Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Smaller than the bank note!

Planet Goodaboom, Wednesday 28th February 2007

I was back in the Street Gallery last Sunday, after 4 weeks pause forced by the police and even more by the weather. And as I told: it was a successful day!
It seems that people had missed me and were happy to see me again there with all my paintings.
If I were arrogant I would dare to say:
„I bring the colour to that town!“

I sold that painting, called by Kevin „The Solitary Pine“. By the way, since I have know him, he is the one who gives titles to my paintings! This is the reason why they suddenly all have English titles...I hate to do it myself, perhaps because I hate to look at my paintings when they are finished: past is past!

This was the first one of a large series of miniatures I painted last year. My wise father had told me to do it, suggesting that many of my clients are older people who already have a long life behind them and have filled their house with a lot of stuff, and surely haven´t much place for a new picture on their wall!
How right he was! Many clients told me the same already. And this was exactly the point with my old Norwegian lady on Sunday. She loved my art, and wanted one at any cost, but had no place on her walls. She chose the smallest one!
Lucky for her, I would say, as the smallest also happens to be one of my favourite landscape paintings.
It was a very strange feeling, at the end, as she paid me: the note was bigger than the painting! I can tell you: this is an immense feeling of happiness, because it demonstrates so obviously that for some people, art is more important than money!

So... the solitary pine will soon hang on Norwegian walls. There are already many paintings from me decorating Norwegian walls, as these folk are my best clients. Norwegian love art, and love it with a natural simplicity. When they see a painting which they like, they don´t think twice: they just buy it, wherever it is, and without even asking who painted it.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

SOS´ s to the World

I don´t remember if I told you this already: about one week ago I started a French blog, the reason being that I felt quite upset at not being able to express myself in the English language the way I wanted to.
Well, I wasn´t too serious with the French one... I have no time for 2 diaries, and anyway I hate repetition. I just lay a tiny French egg, sometimes, and hope somebody will find it.
I occasionally browse through that French blog platform, and I wonder... you cannot imagine the quantity of people there, above all girls and women, who are sharing their intimate journal with the entire world. And the more depressed they feel, the more they share! This new blogging trend is quite fascinating and tells a lot about human needs. My God: how lonely they all must feel on this earth! You realise it when you go through all these journals... they seem to be a kind of SOS to the whole world... anonymous of course!
I wonder if it is a French phenomenon... but I would almost reckon, that it is more a typical French flirtation with distress than distress itself! The distinguished paleness of existentialism!

Anyway: the national blog platforms are surely the best field of investigation of a national collective soul. If only I were a student of sociology, my God: I would be all teeth!

Kevin´s illustration to this entry: I LOVE IT!

Monday, 26 February 2007

The Last of the Mohicans

Planet Goodaboom, Monday 26th February 2007

Yesterday, after 4 or 5 weeks pause, I exhibited again in the Street Gallery. Against my expectations based on former experiences with the local authorities, one week after my request for renewal of permission I received an official letter from the town hall, saying that they agree. Hurrah! It feels as though I have won a war!

I thought I had no chance, because in the meanwhile I am the only painter left exhibiting there, you might say: the last of the Mohicans.
Did I already tell you the story of the Street Gallery?
It started 3 years ago, from a collective painting exhibition organised by the local Lions Club. I met there a Spanish painter, Concha. We were both exasperated by the lack of exhibiting possibilities in our area, and had the idea to try to make the only pedestrian street of the city OURS, at least on Sundays, organising an exhibition of paintings from international painters there. It took three months till we got the permission – a perfect example of the „mañana“ principle-, and we only triumphed because Concha & me are the kind of people who take it to the wire until we get what we want! We were sent backwards and forwards through all the departments here, the culture centre, town hall, police, traffic, economy, simply because nobody really wanted to make the decison. It even became a political matter! But finally we got what we wanted!

