Archive | 2009

Retroactively inspired

7 September 2009

Patricia Van LubeckNormally; first there is my painting … and then Mother Earth imitates me with a pale shadow of my created treasures. That’s how it happens all the time!
Being a painter is a case of self-confidence, isn’t it?

Somewhere in Spain, Mother Nature has been ahead of me.
I created the painting named ‘September’ a long time ago, in the year 2001.
But … last year I saw some amazing pictures of a couple of trees in Madrid. I couldn’t deny that these trees must have started their lives long, long before the canvas of my painting was even woven …

Aren’t they beautiful?

Lubeck trees in real life Retroactively inspiration

Notes for every separate painting

3 September 2009

There are always about 4 or 5 works in progress hanging in my house, in different dry condition. I add one layer of paint and then it needs to dry for a week before I add the next layer or refine the details. Btw: layers are not always covering a whole painting from corner to corner.
If one of them is sitting on my easel again, I always have difficulties to re-connect with the painting in question. Sometimes they have been in rest for weeks and sometimes even for months. But every time it seems I need hours or days before I know how to work further on it, like an interrupted conversation. Most of the times my first attempts are quite pointless too.

To prevent this ‘stumbling’, I always write down a kind of start-up for the next reunion. To all of my paintings there belongs a little scrap paper with the receipt of the most important color mixes of that painting. Also the state of oiliness of the medium of the last applied layer is important to know. And than the start-up. That can be something like: “Next time start with a darker glaze for the shadow sides of the barks. Or “start to pink the horizon”.
It maybe sound like silly reminders, but the moments they came up I’m in the best conceivable work flow to just that particular painting. In those flows I know exactly what the best order of layers or details is. The only problem are the huge interruptions.
I found out the written start-ups helped me a lot to restart. They quickly pull me back into the painting.

Notes for every separate painting in progress

An outer space forest

10 August 2009

Inspiration can come from anything! Hear ….. anything!

This afternoon I found a miniature landscape in my garden. Close up it was a bunch of clear, almost glassy stems with a more than yellow bulb at the top. The bulbs of the longest stems were coloured to bronze. It seems like a beautiful miniature forest on one of the planets far away from here …

Please keep clicking on the pictures, for the full effect:

Beautiful yellow tiny things

Beautiful yellow tiny things

Growing on a colorless 'thing" ...

Growing on a colorless ‘thing” …

An outer space forest

But then, zooming out I saw the thing was just a turd!

Oh, yeah. Of course.

Made by one of my room mates.

Children’s drawings from the seventies

22 July 2009

When I was scanning some old pictures, I found a photo of my Mum.  Behind the head of the boy I caught sight of a familiar looking drawing pinned to the wall. I knèw I still had this particular drawing somewhere in the few boxes I lug with me through my life … I searched and I found.

The painting turned out to be 39 years old. In the corner was written ‘Patricia 5 years old’.
Would Rembrand be a mediocre drawer too when he was 5 years old? Hehehe … certainly! 😉
Maybe the only unusual aspect I already had in my younger years could be the preference for non-blue skies.

One year later details start appearing; A chandelier which -looking at the back bulbs- attempted me to make a kind of perspective. A bracket for the hanging painting and a kind of anchor above the front door.
And although a perspectively correct opening fence was probably beyond me, I found a good lock important enough to draw.

Children's drawings Children's drawings Children's drawings

Long floppy brushes

17 July 2009

I use the liners only for painting grass.
I mix 3 or 4 different shades of green (my favorite green is made by yellow & black in stead of yellow & blue) and I heavily liquidize the seperate mixes with a lot of medium.
Then, with quick movements, I strike every single blade of grass on the canvas.

This is a part of the painting with the Gooseberries, a couple of entries below.

These brushes are called liners.

These brushes are called liners.

Blind fury

10 July 2009

Did you ever explode in anger in public?
Years ago it happened to me in the Body Shop in the Netherlands.

To save the environment they advertised to refill your plastic Body Shop shampoo bottles. I found it a totally logical idea. So I stored my empty bottle of coconut shampoo. For weeks it was waiting in the bathroom. After a while there was emptied another bottle and together they moved to the dresser in the hallway.

