I had a hectic and interesting week.
Like most weeks actually. Never can I say I am bored because not only am I slightly obsessed with painting, in my head or in real, I have these four other beings in my life that are pretty interesting.
First I must apologise for not writing on my web site for some time.
As you know by now I live with four beings. Two vegetarians and two meat eaters. Two human beings and two dogs. The dogs are the meat eaters of course. Strange if it were the other way around but nothing would surprise me. I believe some famous Indian guru had a vegetarian tiger sitting next to him.
They, my friends, are equally lovely and unique creatures but than so are all beings.
That is a fact. I think of myself as an unique creature and brilliant and lovely. Wish I could be better looking and twenty years younger but otherwise I am totally content and although not religious I am spiritual enough to know that after death I'll get a new body but hopefully, albeit forgotten, with the experience I developed in my last life and lives. I was once in the tomb of the pyramid of Giza in Egypt and felt very much a sense of recognition and at home. Not in the actual tomb but in the Egyptian atmosphere. I am a bit of an Anthroposophist, a very little bit but I have been to Dornach, the head quarters in Switzerland. Adolf Hitler threw them out of Germany which is a compliment because some radicals call us right winged puritans! And we are, or I should say: so they are because I am just an amateur believer in reincarnation and an amateur antroposophist.
And a very amateur vegetarian. I am a vegetarian because I couldn't upset the delicate nostrils of my house mates with my delicious fried, in butter, onions and garlic lamb chops!
Yesterday I bought myself a new pair of glasses.1.5 points stronger than my normal 2.5 ones and read to my absolute shock I had written somewhere I was 57. I am NOT, I am 67. Now I don't worry too much about age but 70 is somethinh else!. That really is old or sounds bloody old when asked:. 'How old are you Sir? I'm 70. No fucking way!
I'll be in Heaven at 70 running around like an idiot teaching stupid but lovely angels how to paint. They'll be floating around the canvasses as they have wings and very clean and tender feet. All painting their Mother the Virgin (ha-ha-ha) Mary and daddy Joseph.
Every so often I'll pop in to see how Jesus is faring, he is after all 2013 years old and also see if His mum needs some help.She's about 2034. Also I'll visit Magdalena's house of Pleasure. Now a huge fully carpeted brothel with gorgeous Siberian, French and Dutch prostitutes and eunugs.
All without sex organs naturally as angels don't have dickies but they all love playing their flutes and harpsichords.
And playing with their ping-pong balls for they say anyway it is good to throw each other their ping-pong balls. And having their wings brushed and bleached by each other. And their ears cleaned. Funny lot those angels, what am I saying for Heavens sake?
LET ME WRITE SOMETHING BEFORE ANYBODY CAN READ THIS. I AM not WRITING THIS OUT OF GUILT BUT ON THE CONTRARY: OUT OF THE LACK OF GUILT. THAT LACK OF GUILT IS THE STRANGE THING THAT HAS CAUSED ALL THIS ROTTEN FEELING IN ME AND OF THIS WORLD. How do we manage to live like this and yet I can and with great ease and comfort. This feeling is making me feel sick with myself, my brothers and all those rotten sad poor people around the world that are literally starving while I am eating my way to freedom on toast and vegemite. Although I don't smoke any more, I used to pay $16.50 for a packet and that could keep for some bugger in food for his kids and wives for a month!!!
My last painting, my last cigarette and my last cold frothy cool beer.
Well, that is the plan for this month anyway!!!! And if I do go to the pub you'de wouldn't recognise me because I'll go dressed up as Julia Gillard, our Prime Minister, or Brad Pitt.
I think I told you I'm working on my 'Last Painting'. But not to be too serious here first is a selfportrait of me and my Last Cigarette. Still haven't had one but would sell my mother for a puff.!!!!!
I also gave up alcohol and as a true alcoholic I have all the reasons to want to kill myself at times. Thus this Last Painting!!!!! No AA for me, just painting and being nice to Clemens and the dogs and think all night about cigarettes and a cool cold frothy beer!!!! I sleep about 3 or 4 hours a night so have many hours of creative (and destructive) thinking.
'Lat Painting' is a title, not necessarily a statement but the way my energy has gone out of my life and my creativity with it. The title “My last Painting” sounds nice and is also a little dramatic. It could be called a very creative title and it does make you think of all kind of dramatic things (like suicide)... and it does have some truths. I am nearly 70 years old!!!! I sent a message to Facebook that I will never write again on their page, accompanied with a nice and funny nude photo of me. Have a look, have look for the last time.
I ONLY want to be contacted on Gmail or my personal blog. No more bloody one liners or photo's of people I don't know but apparently are well known or good looking or just fxxxxxxng mad.
