Paul Bakker's blog

Toads and I

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, a toad a day just hops away.

I am trying to be funny but I 'm talking about squashed toads I find on the road every day when we, Clemens and I, walk our lovely dog Angelo through the park and back. I also have collected a huge bunch of toys fallen out of prams or out of little kids hands. Oh well, c'est la Vie.

I literally peel the little squashed creatures off the road. A flat road toad.

Why ?
Difficult to explain or as everything in life, not so terribly difficult but but.....when I see one on the road the toad is then Off the road, so to speak.
Home I find a tiny canvas and glue the toad on after I have given it a clean and a gleam with shiny spray of paint or varnish.

Why ?
No idea what-so-ever accept I know they are as dead as Marilyn Monroe and nearly as beautiful.

Red Flat Toad on canvasTwo Flat ToadsSingle Flat Toad on canvas

All about Feet, 'voeten' in Dutch, and Colours

I have just finished writing and published my blog on Noses. And colours.

I suppose becoming 'Super Mature', old age, makes one a little philosophical about your being.

Feet, hands, faces and those other places of intrest.

I look very much after my nose. Cannot go to sleep if I haven't got my Otrivin Nose drops.


Feet 1 in a series: foot prints on paper.Feet 10 in a series: foot prints on paper.Feet 11 in a series: foot prints on paper.



Faces and Hands, marker pens, collage on paperWe are born and born as human bodies. Human beings. Tiny little creatures and totally helpless. If we are not fed, bad luck!' what a shame. And we are all born with a very fragile set of arms, legs, noses and believe me: Toes, 'tenen' in Dutch.


Some time ago I told you how accidentally Michael Angelo,our bigger dog, bit my left big toe and I spent time in hospital. A few days ago we were walking the babies and I slipped on some thin mud and fell flat on my face, and the rest of my front part. I protected my nose, a little sore but not broken BUT my toe on my right foot got a beating. Now it throbs and every so often a sense a burning needle is stuck in that poor pink and blue 'final extension' of my corpus ! Rub it with Arnica tincture and let the dogs have a go too.

Never the less, it is strange and embarrassing in a way to tell you, I have as far as I know, never felt hardship or real pain. And no bodily disfigurements accept one little thing: my little finger on my left hand.


I was playing as a 5 or 6 year old one afternoon in Jakarta,Indonesia, with empty bottles. My parents were having their siesta. Anyway I was walking with the bottles and tripped and all but chopped my finger off. I went screaming with blood dripping down my body saying I had been bitten by a snake ! What a lying thing I was. The baboes, young Indonesian servant women were also shrieking. But that was all.

They stitched it back on, bar the tendon, and 'till this day it is small and unmoveable. But it did stick out and that looked strange, like a lady drinking a glass of Champagne.


I knew and know how to take the little one back with the other larger ring finger so not to be ridiculed.

Shadow work: Paul's nose and Clemens' hand Shadow work: Nose Shadow PortraitPaul and Shadow,by Clemens

















Slightly irritated

I have been ticked off, ticked on my fingers, lately, about a few things and from a few good friends.

One is that I repeat myself. The other is I write too much about myself, Paul Bakker and ignore the rest of the world.


Well, to start with, it is a blog about me and my art. Not about Syria or

Arnold Schwarzenegger or whoever! 

I don't seem to worry about the rest of the world. Well, I don't so that is correct. That doesn't mean I don't know what is happening but I worry more about what colour I'll be using in the background for my next self portrait. Doing these self portraits daily, that is indeed one a day, makes one very aware of oneself. Not the rest of the world.

Self portrait: paul at a partySelf portrait: Contemplative PaulSelf portrait: Paul getting inspired



















I do think allot about my life so far. I lived as an adult in Holland and Portugal and Australia and many things happened. Mostly good. And I've been very lucky. Never poor but never rich. Never sick or never living in fear and all I worried about was my next painting. And for a long time, about my next drink. But that is in the past. Soooo long ago. I didn't say I never told a lie, a white lie of course.

But no alcohol or tobacco now any more and that is that ! Just painting and walking the dogs. Sometimes a little fantasy about a coldy and a siggy.....


