6 December 2012 (South Africa)
After Namibia we were in Capetown for a couple of days. The kind of souvenirs I’m always after, are fabrics. I love making clothes and I already do have a huge pile of fabrics in stock, but I can’t pass a fabric store without taking a quick look.
In a fabric store in Capetown I fought a psychological battle with an unsympathetic Indian woman. Let’s constrict these two adjectives and call her Undy.
I found 3 rolls of perfectly matching fabrics and laid them side by side in the rack to have a proper and thorough deliberation with me and myself.
Next to me Undy had her eye on the same kind of fabric, but in different colors than my rolls. But suddenly … she grabbed one of ‘my’ rolls. Of course it was not mine yet. I had not put my hand on it, so … yeah … how do you deal in such a case?
I grabbed my 2 other rolls and followed her to the cutting table. She put her rolls down at the cutting lady and told her she had to do some more flipping through at the bridal department.
The cutting lady started to measure the rolls of Undy in its total! Was she planning to buy my complete pink roll? The full 30 meters? Without leaving to 2 meters for me?
Well Damn! One minute earlier she clearly had seen that I was considering to buy it too!
From pure dudgeon I felt my ears pulling backwards and my whiskers pulling forwards.
Undy’s cutting lady shouted to another cutting lady to help me in between, because she herself would be busy for a while.
So, when she looked the other way, in a split second I pulled the pink roll out of her pile and held it vertically beside my body on my walk to the next cutting lady. I was standing there making myself as broad as possible and intensively watched the bridal department. When my whiskers are pulled forward I’m hardly able to talk normally. Other people probably firmly would say: “Hey lady, I was interested in that roll too, you know!” But then … there is always a risk that I would lose. Irrespectively how dishonest that would be, but I’m not a local. Who know all those women are knowing each other. Maybe Undy is a ‘high roller’.
So to prevent I would lose, I felt forced to be Sneaky & Sly. After all Undy had begun the fight! She played Blunt & Rude!
I slide the pink roll forward a bit and at the same moment my cutting lady did the first cut, the cutting lady of Undy suddenly stood in front of me and asks rather sternly: “Where did you get this roll?”
As far as my evil whiskers allowed me, I put my dumbest smile and pointed to my 2 other rolls. “Aren’t they adorable all together? I want 2 meters of every roll.”
“Yes! But! Where! Did! You! Got! It?! “she asks now with larges spaces. “From here,” I gestured to the rest of the store.
Did you take that roll from my table ?! she asks sharply. “Yeah,” I said in a tone as if it was a completely logical act. She looks past me and asked me: “And what now?”
In the mean time in the corner of my eye I saw my 2 meters were neatly folded on my stack, so I said: “I don’t know … now it’s yours … I think?”
She madly frowned and took the roll in silence.
Pfffff … I felt my whiskers relaxing.
5 December 2012 (Namibia)
Besides the Kalahari desert, another impressive spot in the former German colony Namibia was ‘das Sperrgebiet’. That means ‘forbidden area’ and it is a mining area for diamonds.
I was not especially interested in the diamonds (although for the first time in my life I got fascinated by the beauty of all kinds of minerals), but I was charmed by the desolated atmosphere of the abandoned settlements of the miners.
One of the villages is open for tourists and is named Kolmanskop. These days it is called ‘ghost town’. In the silent, hot weather with a gusty wind what caused a kind of yellow/grey hazy view that was a perfect characterization. All the buildings were deteriorated, but accessible for visitors. A true paradise for photographers and location scouts.
Looking at these images it’s not hard to find out where my inspiration for my painting The same one came from. At least the source of the house is quite clear and maybe the silence of the desert has crept in the painting too.
The silence was loud
Beyond the job of vacuum cleaning
A ‘naturally sandblasted’ window
15 minutes from the ghost town, the colour is back!
A few days later in the Sossusvlei
2 December 2012 (Namibia)
In some areas of Namibia are growing many quivers. As we drive into the field of these special trees, I understand why I had to come here … they are true real-live ‘Lubeck Trees’!
It’s a hidden piece of land with a strange kind of ‘furniture’ of piled stones. Done by nature itself.
The quivers are awesome. Especially in such a matching strange landscape. I instantly became friends with them. And they with me. And we hugged.
I found out that the trunks looks a bit like my painting called Agaricia Bullio! So, another case of retroactive inspiration.
The trunk of a Quiver …
… and her beautiful crown
I admit … I’m a tree hugger
Artistically painted pumpkin parts in the quiver park
1 December 2012 (Namibia)
In October/November Frank and I travelled to South-Africa to visit my Dad and to make a camper trip through Namibia.
One of the things I really have to mention in this art blog, is that the story of one of my paintings, now has become to life …
When I painted Populus Flucta in 2006, the base of this idea (beside the landscaping) were the unique nests build by birds that live in the Kalahari desert. The nests are actually enormous hollow rooms and can contain sometimes more than 100 pairs of birds and the nests can be used by several generations of birds. I had never seen this nests in real. I only had read about it.
Now, 6 years later, we camped at the edge of the Kalahari desert! There was no fence or a border around the camp site and everything was ‘out there’. It wasn’t a difficult decision to set the alarm clock just before sun rise (otherwise it was too hot for a long walk) and sneak into the wide and silent desert. The sky was beautifully lilac and the animals were not to sleep yet.
After an hour I saw a HUGE one.
