Category Archives: Photography

I Am Too Old For This Shit


I’m even more old for this shit…:)

Van Gogh and I

La Bohème, la vie d’artiste, for the moment I will set that aside. As you can read in my title, I really am too old for this shit… 20 years older than Vincent at the moment of his death. I’ve tried and will still try to go on and finish what I can, I know this is just a phase and maybe, one day, if I’ll live, the nostalgia of an artist life, the urge to draw and to paint could come back with a vengeance. But for now, I will just stay (literally) on my arse 8 h per day, helping clients of Chatr to Talk Happy… It will pay the bills…

What can I do? No Mecena offered to do for me what Theo did for Vincent or Ambroise Vollard for Gauguin…

Painting, art, literature, will still be with me and I’ll even try to write a blog…

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The Advantages of Living in a Very Old City


Already more than a year since I left Sibiu! and Iohannis – or Johannis? is now the President of Romania! let’s hope that he will be better than Obama for the Americans and will not disappoint those who vote for him and even those woho didn’t…It will be a nice surprise!

Van Gogh and I

One of the main advantages, the one I’ll illustrate for you: there are a lot of festivals, events, exhibition and you can imagine yourself living in more than one epoch…

These are photos I took the last 4-5 days at the Medieval Festival. Very easy to imagine oneself living in that epoch in a city like Sibiu (Hermannstdt). Downtown, everywhere you turn old houses and chrches and fortifications reminds you of the time of Draculya, Vlad the Impaler…

An ancient flame lighting system An ancient flame lighting system

…and some very old and particular skills: hawk and owl tamming…

A Hawk landing for its reward - raw meat... A Hawk landing for its reward – raw meat…

Landing Hawk fltrdAnd you meet old friends…

Nelu, sometimes a guitar player and an old friend Nelu, sometimes a guitar player and an old friend

or beautiful young women… dressed in the Renaissance fashion…

Dulcinee from Basarabia Dulcinee from Basarabia

The Beauty and the little and cute beast The Beauty and the little and cute beast

Eventually, if you are lucky, you can catch some pretty funny characters, like…

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Premonitions in Painting: my Premonition


Still kicking…maybe the premonition was true…

Van Gogh and I

Yesterday morning, the 01 01 2014, I woke up with my face to a painting of mine on the wall close to my bed. This is the one I’m talking about:

Trieste Trieste

Until yesterday, this painting, one of my favorite (and subjectively, one of my best works until now) was not “personal”, so to speak… It did not have a personal, visceral connection with me. But yesterday, sliding from my dreams (whatever they were – usually I do not remember them…) to reality, I saw that slender, kind of skinny naked man (maybe that’s why it wasn’t personal… I wasn’t skinny until recently…) was lying there, encircled by a dark, black green shadow. I had a minor epiphany: that was me, shadowed by my cancer, menaced but still calm… All of a sudden, this painting (one that I’ve started painting years ago and then repainted in the present form in…

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Art Therapy, here I come!


Until I got the time to write my new post about Vlaminck & Van Gogh…

Van Gogh and I

It seems that doctors die, statistically, at around 57-60 years old, a lot sooner than the “coach patatoes” (statistically), so why trust them entirely and blindly when it comes to our lives? (the statistics are for the US of A)  

Well, most of us are conditioned a lifetime to do just that…

So, it was not easy for me to say NO to the surgery they in a hurry programmed me for (even if I feel quite ok and my cancer seems to be stabilized…I’ve started to paint and draw again…)

But I did, even if most of my friends said I was crazy… Well, now, artists are a bit crazy, aren’t they? (at least a little bit…) So, instead of lying “gutted like a trout” on an operation table and then for 2 months (if everything went ok and they wouldn’t forget a scalpel or some gauze in…

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Art Therapy, here I come!


