Elated Depression

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

Wishing you a wonderul 2009
When the painting is over

What do you think a painter does when he finishes his painting?

Does he take three steps back, drop his head to one side and putting his pipe in his mouth, a small smile can be detected while He looks at His Creation...

After nine months of struggling He looks at His Baby.

Sound lovely but I know it is very different.

I suffer and maybe, not sure, enjoy Post Natal Depression after finishing a painting.


Post Natal Depression

This is what I want to write about as most people think I am being funny. Or disrespectful. Or a misogynist , Heaven forbid.

But let me go back to the beginning.

The Meeting

Where the idea comes from or simply said, what is suddenly on the canvas waiting for attention, is too complicated and too personal to explain.

It is spiritual, or something like that. I

f it didn't sound so pompous, one could call all creations an immaculate conception.

The Canvas

There I stand in front of the canvas, or what or 'Who' I call 'the Big White Fellow'.

Let me tell you, that 'B.W.F.' doesn't impress me at all.

I know him... I bought him...

Its size or its whiteness means nada. Often I'll jot down a telephone number or a short shopping list on 'it'.

Ihave given it a good morning kiss too.

But after the initial oozy woozy fun. and you have a break. a new period starts. 'It', 'B.W.F.', can dry and shrink.

And I can have a an ice cream with caramel and thickened cream..

Then, re vitalized, you and your 'BWF' stand face to face again.

My chin rises a few notches.

Then it starts.

I start seeing the IRRITANTS.

The Irritants

Then the painting has become a battle to eliminate these fucking bastards...

Oops, sorry.

I don't know about many other painters but when I am working with 'BWF' my mind is totally involved with the tiniest detail, the funniest tangle of shapes and colours and little surprises. Wiggly wobbly lines crossing under a yellow blob, just missing the "Dark Hole" to shoot past and over the pinks.

But then I suddenly see the IRRITANT again. And again.And again.

I can be asleep in bed snuggled up with my dream and suddenly a picture pops up and I see the IRRITANT. I

have gotten up, wobbled down a flight of stairs (this is Haren in Holland) and dabbed a brush in paints an killed the IRRITANT on 'BWF' and crawled back up to bed and bliss.

Being in Haren, Groningen to be precise, I wanted to paint a 'Diena going to Heaven'.

After her sudden death a few days before the opening of my exhibition at Pictura in Groningen, I remember painting this and I was humming as usual and knew this was OK.


After some time the canvas has gone through many tiny and some big changes and suddenly it looks back at me without IRRITANTS.

I hang it up on the yellow wall in our living room where we watch TV.

Then I don't like the blue.

I take it off the wall and change the blue and a few things and put it back in place. This can go on for ages and nobody in my sweet household objects or comments.

The dog keeps an eye on my movements when I am working and follows me often if he can leave his beloved Clemens alone for a minute.

But then it is finished.

And I want it to go.

To leave my world and snuggle up to his own dream.

But why worry about something I cannot do anymore?

Then I put my name down on a lonely canvas in the back.

That is where I am now. I cannot really believe I can ever paint again and although I know this is shit you try tell that to me. I have tried. Today I even wrote on a little lonely canvas at the back. But it didn't work.

I know what I need to do.


No need. I should.

I should do this portrait.

But I wont yet.

Next year.


angelo-and-paul-dscf2148.jpg1.35 MB