A picture of the summertime sky – beautiful memories

The weather is almost like it is in England in summertime: cool, windy and rainy. The dust is gone from the air and has been replaced by the fresh smell of drizzle and wet leaves and water on the pavement.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 growing on the trees, causing the conviction that life is beginning over again with the 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 an 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 skins, think that we can be a new person, like rattlesnakes do.

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Summer sky in Maastricht

Summer sky in Maastricht

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“Flag” – a painting in oil on canvas. One of my #earlyworks

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.

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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.

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Sketch Nude Woman 20x30cm painting #ampainting #amhappy

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.

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A sketch from the sketchbook – thoughts about creating, crayons and dishwashing

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 😎

Sportsman

Crayon sketch of a swimmer

The 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.

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A sketch from my sketchbook “Raven” (although you could argue that it is a crow)

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Connoisseurs of my work will recognize the motif of the lone RavenCrow 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 showcobbler, stick to your last. But that is a different story altogether.

Learn more about my post-apocalyptic work.

A deadly legacy should humanity disappear – a postapocalyptic scenario

Excerpt from my new postapocalyptic novel, the sequel to Two Journeys and Fields of Fire:

She and my son had been looking forward to giving birth, but it was not to have been. I had my suspicions why. The pandemic had not only caused the deaths of billions of people, so that only a few thousand or so had survived. Without humans, there was no maintenance, and so one by one all the machines had come to a standstill. Thus, the storage baths for the nuclear fuel elements weren’t cooled anymore, and the liquid had subsequently evaporated. Once that had happened, the uranium and plutonium rods of hundreds of reactors had overheated and Poof! Evaporated into the atmosphere. I shuddered at the idea, and hardly shared it with anyone; it would have a dramatic effect on humanity, on life on this planet, on each single one of us… I suspected that it may have caused my daughter in law’s miscarriage too.

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Without human activity, the nuclear fuel of a nuclear plant will explode and contaminate the atmosphere

More newspudding: Moguls, Magnates and Sexual Harassment

The  unlucky episode around Harvey Weinstein. When it started to develop, my initial reaction was something like: no surprise here, after all, the man is a movie-mogul – and isn’t harassment exactly what moguls are supposed to do? But on second thought I wondered: what is a mogul actually? And is obnoxious behavior a perk of a Mogul’s job, or, even worse, part of the essential job profile? (“Our studio is seeking a motivated, experienced individual to fill the role of Senior Movie Mogul. A proven track record in lewd behavior towards junior employees and subordinates (both sexes) is a requirement. We look forward to your meaningful application. Please provide photographic evidence.“).

Time for some research 

According to the dictionary, a mogul is also defined as a magnate, either a business magnate (a prominent person in a particular industry, kinda what William Randolph Hearst was for newspapers), or a media mogul, a “person who controls, either through personal ownership or a dominant position, any media enterprise”. I like the phrase “who controls […] through personal ownership or a dominant position”: both fuzzy and threatening, like the silhouette of a shark in the murky depths of an ocean.

The phrase Mogul smoothly associates with Kings of Exotic Countries: it has a dark, foreign resonance (how different from “Trump,” a name that sounds like a blown musical instrument commonly used in classical and jazz ensembles). Indeed, the Mughal Empire, from which the word Mogul originates, has its history in India, and was founded in 1526. It was ruled by a Muslim dynasty with Turco-Mongol Chagatai roots from Central Asia. Interestingly, the Mughal Empire did intervene in local societies during most of its existence, but balanced and pacified them through new administrative practices. The rulers of this dynasty had a highly relevant positive influence on science, trade (mostly with Europe), governmental policies, and architecture. Shah Jahan, the fifth emperor, gave the world the beautiful Taj Mahal.

Further (admittedly highly superficial) investigation

This seems to indicate that like in any other dynasty, kings had varied characters and quirks; yet the word “Mogul” seems to refer mostly to the unifying character and resulting vastness of the kingdom, and less to the embarrassing behavior of the rulers.

No mention that a typical King of the Mughal Empire or, for that matter, a Movie Mogul, must embark on lecherous, randy, lewd, degraded, embarrassing, harassing, disgraceful or shameful behavior.

It simply isn’t part of the job description.

More like this here.

“Clemens Suter” | adventure novels on Kobo

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