Monday, 26 March 2007

Two Proud!

Planet Goodaboom, Monday 26th March 2007

We were back working the Street yesterday, but to be honest, we totally missed the time table: we started at 14h instead of 11h! I just felt lazy, somehow, something which doesn´t occur very often, and I couldn´t really convince myself to face that kind of work. And furthermore, we didn´t even realise that they had changed the time in the night, so to add insult to injury it was also one hour later! Some German man, who had been in the Street Gallery early in the morning, came back in the afternoon and mentioned to me, that they changed the time, pointing at his watch in a comically impatient fashion. I guess he hadn´t noticed that I was not one but 3 hours too late!
By the way: I hadn´t even noticed that I still had my painting trousers on, which actually look like one of my wilder creations. The same guy called me and said:
"What is the price of this painting, Miki?"
I was surprised.
"How do you know my name?"
Well, he just smiled, pointed to the signature on the painting he was just holding in his hands, and to my trousers....
Indeed, it couldn´t be more obvious! I realised then just what I was wearing.

It was very windy and cold by the sea yesterday, and we couldn´t set up the easels. Never mind, I put the biggest paintings on the ground and the ingenious Kevin created very sophisticated, anti-wind devices -gigantic plastic clips to hold some of tiny frameless paintings in their display rack, which was itself anchored to the table with even BIGGER clips! The paintings almost disappeared within this mighty construction! But well, he was very proud of himself, this the most important thing, I guess...
Due to the weather, there were not many people walking around, but I still got a lot of attention and compliments, well, my paintings did!. We also had some very funny entertainment by a spanish saint woman called "Puri", a short name for "Purification". Kevin will tell you the story, I would miss out too many words to transmit the glory of the situation...

I -unfortunately- sold one of my favourite sketches, and to tell the truth, I haven´t many. A fast sketch of a village in the "Ribeira del Duero", a famous wine region north of Madrid. I was there two years ago, on a painting trip. Sold to a Spanish Art collector from Madrid, who worked in the past in El Prado.
I must say: I am quite proud!

So plenty of pride all round, for construction, and sales! (Despite, I´m sure, Saint Puri´s admonition that Pride is one of the 7 deadly sins....we´re working on the others!)

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Back again on Planet Goodaboom!

Planet Goodaboom, Saturday 24th March 2007

Yes, we are back home, and this is the way it looked as we entered Spain on the 21st of March in the middle of the afternoon. And you won´t believe it, but some hours later, as we drove through a region called "El Maestrazgo", about 300km south of Madrid, the car thermometer was showing - 6°C outside! So people, if you consider moving to Spain because of sea and sunshine, better stay home... anyway, already too many people are living here, it´s becoming insane! Better regularly read our diaries and get the taste of Spain from a distance!

Kevin will surely soon make a word and photo reportage of our travel to Germany and to France, so keep an eye out for our travelogue.

The first thing I saw when I entered the Art Studio was three half finished kiddies anxiously waiting for me with wide open eyes... oh God, I thought, I had completely forgot them! Of course, two weeks before we left I had started 3 portraits on commission - one English boy, one English girl, one Dutch girl- and had to leave before I could finish them...
It will be so difficult now to go back to them, I have completely lost the personal relationship I had established with them while I was painting them, absolutely necessary to make a good, lively portrait. But well, I am not so worried, I just need to make the first step, sit in front of one portrait, empty my mind concentrating only on the child and start. But well, this tiny step, at the moment, appears to me like a giant one! But it will be wonderful to paint again, after 10 days artistic inactivity. I deeply miss it.

I guess, the best thing is to start at once! Also: write to you soon again!

Monday, 12 March 2007

Bye bye Goodaboom!

Planet Goodaboom, Monday 12th March 2007

Just some words between the bags and suitcases, and surely not very original ones... we drive tomorrow to France, then to Germany, not on holidays to be precise, things must be done...
Kevin is quite excited, where ever and why ever we go, he is happy. I guess he just thinks:
„On the road again!“
I normally love to be on the road myself, but well, this time, it is connected to difficult moments. But I will try to make the best of it, and anyway, I will be in the best company, which is surely the most important thing in the world!
We will try to make some entries when we are abroad, but we can´t promise. If not, we´ll see you again in one week... Take care!

