Tag Archive | behind the scenes

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.


Exhibition in Auckland

6 July 2015

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

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

 

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!

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

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 ūüėČ 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

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

How long does it take to finish 1 painting?

Time is a very important factor in the creation of my work. I use oil paints and every layer needs a week to dry.
I work on 4 paintings simultaneously. This means I work with a rotation schedule and some paintings might take months from start to finish.
Apart from the technical aspects, the drying also forces me to stand back and reflect on a painting in progress. After working in close contact on a canvas for a while, it’s always refreshing to see it in another light, in another room and from a distance.

It’s hard to say how long it takes to finish one single painting. On the picture you see quite a large one, but most of my paintings are smaller. On average I finish 10 paintings a year.
After finishing and signing, oil paint needs to dry thoroughly for at least 6 months, or better a year. Only then it’s ready to get the final varnish. So, if you see a painting made in the year 2011, it is not earlier sellable than 2012.

Here you can find some making of’s


How long does it take to finish 1 painting?

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

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.

Sound effects

18 April 2008

A month ago, exactly on the day my 2 boxes with paintings from Perth arrived on the New Zealand airport, I received an email from a gallery in Melbourne. They had found my website and were full of praise; “Wonderful, refreshing, interesting! We can, we want, we will, we love, etcetera.” All nice words.
This was badly timed, because on this blog I just had written that I never would exhibit anymore via a gallery. Now I haughtily had to remain to my principles, without throwing in my own windows (Dutch proverb).
I wrote back that I didn’t longer exhibited via galleries, but this didn’t mean they could not sell my work … (building up a constructive silence)
I offered them to buy my paintings for a reduced price. Then it was up to them to sell them for a higher price.
I never expected to hear from them anymore, because 9 out of 10 emails is only bullshit.
And then … (whipping violin sounds) … I received an email that the gallery owner couldn’t find my phone number on my site.

WHAT!!! A PHONE CALL???

That means I had to cope with my 2 biggest phobia¬†at the same time!!! Phoning AND talking English … (sound of a gun cocking)
What to do? I could start with an uncontrollably and long cry. Or shall I drink half a bottle of wine? Then I’m better in talking. I already had bloodshot eyes, so who minds?

The creepy thing of a phone call is that uncomfortable silences are scaring the hell outta me. My desperate solution then is to fill them with talk asap. Not informative talk, but incoherent ravings. Thereby making unintelligible jokes, which again causes awkward silences.
And it’s not even an insanity or something, because afterwards I can repeat every syllable! Afterwards my own shrill chatter echoes through my head for hours. Awful!

But I had no choice …
So we did a phone call. A small 5 minutes.
And nothing new was discussed. The lady from Melbourne gave it up soon and stayed very polite. Thanked me again for the discount and said that she was still interested. And that we would talk about the rest by email … (sound of a fading horse gallop).

After one week I got an email again. She wanted to buy 2 of my paintings to start with!
Isn’t that great?! (stadium applause)

flooring

Easel

15 April 2008

One of the best things I recently bought is this new easel. Well…. it’s not really an easel and it’s not new either.
In the last couple of weeks my old easel slowly but surely started falling apart. It’s one of those fancy wooden artists easels but I have never been quite happy with it. While looking for a new one I realized that the commonly sold studio easels don’t really fit my working method. My style of painting requires me to work very close to the canvas and I move my work around a lot. Amazingly traditional easels don’t really allow for that, adjustments are pretty coarse. And even the most expensive models are quite inadequate from an ergonomics perspective.
A second-hand drawing board proved to be the best solution for me. They are cheap because most architects/engineers have switched to computer aided design. And functionality and ergonomics are really much better.

New easel




Demotivating

13 April 2008

It was still dark when we left from home at 4:30 AM. It was an unfair fight against sleep until we were halfway on our trip, to take our coffee break in a kind of truckers canteen. It was the only place open at that time of the day.

At that same moment, somewhere further up in the country, a certain customs officer decided to go to work really early this day, to open those suspicious boxes well before office hours.
Two hours later after we arrived at that same custom’s office at 8:30 AM, I could explode in anger again. Because … WHY did we drive to Auckland then???
But the customs officer was gone fishing (or whatever) and has assigned us with a shy young assistant. Arguing with the wrong person doesn’t make sense, isn’t it?
Instead of inspect in person if the paintings were repacked conscientiously (I was too demotivated to bear more surprises), we tugged the boxes on the roof rack of the car as quickly as possible and left to the centre of Auckland.
We took this chance to visit some showrooms of kitchen and bathrooms. Just before our trip to South-Africa we bought the house of our neighbour and since our return we are renovating that house, while we still living in our rental.

