Tag Archives: Painting

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

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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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…)

 

 

A discovery: Sergio Kokis


It seems there are a lot of visitors for this post…

Van Gogh and I

A few weeks ago I’ve rediscovered Sergio Kokis. I “re-discoverd” him since I’ve seen and even browsed one of his books, La danse macabre du Quebec (The morbid dance of Quebec?) but, for some reason , I did not clicked at the time…

But, “browsing” through my old papers, I’ve fall upon a cut from L’Actualite (a magazine from Montreal, I think) with an interview featuring Sergio Kokis. And, this time, it clicked! His opinion on today’s art market, on the level of deception and falsity and stupidness and snobishness in today’s art seemed to be simply mine. He formulated the same thoughts, almost, that, for years, had populated my thoughts. The tirany of art “experts” and museums curators, the usually mean spirited and mercantile approach of art merchants, their money-grubbing and vulgar approach of art (under snobish and distinguished appearances, which are valid for the most art “collectors” too…Exceptions…

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There is a Time for Everything


…Ecclesiastes dixit. A time for living and a time for dying. A time for health and a time for sickness.

For me, it seems, it’s the time for sickness. I’ve got diagnosed with a rare (they say only about 6000 Americans got it in a year which is 0,00189 %) form of cancer, quite advanced since I was told initially I have indigestion and treated myself for a month for that…I have a knack for rare sicknesses since my only other time when I was life treathening ill was when I got, in Romania, botulism…(no wrinkles cured, by the way, just gotten sick, sick sick…but I was still young and got away with it…)

In 2006 I draw this “masterpiece” (ha,ha) in which the “artist” paints a pregnant model. I was kind of puzzled when I found it in my portfolio (I didn’t even remembered to have it painted…).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Anyway, I will fight back with my will to live (I’m only 57, almost 58, which, they tell me, it’s quite “young” for Canada and US) and the help of my family, grandsons included. Not much else to fight back with. I lost about everything in 10 months in Romania: my economies, my credit, my car… I’m sorry I had to leave my 85 years old father alone back there in Romania. But what use would he have had from a very sick and unassured son?

I still hope to have some little time to paint some more.

And I play every week – well, I will when the welfare check will come through…- the lottery, hoping to win at least the price of a slow juicer from Jalinis to give me a supplementary fighting chance with fruit and vegetable juices…Since Mecenas seems to be an extinct species…

Maybe, at least now and then, I will even write a post here.  Maybe even interesting posts since the ones close to kicking the bucket have nothing to loose and they, usually, tell the truth, even the unpleasant and embarrassing truth…

Thank you to all my friends who red or comment on my blog. I made some very good friends here and it was interesting. Hope to be able to write them personally in a while, since my maximum energy is about a blog post long…

Gabriel, Thomas, me and nero, our new

Gabriel, Thomas, me and nero, our new tomcat

Bye for now.