Posts Tagged ‘painting’

The Lockdown but not in art.

July 15, 2020

People must be getting so frustrated with the Corona virus. The word Corona belies the horrible truth it holds. The word itself flows so nicely and is so perfectly balanced with equal consonants and vowels. It really did not strike fear when I first heard it pronounced. Now, it holds the world at ransom but what can one do?

On reflection about the debilitating Corona pandemic I decided to again change the scroll because for a long time I have been looking for a wall where I could hang a very large painting I did back in the time when large paintings were normal. Australia is a large country and has so much space. It is not surprising that artists produce large paintings here in this wide open country of ours. Mind you, Mr Van Rijn did a similar large painting called The ‘Nightwatch’.

Rembrandt van Rijn Night Watch Painting Art Wall Print POSTER UK

My own and much more modest but large painting has been looking for a wall since it was created but sadly spent many decades searching but ended just resting against  walls and till now, never was hung.

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My large painting before going to be hung.

Unfortunately ,even though I now finally found a wall for it,  moving the painting was not easy. It is larger than a Queen size bed. Readers might remember that the configuration of my stairs would not allow my bed to go upstairs. I bought a slatted bed in a flat pack instead but did manage to wriggle the mattress upstairs.

The painting is even larger than a bed and stubbornly refused tot go upstairs.  I had to partially take the canvas of its stretcher to lessen the width of it. This was a tedious job with taking out dozens of staples in order to peel back the canvas from its wooden stretcher. It even then would refuse to go upstairs and I had to cut across a batten as well, hence the hand-saw in the picture below.

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Of course, this wall was already occupied by my scroll of etchings but the scroll and the large painting could not be on the same wall. I had no option but to get back on the large ladder and remove the scroll and suspended it on the opposite wall. It was not easy. It looks good there but the change has taken away the previous pleasure of having to bow before it in due obeisance to the art of my etchings. A friend of mind thought some of the etchings were ‘rude’, ‘it has fannies’, this friend said. And another one shows a couple cavorting as well, the friend added.

 

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I looked but did not really see that. Perhaps I lost the concentration on ‘fannies’ some time ago, and as for cavorting, it was always ridiculous and for mature people, sound of mind and some even with wisdom, to put themselves in such physical contortions in order to grind groins together is laughable, let alone for someone nudging 80. Who thought all that up?

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The painting was reassembled and has now been hung and it looks magnificent. The scroll is on the other side.

 

 

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Left side of painting

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Right side of painting

It is so large that an iPhone camera can’t  possibly capture it in one shot. I will try and make a video if that helps. Of course having escaped falling of the ladder I don’t want to end up rolling down the stairs taking the photo! I can’t get enough distance to get the whole painting in one photo.

I am so happy. The painting finally found a wall.

 

 

 

Teaching adults letting-go. Put charcoal to paper. ( Auto-biography)

August 10, 2015

The good news came about as predicted within a couple of weeks. Just when some other, even better tiding, knocked on barn’s door. The area where we had bought our second farm was near a village that was set and artificially kept in the 1800’s. It is called Orvelte and is a museum village. Some of the people living there were artists on the Government salary but, as they were given an old farm-house as well as a salary, also expected to produce art sympathetic to the bygone era of horse-carts, peat cutting, thatching, smithing of horse shoes, thrashing of hay and each other. Each Saturday afternoon there would be a village dance which tourists in strange shorts would photograph with large cameras and even larger lenses.

Our daughters, Susanna and Natasha, being enrolled in the local school. (their second Dutch school) quickly made friends. Both started to speak fluent Dutch at an astonishing speed. Through those friends we met some parents including a couple that lived in Orvelte and who made pottery. The pottery was in keeping with this historic village. Good solid salt-glazed stoneware. We bought a set of cups & saucers, a bulky vase, wine goblets and large serving dish. None have broken so far. The potter and his wife made a living from the potters wheel and also enjoyed the Government Artist salary. It turned out he was as fed up with his conveyer belt production of stone pottery as I was with the previous clock dials with seagulls in endless flight.

The potter and his wife soon joined another couple whereby the husband claimed to be a sculptor. He even managed to get the local shire to put up signage along the village roads pointing to his house with studio.  When I visited him and after introduction asked if he would be so kind as to show me some of his work, he obliged. He showed me a glass case with a lid behind which he kept some drawings of work he had done at The Art Academie years before. And that was that! Not a single work, not even a block of stone or lump of clay laying about. He normally charged an entrance fee to tourists to see his drawings inside this glass case with a lid. When he spotted my Kombi he quickly asked me if I would be so kind to pick up a wardrobe somewhere. I did. Helvi wasn’t impressed. But I explained he did not charge me to look at his drawings.

Even so we needed friends and invited them for an afternoon. He ate all of our peanuts. He must have been so hungry. His hand kept throwing those nuts back into his tilted upward mouth. It is strange how those memories keep sticking. I mean we did not mind the peanut frenzy, but were just somewhat surprised. Heaven knows what others make of us?  “Gerard is really weird and strange”, they could well whisper behind closed doors!

Another couple we tried to befriend was a printmaker. I knocked on his door. He just poked his red face through a window and asked what I wanted. I explained we were from Australia seeking friendship. “I am an artists too”, I said bravely while nodding affirmatively and somewhat conspiratorially.   “Oh,” he said without hesitation,  ” I am having a fight with my wife”,  “I can’t see you.”  He slammed the window shut.  Marital fights in Holland are just as prevalent as anywhere. Just because they ride bikes, eat herrings and live abstemious lives, doesn’t mean they don’t suffer marital whiplash at times. It is universal.

We did keep a few couples as friends including the potter couple of stone-ware. He worked as a part time teacher  and informed me the school for adult education was looking for a teacher in the creative arts especially painting and drawing.  I got the job. This was the other good news I was alluding to at the beginning of this piece. But that wasn’t the end of happy and more happy! I won a commission to make a mural for a yet to be built school in the small town where my daughters attended school.  This town is named Westerbork.

It all came good.