In this great blogpost (link below), Jon Danzig summarizes, both for a British audience, but also for European people that remain doubtful of the EU, what the true benefits of the EU really are. A sound summary that highlights why it is better to be in than out.
I my past posts, I pointed out a possible roadmap of the EU. I also want to highlight one point: the ability of the EU to keep some of the member states in check and on the path of democracy. Europe has always suffered from dictatorships that blatantly ignored human rights. Such populist or extreme right carry-ons can currently be observed in Hungary and Poland. Only the EU is in a position to thwart such attempts; without the EU several states would have gone renegade a long time ago.
Years ago, during a visit to a Disney movie, my youngest son (10 at the time) accidentally referred to popcorn as cockporn.
I haven’t been able to order a bucket of popcorn in the cinema since, as I once copied his error. Now I am afraid to mention cockpo… popcorn in any public situation.
Worse yet, I had a marketing colleague who continuously mixed up YouTube with an infamous porn channel of a very similar name. To bypass this embarrassment, he started posting all marketing videos on Vimeo.
The weather is almost like England in summertime: cool, windy, occasional rain. The dust is gone from the air and has been replaced by the fresh smell of drizzle and wet leaves and water on the pavement. I miss the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves on the trees, causing the conviction that life is beginning over again with summer, just as it stops and halts with fall and winter. The world smelling of roses, cold beer and lawns that are fighting to keep the water. The pleasure that water brings in summertime is undisputed, in winter water is frozen and hard and unpleasant, but in summer refreshing and welcoming. Sunshine like powdered gold over the grassy hillsides, light everywhere and always, in patches and splashes or simply in one big blinding chunk. And in those long dusks of summer, we walk suburban streets, with the smell of concrete that is hot to the touch, plagued by early thirst. Maple and cut grass, waiting for something to happen. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August, and those months are full of memories and associations from childhood, and innocence. Nothing more beautiful than falling in love in the summer, when laziness overtakes us and makes us slow down and we waste away hours on terraces, drinking exotic drinks and eating summerly food until the sun sets, or even far beyond if the circumstances necessitate us to do so. Stars that litter the sky, haven’t we looked up at the firmament at all over winter? As we wander back home and stumble into beds too hot to hold us long. And when we go on vacation, we shed our home skin, think that we can be a new person, like rattlesnakes do.
This is a very early painting “Flag” (50 by 60cm) that I created in the 80s of the last century. It is a style that I do not use anymore since 20 to 30 years: just oil on canvas – nowadays I use a hybrid technique with, in addition, pigments and sand. I still like this painting though; it is of course an abstract and the motive doesn’t have any particular meaning, although I’ve heard from people that you can read a lot into it, as it looks a bit like the Dutch or French flag or a beach chair, or both. It does have considerable dynamics and the colors are fresh and bright.
The bright colors are magnificent and well balanced in this particular painting. The nice thing is that if you are using oil colors they stay vibrant and alive for a very long time and there’s a certain deepness that oils create which is absent in other paints. I use a special impregnation that is added to the painting about a year after it has dried, and this makes the colors become even more alive. It also protects the paint over time. Although, if you apply it too early, the paint becomes flaky and falls off (haha, that’s not what you want). And why ‘protect’ paintings? It isn’t as if the people that purchase my work practice fencing on them.
I do not paint a lot of pictures of humans; if you look elsewhere in this blog you will see that I mostly focus on animals and in fact on depicting fish! However, in this case, I publish a picture of a nude woman.
I have forgotten where I made this painting/ picture or what inspired me. Practicing away, practicing skills, and getting something onto paper. It looks like 2007 was the year.
I used heavy paper and crayons, which is not the easiest technique as the colors are very aggressive, and you only get one shot, very little room for corrections. I do like it though, because in some cases it is very good to be forced to focus on the motive, and not worry about the execution. In most cases the sketches are turned into paintings after a while… Although I’m not sure that I will actually do that in this case.
I will upload a couple of additional pictures of human motives over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned.
I try to write at least three pages each day – and likewise I try to make at least one drawing every day too. The picture of the swimmer (below) is one of such drawings. Creating is very fulfilling. Only through practice, practice, practice can perfection be achieved. Productiveness is a great way to stay motivated within the creative process. The relaxation moment is crucial. By getting out the pen and paper or the crayons and the sketchbook, and sitting down, switching off the mind and focusing 100% on the task at hand, thoughts dwindling by like little sparks that die out above the campfire, the author or painter gets into a flow that is quiet yet unstoppable. Yes, I know my sentences may be too long, yet the creative process is not controlled by everyday rules. You have to love what you do.
Dishwashing and Creating
Hard cut to dishwashing. “Oh, what this sudden change of topic? ” you will wonder. Many years ago, our dishwasher broke down. Buy a new one, or look at alternatives? Which alternatives are there to a dishwasher?! Doing the dishes by hand. We got rid of the dishwasher, and now I wash the dishes by hand two to three times a day. Dishwashing is an interesting occupation. It may not sound very creative at first, but through practice, you can become really good at it. The dishes have to be spotless in the end, but you also will want to be as economical as possible with detergent, hot water and spent time. Dishwashing is a creative process, but interestingly with a single outcome: clean dishes. It has a strong Buddhist experience to it. I couldn’t live without it, yet I also dislike it at times, especially in the evening. It is a bit like art.
And art is the only way to survive the apocalypse 😎
Crayon sketch of a swimmer
This is a very simple sketch, I don’t want to exaggerate its importance. I do like the dynamics of this tanned body, as it jumps into to sea and at a perfect angle. It reminds me of summer, my favorite time of year. Will I turn this into an oil painting, as I often do with sketches? Nope.
Connoisseurs of my work will recognize the motif of the lone Raven / Crow in the deserted landscape. Here a modest sketch, several full-blown oil paintings can be found here.
When sketching or painting, or writing for that matter, it always intrigues that each work is unique; an original. It is like with people: even though it is hard to distinguish Susan Sarandon from Sigourney Weaver or Kurt Russell from Patrick Swayze, each one is unique as a human. In the Alien trilogy I preferred Patrick; much better than Susan in Escape from New York… just goes to show: cobbler, stick to your last. But that is a different story altogether.