Archive for June, 2009

Abstract Portrait No. 8

Jun 16, 2009 in Abstract Art, Music, New Paintings

Abstract Portrait No. 8

Abstract Portrait No. 8

This painting was made in 1999 (I think). Its main purpose was to test a new acrylics color I had bought: quinacridone gold, which is the brown color you see in the image. I figured it would work similarly to the burnt sienna acrylics I used in my Egyptian paintings, but it didn’t, maybe because burnt sienna is more transparent. Burnt sienna acrylics mix very well with titanium white, which permits subtle modelling and lead to the manneristic style of my Egyptian paintings.

I have visited no less than six museums during the past months and learned many things, but right now I’m deeply immersed in amateur music production, so all my other activities suffer (still painting, though).

A week ago I bought a Fender Stratocaster, the first decent electric guitar I’ve ever owned. “Decent” is an understatement, because it’s an instrument of pure quality. Years ago I gave up making music out of frustration over my inability to fulfill my artistic dreams by means of the musical medium. I wanted to do everything at the same time: create popular music that was simple and compact and at the same time contain complex harmony and atonality. I consistenly rejected my music teacher’s assertion that popular music consists of the tonic, subdominant and dominant chords, but at the same time I was unable to find a music teacher that would give me a proper grounding in music theory.

Anyway, I’ve always loved playing the guitar. For a painter I’m a pretty normal guy, but as an adolescent I had a physical relationship with my acoustic guitar. I would actually pet it .
To me a guitar is a living person, like a child that needs care and understanding. I like to visit music shops and “meet” its guitars, by running my finger across their strings to check their sound. Some guitars are lovable, others are unfortunate, as in underprivileged, as there are no bad guitars, just bad makers.

June 6th

Jun 06, 2009 in About My Art, Personal

Today is June 6th, which, besides D-Day, is the birthday of my late sister, whose portrait is included in the previous post. This is just something I wanted to mention, because this post is not about art, it’s entirely personal, something I permit myself, because this is a blog.

This website started as a hobby. Between 1998 and 2004 I used the Internet to chat and as an excuse to learn webdesign and programming. Then, in 2004 I got into “domaining”, which is a game of registering domains before other people do. Worldwide enormous sums of money are wasted by ordinary people caught in this kind of “Klondike” phenomenon, which refers to economic activity in which more money is made on the people that pursue it, than by these people. (Klondike is a town that has become representative of “gold fever” and the fact that owners of restaurants that fed the gold diggers where the ones that got rich, not the gold diggers).

Nevertheless, domains still fascinate me, because it’s a word game, but I don’t own many. Because I registered¬† paintings.name in 2004, I felt obliged to develop a website around it. Now it’s leading a life of it’s own and (rightly or not) I’m no longer feeling the pressure of becoming a successful artist (however you define that). To the point that I’ve resumed an old hobby of mine: making music. Now, at last, I feel prefectly comfortable with being a perfect amateur at it. I dabble away with some equipment I bought and reading music theory. I make music like Karel Appel made paintings: passionately and mindlessly, although now I’m trying to get some sense into my musical endevours (and Appel became a famous artist, not to mention).

On the art front: at the moment my style is pure abstract art, so no portraits or social realisms, just big blobs of paint. I do this whenever I get the feeling my art loses energy and I start to be able to predict myself. What’s happening, then, is that the formal side of my painting has gotten worn out, which is why I get into pure abstract art, in order to develop new formalisms, which I then apply to a style that’s partially figurative.

Every time that happens I think I need to move away from School of Paris styled expressionism and get into color field painting, which it’s emphasis on purity. This does result in more clarity of color and concept……which I then exploit to make an expressionistic mess….like a post-Parisionist should.

I can’t discern the exact nature of this process yet, but it results in a gradual change of style.

Margreet

Jun 01, 2009 in New Paintings, Personal

Margreet

Margreet

What’s a “Margreet”? It’s a name in Dutch, a language closely related to Klingon, if that’s rings a bell. A former Dutch NATO Secretary General once got into political trouble because he was caught saying that the Dutch language resembles the uttering of animal sounds. The Anglo-Saxon reaction to Dutch is often that it sounds like people spitting. At any rate, Margreet is the name of my late sister, who died of cancer in 1990, at the age of 29 years old.
I know I promised to write biographies of my mother and sister, but when push came to shove I decided that such writings would be a little too personal at this time. Instead I will add their portraits to this site, Margreet’s portrait is at http://paintings.name/image-files/margreet.php.
Actually Margreet never wanted to be called Margreet, because she didn’t like the sound of it, she wanted to be called “Janna”, her second name.
I realize that some of you will feel compelled to refer to this posting as touching, which I find endearing, but nevertheless the portrait of Margreet is meant to be a tribute to her. Now I’m at it, I’m trying to describe Margreet, but again I come to the conclusion that I don’t want to. I’m not like Edvard Munch, who never got over the death of his sister, I’m just your average introvert.. Bear with me, I’m Dutch.. For which I have to apologize, because this site is oriented towards English speaking folks. But if you want me to tell something about myself (as artists are expected to do), then things will inevitably get cheesy, because of the couleur locale I find myself in.