Tag Archive | other artistic expressions

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


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.




Agaricia in bronze

agaricia bronze

4 October 2007

This bronze/glass/wood sculpture is based on the painting Agaricia Bullio, which was inspired by the surface texture of one of the Caribbean Lettuce Corals, Agaricia. These corals form thin plates as delicate as bone china and are extremely vulnerable to environmental changes.

The trunk started life in white clay. Just like coral it has both plant and animal characteristics.

Next silicon bronze castings were made using the lost wax method.

The base is made of swamp Kauri, a New Zealand native tree. This wood is milled from trees that fell
thousands of years ago and have been buried and preserved underground in swamps. I have oiled the wood about 20 times to give it a deep luster.

The bronze part is an edition of 3. Because of the glass en wooden part they are never the same.


Exquisite corpse: One dollar

14 July 2007

This is the second part of my excorps project with Peter van Oostzanen.
In the creation of this drawing we followed the same procedure as the first one, only this time the roles have been reversed. I started with the left halve, masked off most of it and next Peter finished the other halve.

This is the part I created ...

This is the part I created …

And this was the only part visible for Peter ...

And this was the only part visible for Peter …

This is what Peter added to the small visible part ...

This is what Peter added to the small visible part …

And this is how the totally result looks! Exquisite corpse: One dollar

And this is how the totally result looks!

Exquisite corpse: Morning before the bbq

25 April 2007

An excorps is 1 drawing created by 2 artists, in this case Peter van Oostzanen and me.
Peter first drew half a paper (on the right side) and covered most of it before sending it to me.
Working from the small visible part of his drawing, it was up to me to fill the other half.
After completion, the best part of course is the revelation of the hidden section.

I had never done it before, but I think especially for surrealists it almost never turn out wrong. On the narrow strip that was visible for me I saw an almost complete bird and a tail. The bird looked as if he just was beaten. Or had a hangover.

Exquisite corpse

This was the visible part I got …

Exquisite corpse

… and this was what I added.

Exquisite corpse

This was the hidden section …..

Exquisite corpse

And here the full scene 🙂

Art cars

The Opel Kadett (1975) was the very first car I owned in my life. I didn’t call myself an artist yet (it was 1990), I was just working in an accountancy office and still living in the Netherlands, in Alkmaar.

Somewhere in that period I visited the Maritime Museum ‘Prins Hendrik’ in Rotterdam. They showed a special theme about the camouflage of ships during World War I.
On the way back from the exhibition the idea came up to paint my old (green) car in the same way as the ships.
I tried to make it look unbalanced if you look on the back side of the car, by painting a kind of oblique shape around the license plate, the rear lights and the back window. The wheel openings turned out especially well; they looked like they were cut out in a square form.
It took me 2 weeks in total (after work and in the weekends) and probably 200 meter mask tape to paint the car white and then add the black paint.


Still untouched ... Between the shrubs you see me working on the hood The first one ... art car ... and after all, the most effective one. After a few years of fun, I had to let her go ... dying in front of the junk yard, grabbing attention till the last moment ...

In advance I never had thought about people’s reactions, but sometimes their comments were quite amazing.
Most people were just positively surprised. In fact … often I even got unlawfully right of way, so people got a few more seconds to observe this weird thing. I am an introvert person, but safe in my cookie tin I was excited about the funny reaction and thumbs up.
On the other hand, obviously the car sometimes raised some negative feelings to some people. Because I was living in the inner center of the city, I always needed to park my car in the second ring. One day in my favourite parking street, a furious woman came out of her house yelling out that I never may park that nasty, dirty car in her field of vision any more. She screamed that it was a shame! She was under the impression that the black parts where the sooty reminders of a fire.
Another thing I noticed were the empty parking spots beside my car. Even on a busy day the free spaces beside my car stayed empty the longest. Maybe people were afraid that some lunatic would jump out the car and do the same thing with their cars …. 🙂

Book 'Stripes' by Linda O’KeefeHere is an illustrated article about the camouflaged ships.

Once in a while I get requests of people to use the images of especially this car, for different projects. The last one was for a book about stripes. And use as material for an exhibition about WW1 ships at ANMM Australian National Maritime Museum.

After a few years of fun, I had to let her go … dying in front of the junk yard, grabbing attention till the last moment.
All in all … having this car was a quite amazing period. Looking back, now I can say; those stripes were the first steps of my change of profession from book-keeper to artist.

After the black & white Opel I didn’t want to drive in a plain car any more. It was too funny to get right of way most of the time, so I made a blue ‘zig-zag’ one.

After the black&white Opel I didn't want to drive in a plain car any more. It was too funny to get right of way most of the time.

Then our boxy little Fiat Panda was just the right car for an intricate tartan pattern. It took some careful planning and a couple of days of concentrated painting but in the end all my efforts payed off….. the car looked like a shopping bag on wheels! In 1992 we travelled to Hungary. The car was small enough to park under an abandoned trailer.

Our boxy little Fiat Panda was just the right car for an intricate tartan pattern. It took some careful planning and a couple of days of concentrated painting but in the end all my efforts payed off..... the car looked like a shopping bag on wheels! In 1992 we travelled to Hungary. The car was small enough to park under an abandoned trailer.

This visually distractive pattern is based on the use of opposite colors. Fortunately the Citroen was red to start with so that made painting a bit easier. It still was a lot of work creating the sharp edges needed to maximize the effect. It was hurting the eyes.

This visually distractive pattern is based on the use of opposite colors. Fortunately the Citroen was red to start with so that made painting a bit easier. It still was a lot of work creating the sharp edges needed to maximize the effect. It was hurting the eyes.

And this … this was no joke anymore. My pride and joy till today.

And this ... this was no joke anymore. My pride and joy till today.