Tag Archives: Danu

Farewell and the Big Sleep


Just took my 3rd morphine of the evening and I’m pretty high, I suppose. Never did that until today when, after eating a few tablespoons of magic bullet liquified “food” I was so sick that I thought I’ll die. Later on I thought I will have my second operation of hernia… Anyway, I was panicking for nothing: it was just my little, plain appendix cancer in its terminal phase…Hence, the 3rd morphine…

But not about my little bodily miseries I wanted to write. Those are not interesting. And I wonder if anything else is. When one’s approaching death, things tend to loose interest, even those you thought were your life, your bread and butter, your flesh and blood…

I remember my first close encounter with the desmise of someone close, that I loved a lot: my maternal grandfather, “Moshu”/ Romanian colloquial for an old, nice relative, as I called him. A very interesting, really, character: immigrating to Germany and then to USA (since in Germany he got in a brawl and had to take off as far as possible) at 17 years old, unemployed and champion of billiard for money, then worker in Philadelphia and Chicago steel factories, then, after saving some $$$, coming back to Transylvania to buy some good land and become a farmer and the father of a large (13 children) family. My mother was the 11 th and one of his personal favorites. Become a “jandarm” (country policeman) and then a “cantor” (professional church singer) at the Sibiu Mitropoly. HAd to give that up at the regretful order of the Mitropolit (who liked him and his superb bass voice) because he was mixing business  with holy singing, being one of the first to import a Ford T model truck and other contraptions to make money for his large family. Become a modest entrepreneur before the WW2. A Russian prisoner at 52, communists confiscated his trucks and business after he returned from Siberia. And so I knew him, also as a favorite grandson, a big man, wise and not embittered too much by the turns of his fate, liking to chat, to tell stories and to drink some. Died when I was 18, in the hot summer of 1975, from cirrhosis, at 84. And, my point, not seeming to care any more for me or anyone else he loved so much before…He had a detachment, an aloofness that was hurtful and confusing and oh, so intriguing when he approached death…I did not understood it then. I start to understand it now…

That’s why, one reason, I write this. What remains, finally, after us? And I’m referring especially at “us”, artists, painters, writers and so on? Do our paintings, drawings etc. carry a meaning? a real, important meaning? Something that was worth our work, our sufferings (even if, the joy of creation kind of compensate already the “sufferings”)?

I must think they do. I must believe a very wise and interesting writer, W. H. Auden (from the Aldoux Huxley exceptional generation), who said it the best:

“Art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead.”

Soon enough, very probably, I’ll be dead. I certainly wish that my drawings, paintings and a few essays here and there, will find some living humans who will be willing to “break the bread” with me, through my art. My wish is for my children and grandchildren to be tempted by that first, but one never knows…

Danu, 21 June 2015

By the way, W.H. Auden is also the one that said : “A man is a form of life that dreams in order to act and acts in order to dream.” 

And, even more important and interesting and probably the best answer to my questioning:

“What answer to the meaning of existence should one require beyond the right to exercise one’s gifts?” (W.h. Auden)

I had the chance to do just that in the last 18 years or so. I can consider myself a pretty lucky bastard, can I?

The illustration is my last, yet unfinished, painting: it will be called, if I succed to finish it, “The Path” or something like that and I still have to paint a climbing silhouette of a man…

DSCN6691

The Bucket List


I’ve took the name from the movie, ok. But it is not about it.

Swell to be billionaire or a billionaire’s buddy (like in the movie) and be able to bucketlist whatever you want. (my creativity is amazing: I create a new verb in English: to bucketlist! :))

Imagine instead you are churchmouse poor and have, theoretically, a couple of months to live (or so the doctor says)… Less funny than in the movies, isn’t it? Still, you have a couple of months or more to live, you are still autonomous, not in great pain and you’ll like to do something meaningful with what you got.

Exactly my situation.

While binge watching tv series is a possibility (just got through a phase like that, finished the 4th season of Six Feet Under – a very suitable and sometimes morbidly funny series) it’s not meaningful enough, not when your oncologist says to get ready and put your affairs (which affairs?!) in order…

Since drawing and painting, creating art, was my most meaningful activity – pleasant too – in the last 2 decades I suppose continuing doing that is a definite YES. Now the question would be how to do the most of that. Painting commercially it’s a possibility – and could leave something relatively valuable to my family – since I have no savings, no bonds and stocks (just a few credit card debts; my enormous – 30.000 $ ! – study debt – enormous no doubt for a lousy visual arts Certificate anyway)- was erased by a merciful Ministry of Education since I couldn’t have paid that anyway). But then it will lack significative originality and impact. It will be pleasant though to paint some more flowers (Luchian did it and did a wonderful job with it) or some nostalgic Transylvanian or Quebec landscapes.