-- Photo: Clemens constructing canvas for 'Last Painting' with great patience and skill. --
Anyway, here a few photo's. I know I am repeating myself, but it is going to be one of the best paintings in my life and it will be burned as it is huge. Doesn't even fit into the house!
But I was In hospital because I had cut my arms with a knife so badly my bedroom was a pool of blood. I screamed out for Clemens and he phoned for an ambulance and in the hospital they stitched it up.
A very good friend of mine is dying of prostrate cancer and I felt pain in that very spot. Went to my GP and he gave me a rectal examination and told me it was slightly enlarged. Nothing strange for a man of 67, but you tell that to a man who has NEVER been sick in his life, accept a few mental problems so now and then. But you tell me any painter/artists who hasn't had a little fun with madness! Had some lovely holidays in the loony bin!!!
The pain grew and I felt the cancer grow. I have always said, and mean it to this very day: I'll never be treated with radio or whatever the other one, something therapy is called so decided to make and end of my wonderful life. I'll have bags full of painkillers and copious amount of bottles of beer!!!!
-- Photo: Clemens please help me... I've done it again. ---
You know, every day I realise more and more I don't understand anything about where, why and what I live on.
Earth is a big ball hanging in a bigger space, they say, and if I look up at night I see stars and am told I can never reach them as they are too far away. But why are they up there then, if I can never visit them, for Heavens sake?
Or is that self centred? So we are not the centre? I'm afraid, I am my centre. I don't fall of this ball because of some kind of magnetism and yet living in Australia I am hanging by my feet! No wonder I have a blocked nose most of the time.
And yes, TIME, is another strange thing. I do know time in my way. I get up in the morning usually around 8.30 am, I am lucky enough to have two beautiful dogs, Leonardo da Vinci and Michael Angelo, Vinci and Angelo for short, who hop on my bed and give me loving, albeit wet, morning kisses and start pushing me out of bed. They want to go for a walk. We, Clemens- who I have known for more than 60 years now, talking about time!- and we take the doggies for a 8 km walk!!! Yes, 8000 metres ! Up and down hills and mountains, crossing large gushing rivers and deep canyons. Well, not quiet true. Slightly exaggerated.
I want to write about FEAR. Angst.
Terror in the head or body.
Darkness without light and hands looking for me...
I haven't had a particularly fearful life and yet I'm a scary cat.
Although we have now two big black and white dogs, Leonardo da Vinci and Michael Angelo, Vinci and Angelo for short, I am a little nervous with other dogs. Mind you, we had a dog called Puti (Indonesian for white) in Djakarta when I was about 5 and one day it came home frothing at the mouth: Rabies.
Two weeks in Bandung at the Pasteur's Institute being jabbed in the tummy with a huge needle and then I conked out as I was allergic to the serum. Every morning I'd try and hide but always this hand ( the feared hand )(thus my obsession with hands in my work) would drag me from wherever I was hiding to go to the hospital! Our whole family actually and ALL the dogs in our neighbourhood were shot by the police! Didn't make us popular with the neighbours! So am I fearful of neighbours? Don't know. Not yet, at least.
I don't know. I am also scared in cars, rather walk than be driven.
When I was 21 I had driving lessons, because that was expected, and after about 25 goes the instructor told me to give up- I'd never learn. I nearly kissed the man, I was so happy to be relieved of that horrible burden. My fantasy is to have an emerald green Bentley with a nice chauffeur!
I have also a fear of heights. No mountain climbing for this person. Or hang-gliding or parachute jumping. But not flying, even in a Jumbo, funnily enough ! Crossing an 4 lane road with a dog on a line is also a bit scary!
I think I went to the best art school in the world, The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, in The Hague, Holland. Certainly one of the oldest. Mentioned in the 16th C but officially opened its doors in 1682, to 'create' a difference between amateur and real artists. I went there when I was 16/17 years old.
Two famous Mondriaan painting. He had, I imagine more fun doing his trees in Holland. On the right Composition 10 painted in New York
It had several departments, The fine arts, the graphic and typographical design, the interior decoration design and industrial design.
The fine arts had the bearded and arty clothed boys and girls, the graphic and typographical department had the expensive and snooty dressed crowd, the interior architectural designs had the snooty girls and gay guys and the industrial department had the boring men dressed in suits.
Anyway, that is what we thought.
I went to the only one worth my while: The Graphic and typographical mob.
In the first year one wasn't to even talk about art. Truly, that was frowned upon!
We had to learn the basics. Colour theory (Newton,red-blue-yellow=green-orange-purple- work that out!), calligraphy ( writing with pen and ink in Gothic style whole bloody Bibles ), working with paper ( bookbinding and making cardboard boxes,gluing them with coloured paper or paint etc ).
