„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.

Boy (oil, sand on canvas, 50 x 40 cm)

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The photo doesn’t do the actual painting justice, some day I should put the painting outside in the day light and snap a real good exposure.

In any case, I love this little portrait. It calls up strong associations although I won’t say which ones for me personally, since I have noticed that every viewer interprets the motive slightly differently. It is a mysterious piece of work.

Click on the tag “painting” below to find more!

Bird (oil, paper, sand on canvas, 120 x 100 cm)

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This painting I created in 1992 – it currently hangs on the wall of our bathroom, so we look at it each day. It was on loan for a few years to a very special friend, I have never sold it though: this bird, as it glides over a wintry landscape, is very dear to me and hard to part from. IMG_1599

A painting of a Camel (oil, sand on canvas, 30 x 40 cm). And thoughts about Purgatory.

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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 Lybian Desert.

Camel. Oil, acryl, sand, pigments on canvas

Camel. Oil, acryl, sand, pigments on canvas

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 with 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 human beings? I am not religious, so the argument is moot, but sometimes I do assign a few days of purgatory to people who behave anti-socially:

  • Four days of purgatory for the unknown person that hit my brand new car with their car door, leaving a 15mm scratch, that I now have to repair.
  • One day of purgatory (each) for the Chinese couple that pushed past 25 passengers in an attempt to get out of the plane first.
  • One day for each person that took and didn’t return a smart phone cable (‘took and didn’t return’ – the proper word is probably ‘steal’).
  • One day in a cauldron with melted led for all drivers that blocked our driveway with their parked car, being too lazy to walk 100 meters, but expecting others to do so.
  • One day of purgatory for all hotel guests that have extended conversations in the hotel floor between 11 pm and 7 am. An additional three days of flickering flames for the timeframe 1 am to 6 am, or a conversation that exceeds fifteen minutes.
  • 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.

Bookmark this reference page, I will add more days of purgatory for other misdemeanors. Suggestions for punishable offenses welcome.