Friday, 9 March 2007

Buying my place in Paradise...

Planet Goodaboom, Friday 9th March 2007

My parents live in a flat in Tarbes, in the French Pyrenees, in the first floor. Underneath there lives alone a very old Catholic priest, he must be about 90 years old now. A very funny figure. I remember when I met him for the first time on the stairs there, I was on the way to my kick boxing training. My mother told him that, and he suddenly got very bright eyes, asking me if I had seen the film „X“ –sorry, I don´t remember the name!- with a woman as a kick boxer... he said that he loved the film. And as he said bye to me, he started wildly throwing his fists and legs in the air, in the manner of a kick boxer!
He is also the one who bakes special butter-laden cookies for Maya, my parent´s dog... he knows that my parents don´t want that the dog to eat too many cookies, so he just waits until they turn their backs and he feeds her with all the cookies within 2 minutes! You should see his innocent, sinless eyes after!
Anyway... some days ago he went to my parents flat and saw some of my paintings there. He was fascinated by the abstract ones, especially the one with the very bright colours, „La dame en noir“. Which I gave my mother last year for Mother´s day:

The priest said that he was something of a connaisseur in art and literature, and made many compliments about my work.
„You can believe me, I know what I am speaking about, she is a great artist!“
Oh God!

He spent a long time sitting there, and watching the Lady in Black, At the end he took a very sinful look and asked, with a very shy voice:

„Can you ask your daughter if she can give me one painting? Just a tiny one? I know it is very shameful of me, but... it is so beautiful, I can´t resist!“

My mother was quite embarrassed to tell, me that, but why? I feel quite honoured, I must say! I always feel honoured when somebody loves my paintings so much that he wants to hang one at home, either paid for, or not!
So I have chosen for the priest today one of my favourite „Impressions“, called „Phantasm“, and Kevin will put a beautiful frame around it. My mother thinks it´s too much, but as I told her just now on the phone:
„It might help me to get a place in Paradise!

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

A Baby in a Rose

Planet Goodaboom, Tuesday 6th March 2007

I told you it was a successful day 2 days ago in the Street Gallery...but how successful, I didn´t even know myself at that moment! One of the clients who already bought a painting from me came today to my Gallery and bought a further three and a CD from Kevin (see his entry in his diary). It was wonderful to see how they hardly could decide which one they should buy, they loved so many... what a nice compliment for me! Above all because these people were the same who bought my miniature painting 2 weeks ago, saying that they have no place on their walls. They haven´t indeed, but they have children who still have space... I hope they will like the paintings their parents bought for them today!

I wanted above all to tell you about the old Spanish lady who bought a painting from me on Sunday. She is one of these women living in the countryside, and who normally never leave their villages in their lifetime. But some travel companies here organise cheap week-end trips to the coast for these old Spanish people and for most it is their first trip away. They accomodate them in some of the nice hotels by the beach –one of them, Kactus Hotel, is right at the corner of the Street Gallery- and organise there on the Sunday afternoon big sales of things like oriental carpets or modern kitchen appliances. These poor people get the trip cheap, but they then spend such a fortune buying all these extras! Anyway.. my old lady looked at the paintings and came to me, asking:
„Are these paintings signed by any well-known painter?“
I didn´t really understand what she meant. So I said:
„well, yes, they are all signed... the paintings are from me!“
„Yes, I can see they are signed! But I know exactly what I want!“
She sounded a little bit stressed... but whatever she wanted, and however she expressed it, I kept smiling and told her, that I am famous in the area. She was quite happy with that answer and asked me for the price.
„Which one?“
I asked.
She didn´t know. She just wanted a painting from a famous painter, I guess. As I told her the price of various ones, she looked very sad.
„Look, I have already spent too much money on the carpets... I have almost nothing left... and my husband loves paintings so much! It is for him...“
Finally she found a painting which she really loved. It was inspired by a photo from Anne Geddes, featuring a baby in a rose. In fact it was not for sale, it was just to give people ideas for personalised paintings.
But my old lady insisted so much that I gave her a price. Of course it was much too expensive, and normally I don´t let people negociate with me. But I felt some kind of sympathy for this woman. I never had that before but, after 4 rounds, and her leaving and returning each time, finally even showing me the bill for the carpets she had just bought, she succeeded in getting the painting from me for less than half of the price I had first said!
I wonder if her husband will really appreciate it, when she comes back home after having spent so much money. But she was very happy, and wanted me to make a photo of her, me and the baby in the Rose!

