Archive | 2017

Lethbridge gallery

I became a finalist at the small scale art award of the Lethbridge gallery in Brisbane. An art contest for small paintings. I was not able to be present at the announcement of the prizes, but it’s still fun to discover on Instagram the gallery owner picked just MY paintings to feature in advance!

Early works

When packing our stuff to move from New Zealand to Australia, I found some of my early paintings. As an artist I was a late starter (at the age of 26 or 27), so my first paintings are about 25 years old now.

A couple of years ago I painted a few portraits in a slightly off-realistic style and I certainly will go on with that project as soon as my time-seeds are germinated. But seeing my 25 years old paintings again, I realized my preference for ‘weird faces’ was already visible in my early days.
In 1993 I collected pictures from newspapers of people who were in some way ‘in action’. After I had a bunch of good mugs, I played around with the copying-machine to resized the pictures to my liking. Then I stuck them together in a way as if they are looking towards you.
A bit more experienced now, I would say the perspective, details and lighting is ‘somewhat challenging’, but this are still the kind of faces I would have chosen these days too.

havencafe, early havencafe detail 1 havencafe detail 2 References

I regret I only tore out the pictures and was not interested in the text in the newspapers. The only caption I remember was the guy in the green shirt. He was a golf player and was watching the trajectory of his ball towards the hole. On the painting you still can imagine he was carrying a golf stick in his left hand.

Some of my art treasures

Bakers don’t need to buy bread. Wood choppers are never in need of firewood. I hardly can imagine a general practitioner consults a general practitioner. And your drug dealer, well … you got it.
Some artists may think other artists are no target audience for their attempts to sell their art, but I certainly do buy art from other artists.

aardbeien, art treasures, strawberries, volcanoFor example; This was the first artwork I bought in a gallery 25 years ago. Actually I got it from my friend. It measures 8 x 8 centimeters and is signed with Kaja ’90. We thought it was an artist from Eastern Europe.
In the same gallery, I saw another painting that hit me right in the feels. A weird anciently scene, a gloomy sky, and in the middle a totally out of placed guy with a shocked face, sitting in a folding chair. Around him, a circle of used tissues?
Those days, in my mid twenties, that painting was way too expensive for me, so I let it be. I had forgotten to print in his name in my memory, but it would turn out I didn’t forget the scene.

Later on, I started my own art gallery in the Netherlands. Beside exhibiting my own work, I also showed the art of fellow artists. One day I had invited an artist to come over to the gallery to show his work and I was thumbing through his portfolio. On the very last page I saw … a painting with a lonely guy sitting in a folding chair in a dark and desolate landscape!

ophof800It was still available! I was delighted.
The artist was Alfred Ophof. I organized an exhibition for him and he took care that the price of the painting was now within my range, which I’m still thankful for.

A few exhibitions later I ended up with 3 paintings made by Johan de Wijs.
Here you see 2 of them.

de_idioot de_kinderwagen

elephant2One of the most interesting bronzes was this elephant of Anouk de Groot. On the second view (in case you missed it on the first glance) it can be quite a ‘conversation piece’.

But not every artwork has to come from a fancy gallery … Today in the op-shop I paid a few dollars for a precious little artwork. Even the tiny sign (B. Burns ’82) was meticulously neatly done. For me it’s clear this is/was a truly talented person.


stenen-poes

I’m sure this post will get a part 2 in the future, because there are still some artists on my wish list for a long time.


Art journal: Hope

The prompt was:
weboranjeCreate a page about hope or what you hope for.

I never have been attracted to the word ‘hope’. Hope can do you a favor, but not because of your devotion. In best case you get a favor because she accidentally spills some of her eternal stockpile.

Lately I read about an interesting view on ‘hope’ of somebody with a certain challenge in life. He wrote: “As long as I was hoping for a cure, every morning I was disappointed my illness and misery was still there. One day I said farewell to hope and right away acceptance showed up. And that … was a way more empathetic candidate to deal with”.
He’s right. I would choose for the sometimes inelegant and clumsy, but warm padded and supportive coat of acceptance. Also because acceptance is hanging around right now, while hope is only living in the future. And the future is too broad to hang on to just one unreliable and uninterested ice-queen.

20170106_day15, Art journal: Hope