Well... we were 7 at the beginning... 4 Spaniards, 1 German, 1 Swedish and the French Miki. Unfortunately it is very hard to work the street, and we had to face all kind of calamities like sudden storms, electrical shorts , sewage smells from the overworked drainage system, Dogs fouling path AND paintings! etc. But the worst were the critics: many people could not understand that professional painters like ourselves could „demean“ themselves by exhibiting their paintings in the street, and most of the time under very unfavourable conditions. They thought the street was the wrong „frame“ for our paintings, that it would totally diminish their value. So one after the other my painting companions deserted the Street Gallery. Just Concha and me were still there last Summer. Unfortunately, in the autumn, she gave up, too. I then wanted to stop myself because I found it too hard to stay there alone, and anyway it didn’t correspond at all to the original idea of having an international gathering of painters working in different styles and techniques. But in the last 3 years the Street Gallery had become quite well known in the area, people really enjoyed it, and they tried to convince me to go on. But it is only thanks to Kevin, who motivated and helped me so much all the time, that I am still there... and very happy about it!
As hard as it is, it is really the best way to reach the maximum number of people with my art, people coming from many different countries and social backgrounds and occupations. It is also the best place to observe the public reaction to my work.
In the meantime people no longer think it is a shame to exhibit in the street. I like to think of it as striking a blow against the collective prejudices...

And as if the gods wanted to reward us: it was a very successful day yesterday, I´ll tell you about it next time.
And the curtain fell on the Street Gallery with an astonishing sunset...

Saturday, 24 February 2007

The Last Magical Mouse

Planet Goodaboom, Saturday 24th February 2007

I just saved Planet Goodaboom´s last magical mouse from the greedy mouth of our local rocker! I am still trembling, thinking that it could have meant the definitive extermination of this wonderful species!
Well, to tell the truth, I was not quite sure that the mouse was really safe. So I took the precaution to paint íts belly with black waterproof colour. And at the same time kind of marking the animal: humans do that on earth with rare animals, don´t they?
How good am I?!
You won´t believe it, but 5 minutes ago i saw Kevin hunting after the poor mouse through the whole Planet, and of course, as he has quite long legs and can still run despite his damaged ankle sustained in London 2 months ago running for a plane after a gig, he finally caught the mouse.
You should have seen his face as his hands were covered in black paint!!!

I wonder how magical mice reproduce, because I would really love to have some more here again. They all had wonderful, vivid colours, and smelt so nice!

By the way: as a requiem you will hear next month one of the –now dead- magical mice singing alone with Kev on his song „Strawberry House“, blissfully unaware of his fate

Friday, 23 February 2007

An English Cloud with Bow-Tie

Planet Goodaboom, Friday 23th February 2007

Some days ago, quite frustrated at not being able to express myself in English as I would really love to, I looked for a French Blog Platform, and found quite a nice one. I started a new diary there, and if I have the discipline to go on, I´ll perhaps publish it in Goodaboom, for the French speaking people. I have already been moaned at by my compatriots, who consider it as a serious case of betrayal.
I was browsing through the entries there, and I found the blog of a mother publishing the last drawings of her very young child: a pig with glasses, and a train making a cloud with a bow-tie, „looking like an English gentleman“, the mother commented. English people out there, don´t be offended, i´m sure the woman referred to the bow-tie part of the drawing, not to that of the cloud!

Anyway: as I saw these pictures, I had to leave a comment:
„What a pity that we lose the freedom of our imagination when we grow up!“.
These drawings remind me of a conversation I had with Kevin some days ago. About dreams, and the way how they may be „created“ in the brain.
I think, when we sleep and our brain doesn´t underlay the laws of reasonability and logic it has to follow to be able to survive in „the real world“, it takes a little bit of its inspiration from everywhere in its memory and connects elements in a kind of surrealistic way. Connections which are „prohibited“ in a state of wakefulness.

And so it is in the woken brain of very young children. Everything is still allowed, no rule tells you that a cloud cannot wear a bow-tie, at least not loud enough to impede the imagination to flourish. This could be the reason why these children´s drawings remind me so much of dreams...

99,99 % of people lose that ability when they grow-up, I guess. Only the ones who have a strong enough character to flout the common laws, may keep this ability of wild, unallowed connections in their brain.
I would call this ability: „Creativity“.
In this sense children are surely the most creative creatures in the universe!

PS: I just found that it exists in the weather science a „Bow-Tie Effect“ related to clouds! What a genius

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Oh God, I am pregnant again!

