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