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Odds & Ends

a collection of blog posts that don't quite fit anywhere else.
Visit the gallery to view and purchase works in the 'Odds & Ends' collection.

The Inexplicable. collage on paper.

The Inexplicable. collage on paper.

The world is round...

The Inexplicable, collage on paper

 

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.

Fear, Angst...

Fear and Angst, collage on paper.

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!

The Royal Academy of Fine Arts

Mondriaan composition 10Gray tree by Piet Mondriaan

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.

 

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Two famous Mondriaan painting. He had, I imagine more fun doing his trees in Holland. On the right Composition 10 painted in New York

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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 ).

My tree in honour of Piet Mondriaan

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.

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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.

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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!

Body print on canvas covered with plastic

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.

 

 

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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. ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Warning

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.

Signature on canvas

Signature on canvas

Three Green Smoothies

Three Green Smoothies

Cat, secret writing and signature

Cat, secret writing and signature

Brushes from God

Brushes from God
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