And of course everybody spoke the Queens Dutch, talked socialist and acted the aristocrat.
No working classes in our working classes for sure!
But till this day I enjoy looking at colours and subconsciously feel how they are created by sun and reflections through prisms, see lettering and know if it is a Bodoni or Garamont , Helvetica or Times Roman. Serif or sans serif.
We, I, were also art snobs! Amateurs were accepted as pensioners, house wives, invalids or people with nothing else to do. Or loonies in need of therapy! And Queen Wilhelmina, mother of Juliana, mother of Beatrix.
Shocking, come to think of it.
This is a large tree I painted three years ago.160x160cm. You can see the Mondriaan influence a mile of. Thank you Piet, you poor depressed Calvinist man living in mad New York! I wish I were with you then. The tree I got by pouring paint from top to bottom 'till the roots took grip.
Now I truly believe anybody who likes doing anything with his or her hands is half way to a Heaven of Pleasure.
Kids are the totally innocent little artists. Untouched by bigotry or cultural history they make things that are so close to the truth it's not funny. Some times heart braking!
So when I'm doing a painting on canvas with acrylic paints I always think of the design and whatever I want to show. I'm aware the onlooker must not be bored. Use a colour for shock affects etc etc . This sounds as if it could dampen the creativity or kill inspiration. It doesn't.
No way, not with me. I love poring paint from top to bottom on a canvas to see what will happen. Even if I am directing its flow. Its direction. Slap it with my hand or walk over it. I call that 'getting acquainted with the unmade'.
Love it when the dogs walk over the canvas although it does leave paint marks on the floor. Obviously I work allot on flat horizontal surfaces.
This is a body print. Rubbed paint on my body and clothes and went down on the paper. Hell to clean the body and the clothes were for the dustbin. But I sold many, especially to gender benders. ___________________________________________________________________________________________
In a 'funny' way this is about tolerance. I'm in a funny mood. If it makes you smile, 10 points for you and me. If it makes you laugh you are too intelligent. If it makes you angry, go back to bed. If you want to read it you know where to go to, ( http://paulbakker.id.au/ ) if you don't I cannot help you. But again, be warned, it might be about sex. It might be about art. It is not about me, for once.
This is Holland's most famous painting done by the world's most famous painter Rembrandt van Rijn. Son of a miller. Done in 1642 and huge, 3.53 x 4.73 m. It was painted in an era where everything was dandy. Safe as can be and no disruptive element. No Jews or Catholics, no people of colour in this painting and the girl with the goose was Rembrandt's girlfriend. Most men wanted the girl for her goose. All PP's, Pink Protestants.
The tall man pointing his finger was in fact angry with Rembrandt because he wasn't the first to be painted. In fact they are a motley group. Seven alcoholics, five gays and seven closet queens. One dwarf and the rest very middle class, except the drummer on the right. And one scared dog.
What is an artist? Or what am I then, as I am an artist? What would I be, if I were not an artist? Don't know and don't want to know.
Most people could think: 'Who cares'. Rightly so, maybe. But I do, and wonder at times.
My reply if I feel cheeky and slightly in a protective/defensive mood, is that Man hasn't built museums for dentists, accountants or cooks but performers, be it artists with brushes or artists with violins and even artists in a circus.
And to each his own. Let 'them', the others, organise the highways and electricity grids, let me rub a brush against a bit of canvas.
Historically it is a dangerous question and at times very threatening to ask about culture or to paint what you wanted to paint.
Adolph Hitler, Stalin, Mao and a few other 'great' men were very pertinent about what one could or could not do!
When left to these dictatorial systems we inherited some amazing shit.
During the 3rd Reich all those pretty blond men and women shit. Or big muscular workers shit. Whatever, it never really worked.
That is what I am told I suffer from by some Corrective Obsessive People. COP's. Cod liver oil., to them! So out of pure frustration I have a cigarette. But I'll give up soon, I hope.
Nothing strange about me but I do like order in my life.
Surely most people like to see an egg yellow, bright red and Royal blue car on their morning walks. And on my midday walk I like to see them again, in case I forgot to register them in my subconsciousness. Red, yellow, blue, yellow, red, blue, blue, yellow, red. Preferably in that order but that doesn't happen too often. 22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.2. And during the walks I give up cigarettes forever. I haven't got them on me anyway!
After anything in my mouth, be it coffee or a slice of cake, even a cigarette, I rinse my mouth. My father-in-law was a dentist and he told me to do that. I still have all my teeth and am twice the age of JC when he died on the cross.
I rinse maybe 30 times a day.