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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.


What about originality?

28 November 2016

Some people say: “Everything has been done already before”.
And I’ve always been afraid that the things I paint are created by someone else once before. That I am not aware of it and therefore I innocently could be accused of copy-catting. A demoralising thought!
Before the start of a new painting I thoroughly search the internet for images that could be interpreted as similar to my idea. If I find one, then the inspiration is instantly quenched.
Luckily it only happened once. I wanted to paint a Dutch mill on a moonscape, but a friend found an image of a comparable scene! I was disappointed and relieved at the same time.

There are artists who are inspired by the work of another artist. I think most of the artist are. At least at the beginning of their career. A lot has been written about the concept of inspiration, but personally I don’t want to see who is the source of inspiration in one’s artwork. If that is too transparent, I think the artist hasn’t fully developed his or her own handwriting. I won’t say then he is not a good artist, but for my own work I find it a requirement that nobody can see the early puppy admiration.
Actually, I’m not flattered anymore if someone says: “Ohh, your work reminds me of Dali!” Grmppff … what Dali?!?! My work is completely different! And it isn’t Willink-like too. Phew, get some new glasses!

I really want to stop checking the web before I hit a new canvas. Both beforehand and afterwards.
When I started my series of portraits in 2011 and just had finished 3 of them, I discovered a Serbian painter who created the same kind ‘deformed’ portraits and also had added a kind of fantasy stories to them.
I was upset for months! I so had enjoyed painting my own portraits and making up their imaginary lives … and now suddenly I could not go on with this project. The spark was completely dead.
It took months before I found back the fun. Months before I could see that the difference between the Serbian guy and me was big enough to go on. That there was room for both of us.

The image on the top left I found on the internet and is made by Justin Miller. On the right side my Agaricia Bullio.
The second left image was named ‘Gonzo Green forest’, but I couldn’t find any more information.
Justin, Gonzo, Slavko and I possibly have been the soil for the seeds of the same source of inspiration.
It doesn’t matter … everything has been done already before. It was a stupid fear anyway.

inspiration, originality

Art is a case of passing on

14 July 2015

Some artists state that their artworks are their children. And they find it hard to sell them. I think I understand what they try to say. In some way an artwork shows features about the artist which can’t be defended or protected any more, as soon as the work is released to the wide world. Just like a child.

I have no children, so maybe that gave me a slightly different perspective on art. For me art is the trick to put a seed in someone else’s head. But just like you do for a child; you only can hope that something good is growing out of it. I my case; from that seed in the viewer’s mind. Something like an idea, a new view, a realisation, an awareness or merging all those notions in one short intention, namely; a new inspiration.

And for me that is the best explanation of that difficult concept ‘Art’. Art is maybe just the transmission of inspiration. Not necessary from a painting to a new painting. But from a painting to an idea. From a painting to a new view. From a painting to a realisation or to an awareness …

An inspiration can be everything. I got my seeds from anywhere too.

passingon, Art is a case of passing on

The simmering pot

10 July 2015

Does a special word exist  for the fact that sometimes, on different places in the world the same ideas pop up, at the same time?

A few days ago I saw a picture on Facebook of a building made out of living trees. The branches were led and trimmed into the shape of a life-sized church. The structure was complete open and the inside of the building was usable as a sheltered area.
Barry Cox, the owner of this project grew it in only 4 years! So, that must have been in 2011. He plans to use his green church for weddings and I find it a great idea!
Then I discovered the guy lives in New Zealand! Just like me. I will definitely visit his garden when it opens in spring.

I couldn’t help to see a kind of similarity with my painting ‘The same one’. I painted it 2 years ago and who is willing to believe me it was in my sketchbook for years?
It doesn’t matter, because I love the imagination of an enormous simmering pot of inspiration, somewhere in the world. And when our globe is spinning and turning around, some splashes fling down on different people. Different people like an architect, an artist, an arborist or an entrepeneur who starting to play with them.
Maybe our ideas came from the same source. Or are made out of the same ingredients.

sameonechurch1

Oil on canvas, Patricia Van Lubeck, the simmering pot

Exhibition in Auckland

6 July 2015

It’s always interesting how other people describe my work 🙂

Crystel Chen of gallery iShen said:

“Patricia’s latest series ‘Unveiled’ pinpoints familiar human characteristics and paints them as refreshingly positive statements of individualism.
Her series of landscapes are though-provoking metaphors personifying the endless roles we all inhabit throughout life. Trees are painted as symbols to represent particular characteristics.
Patricia encourages the viewer to compose their own meanings from her paintings, but believes that the universality of these subjects will prompt people to identify fragments of their own selves in her work.”

