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 The dust is gone from the air and has been replaced by the fresh smell of drizzle and wet leaves and water on the pavement.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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The Swimmer. 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 😎

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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.

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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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The easiest way to get my eBooks on an iPhone: search “Clemens Suter” and hey presto!

All over the globe – get my Books on you iPhone or iPad ! Or iPod for that matter. I happen to have a iPhone myself, and it is a great machine, isn’t it? I like iTunes mostly as a music player myself. I like its ability to view my music as albums, artists and songs, the searching capabilities are great stuff. The way albums open into color-matched track listings is attractive. And I use the playlist extensively, e.g. I have playlists like “play all music that I love and didn’t skip in the last three years”. These are Smart Playlists, with a breathtaking number of options available for user-created Playlists it is incredibly powerful – and with thousands of songs, it is a fantastic way to listen to music  that I haven’t listened to for a long time.Things like that. I like the UI of Now Playing. It is easy to add entire albums or individual tracks, and reorder them.

But iTunes is undervalued as an eBook store. I see more and more people actually reading eBooks on their iPhone, but the functionality of iTunes as a bookstore is meager – when compared to the functionality as a music store. Still the biggest advantage is that if you read eBooks on your iPhone, you need just a single device to enjoy both music and reading – at the same time.

Acclaim for TWO JOURNEYS

 “Move over, Cormac McCarthy, another survivor is traveling the Armageddon road. Clemens P. Suter’s apocalyptic thriller grabs you in the first couple of pages and never lets go. The reader feels real empathy for the main character’s plight as he begins a seemingly impossible 9,000-mile trip to learn his family’s fate. The cause of the calamity is mysterious but clues are uncovered along the way causing tension to build until we reach the shattering climax. Two Journeys is not to be missed.” – G. Dedrick Robinson, author of Blood Scourge

More about my books here: www.clemenssuter.com/books

iToons

Clemens P. Suter books on iTunes, iPhone

 

Contact me with any questions, comments or feedback. Use the Contact Form.

I am always interested to hear from my readers, people who own one of my paintings, or those who are interested in my projects. Do not hesitate to reach out by using the contact form. Submissions are spam checked – best is not to include any links. Likewise, check your spam-box for my reply.

Why use this contact form?

Now, you may wonder, why should you use the contact form? Perhaps you want to tell me about a great book that you have written, and are looking for ways to cross-promote, or learn more about how to publish books. You may have a specific question about my novels or my paintings. You may need a present urgently for a loved one. Perhaps you have a question about one of the places that I traveled to. Or it could be late at night and you are drunk & lonely playing tedious computer games, and now you are looking for some alternate excitement and action. Perhaps your pet parrot has died, and you need tips on how to cremate its remains. Or you murdered your spouse, and the police is moving in on your house, the whole damn place is surrounded and you are getting a bit worried as they are getting ready to storm your home. Or you are in doubt whether you should continue your job as a pet shop janitor versus having a tattoo on your forehead and moving to Nepal and become a Buddhist monk. And you need advice. Or a shoulder to cry on.

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Clemens Suter and Buddy

Give money to homeless street beggars ? What do you think?

We visited Paris a few months ago. As soon as we left the train and the station, we met a beggar, and a few streets on the next one… and then the next one. How to deal with this as a tourist? Emotionally, we wanted to give money, rationally we hesitated: would the Parisians be pleased if millions of tourists start funding beggars, potentially increasing their numbers ? What will an individual beggar do with the donation? Buy food, finance a roof for the night, or god forbid buy drugs? Or is the beggar part of a commercial enterprise? Shockingly, there were couples getting ready for a night on the street with small babies. Should that be supported that?

Just like tipping and charity, giving money to homeless people has a bad side to it. It crowds out community and state involvement. A minimum existence should not be left to the whims of tourists. Shouldn’t it be something that we collectively decide to guarantee for everyone? In the perfect society, there ought to be no need to beg, there shouldn’t be a need to rely on the irregular kindness of passing people.

A dilemma. In the end we think we found a way out of this. We started counting the number of beggars that we met. We tripled that number and after we returned home we searched and found a charity in Paris that supports homeless people. We donated the calculated sum to that organization. Not the best solution, but workable.

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