Planet Goodaboom, Wenesday 20th February 2007

As I told you yesterday, I have just finished giving life to the Dutch „twins“. They are still not out of the house because the grandparents –in Holland- decided to make me frame them here in Spain, thinking –probably rightly- that the artist knows better which frame will best match the paintings.

And now, oh God, I am pregnant again!!!!

One could mean I´m too old for all these maternities, but the good thing in art is that you are never too old to give life... and the even better thing is: the children leave your house as soon as they are born and you don´t have to change their pampers or have the responsibility for their education!
Yes... pregnant again. It came quite suddenly overnight. Strangely enough: I spent the night alone! It must be one of those immaculate conceptions... quite logical indeed, as I was born near to Lourdes!

The scanner can already tell: kind of thrilling this time. Two girls and one boy. And don´t ask me how I managed it, but: they don´t even have the same father, at least as far as I know... and not even the same nationality! Must be the miracle of modern technology...

Anyway... dead again the dream of freedom, the foetuses are shouting already. urging to come out, I must work right now!

And speaking about babies: here, an as yet unpublished, (until now) Goodaboom exclusive view of Kev Moore, the biggest baby of all time:

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

My Well-priced Gift to Humanity

Planet Goodaboom, Monday 19th February 2007

I told you already about my most recent portraits on commission and the resulting hunting trip through the galaxies after an eye spinning around his orbit...
I sent the photos of the portraits via mail to my clients some days ago and these two Dutch kiddies have been approved by their proud grand-parents now.
I received a very nice mail from them, expressing their happiness and gratitude about my work.

When you get such compliments, really, however much you have suffered before and doubted your aptitude as a portrait painter –and this was the case this time by one of the boys, believe me! Kevin saved the poor innocent boy more than once from the garbage bin!- you forget all that pain and just feel deeply fullfilled to have given your clients such happiness.

I never experienced in my life, in other domains where I worked such a feeling to have been „useful“, to have something important to give to humanity.
I don´t know if I told you before, but my first profession is mathematician. I initially worked teaching younger students mathematics in the University and later on, in the industry as a consultant resolving inner structural and financial problems of companies in trouble. Even if I know that what I did was very useful, for the students as well as for the companies, I never felt so inwardly accomplished as when I create a portrait which make my clients happy.
This is especially true of portraits. I already made a lot of paintings on commission –landscapes, sport scenes, flowers, animals, etc...- but the satisfaction is never so deep as with portraits.

Why is it so?
Honestly: I have no idea!
But it is almost certainly to do with the intensity with which I invest myself within the portraits when I paint them. It evolves into total identification with the subject. And of course it is quite hard to identify oneself with a dog or a flower....

Anyway: in life the satisfaction we get from some work done is always proportional to the inner effort we had to do to achieve it, isn´t it so? And everybody knows it: portraiting is quite a hard task!
So lets hope I´ll always have occasion to make this special gift to humanity... well, I know, it is a special kind of gift as it is not quite free of charges, but I am sure you will forgive me!

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Sliding in Silence...

Planet Goodaboom, Friday 16th February 2007

Instead of working the street (I mean of course "The Street Gallery"), hanging around in Internet I found this nice toy and tested it with the 4 first paintings from our tale...

Friday, 16 February 2007

A Price is a Price is a Price!

Planet Goodaboom, Friday 16th February 2007

Some months ago, I exhibited for the first time 3 musician paintings in a corner of the bar at „Rolys Too“, an English restaurant in Las Bouganvillas, Almeria. At that time the walls of the main exhibition room there - the restaurant - were covered with plenty of big oil paintings more than a little inspired by Dali! After some months the painter disappeared from the area, leaving behind him a large drinks bill by way of a parting gift to Mark, Rolys´s owner. Mark, quite upset, decided to take down the paintings to keep as collateral and „give“ ME all his walls. This is is how I came to have my exhibition „Sport for All“ running there, while my musicians are all reintegrated Kevin´s Sound Studio here on Goodaboom.