Late at night we were back home. Too tired to get those extremely heavy boxes off of the car roof. We saved that job for the next morning, so we could see the possible misery in the unrelenting sunlight.

Well, only 1 painting was irreparably ruined. What did I expect? Right over the middle of the canvas, where the back slat is running along the canvas, the paint seemed to be chipped off. Like if someone had sat on it.

Really, every day my job is more ‘inspiring’ …

Hier probeer ik op het dak te klimmen, om er daarna af te kunnen springen

Customs

10 April 2008

It is 4 weeks later … The boxes with my paintings are ‘in custody’ at the airport in New Zealand for 3 weeks now.
After they had arrived, the New Zealand customs must have thought: “Aha, valuable stuff from Australia! Before we send it through, first we have to get the import tax!”
Did you know you physically can feel despondency?! Then your neck and arms slowly got filled with heavy lead, your voice gets weak and your eyes are stinging. And suddenly you want to sleep. For a long time. For a few years.

I don’t have the documents to prove that the paintings were shipped for an exhibition and that they are returning. When the courier picked up the boxes 6 months ago … he just picked them up. No forms were hand over. The packinglist was stuck on the box. Just like when I shipped my paintings to Hong Kong (what didn’t create any problem at all).
But now I need to show the New Zealand customs documents that are in the hands of Ms. Faithful of gallery O. And she hasn’t been very helpful. Quite the contrary. For example; she still didn’t pay me back the tax of 3.600 Australian dollar.

After a lot of phone calls and pleas to look for the receipt in their administration, the customs discovered that the weight of the boxes on their way up, was different from on their way back!
Oh boy … Now they want to open them. A specially licensed custom guy needs to show up for this job. And yes, that could take up a few days.

Because absolutely everything that could go wrong with this costly project, DID go wrong, this upcoming inspection scares me. The paintings need to be packed in a special way. “If you wish, you may also be present during the inspection of the boxes”, the agent then suggested … “then you can take them right with you if you get the green light.”
I decided to follow this advice, so we will pick up the boxes in person next Friday in Auckland. It’s again a 4 hours drive up and 4 hours back. “No, we can not give you an exact time”, said the agent. “It likely will be in the morning. Our office opens at 8:30 AM.”
So, we need to get up at 4:00 AM then …

Oh, and speaking of despondency; That sheep guy, remember? That hit and run of 1 year ago? He also still has to pay, but doesn’t do it. The bailiff let himself turn away from an identical sheep guy who claimed not to be the sheep guy … The court isn’t allowed to do anything. And the police ‘can not’ do anything.
Huh?
Wtf?




Money in the wrong place

12 March 2008

Gradually there is occurring some movement in the case ‘gallery O’. Occasionally they replied in 1 single sentence (after having sent my questions at least 2 times). But, the day after tomorrow the 2 boxes finally will be picked up by the courier to get back to New Zealand
I had promised my client the apple painting would be arrived in the Netherlands mid-March, but now that’s impossible. It’s still in one of the boxes.
We had to arrange everything ourselves, which actually is supposed to be a task for the gallery owner. I don’t mean that they have to pay for everything, but they should be in charge to organize the returning and prepare the documents, etc. It’s quite weird that I am the one who’s doing that now.
But if some gallery owners didn’t get enough money out of an exhibition, the artist apparently suddenly transformed into that annoying mosquito I was talking about. When I was a gallery owner myself (Yes, once I was!) I always found it very sad for the artist if I couldn’t sell anything for him. And then I ensured that at least he wouldn’t have anything to complain about the exhibition in every other area.

Another disturbing aspect of this adventure is the tax. When we shipped the paintings to Australia 6 months ago, we got a phone call from the customs. They were only willing to send them through to gallery O, if 3,600 Australian dollars was paid …
If the same paintings would leave Australia after the exhibition, then we could get back the money. Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought this was a job the gallery had to deal with. Like it was correctly done by the Hong Kong gallery …
But there was no time to dwell on it too long, so I paid it right away by credit card.

Today we learned that gallery O had reclaimed that tax! They would pay me later. This makes me very nervous.