20150711_234929[1]

Exhibition Auckland

 

Reflections on Elephant Mountain

12 May 2015

Artworks that have conquered a place in the front of the market, usually are created by artists who are unmistakable distinguished persons. These artists don’t necessarily have to be extrovert characters, but in some way they are clearly presented in society. They catch the eye by their behavior, their appearance, their statements or their secondary activities.
For example, at the art fair there was an artist who was dressed like a kind of Lolita doll. That helps. The initiator of the art fair, who is an artist himself, has his own temple and a whole bunch of worshipers. That helps. There are artists who have a strong opinion. Sometimes stated through their art, but just as often simply as being an opinionated person.
I slowly got the idea that when an artist is liked as a person, people actually want to buy ‘a piece of the artist’. That makes sense if sometimes you can’t understand why specific art sells anyway. Than people don’t buy art, but buy a piece of the creator.
What I do understand (and what I always knew, but just wasn’t willing to accept) is that the artist is part of his art.

In my early painting days I didn’t want to write an explanation about my works. I was convinced that a good artwork could speak for itself. Even if the work had absolutely nothing to say. And let’s be honest; while I was younger there was less to tell. Or better said, the ‘colours’ were less varied (and I don’t mean that literally). Being aware of that fact I found my art was more decoration than a meaningful piece. And personally; pure realistic landscapes for example, are still troublesome for me in that way. What is the message?

Reflections on Elephant MountainWhile working on my last series, I spent a serious amount of time to the interpretation of my works … which was -to my surprise- much more valued by the viewers than I ever had imagined.
With adding these written meanings to my paintings I have pushed myself a step forward. It worked so well that it made me think of other aspects of my presentation. How to offer my audience an insight into who I am, without forcing myself into situations I’m not good in? Like mingling in public. Socially I never have been a ringleader. I can learn, but it never will going smooth. So I have to find another form for those who are interested in me as a person.

Maybe my vlogs could be used as a contemporary way to give something of myself?

Real life beats fantasy

27 November 2013 (South Africa)

Again I saw an appearance in nature that I painted years before I had seen it in real. Or even ever thought it would exists in real.
Our last stop back to the south of South Africa, was in the little town Graaff Reinet. A few miles out of town there was a large National Park called Camdeboo. On one of the viewpoints there was a beautiful view on the mountain ‘Spandau Kop’. Look how it has -in a certain way- similarities with a painting I created in 2003, when I never have had one single thought about visiting South-Africa in the future.
It’s a kind of inspiration the other way around.

Spandau Kop, Valley of desolation, Graaff Reinet, South Africa, Patricia Van Lubeck Patricia Van Lubeck, Real life beats fantasy 1

The locked up guys, viewing us from their safe cabin, are making the ‘backwards inspiration’ even crazier, viewed in the light of my recent thoughts about the gap between black and white people in South-Africa.




The Eastern Cape of South-Africa

eastern-cape19 November 2013 (South-Africa)

We were in South Africa again. My father lives on the lower edge of the country called ‘the Garden route’. Halfway our stay Frank and I decided to make a trip via the East Cape to Johannesburg.
We tried to stay off the highway, to see more of the country. For example a nice viewpoint on the Bloukrans river mouth …
10 Minutes after we had taken the road that recommended viewpoint, we suddenly found ourselves in a line for a gate with a counter.
What? A ticket for just a river mouth?
Hmmm, we only wanted to eat our banana on a simple bench, or so. Not a tourist attraction.
Well, these local people need to make some money too, so … okay. What should it be? Maybe a few dollars for parking?
Ah wait, there is a list of prices … 3 dollars for South Africans and … huh? … 15 dollars for foreigners?
Yeah, fat dick! Just to just to eat our banana off the road, and stretching our legs for a moment?!

We drove about 6 hours a day. Without stopping. No, that’s not really what we wanted, but there are simply no resting areas. Cafes, or just a scruffy coffee shop along the road don’t exist here. At least not in the south-east.
Back in the days the roads were built by the white South-African farmers, but they probably have forgotten to lay along footpaths. Most black South-Africans don’t have a car, but like everyone else, sometimes they need to go to another township or neighbourhood. So they use the motorway as footpath. And there are Very Many pedestrians! Sometimes they also have some cattle, but no land. Therefore they take their cattle to graze on the shoulders of the road. These animals can easily wander on the roads. And they continually do.

