To start a painting, Aline Verstraten uses a reference picture that she took of her direct surroundings. However, she tries to erase the personal and recognisable, as well as the specific conditions of the moment the picture was taken. Because of the absences Verstraten thus creates, the spectator can fill in his or her own emotions and thoughts. Together with the small formats of the paintings, this invites the viewer to approach the artwork physically and psychologically as closely as possible, without ever being able to truly reach the image. This ambiguity between attraction and inaccessibility is part of Verstraten's research into the concept of the withdrawing image. Important sources of inspiration are the paintings of Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) and Edward Hopper (1882-1967). Similar to the works of these artists, the paintings of Verstraten contain a subtle symbolic layer, which covers the realism with a certain poetry.