I had a chance to visit Kansas City. First surprise: this town isn’t in Kansas, but in Missouri, a relatively flat place with an abundance of farmland and space. Looked quite rural yet attractive from the air.
As usual I only had a couple of free hours in between, so how best to spend my time? Most US cities do not have an inner city that invites a leisurely stroll, so I had to come up with a plan B (although later I did discover that downtown Kansas City does have its charm). An Uber driver pointed out that the city had an art museum – he wasn’t impressed by it, but by his looks he wasn’t into art too much; more a baseball kind of guy.
So I took two hours for a fast visit to the Nelson Atkins museum of art, and indeed was in for a very big surprise, as shown on the photos below.
An impressive facade protects a rich exhibition, which was assembled by art scouts during the 1930 crisis: with wallets full of hard dollars earned the years before the economic collapse, these scouts bought artifacts and paintings from all over the world.
All in all, a visit to this temple of art is definitely time well spent!
Admittedly I’m a bit upset because winter keeps on dragging on and dragging on, and outside the weather is really horrible. Sleet drips out of the sky. It isn’t really freezing but it is also not very warm, the weather is like tepid beer. The sky is gray and heavy with rain, just waiting to poor down. It has been like this for the last six weeks. No weather to go to a pool, and no naked woman jumping into either.
It isn’t really freezing but is also not very warm, and the sky is gray and heavy with rain, just waiting to poor down. It has been like this for the last six weeks.
Spring spring beautiful spring
I am looking forward to summer time. The flowers in the garden are beginning to grow out of the ground and the rosebush has a lot of fresh green little leaves. So nature is actually ready to stop the winter blues and to move into spring.
Well, if summer isn’t here yet, then at least I can make a drawing that reminds me of summer. So take out the old crayons, sit down and made a picture of a gorgeous naked woman jumping into a cool pool in the middle of a hot summer. Is she alone? Is her boy- or girlfriend perhaps on the side of the pool? Or is she in the middle of a crowd? The picture doesn’t tell. It shows a person, confident and, most of all, enjoying the weather and having fun.
You can find more of my sketches and paintings at the following link. Check out my art here: www.clemenssuter.com/art
Crayon drawing of a naked woman jumping into a summertime pool
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.
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.
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.
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 Japanesekindergarten-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 twin – about 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.
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.