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Talking portraits

My portraits are not painted according to actual people. They just exist in my head.

While painting the first few ones, the question started spinning through my head; “How would they be related to each other?” During the long solitary hours of painting and an idle mind, it wasn’t difficult to got entangled in their imaginary life’s. Slowly it appears that writing about their ‘experiences in life’ got part of this painting theme too. So, a new blog was born soon. A collaborative blog, written by the portraits …

It looks like it becomes a larger project than I thought it would be, and I couldn’t easily store it in just a corner of this website. So, to prevent confusion I created a new digital room for the talking portraits. With a who-is-who section and some more explanation in the form of a statement.

CLICK, SCROLL and you will find out what this is all about.


talking portraits


Buying art from fellow artists

19 September 2011

Last weekend we visited the annual Kawerau Wood Fest. Kawerau is the location of a huge wood factory, providing jobs for half of all men in this region.
Besides a fair and a lot of competitions for strong men who fight each other with tree stumps, there is also a wood-themed art exhibition for the more swanky ones among us, haha.
To us that seemed to be an excellent opportunity to buy something from the money my Grandma slipped to me. That’s how Grandma’s do such things.

Of course it had to be a present she could agree with. Something she possibly could have chosen by herself.
I found a beautiful wooden bowl with a lid, wherein a part is left in its natural form. I though my Grandma would like it, because she also prefers her Christmas pieces to be a bit ‘natural’ with lots of bark, berries and greens and a spared use of glitter.

When we left the exhibition hall we bumped into an artist who was busy making sculptures with a chainsaw. One sculpture took him a few days to create and they are about six feet tall. They are not just decorative curls, but they represent a Maori story.
Except Grandma’s money, we had some birthday money from my father too, so voila … a conversation piece for our new garden! We got a discount without asking, because the chainsaw sculptor was glad he was able to sell something at this last minute of the fair. Oh I know that feeling so well. A lot of artist has to go through that stage.
Our sculpture tells a story about the how&why of day&night. I will receive the exact story later. Well, I thought it would suit us. We ourselves are always struggling with our circadian rhythm, haha. We are naturally night owls but desperately want to be early birds. When we are waking up always the first thing we are saying is: “Tonight we go to bed early!”
Perhaps the sculpture does have a good influence on us.

fellow artists

The right one is ours now




Italia meets New Zealand

Wildervangsterdallen

17 June 2010

A while ago I got a request of Silvano Braido to exchange a small work, something like a drawing. For some inimitable reason I’m always grabbing the large canvasses and hardly create small drawings these days. The only serious small work I owned was Wildervangsterdallen. It was a personal favorite of me, made with acrylic and ink and it was ever used as illustration for a song.

So, the choice for Silvano was quite limited, but luckily he was still willing to do the exchange.

Today I received his part in my letterbox and I was over the moon. Beside a beautiful bright tempera work, he also added a book brimmed full of other small paintings of weird animals in marvellous colors.

Visit the site of Silvano Braido, you will be surprised!

Silvano Braido, Italia meets New Zealand

Croatian article

5 May 2010

Sometimes people write such beautiful things about me
Before an exhibition or contest I’m often asked to write a short text about my work. I always find that a difficult job. The concrete facts are easy, but I’m always afraid that talking about the message sounds pretentious. I know that’s nonsense and it’s something I need to overcome.
But then suddenly, without knowing the reason, somebody wrote some sweet words about me in a way I never would dare myself.
The article is HERE (in Croatian language, so spare your clicks). I have translated the first 2 paragraphs through Google.

Patricia van Lubeck is a Dutch artist, who currently lives and works in New Zealand. This painter is deeply and sincerely committed to her art, but at same time she is a great visionair, is altruistic and a kind of spiritual missionary. In terms of painting, she is certainly one of the most interesting and the most recognizable artists of today.

The painting style of Patricia van Lubeck could be defined as neosurrealism, but that would be a too simple and too narrow concept of her work. Her art actually is an intuitive, creative and unpredictable mix of futuristic neosurrealism with postrealism, fantasy and abstraction. Neither her style, nor her content contains just one single level or message, but multiply to the extent, in which each observer is able to receive them in yourself and experience them in their own special way. All of these images as a whole are characterized by a strong spiritual and transcendent content, with deep altruistic motivation and message.

Srdjan Djeric (movie and visual arts reviewer, critic writer and journalist)

Wow … I’m fallen silent by these nice words.

