Two faces talking

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'Two faces talking', acrylic on canvas, 1000 x 1000 by Paul Bakker.

I have been running around in circles for some time.

When I am stuck or frustrated by a painting I simply put down the brushes and pick op the needle and make a figure, or this time, a lump of pink slabs of maybe flesh.

Cut of old sheets then stuffed with fibre.. Life size and will hang it in the tree with the other 'second' class citizens.

'My babies and I', acrylic on stuffed cotton by Paul Bakker.


They are my 'bad conscience' I think: The fear that I might be sacked as a recipient of 'Orders' from Above. OUT of under the God's bed. Out of the company of all other artists, eunuchs, slaves and hermaphrodites who sleep under God's bed. Of course I don't believe this but it gives shape, colour and substance to the idea I wrote about before, for Heaven's sake !!!

First I wanted to paint a self portrait but then thought of doing a person, could be me, looking in a mirror. Man looking at his mirror image. But both looked too different so called it simply 'Two people talking' or 'The conversation'. This might be that very often I look at myself in the mirror when shaving and tuck and pull at my facial skin to look 'fresher', like twenty years at least.'Pussy and Teddy', acrylic on paper by Paul Bakker.

Our house friend Dr.Mick, the political scientist, walked in today and looked at 'Two faces talking' and said: 'I like that, nice colours, but where is the teddy bear and where is the pussy cat?'. I hadn't forgotten but every so often one needs to be reminded. Not to add the little critters, but to add something that hasn't anything to do with the painting. More to do with me, the child in me. My personal secrets. I paint, write, the tattoo I have on my left thigh. I add a name that means something to me. It is a personal act of adoration and surprise. I don't need to understand, just trust. I always say: 'Life is infinite and inexplicable, so why worry?'.

When asked why I add such things my only answer is that it is too much sometimes to ask people to look at a painting and ask 'what do you think'. I simply say: 'can you find the teddy bear?'. Kids and adults are relieved as they can start looking without that silly burden of 'true artistic appreciation' or education. I don't tell them I sometimes kiss my canvas, like kissing a photo of a loved one....

I saw on a tv programme, called New Inventors, a man who had re-thought the artist's easel. It is a wonderful thing to work with and somehow grips the canvas (max 180x180 cm) from behind and you can turn, twist and topple, spin and horizontalise the canvas. It is not only fun but so time saving. Click here for a picture of the easel. I have one and paid about $600,-, well worth it.

Here, in Queensland it is getting hotter by the day and water, rain, has left us for another few months so we must water the tomatoes. The sky is hazy and smells of the bush fires burning away in the mountains, as it has done from the beginning of time. It is now nearly two years ago that I moved up from Armidale, NSW, about 2300 km south.'The barefoot Warrior in silhouette', photo by Paul Bakker.

Here I am in tropical Cairns, Far Northern Queensland. I can tell you I have never been so happy, to be compared with the happiness I experienced with my sweet (and also in Heaven) Arendina. The first dead body I had seen, ever. Until that day never ever. Yet.

But stop meandering Paul, go back to where you were in Queensland. Never cold, just hot or hotter. Mildly humid and to wear clothes doesn't make sense but for protection or hiding one's body or parts of it. Or you cover your eyes with dark sun glasses. So one becomes philosophical.

My house mate Clemens never wears clothes but if he must go 'out' he, begrudgingly wears a pair of shorts, nothing else and that includes footwear. No shoes, no thongs. The true barefooted warrior. And a few silver coloured body adornments.

My excuse to wear clothes is not ONLY paint drops but the millions of bees we have here in our own backyard's beehive. Six white boxes stacked up with a bossy Queen Bee. Angelo our dog is also very weary of those buzzing insects and Her Majesty. But I feel more comfortable, more relaxed with clothes on. And that is that. My paintings do the talking. Once a canvas has been given my approval I don't worry what people will think.

Once it hangs on the wall I am also and only an onlooker. But I do hope they like it. I do hope they, you, can enjoy the same pleasure and pride I feel. Before you can say Leonardodavinci and backwards, I'll be 65 years old. That is about 32 years extra. More than I have bargained for. Shit, even Jesus Christ died at 33.

So what will you do next Paul?

Look in the mirror and I will tell you.