All my life, yes, a repeat again, I lived to paint. Not in a heavy way but that was/is all I really know about. All I was confident about.

Never had anything to do with the police and once I needed a background check-up because I was going to work with teenagers, the policeman said to me; 'Paul, you don't exist!' I said; Because I don't drive a car. Left out and didn't pay taxes. I was never asked and that is that !

Nothingness and self-portraits

I have been thinking a lot about 'Nothing'.

Nothing and Art. And the connection with Nothing, Art and the whole entire bloody world. The entire bloody universe.


A week ago I received via Facebook a portrait done by my artist nephew Pete Woodley-Page I thought called: Portrait. It was a blank page. no more or no less. A small blank square.


At night in my bed, where like so many people, I do a lot of thinking. Clever, I thought that portrait being a blank page. And if you sometimes think if you should paint something pretty or intelligent, a blank space is amazing! So intellectual. So smart. So blank. Nothingness acting as a portrait. Well, it was for me something to wonder about, anyway. The approach to a self image. The big WHY does one paint. And WHY am I so obsessed with doing this latest self portrait! I have done many self portraits in my life and am working on one now, this very moment albeit in my head.


Self portrait Green painted while blindfoldedSelf portrait, pentel pen on paperSelf Portrait Red, painted on paper while blindfolded















(Left and right done blindfolded and in the middle Looking at Me)


I am thinking about so many things but mostly at this moment about Infinity. Nothing new about that but as I am coming closer to the day I'll walk through some mystical door or opening or hole, I am thinking much more and much more do I realise I, we, don't understand a thing.

That is why so many insecure people need religion, psychiatry or memberships to Heaven knows what kind of organisations.

So inevatibly I have come to some conclusions. Nothing enormously special though.

As long as one cannot explain or understand Infinity one might as well be whatever you feel like and believe whatever you feel like as we, humans on planet Earth, do not understand everything but more strongly, know we'll never ever understand Infinity. Here we understand nothing. Nada nada, we say in Portugal.

Purple hand fingerpainted on paperYellow hand, fingerpainted on paperGreen hand fingerpainted on paper


Minimalism, Baroque, Maximalism, Pluralism and disinterest

Minimalism, still life objects photographed on paper


Well in a strange, or funny way, that sums me up.


As a member of this privileged society, and I mean Australia, I haven't had a thing to worry about. Never lack of money, never too much money, never paid taxes, and NO, I am NOT ashamed of that!! 


That is my Minimalism.


Never been sick, like a flue or measles but a bit of a struggle with alcohol but even that I see as a colourful and enhancing something to my life's experiences. Twice in a rehab for alcohol and never met so many lovely and interesting people. People I would normally never meet in my cosy protected surroundings!


That is my maximalism.

2013 and the sun

Keep walking to meet each other.

I have not written on my blog for some time.

Too lazy and it is also too hot. Cannot even work in my outside studio so find myself doing pen and ink drawing in my room next to the fan!


A friend of mine in Florida, Eric or Ricky Tielman, made a video of my work!

I don't even know how he collected all the pictures. Nor do I have the patience to collect them but it is really nice.



It made me blush a little and also gave me a feeling of contentment so I though instead of making my own blog I'll use Eric's video and publish the few drawings I have made recently here in my room!


Guardian angel for Heleen. Paul smoking and drinking, pen and ink on paper.



I hope you will enjoy them. Here today we are nearly the coolest part of Australia, 34 degrees but in other parts it is around the 40!!!

Honestly, we must walk to puppies before 7 am or it is not on!


I wish you all a great 2013...




Angel 2013, feathers with pan and ink on paper

Walking the Dogs!

Today, Monday the 3rd of December 2012, we just got back from our walk with the dogs and our findings, rubbish, we pick up.

We are like bloody Saints, or garbage collectors, and later in Heaven we'll get a room with a view for our goodness albeit 2nd class because we don't belong to a religion. The best rooms up there are occupied by the Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims and a few Protestants. Oh yes of course, the Free Masons.

Carflattened cans, tops, feathers and a red spoon...