It seems that doctors die, statistically, at around 57-60 years old, a lot sooner than the “coach patatoes” (statistically), so why trust them entirely and blindly when it comes to our lives? (the statistics are for the US of A)  

Well, most of us are conditioned a lifetime to do just that…

So, it was not easy for me to say NO to the surgery they in a hurry programmed me for (even if I feel quite ok and my cancer seems to be stabilized…I’ve started to paint and draw again…)

But I did, even if most of my friends said I was crazy… Well, now, artists are a bit crazy, aren’t they? (at least a little bit…) So, instead of lying “gutted like a trout” on an operation table and then for 2 months (if everything went ok and they wouldn’t forget a scalpel or some gauze in your belly…) lying in bed with a caca-bag (yes, those details got me disgusted and taken aback too…sorry for that…)

I’ve prefered to take my chances with God and to trust my body to recover with diet, meditation, prayer and exercise… And if not, at least, I’ve decided for myself and wasn’t just a sheep or cow (well, bull) hearded to the slaughter-house… Painting, drawing will help me enormously too, I know it. I have a purpose and a meaning in my life: to paint, to draw, to photograph the beauty all around us (my grandsons included, whom I hope to see going to school, at least…) for as long as I possibly can… not that bad as a purpose and meaning in life…

Here there are some of the latest paintings and drawings I’ve “committed”:

Self-portrait, the 19 th of April 2014

Self-portrait, the 19 th of April 2014

I look here a lot more severe and somber than I really feel… Refusing the surgery  – at the time I was considering the options – gave me peace of mind and I’m now a lot more serene…

Madona With Owl

Madona With Owl

To paint this I’ve used one of the photos I’ve took at a Medieval Festival, when I was still in Sibiu, Transylvania, in the summer of 2013…

Model and artist

Model and artist

I even started to draw nudes again… here it is another one…

marie-claude

marie-claude

A Stalin's fan with Big, Big Ear...

A Stalin’s fan with Big, Big Ear…

Sometimes, when I still have color on my palette, in order not to waste it (since I’m still poor as a church mouse…) I do indulge myself in fantesies like this one… The ones who lived or heard about Stalin and communism (I did), know why the guy has such a large ear…

Finally, here I am with my grandsons Gabriel and Thomas and my daughter at about the time when I was about 90 % sure and decided NOT to take the surgery, taking instead my fate in my own hands… If they are not very skilled with a scalpel (don’t trust me to remove your appendix!) they still can hold a brush and a pencil and do some, supposedly, not that bad paintings and drawings…

my daughter, grandsons and me, the 25th of April

my daughter, grandsons and me, the 25th of April

So, beware Art Therapy, here I come!

P.S. If I do not kick the bucket right away or even, it’s possible if not probable, get  cured, it will be a reason to hope for all those who have (or will get; it seems it’s about one in three, right now…) “cancer”…and this WORD (for it’s JUST a word) will not scare the living shit out of people, who will croak just as the Australian Aborigenis do, when being “pointed the bone”…I’ve read about this in the book “You Can Conquer Cancer” by Ian Gawler, a real “Crocodile Dundee” of the fight with cancer, who survived for more than 30 years and is still kicking (well, at least with one leg; the doctors amputated the other one at the beginning of his cancer…bad joke, pardon me, Ian…)

 

 

Still kicking…


…and not yet the bucket…

I was lucky. I’ve found at an art supply store a Windsor and Newton easel, a solid one, a real easel for serious artists (one can paint a 2 x 3 m canvases, if so enclined…) at half price. Somehow, I managed to borrow the necessary $ from a friend and bought it.

Somehow, it was like a “sign”. And the blockage which, until I had that easel, mysteriously prevent me to paint, disappeared… At least, to me, having the easel seemed to be the moment when my creativity came again to life. Curious and mysterious ways our mind has…

Since then, about 1 month ago, I’ve painted 5 canvases of 16 x 20 inches and some nude drawings too. Here there are, in an approximative chronological order;

Laboured Fields Under Moon Light

Laboured Fields Under Moon Light

I started with this re-interpretation of an older landscape I made a few years ago probably because that one was the first painting I’ve sold for a decent sum (750$). It was a full of hope period and a good painting then. This one is probably ok.

The Night in May when it snowed em

The Night in May When it Snowed 

This one was inspired by the photo of a tomato flower and by a unusual intense snowfall.

Lake and Clouds Reflexions

Lake and Clouds Reflexions

With this landscape (inspired by a B&W photo) I’ve tried to remember the happy times I had  at the Village Museum in the Dumbrava forest, near Sibiu, my native town.

Errant Greek-Orthodox Monk

Errant Greek-Orthodox Monk

Also a rememberance: I’ve met this monk, one that they called sometimes, Crazy After Jesus monk, because of their simili-franciscan faith and demenor (begging for their monastery and only then for themselves, a leaf of bread…) in a proud Transylvanian village near Sibiu, called Saliste. I took a photo of him in the church and was impressed by his sincerity and humbleness.

