotions, are far more impressionistic.

“She’s developed the technical skills, and now she has the luxury of being able to let her instinct drive her work,” Howell said. “I really think she’s just going to keep getting better and better.”

Logtenberg also plans to introduce self-portraits into her repertoire. She has ventured further into self-exploration as she has stepped further into her own power as an artist — and she hopes to encourage other women to do the same.

“I come from a very male-dominant community and occupation, where women were told they didn’t need an education and their only job was to stay home with the children,” she said. “If you had told me 30 years ago I would accomplish everything I have today, I never would have believed you. That’s why my next step is sharing my story with the world.”

Her magnetic energy and willingness to risk have not only landed Logtenberg career opportunities, but also a tight-knit community of lasting friendships. One night, as she sat alone at the Café Modern bar in Fort Worth’s Cultural District, she struck up a conversation with two women who invited her to join their happy hour group. She took them up on the offer, and every Friday night since, the group convenes as family.

“I have a wonderful and very diverse group of friends,” she said. “We all accept and respect each other the way we are, and I feel super blessed.”


For more information, visit engelinelogtenberg.com. Logtenberg is represented by J. Peeler Howell Fine Art in Fort Worth, and her work is on display at designer Adrian Wright’s Wright at Home in Fort Worth.