I could also draw and paint a lot of self-portraits, documenting my days before my final agony… A bit too egotistical and too much looking toward his own belly button. Maybe a significative human experience? If I were famous already maybe it could even have some commercial value… But I’m not and probably never will be… It’s amazing how quickly we forgot even the indecently famous people, once they are dead and buried.

I could also let loose of myself/ let myself loose and draw and paint the most bizarre and scary nightmares of mine (don’t have many but still got some…), the most outrageous and morbid and crazy things my imagination could concoct. That would be fun. For me. Not for my children, wife and grandchildren…

Writing a book – a short one, evidently – also a thought that crossed my mind. I have one I began a few years – many years, in fact: must have been 2003-2004? and wrote about 39-40 pages… I could begin a new one, not a work of fiction but a kind of equivalent of Ibraileanu’s aphorisms, “Witnessing Life” (Privind viata). Am I wise enough? Am I skillful enough? Only one way to know it: by trying to do it…

Of course, painting, drawing, writing is to be done in my “spare time” since my mission in life, right now and in the foreseeable future, is to assist as much as I can, my daughter and my grandsons (and occasionally my other boys and my wife and father).

Not much of a bucket list, I suppose? no spectacular voyages, no extreme feats, no exotic living. And I wonder if I had money (checked today the lottery tickets – no luck for me; I’m lucky in my love life, as usual :)) I would do something different. Maybe visiting my father in Romania (with his grand-grandsons and grandsons maybe), maybe some museum visiting (Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Brussels, Munich…) Nothing very fancy.

But then, I’m neither Jack Nicholson…nor Van Gogh…

Maybe some ear cutting would be more interesting? no, no, I’ll stick with the boring stuff…

And this is some work in progress, so that the post wouldn’t be imageless. It’s bad enough it’s not fancy…

Old OLt riverbed, Transylvania, near Saca

Old OLt riverbed, Transylvania, near Saca

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 Jester DAnu…


Still true, that one, I’m still somewhat of a jester…a clown…

Van Gogh and I

Summer is a wonderful time here,  in Quebec (in other parts of the world I suppose is the same but given the long, long winter, when the summer comes, man! are we “Quebecois”  glad!)
Everybody is wearing shorts and sandals – even if sometimes the temperatures are not that warm – and if you work as a portrayer-jester (as I do, in the summertime – Remember? Janis Joplin’s “Summertime”? and Ella Fitzgerald’s?) you’ll see a lot of people jogging, walking, skating, bycicling around the Lac of Nations…
Yesterday I was trying to make a portrait or two (you can see what I did right here) and my friend Raymond and his Zoo en Folies (4 parrots) came along… and then also Stephane, the accordionist (the one who’s playing amelie poulin’s musical theme and other «Paris-Montmartre» tunes … Some tourists and some pickpockets and a hill or two (maybe a cathedral…

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Homage to Vincent


A dear friend of mine saw a reproduction of the Almond Blossom that she liked in a photo of my room and I did a “copy” of it (copy  between ” ” since I’m not capable of 100 % copying another painting). I don’t know if I did a good job, I hope, and I let you be the judges of that:

My variant - as an homage and trying to learn his technique - of Vincent's Almond Blossom

My variant – as an homage and trying to learn his technique – of Vincent’s Almond Blossom

Shifting Perceptions About Vincent Van Gogh


Van Gogh and I

It’s kind of funny. A few posts away I was writing about PERCEPTIONS.

And how everything is a question of perception…

Well, my perceptions about Vincent changed. Of course, they changed for a long time and will still change but now I’m talking about some DRAMATIC  shifting in my perception of Van Gogh. It won’t make much difference for anybody else but myself but for me, a life long Vincent Van Gogh unconditioned fan, it does…

First, let’s say that the reading of Naifeh & Smith, ”Van Gogh:The Life” is the cause of this shift. I did not finished the book (900 p and more, common!), I just browsed here and there, the most interesting periods of Van Gogh life (in my perception, of course), the Antwerpen period, Paris, Auvers sur Oise… But that was enough to have a different, less idealized and a lot less flattering image of Vincent……

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December 2001


Van Gogh and I

When I remember that time it’s kind of blurry… A lot of new pain, the self realisation that I’m going to be soon old and sick (just discovered I had the diabethes) and very probably neither rich nor famous, the growing up of the children, teenagers now, each of them with his own life and problems, a physical job which payed some bills but gave me no satisfaction… In a word: mid-life crysis. So called mid-life because I knew it then and I know it even more clearly now, I was way over the middle of my life, 3/4 gone or more… When you are 25-30 you don’t think a lot of death and old age and misery. But when you are 45-50, well, it begins to enter your skull the fact that you are far from being immortal. That, in fact, nobody is immortal, not even your children… Everyone…

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