Croatian article

Trying to sneak in to Art Melbourne, in one of the shipping crates for paintings.




The cloud picker

14 April 2010

In the meanwhile I had a exhibition of 1 painting in Wellington because of a portrait contest.
There was quite a controversy about one of the entrants because his work was a portrait of a murderer.

Anyway … I didn’t win a prize, but I was one of the leading four in the People’s Choice, so that was a good result for me.
The next thing is that my Cloud Picker will get a grand tour through New Zealand.

cloud pickerNew Zealand portrait gallery, Wellington 24 February-11 April 2010
Lopdell House, Titirangi, Auckland. 15 April-6 June 2010
Percy Thompson Gallery, Stratford 13 Aug-12 Sept 2010
Hawke’s Bay Exhibition Centre, Hastings 20 Sept-28 Nov 2010
Millenium Gallery, Blenheim 30 Nov-30 Jan 2011
Eastern Southland Gallery, Gore Feb 2011- to be confirmed

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.

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

My first time for money

16 October 2008

Around the millennium, I had access to an office in Amsterdam, which I used as an art studio. Near the studio was a bar. I tried to visit the bar as less as possible. About once a week, mostly on Friday when everybody celebrated the start of the weekend. This local bar was run by a couple and their adult son.

One afternoon I went to the son’s apartment. He would give me 250 euro in advance of the job … Because I had designed a mural for him.
Earlier that day I had unrolled my drawing on the counter of the bar to show him my idea. All the customers were watching and meddling in. After a few minutes discussing and approvingly murmeling, the son, the customers and I unitedly toasted on the acquired agreement.

The apartment of the son was a typical men’s house. There were only the much-needed pieces of furniture of the type chrome, glass and leather-look, along with a few wilting houseplants on floor of white high gloss tiles. This kind of cold and unattractive atmosphere apparently was aware by the son too, because the idea was that my mural would change that. If he could have lured a girl into his house in the near future, at least he had to offer a piece of conversation.
My first time for moneyI worked on the mural for 1 week. If he left his appartment in the morning to work in the bar, I came in a little later with his house key and stayed untill the end of the afternoon.
For a first time I was quite satisfied about the result. A true flag on a mud barge (Dutch saying). These days probably would do it in a different style, but hey … it was 16 years ago. And the son was happy.

Soon after this first mural commission, my auntie asked me to create a mural in her kitchen. It was a small one, but it counts as an art-project anyway.

My aunty asked me to create a mural in her kitchen. It was a small one, but it counts as an art-project anyway.

TooHoT made it to stores worldwide

24 August 2008

The TooHoT is about to hit the shelves!
My award winning entry for the PAL design contest will be appearing in stores around the globe soon. Whoohoo!
Two years ago I won the second price in a contest to design a fun looking case for the PAL radio. Because I found the body of the radio was good looking already, I decided to design a kind of stand only. It became this melted looking bottom and I called it TooHot.
Here you can find the how it’s made (sorry for the Dutch captions).

The organisation was delighted. Recently they ask me permission to reproduce them and today I got the results in 5 colors. Don’t they look awesome? Next year the PAL design contest has a Finnish edition endorsed by their national design organization. They chose MY design as example image. Isn’t that cool? And hot?!

 The Finnish edition  toohot china04 Sounds Cool Looks Hot They've sent me THREE examples!

Plaster art

12 August 2008

1993 Bay of Gokova, Turkey

1993 Bay of Gokova, Turkey

The ‘art related’ stuff in this post is somewhat unusual.
In 1993 I took some lessons to learn to handle a parapent. Soaring in the flat Netherlands was possible along the dunes, but it was more fun to do it in the higher mountains of La France or Turkey.
After a few years I got an accident (another parapenter bumped on me, while I was watching on the dunes) and I needed to wear a brace of plaster for 2 months. I wasn’t an artist if it didn’t get it decorated! In the famous Dutch Delft Blue pottery style. Fragile too.

1993 Aspres-sur-Buëch, La France

1993 Aspres-sur-Buëch, La France

After 12 years my sister in law discovered that the brace was still ‘exhibited’ on top of the closet in the plaster room of the hospital!

plaster art 1995 The nurse did his best to keep the brace intact when he was sawing it off (yes, that happened with a tiny saw). The gap was meant for easier breathing and allow some room for the stomach.
1995 The physician did his best to keep the brace intact when he was sawing it off (yes, that happened with quite an ordinary saw). The gap was meant for easier breathing and allow some room for the stomach.