Before turning to PURGATORY, below a painting of a camel, created in the nineties. The background is acrylic paint, enriched with natural pigments and desert sand, the camel itself is in oil. The motive suggest heat, and a pyramid is visible in the hump. I painted this shortly after our trip through the Libyan Desert.
Talking about heat: lately I have been thinking about the principal of purgatory. Although this concept has come out of fashion in both the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, it is high on my radar. Purgatory: I remember books from my youth in which, in graphic detail, naked sinners sat in metal cauldrons, faces distorted by pain. No wonder: flames flickered around their bodies, and a red devil (carrying a three-pronged spear, see my novel Celeterra) tested their flesh.
Wouldn’t purgatory be a suitable, after-death punishment for some unsocial fellow human beings? I am not religious, so the argument is moot, but in my mind I sometimes assign a few days of purgatory to people who behave anti-socially:
Four days of purgatory for people that hit a neighboring parked car with their car door.
One day of purgatory for the couple that pushed past 25 fellow passengers in an attempt to get out of the plane first.
One day for each person that borrowed but didn’t return a smart phone cable
One day in a cauldron with melted led for all drivers that blocked our driveway with their parked car, being too lazy to walk a few extra meters.
One day of purgatory for all hotel guests that have loud conversations in the hotel floor between 11 pm and 7 am.
Half a day of purgatory for restaurant guests that have a dispute with the waiter, and try to pull other guests (me) into the argument. I don’t care about your problems, live with it. One day of hot cauldron, if this happens in a train or plane.
Two days for expressing an opinion about blogposts, without having read the entire text.
I created this oil painting in Basel, Switzerland in the eighties of the last century. You could regard it as one of my early works. It used to hang in the offices of the company Euroforum for a long time, but was then acquired by a private person in Austria.
I have lost track of it since – I wonder where it is now? A beautiful notion that my work wanders the world, viewed by thousands of people.
Like with many of my paintings, I have used a combination of oil paint and pigments plus sand for this one. I created it shortly after a visit to Egypt, and the colors were selected on the basis of colors that you often see in Northern Africa. The background (as you will notice) shows the structure of the canvas, as the paint was applied very superficially, as if it is the wall of a neglected building. The camel appears more like a silhouette, suggesting deformation of the image by hot desert air.
This painting has found a new owner. If you are interested in any of my work, simply contact me (also for a free tour – no obligations) or visit www.clemenssuter.com/art.
The motive of this painting comes from the Ile de Ré, a beautiful island in the Atlantic Ocean, in front of the French coast, very close to the town of La Rochelle. We have spent many beautiful summers there. The island is dominated by both the sea and the sky, both of which constantly change in color depending on the time of day and the ever changing climate conditions.
I have created several YouTube movies in which you can watch me painting. I didn’t add a voice-over, but some explaining text is in the description below the movies. And if you turn on the sound, you can hear me thinking, the birds singing in our garden and (for excitement ;) a distant firetruck.