Monday, 5 March 2007

Art and Ice Cream

Planet Goodaboom, Monday 5th March 2007

Wonderful day again for the Street Gallery yesterday. I guess a thousand people must have stopped to look at my paintings and I ask you: where else, if you are not a really famous painter, would you get so many visitors in one day to your exhibition? Whatever one still may think about my choice to „work the street“: it is obviously the best place to touch my clients! (Kevin: „you are such a naughty girl, Miki!“)

And as you see: even the youngest were interested in my art! That one –a lively work of art himself!, with even the colour of the ice cream matching the colour of the sweatshirt!- had really to be dragged away by his parents from my paintings, he wanted to stay there! I guess the parents were scared the ice cream would land on the paintings, and indeed I was scared too although, honestly, I think it would have been funny, somehow, to see the reaction of the parents and if they would offer to buy the painting...
It reminds me, many years ago, I was painting a watercolour landscape in nature, sitting on the ground, in Provence. Suddenly I saw an enormous tongue licking my painting and the whole landscape was transformed into a dog´s breakfast, quite literally! I glanced back and saw behind me a gigantic Saint Bernard, whose tongue, having finished with my painting, moved on to my face for dessert... By the way: the dog´s owner did not propose to pay for the painting, but thankfully kept HIS tongue in his mouth!

I ask you again: have you seen many times such small children in a normal exhibition? This only happens in the street. I am fascinated how such small children are really interested in paintings... and many times it happens that they start explaining the paintings to their parents! This was not the case with that one, as he cannot speak yet!

The problem with my young admirers is that they don´t buy my paintings. They prefer to spend their money on ice cream, I guess, and I must confess, in their place, I would do the same!!!!!!!

Nevertherless it was a very successful day yesterday in the older age category. I´ll tell you next time... if I can find the time to leave all my kiddies for a while!

Saturday, 3 March 2007

God comes through The Wall

Planet Goodaboom, Saturday 3rd March 2007

No, it´s not a painting from me, although I am fascinated by the likeness... it is just a fracture in the wall of a house in Villajoyosa, a small town on the coast 30 km north of Alicante. We were there yesterday, and it´s been about 7 years since I have been there.

The last time, I remember, I was there alone to sketch the old town with the rainbow houses.
A funny story... A young man came to me. He was a seaman by day and a flamenco singer by night. He said he was totally fascinated by my sketches, but somehow I had the feeling –a kind of feminine intuition...- that it was something more earthly which attracted him to me. Anyway... in spite of all my efforts, I could not get rid of him, and although he left me for a short time he returned swiftly with his 5 nephews and nieces, all small children between 3 and 5 years old. Then he insisted that I accompany them to meet his mother and say hello, they had never seen a foreign artist before and it would be a big honour for them if I would enter their house. The 50 children´s fingers were already grasping my arms and legs and dragging me, so I had no chance to say no. I had to cross the whole city with 5 children flapping around me like an insane skirt! I really felt like a big Spanish mamma! And those who know me understand the ridiculousness of the situation: I have always panicked at the thought of becoming a Mother!

Finally we reached the house. The children released me and rushed into the house to tell the good news to the grandmother (I guess they told her that their uncle was bringing his new fiancĂ©, and not some foreign artist!!!) I used an instant of his inattention to escape from my sailor´s net and run away hell for leather. I was really panicked, I could see myself married into the bosom of a big Spanish family without even having time to realise what was going on!
I never came back to Villajoyosa then, out of fear to meet him again!

But yesterday I was not alone there, and I guess Kevin would have effortlessly convinced any seaman and flamenco singer to go away from me, if necessary....
The city had not changed at all. I have never in my life seen a place such as this where life and death are cohabiting in the same spot.
And if I had only 3 words to describe it, I would say:
„colour, chaos and romany“