“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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Nine Blue Dogs Painting – 120cm by 100cm, oil on acryl and canvas inspired by the Pharaohs & our Labrador Buddy

The background of this painting is highly structured Acryl (unlike many of my other paintings I used only little sand or pigments), the dogs are in oil. Each dog differs slightly from the other, yet they all are very similar; I’ve used a paper template and some spraypaint to create and position the initial outlines. I developed this template technique in 2013, and it allows the creation of shapes in exactly the right position very quickly, yet as I soon discovered the risk is that the painting may look sterile and as if it came off a printing press. So the placement of the template in a deliberately deviating position and the final step of painting by hand with a rough brush is key to make the motives come alive.

A bright painting, with strong contrasts between the pale background and the dark blue of the animals. Ancient Egypt is mostly reflected by the shapes, not the colors.

„Mountains“ (oil, sand, pigments – on canvas, 30 x 30 cm). A Buddhism-inspired #Mountainscape.

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Several years ago, I started, inspired by Buddhist art, to paint landscapes. Especially mountainscapes, I should emphasize: I saw a few paintings by an Indian artist in a documentary and liked the bright colors and tranquility of the depicted  scenes. I add a personal touch, in that I use very rich oil colors for the mountains, yet sand and pigments for the sky. Some of the paintings (not this one) you could theoretically view upside down as well. Concerning the process: creating the sky may take quite long, as the layers of paint and sand need to dry in between and the structure had to be „just right“… yet painting the mountains may take only an hour or so. If the mountains do not look good, I scrape off the oil paint completely, discard it and start again.

The frame of this painting is wood with black pigment (don’t touch the frame: you will get black hands :-)

Click on the tag „painting“ below for more of my work.

„Red Fish“ (oil, sand on canvas, 130 x 90 cm) – inspired by a visit to Osaka aquarium

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The Osaka aquarium is truly worthwhile to visit: it has a huge tank with millions of liters of seawater, that goes across four floors and holds meter-long sharks. The glass of this tank is 30cm thick – and specially made.

I snapped dozens of photos; which due to a slight error involving two left thumbs, a few glasses of cold sake and a Japanese kindergarten-teacher, spontaneously erased themselves from my camera. At 2 a.m. in the morning.

In creating this painting, I thus had to resort to my hazy memories of a somewhat smaller sweetwater fish that I recall having seen in one of the little tanks on the second floor. A friendly chap with a broad smile – this species wasn’t actually red but gray, nevertheless I’m sure he wouldn’t have objected to a splash of color.

This painting has a twinabout the same size and about the same fish. But the latter painting was bought by a fan and is now located in a home in Northern Greece.

Delphin (oil, sand on canvas, 20 x 40 cm)

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This small painting dates back to pre-2000, I particularly like the way the depth of the sea is depicted through the use of sand of different colors. I have used very thick layers of blue oil paint for the body of the delphin.