Tag Archive | inspirations

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.

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

How do you come up with these ideas?

8 July 2015

This question is the most asked and the most difficult to answer.
My reply is probably quite unsatisfying. Maybe people expect that I can give them one trick, a secret or a recipe. Some people may think an artist is suddenly frozen by a beam of light, called inspiration …
Well no, none of them all. My ideas are the results of my development and never thrown to me for free.
Getting a potential image in my mind is a different way of looking at the things around me. I think it is something anyone can learn.
cadmiumredmixedwithultramarineblue
When I started painting in my late twenties I noticed that my way of observing things was slowly changing. For example; I realised that while I saw a colour, I dissected the color at the same time. To be more clear; if I saw a particular kind of brown, than somewhere in my brain -almost at the same time and initially unconscious- I parted them in a certain amount blue and red … a pinch of white, and maybe some magenta.

“Ok, but colours are still not ideas, eh?”
You’re right.

Sometimes, during a milli-second, you think you see something that doesn’t match reality. Like seeing a sleeping black cat in the corner of your dusky room. But … you don’t have a cat! The second milli-second you know that it is your lost cardigan, fallen from the chair.
In the period I started painting, I hung on to that first milli-second. A sleeping cat is quite common, but sometimes a shadow may look like an airplane flying into your room. Or the garbage bags can look like a baby elephant sitting on the verge. My oldest paintings were called magic realism; Things that could be possible in reality, but are quite unlikely to happen.

Detail 1 Physalis Pecus, How do you come up with these ideasAfter that first period, I started to transform everyday materials in other materials. The folds and bumps in my duvet became a landscape of hills and the print of the fabric became a pattern of weirdly planted trees. The pins of a hairbrush became trees on a hill too. The papery husk with the tiny nerves of a gooseberry became a tree in itself. And there are my first series of landscapes, with their own fictional stories.

Times went by. In the meantime I learned some lessons in life. Experiences settled. And some stories stayed with me, meant to be told.
I still loved painting trees. But from then on the trees were no pieces of decoration any more. They got a role. They became the leading actors in what I wanted to say. And there … you get the second series of landscapes. This time with non-fictional stories. But the stories are not only my views on life … they are the views on life of millions out there. The stories are connections between your experience and mine. Different experiences of the same core.

The weird thing always has been, is that the image is there before I figure out the meaning. So, in thàt perspective you can say inspiration is coming from something I don’t have control about. But then, the stories are still coming from a source inside me.

After all, most of my ideas are more realistic than they look like at first sight. For example; On the way to Rotorua, there is a hill with trees at the left side of the road and one lonely tree at the right side. However, in reality that lonely tree is a different type, so probably driving on that road nobody sees the link like I created in a painting called ‘The brave one’. To transform the lonely tree in the same type of trees at the other side of the road, was just that image of the first milli-second.
The meaning became clear days and days later, while I was already painting the second or third layer.

  Oil on canvas, Patricia Van Lubeck

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

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

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

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

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.

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

What about inspiration?

13 March 2008

People often ask me about my inspiration. To be quite honest, the conceptual stage of my art is often more elimination than inspiration. The initial idea usually appears when my mind is sort of idling, like when I’m traveling or taking a shower. Like many of us. From there it’s is primarily a matter of bringing the idea back to the essential. This means I’m usually throwing away 90%.

In general my work is much closer to reality than meets the eye. Most of my ideas come from ordinary things around me; landscapes, seeds, flowers, buildings and I take lots of reference photos. The images below illustrate the relationship between the initial concept and the finished painting. The first image shows a Pinus Radiata plantation close to were I live.

You can see the influences in the paintings ‘Populus Flucta’ and ‘Sequoiadendron Nemus’.

    

The next image shows some berries of a Flax Lily I found while walking the dog. Most of the fruit fell off when I walked home, but enough was left for a sketchy picture.
The second image illustrates the optical characteristics of solid crystal. And then the 2 paintings that came out of this inspiration.