Yesterday evening, quite late indeed, Kevin got a call from Mark. A guy was there, asking for the Saxophonist he saw months before. He asked for my best deal.
The question was quite embarrassing indeed... As I don´t take my painting pricing system very seriously – this is the part of my job which I most hate!- I didn´t remember which price I had put on as I exhibited it. Unfortunately, Kevin needing the collaboration of the saxophonist for one of his new songs, I had to take him out of his frame, the place where I normally put the price. And the frame, of course, is now hanging somewhere else in the world around another painting, and with another price on it.
Giggling I said to Kevin:
„Say 180 €, and let us hope that it is less than the exhibited price before!“
Kevin looked at me worriedly, and called Mark back with this price. We were told that the client was just playing pool in a league and would call back later.
Half an hour later, already after midnight, the client let it be known:

„I give you 150 €, if the painting is here tomorrow!“

I didn´t hesitate for a moment and refused.
But i didn´t refuse because I found the price too low or because the painting is here and the client 300km away.
To be honest I felt quite proud that somebody saw the painting months before and came back to buy it. Whatever you may think: 150 € is a lot of money for „a sheet of paper“, and I am always so surprised that people are ready to spend that money or even much more for my work!
But well... in this special case I felt offended somehow... I have previously been confronted with these kind of „negotiations“ and I always disliked it. I have the feeling that these people don´t respect the artists and think, they can do what they want with us. It is well known that artists have a hard life, financially I mean. So some people may think, we are grateful for each coin, and somehow treat us as if we were beggars. But we are not. We work hard for what we earn, and we have our pride.
For my part I would be very happy if people could completely stop trying to negotiate a painting price. Let art be art, pure and beautiful. Just buy it if you love it and leave it if you think it is too expensive!

So, dear readers, The Saxophonist is on the market again. Unfortunately, as a contrary reaction, I see me forced to increase the price:
200 € now!
Somebody interested?

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Valentine with Apple

Planet Goodaboom, Wenesday 14th February 2007

What a wonderful surprise this morning as I came down to my laptop... I wonder who did that in the night? Surely some strange creature escaped from Ambrosia, the land of the Thief of Hearts and the Fire Cat...

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Sympathy from the Devil?

Planet Goodaboom, Tuesday 13th February 2007

In the case somebody missed me here, just some words to say: I am still alive!

Unfortunately, I can hardly find the time to write. The fact that I have to write in English doesn´t make it any easier for me. And: I know for certain that most of my potential readers are stopped by the language, especially the French and Spanish ones, who are quite unwilling to make an effort even if they master the English language. This a deep problem for me, as it lessens my motivation to write a diary. A vicious circle in English, but perhaps more appropriately in German, a devil´s circle!

And then... I started some more projects last week, too many perhaps, and I am beginning to wonder if it is perhaps too much. It is a problem when your brain is continuously producing ideas, which you feel are worthy of putting into practice. It is impossible for me to make a choice, so I try to realise all of them, and consequently my brain is producing yet more ideas, which are all even more interesting than the original one!
A second devils circle, with a diameter bigger than the first! (the mathematician in me is speaking here...)

And yet more... If we were an old site and had many visitors already, I am sure, they would naturally help me to make the right choice. Goodaboom was born because Kevin & me basically felt the need to share with the world everything we´ve got. But of course, it is very important for us is to give the world what THEY want. And to know that is only possible with feedback: the third devils circle!

So what should I do?
Actually If I may just say: I hate all these devil´s circles! They are one of the main structures ruling our lives, and it is very difficult not to get caught up in them, whatever you do!
There is, I believe, no way to get OUT of them.
Rather, I believe, it is only possible to run the circle in the other direction. I would say: instead of circling in the negative way, one should try to circle in the contrary way, the positive one. In fact a devil´s circle is nothing more than an autocatalytical process, and such a process can be extraordinarily productive. Well, in fact it can lead to a surfeit of production if it is not well controlled, something that will soon happen to me.

However, there is a very natural solution to this problem: the self regulating nature of life! So, in a twist on the Rolling Stones classic, let´s hope for some Sympathy from the Devil!

Animations provided by

Thursday, 8 February 2007

An Eye spinning around his Orbit...