One day the 2 bottles finally ended up in my shopping bag and I headed to town.
In the meantime the Body Shop had launched a couple of new scents. I said to one of the shop assistants: “Hi, here are my empty bottles. Can you refill them with this and that.”
The girls took the bottles from me and checked the label. She turned off the cap of my bottle and smelled it. “This has been coconut, so it need to be filled with coconut again,” she said.
“No, this time I prefer honey.”  And I tapped my finger on the shelf with the bottles of shampoo of my choice. And in the other bottle I want conditioner with Olive,” I said.
She sniffed the other bottle too and said: “This has been conditioner with peach.”
“Yeah right, but now I want Olive,” I said again. I already digged up my wallet, indicating that I had no time for her hair analysis.
“That’s not possible,” she said.
“What … is … not … possible? I asked. “The advertisement for refills is still presented on your door!”
“We can only refill with the same product,” she said.
“Well, the original product was shampoo and conditioner and now I want shampoo and conditioner again,” I said.
“We can only refill them with exact the same scent” she said with bored tone in her voice.
“Oh … but I want to try Honey and Olive. What’s the problem?”
“The problem is that the ingredients are mixing together “
“Well, the bottles are thoroughly rinsed with boiling water. There is no drop of coconut and peach left!”
“Yes, but there still may be small particles, which affect the result.”


“Yes, but there still may be small particles, which affect the result.” she said again. I looked at her in full amazement. She probably had learned this at the Body Shop school. But now back to reality please, because I wanted to leave this shit shop, WITH my refilled bottles.
“Yeah I understand that, but that is my own responsibility, okay ?!” To underline I was done with this conversation I already did a step towards the cash register.
“No, we can’t do it.”
“Hey come on! Then do it secretly. I won’t say a word to your boss.” I ran out of patience and I felt that something began to boil in my head.
“No, we can not do it.” she said again and without showing any emotion.




At that time I grabbed the two bottles out of her hands … “THEN YOU DON’T SELL ANYTHING ALL!”

On the way to the door it flashed through my mind what to do with those empty bottles. They had cluttered my dresser for months, but I also wanted to help reducing the landfills. “That stupid girl, we are fighting the same battle!” In a new wave of seething rage I turned around and threw the bottle as far as possible into the store.
I thoroughly hoped I hit something breakable.

On my easel now

20 May 2009

Some of my work is based on natural shapes and forms I encounter in and around my garden.
One of the paintings I am presently working on, has a very direct link to a shrub growing in my garden. It’s a Cape Gooseberry, a fruit generally only used as a garnish in restaurants. Probably because they are so ingeniously packaged inside their paper like lampoon.
If the berries are left to weather, the lampoon turns into this wonderful delicate gauze allowing a good peek at the berry itself. I used this visual effect in a slightly different form.

Click on the image to see the result!

Cape gooseberry on my easel now

Alien invasion

14 May 2009

Sometimes the weirdest stuff happens right in your back yard. It’s been quite rainy the last couple of days and I was amazed by what popped out of the ground next to my compost heap. At first I thought these were the remains of some sort of plastic toy but the material was just a bit too organic. The shape was very geometrical and not attached to anything. A couple more similar objects started to appear from egg like bulbs just below the ground. My next thought was that I had stumbled across some freshly landed aliens ready to roll their way into the world…..
But after a bit of online research, I found out these are actually native NZ organisms called a basket fungi. Such a surreal piece of nature and the eggs are even edible!
This certainly could be something you see back in one of my paintings! Soon …

alien invasion


12 February 2009

For my new studio, I was looking for a cheap carpet where I freely could spill on paint. At first I thought about vinyl, but at the local carpet store I saw a leftover of dark laminate. Oooow, beautiful …

Frank always wants to have a look in other shops first, but I wanted nothing else anymore than that half priced laminate. The last remnant, be quick! “Come on, buy NOW!”
That night I couldn’t sleep. Dreaming of the laminate that would bring me to the stars in my career. Via kilometers of laminate I sailed from one metropolis to another. Sitting on the laminate the finest paintings came from my hands and I made the best decisions in my life. Everything was good and I was happy. That night.
On Friday I got nervous. Imagine the offer was over, the new season was coming (whatever ‘flooring seasons’ may be). That day my English exercise was to personally ask how long the offer would last. No, not by phone. I rather walked to town.

An old woman with angry eyebrows -the disillusioned mother of the carpet prince- strode up to me and asked what I was doing in her shop.
Trying to break her reluctantly I said in a conspiratorial tone that I was very interested in that dark laminate, but my husband could not make a decision. In addition, I put my own eyebrows as sad as possible. Her face lit up and she said, “What if we half the halved price again” My face also lit up and I said, “Oooh, but that will be a huge help.” Suddenly light-footed she walked to the desk and whispered to her heir. His face then also lit up and he said: “This offer is until Monday, but then you have to take the complete stock of that colour!” It sounded like a punishment, but I didn’t care. I said; “Well, I think I’m going to win this fight with my husband tonight.”
“Bye”, I waved elated.
“Bye”, waved mother and son excited.
And so, on my turn I light-footed walked back home. My first and very own haggle! In English!

And because I had to take it all, Frank is now stuck with dark laminate in his office too.