Meandering about being an artist

Togetherness, acrylic on canvas, 600x500

I went to my art school, The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague, Holland, established some 4 centuries ago. Only the art school of Bologna is older.
I didn't even shave yet then. I think it is a great privelege when one can start to study art while still a kid. Our teachers were demi-Gods in our eyes. Old men, maybe late 30's. Some even older!.

What does an artist do? Nobody is waiting for them but as I often say with tongue in cheek: They don't build museums for dentists or brain surgeons.

To be an professional artist one must exhibit. So am I an exhibitionist? Yes, for sure.

On this web site Clemens created a gallery called Meetings.

One piece in this gallery is called 'Meeting Dien'. I was a little down, literally too, as I was helping a friend in her garden. Suddenly I looked back and saw this lady standing in a doorway. She was the sister of a good friend of mine. Her name was Arendina or Dientje for short.

It was love at first sight but I took some time to pluck up courage etc etc.

Workman's dirty feet

Workman's Dirty Feet

As I now live in the the tropics I work without my shoes on and pick up spicks of paint and glue and whatnots. This is the result!

strange reflection

Reflections on a Vase, mixed media, 120x170

Reflections in a Vase. Photo by Clemens Vermeulen A few days ago we were sitting talking when I saw a reflection of light in a vase on the fridge.

I certainly saw a human and asked Clemens to photograph it.

working on booklet of my paintings

Paul Bakker - 2008

Since my mid twenties I have had great fun copying my paintings on a very small scale for booklets that accompany my expositions. This is simple craftsmanship, no creativity. Like needlework.

I make all the covers as unica and make as many as the years I count. So this time there will be 62! The booklets are numbered and signed and Nr.1 I always send to HRH Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands. This time Nr.2 will be presented to our new Prime Minister Mr. Kevin Rudd. Because I am proud of Kevin!

So far I have done twelve covers, another fifty to come! I show you a few covers here. And I am working on the layout and text for the inside. The inside will be printed of course. Without the help of Clemens it would be a much harder task.


Neighbour Kevin, sketch 2

What the hell am I trying to say?

I did the painting of my neighbour (after the photo Clemens took) to actually show how most people see other people stereotypically.

I am the same. I see the beautifull Aboriginies and think: Why don't they have their nakedness or why those ugly T-Shirts etc etc etc.

Why not body paintings?

This while I don't even know when and why they have them or not.

This arrogance and ignorance is nothing I can do much about.

But I can learn to listen.

I for instance still cannot imagine eaten pork meat.

Or being rude to my fellow man.

a special day

We Are Sorry

Yesterday our Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised on behalf of us all.

I tell you, like so many people, I cried my eyes out.

I was brought up in several different cultures where people had several different colours, several different languages and several different accents.

It amazed me how intollerant or scared others are towards others.

Even as an artist one can be put in a box.
But we can get away with a lot....

"After you are dead your paintings will be worth a fortune!"

Heard it all my life.

Our neighbour Kevin

Neighbour Kevin

Today I feel proud to be an Australian!

My favorite PM Kevin Rudd openly and touchingly apologised to the 'Stolen Generations' of Aboriginal childeren. Why people fussed about the precise wording made me sick! All he said was: Imagine it would happen to you. Enough. BBC story

red flowers with naked man

Red Lillies, sketch after a photo by Clemens Vermeulen

After my man in the water sketch of Clemens' photo I saw another picture and again saw a naked man in the wooden things.

He looks a little strange and longing.

He might smoke too much,............ or do I?

Red Lillies, cropped, a photo by Clemens Vermeulen
I smoke maybe two cigarettes a day and as they say: two too many!

Was it W.H.Auden who wrote the poem; 'A day for a lay!'?

Must be healthier for sure.

Here the drawing and the photo. You make up your own mind.

Who knows, I might be a little crazy!!! Hope so.


Photo from the series 'In the Garden' by Clemens Vermeulen

About interpretations

Reflections, photo by clemens

Yesterday I had the idea, inspiration, to know what i'll be working on this week.

I mentioned some time ago I felt I went to bed in a coffin with the lid open.
Not in a depressed way but a little like waiting for Death!

Things have changed.

I live in Cairns, Far Northern Queensland now and I am sharing my life with Clemens V., a person I know since early childhood.

Reflections, man in billabong, sketch after a photo by Clemens Vermeulen

We were in Indonesia, Iran, Holland and Australia together. Our parents worked for BPM, a Shell Oil subsidiary company. We often felt we were Shell victims....

His wife, and my friend G, died a few years ago, in the same time my Diena died too.

I suggested we should spend our remaining time on earth together and we do. It is great. And productive, I can tell you. He showed me one of his photo's. We used to work together as art director and photographer in the seventies. For a magazine called 'POL Magazine'.

I suddenly saw in Clemens' photo reflections of me, not in a coffin, but underwater. I asked C. if I could paint a little sketch of what I saw. It will be worked out later.

Or not.


friday 8 feb 08

Tower of Babylon, unfinished, acrylic on canvas, 500x1200

still painting trees. unbelievable! But this one is more the Tower. Tower of Babylon.

speak to you later!


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