Goodaboom, Thursday 8th February 2007

Late, and I feel exhausted! My eyes are especially tired, after having spent the day working on the portraits of my two Dutch kiddies. At least, I have tamed them now... Well, I hope I have! I have had them here for some weeks already, it´s enough now, I can´t bear them anymore! This always happens to me when i work for a long time on a portrait, the portraited person comes alive, and almost as though he or she were living with me. When one knows me, and how I defend my privacy, one can imagine how I hate these intruders at the end!

Tomorrow I´ll send the photos of the portraits to the clients in Holland, and if they think they really are their grand-children, I´ll send them back home on the first plane! As I told before, one of them was complicated for me and I needed much more time than I thought. I had particular problems with one eye, which persisted in being too low, wherever I placed it. I noticed it very late, as the portrait was almost finished. I saw that something was wrong, but I was not able to find the reason. I looked at all the lines the light and the shadow areas, I compared all dimensions of all the elements of building a face, and the space between –something which I normally never do, as I paint portraits without taking measurements.
I never had such a problem before in my career as portrait painter, and I can tell you: this eye which was spinning around his orbit drove me mad! Above all because by the end it seemed to draw the nose tip, the mouth edges and the earlobes into its star trek!

The danger in this case is when you start changing things, little by little. Things which have nothing to do with the problem, and soon you stand in front of a stranger on the paper. Each minimal change generally has a massive effect on the expression of a face: it is true in life, and it is true in a portrait.

In such moments I am asking myself if I should really go on with such a hard profession as portrait painter. But I know the answer already; I cannot stop! Portrait painting is simply fascinating, and the happiness I give my clients is priceless (but don´t misunderstand me: my portraits do have a price!)!
Anyway I´ll publish these two new portraits in Goodaboom very soon, for the ones amongst you who have followed me on my way of the cross!

Monday, 5 February 2007

StillLife, Dead Nature or Barrel?

Goodaboom, Monday 5th February 2007

I have just returned from the local Eye Centre, where we mounted an exhibition with birds and landscapes in water colour on Friday evening. A nice place for my paintings, and I daresay, the people there have the right eyes to look at them, at least when they come out of the treatment room!

Monday today, and some monday stress in the air... A new week is beginning, new decisions must be taken. By the amount of things we want to do, we would need more than 10 lives each and 100 together to achieve them. So priorities must be set: an awful challenge! On the other hand, the fact that we could theoretically do all we want, if time were not so cruel, is the best proof that we are quite free. But as the Germans say:
„Wer hat die Wahl
hat die Qual!“
He who has a choice, has an agony... How true!
Anyway, first of all, I´ll have to prepare my next exhibition about „Flowers and Still Lifes“. It will be the first time that I exhibit these kind of paintings outside of my gallery. No special reason... perhaps the fear that people might have found them boring... or more probably it is just myself, a fanatic of movement, who hates the idea of „still life“. Although I must say, that it is a far better idea than the French one.. French people call „Still Life“
„Dead Nature“
Macabre! This is a fantastic example how countries use different words for the same thing and how these differences can even lead to philosophical considerations about the national character!
German say „Stilleben“ too. Is that a sign, that German and English respect or love Nature much more than we French do? I have my own ideas about it.
The Spaniards are much less involved in such sophisticated considerations. They call the „Still Life“ „Bodegon“, which more or less means „Barrel“! Yes, they love their wine, and apparently can´t imagine a still life without it! Incidentally, they also use the term „Naturaleza muerta“, „Dead Nature“, and if you see how they handle their environmental considerations, such as the disposal of waste, you will realise they have plenty of examples of it!

Coming back to the Monday stress...Funny thing, fate...the same day as I decided to open Goodaskool, my Painting School online , a German man came and somehow convinced me to give him real lessons. 2 weeks before, I had let him go with a quite categorical „No“, as I described it in the Painter´s Pointer. Well, if the weather is good, the lesson will take place tomorrow, and I´ll tell you about it.

But for now, I have to go back to my two Dutch kiddies on commission.
„Tough ones!“
as Kevin says... Yes I think, I never suffered so much doing a portrait as with the oldest one. And I can´t even say what is so difficult in his face... Well, you can judge for yourself when it is finished... Friday at the latest!