My grandfather on mothers side was a Grand Master in the Free Mason movement.

Clemens and I have both our dogs Leonardo Da Vinci and Michael Angelo on a lead and they walk us more than we walk them.

But life is great.

I went a few days through a bit of a downer but have snapped out of that, thank God or whoever.

Probably Clemens more than God as I have known Clemens since childhood when we lived both in Indonesia(Borneo and Java), Iran and Holland.

He never complains about my negativeness etc (etc=beer) but just waits for it to pass!

And it did and I even had a coffee this morning.

Looking at the rubbish every where I am always surprised that people just dump things on the ground without even thinking.

Clemens with Angelo and Da Vinci at Buchans Point Beach
So many cans, cigarettes packets, pot smoking utensils and bottle tops one must make some artistic thing out of them! I also picked up a few white feathers and added them to my master piece!

We started walking today at 7 am as it is getting too hot for the puppies. And for me too actually.

I am still trying to make this big painting called: My Life.

So far I have drawn a few legs with a baby in the middle. That is my mother and me after birth.

It is difficult to think about ones life and doing a painting of it. What do you put in and what do you leave out?


Photo right: Clemens with Angelo and Da Vinci at Buchans Point Beach 2012


I don't know. I can write all the things on paper that I feel make me for what I am. Relatively lazy, happy but full of fears. I am afraid of driving in a car and I am fearful of groups of people.

Especially when walking the dogs and we have to cross a wooden bridge and ten or more youths are hanging on it and laughing their stoned heads off but they are, so far, always nice to us. Every body in our neighbourhood knows us as we walk twice a day with these terribly friendly black and white dogs. Colly types I think.




Anyway, just start working Paul Bakker!

I am sure Rembrandt (Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn) said that too!!!

Heaven or hell

I often use the term Heaven or Hell but by no means do I mean that biblically or in a religious way.

I mean for better or worse. No, not religious but certainly spiritual. Below, that yellow ball is how I imagine a God to look like!

Yellow God, paint on paper.
For Heavens sake, I think what I have heard or read about the Christian, Muslim or Jewish Heaven it must be the most boring place on Earth, or should I say: In Heaven ?

Knowing me I'd be slipping of the clouds and tripping over all those angels talking about their Master or jealously about their clients on Earth and their naughty 'sins'..

Hell sounds much more fun. More like an American detective novel.

Just hope they have air conditioning.

But full of gamblers, murderers, adulterers and sex maniacs . Not that I am any of the before mentioned but I am a 'looker', in nicer words we are called artists.

Do you think Toulouse Lautrec did anything with those voluptuous ladies he painted. He could barely walk for Heavens sake. Or in this case: for Hell's sake. See, Heaven or Hell.

Any way, I was told angels have no sex organs so who on Earth wants to live the perfect life with hope of a heavenly Heaven and you cannot even have sex with a good looking angel?

Two angels
No, give me the Buddist thoughts.

You do what you do, you pay a little price and come back and start all over again doing every thing you want or need to do. Good or bad but the price is not eternal Heaven or Hell. Just burning a little incense and feel regret or remorse. Far more spiritual and intellectual. Puts me out of that order! I just go to confession and the last time I did that was when i was about 14 or 15. I had to make up a few sins as I truly didn't know what I had possibly done wrong. I tell you, I'm half a bloody saint or very boring.

Buddha and little blue man
Just look at the news now in 2012. First Egypt and Libya, now Syria fighting with their Christian brothers and the Jews are always the target.

I am not Jewish but suspect my Dutch grand mother of being a closet Jewess and she was always stopped in the street by our German neighbours during WW2 because she had black hair and eyes and was olive skinned (but she was too tall). She looked like a Sephardic person and didn't like Protestants or Catholics! Hated the Germans, didn't particularly like the Brits, Belgiums, French or anybody for that matter accept my father (her younger son) and me!!!


Battle with alcohol and yet a happy life

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.

Frugivore Clemens walking to his 'green smoothy' garden
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.

Caricatures of Paul BakkerSelf portrait, aquarel on paper.Self portarit, paul at the party, aquarel on paper.










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!

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