Here is the first large nest of the birds called ‘social weavers’
They also nesting in living trees
Here you see all the ‘doors’ to the separate rooms
Sometimes the birds choose a pole
19 September 2012
Because I’m a night owl I usually miss a big slice of daylight. That is not handy for a painter, so I’m always alert on interesting lamps.
Today I bought a dentist lamp at an auction.
3 May 2012
A maybe 10 years old idea frequently came up last month. I started to doodle on small memo notes.
A few weeks later the pink notes became little colored sketches, taped together to a mini panorama.
Then I moved the furniture to the side of the room and found a way to hang the parts of a ‘sixteentych’.
The diameter is 3 meter. Or the length of all the canvasses together is 10 meter.
This is just the first layer of paint. I still have a long way to … regret, whahaha.
The first sketches
A taped miniature
Doing a ritual dance
The first layer
Hanging on the ceiling
14 April 2012
Today I received something in the mail I wanted to own by myself for ages. In some way I always found it a kind of ‘tool’ not intended for me. It was meant for shops. But every time I noticed those small colour samples in the paint shop, I stole a few of them and add them to my other few thumbed strips. It didn’t make sense and it took too long to steal every colour that exist.
Now I bought a mature 2-part book with 2058 colors. Every page contains 7 colors and every colour is divided in 6 mini-stickers. I have started to cut off 1 sticker of each color and throw them in a bowl, to grab with closed eyes, for some unusual combinations.
2 April 2012 (Taiwan)
Although in the end my visit to Taiwan, was absolutely one of the milestones in my life, the architecture of Taipei was not attractive to me straight away. It took me a couple of days to force my way into the somewhat impervious face of the city. The buildings are a bit gloomy and dark, without much windows. The most used form of decoration is covering a building from top to bottom under a pancake of small tiles. And the cloudy weather didn’t help either.
I have been in Singapore and Hong Kong, but I can’t remember I got the same feeling of oddness as in Taipei. For me it was a atmosphere of a futuristic scene build in the fifties. It was not a turn off, but more a kind of intriguing. A mix of spooky and fairy. Certainly in the more silent neighbourhoods.
And then sometimes, in the middle of a spooky alley with never a ray of sunlight, right beside the assembly point of trash bins, I saw an extremely colourful, glittery and warm shelter with a mini-temple. Or a tiny, but loudly sparkling little candy shop hidden in an almost black dirty street full of the exhausts of the airco’s.
Of course there also were the new modern blocks and a shiny business centre, that certainly had a more lighter and opener atmosphere. There you find the outdoor cafés, the chain shops and the markets, but a lot of the authentic life of the Taiwanese people occurs a bit more ‘behind the scene’ as we European people are used to. But at the other hand; I am sure that is only on the first sight. The sight of the ignorant foreigner who don’t know his way. The Taiwanese people themselves are adorable!
Taiwan is certainly a land I want to know better. This time I’ve only seen Taipei city, but there is so much more I want to experience. And I will.
Here is a kind of a ‘sound greeting card’. Maybe you can imagine the view was an inspiration for my painting called ‘The persistent one’.
1 April 2012 (Taiwan)
Joining the A.R.T. (Art Revolution Taipei) was a real milestone in my career! The decision to be at the fair in real person was even better. It was all one great learning course!
Before I received an invitation of ‘gallery X-power’ in Taipei to participate this adventure, I never have had much thoughts about Taiwan. Some people I told about my plans even confused Taiwan with Thailand 😉 And to be honest; I had to do some investigation on the internet too, about what kind of country this was.
When the date came closer I got more and more excited about what was going to happen. The organisation sounded so solid and professional. I had shipped my paintings in advance and booked 10 days Taiwan for two. Everything was taken care for.
It was a fantastic experience. The A.R.T. fair as well as Taipei itself. I’m definitely in love and one day I’ll be back!
Remember the sculpture in the back?
Fun to see my own work back in a catalogue.
Wow, they made a banner of my painting! Isn’t that cool?!
Improvising with a microphone under my nose is not my strongest point :-/
These lanterns in a string of 3 kilometre led us from the station to the temple.
A spectacular view from the garden of one of the beautifully decorated temples
One of the rooms in the temple
We rent a bike and had an absolutely wonderful day along the river in Taipei
The famous 101 building. For a short while it was the highest in the world.
For a vegetarian Taiwan is a candy shop!
28 Februari 2012 (Australia)
Together with my parents in law Frank and I have been in Australia for 2 weeks. After staying for a couple of days in Brisbane we very slowly travelled down to Sydney. Frank and I slept in the campervan and the parents slept in one of those cute cabins or little bungalows on the camping-sites along the way. I’m feeling so happy in this country.
Every time I visit a big city (especially in Australia) it seems I’m allowed to take a deep breath after swimming underwater for too long.
I wondered what kind of good deeds the citizens have done in their previous lives in order to be born in Australia. Then I wondered what bad I have done in my previous life that I am NOT born here*. But suddenly I understood! Of course I have done so much good in my present life, I do not have to wait until a next life. I’m allowed to jump the queue! In this life yet.
New Zealand won’t be our final resting place.
The strong feeling what came to me exactly when this photo was taken in Newcastle, will become clear within 5 years …
* But know I know … I certainly realize that being born in the Netherlands, is unbeatable privileged too.
I was just acting (acting is my comfort zone).
And you knew that.