Massively hanging out and broadly sitting along the motorway apparently seems to be a regional daily activity of the locals. It is not really appealing to stop your car between them and peacefully eat your lunch.
The amount of waste along the roads is really baffling. In some parts it seems like every 10 meters a complete garbage bag is emptied on the side of the road. The pieces of waste are flapping between the laundry that is also hanging on the same fences.

To supply our mobile food box we bought a bunch of bananas from a poor old lady. She was sitting on the pavement in front of a hardware store. Where -by the way- everyone who entered the door first is extensively searched for guns and knifes by the owner. The old lady placed an upside down plastic crate serving as a counter. Besides a few bunches of bananas there are also set out 2 packs of cigarettes. You can buy them per cigarette. The price of 10 bananas is 1 Rand (that is 0.20 US dollar). We almost felt ashamed to even walk around here. We paid 5 Rand for the bananas and became blessed from head to toe. Oh boy …

The still enormous gap between black and white is immense and nonstop felt. Later on, this experience and the pictures below will be translated in a painting and story called ‘the Free One’.

The East Cape of South-Africa The Eastern Cape of South-Africa

Here is another moment the seeds of that painting were sprouting.




Bosco verticale

9 July 2013

A few years ago I wrote about some awesome real living trees in Spain I discovered AFTER I painted similar sort of trees in a painting.
I was under the impression that mother nature had imitated me! Not mentioning that the Spanish trees were probably older than I am, but please, let me cherish my illusions.

This week I stumbled upon a picture of Bosco verticale. A vertical forest set on a building, designed by Boeristudio in Italia. Putting their image beside my painting I could add another story to my imaginary prides.
And if, ooohhh if it was not me, if the Boeri-guys were not inspired by my painting, then at least there must be something in the air that gives people all around the world the same ideas. A source with ingredients for certain concepts which are apparently evident for this era.

Click on the images for the painting and the article.


boscoverticale01   Bosco verticale

The reuse of painkiller strips

7 May 2013

painkillers, Paint killersIf the first pencilling is my least favourite part, I find mixing the colours the most fun part.
I never use colours directly from the tubes, but always mix them.
For example; I have 5 tubes of various reds, but they all react in a different way when adding white. The pink of a flamingo is different from the pink of your nose. But for skin tones I need to add even more colours, like green (to reduce the redness). Or ochres, to get human pink, instead of dolly pink.

During the detailing in a later stage of the painting, I don’t need large amounts of the desired colours. Freshly mixed oil paints works the best. After a few hours you’ll notice the dabs are losing their viscosity. So, mixing exactly the right set of colours a couple of times a day, can be quite time-consuming. And while mixing it doesn’t make a difference if you need tiny or large amounts.
Sometimes I’ve mixed my colours too late in the day, or I got interrupted for a while. It’s annoying to spill that perfect mix, because overnight the dabs become useless. Covering the mixes with old lids doesn’t save them. Then there is still too much air around them.

 Otherwise covering with something flat does the job too.
From now on I will try to open the strips without ruining the foil.
Hopefully I’ll get a lot of headaches in the near future. Yeah!

Kolmanskop the ghost town

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.

More Namibia

The silence was loud

Beyond the job of vacuum cleaning

A ‘naturally sandblasted’ window

Kolmanskop the ghost town

15 minutes from the ghost town, the colour is back!

A few days later in the Sossusvlei

Quivers and titties

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

quivers and titties

Artistically painted pumpkin parts in the quiver park

More Namibia

Populus Flucta in real

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 …

Populus Flucta in realWhen 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.

Camp site

Camp site

populus flucta in real

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

More Namibia

Missed daylight

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.

dentist1 missed daylight

dentist lamp missed daylight


Panorama

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 panorama

The first sketches

A taped miniature

A taped miniature

Bought the canvasses

New canvasses

Doing a ritual dance

Doing a ritual dance

The first layer

The first layer

Hanging on the ceiling

Hanging on the ceiling

Pantone colours

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.

Pantone colours

Art Revolution Taipei

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!

boxtaiwan

Remember the sculpture in the back?

Fun

Fun to see my own work back in a catalogue.

Wow, they made a banner of my painting! Isn't that cool?!

Wow, they made a banner of my painting! Isn’t that cool?!

Improvising with a microphone under my nose is not my strongest point :-/

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.

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

A spectacular view from the garden of one of the beautifully decorated temples

One of the rooms in the temple

One of the rooms in the temple

We rent a bike and had an absolutely wonderful day along the river in Taipei

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.

The famous 101 building. For a short while it was the highest in the world.

For a vegetarian Taiwan is a candy shop!

For a vegetarian Taiwan is a candy shop!

More Tapei