North of Quebec "Taiga"

North of Quebec “Taiga”

Some years back I’ve travelled 1750 km to go fishing, with a compatriote, Stephan and a quebequer friend, Clément. So, it’s also a remeberance of beauty and wilderness (I didn’t catch a fish but did some nice watercolors and took lots of pictures…), painted after a B&W photo (again! I like to do that because it gives me more color freedom…). I’m not unsatisfied with it. It ressembles the XIX century Russian realist paintings. No wonder since the Quebec Taiga is very similar to the Siberian Taiga. Minus the tigers, fortunatelly…

In conclusion, still kicking and happy to paint and draw, a bit. As long as I can do this, no matter what, things will be ok.

 

 

 

Premonitions in Painting: my Premonition


Yesterday morning, the 01 01 2014, I woke up with my face to a painting of mine on the wall close to my bed. This is the one I’m talking about:

Trieste

Trieste

Until yesterday, this painting, one of my favorite (and subjectively, one of my best works until now) was not “personal”, so to speak… It did not have a personal, visceral connection with me. But yesterday, sliding from my dreams (whatever they were – usually I do not remember them…) to reality, I saw that slender, kind of skinny naked man (maybe that’s why it wasn’t personal… I wasn’t skinny until recently…) was lying there, encircled by a dark, black green shadow. I had a minor epiphany: that was me, shadowed by my cancer, menaced but still calm… All of a sudden, this painting (one that I’ve started painting years ago and then repainted in the present form in 2009, I think) become very, very personal. A premonition.

A bit like the famous Self Portrait with an eye pulled off, by my compatriot Victor Brauner, one of the most famous PREMONITION paintings int the history of art.

Self-Portret with one Eye

Self-Portret with one Eye

Seven years after he painted this self-portrait, playing a bit with Fate, Brauner lost an eye in a bar fight (he was only a by-stander)… He become famous not only in the Surrealist circles (which he was an important member) but also in larger even if occult circles… By the way, his father was a spiritist or something like that…A Facebook friend, Adrian Onicescu, tells me Brauner’s story was told by Ernesto Sabato in Abbadon, the Exterminator (thanks!)

An this is not the only puzzling premonition in painting we know… There are stories like that in literature, too. I remember a gruesome story (by Pierre McOrlan, if not mistaken…) about a German painter who didn’t want to paint anymore because in each new landscape he painted some horrible crime had taken place… That will be an interesting subject, premonition stories and paintings…

Anyway… Back to my own little premonition: identifying myself, as a cancer bearer, surrounded by the menacing shadow of death, lying there in the sun (I hope in the sun; the original photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson, called “Trieste”, if I’m not mistaken, was taken in the 30 ties in that supposedly nice and warm place in between Slovenia and Italy, near the Adriatic) I also almost immediately looked at the yellow-green tree. Here is the original photo:

Trieste, 1933 by Henri Cartier-Bresson

Trieste, 1933 by Henri Cartier-Bresson

There is hope for me, I told myself. That green-yellow tree is a revival symbol, a Spring symbol, a renaissance sign. In all of that shadow and bleakness surrounding “myself” (?), among the saturated orange and yellow-ocher orange and the dark shadows (didn’t get yet what symbol was the tower… a phalic one?  and the fence? )

Of course, it could be only wishful thinking… Somehow, I feel I will survive (at least a few more years) to the cancer challenge. I did not finished my business here, on Earth. I still have a family to care of. Grandsons to see growing. Drawings and paintings to be created… Not done yet, I think. I hope.

We are what we think. We are what we hope. We are what we fear. And God is giving us whatever we think, we hope, we fear. “He” is impartial and neuter, like a mirror of ourselves.

And, as I created a motto, a “slogan” for myself a few years ago, to get me through times of great depression and poverty  – and some hope, too – (inspired by Nikos Kazanzakis’ famous cretan epithaph) I think this has become now even more important and significant, meaningful for me (I was also thinking of Viktor E. Frankl‘s superb book : Man’s Search For Meaning). Here it is:

No regrets. No expectations. No fears. Be free!

——————-

Copyright 2014, Dan Iordache/Ion Vincent Danu