Tag Archives: Transylvania

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.

 

 

 

The Advantages of Living in a Very Old City


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 this swarthy guy, trying to improve his looks wearing a helmet…

A man with rather bad teeth trying a Medieval Iron Helmet

A man with rather bad teeth trying a Medieval Iron Helmet

Or some bored medieval dressed vendors, tired at the end of the 3rd day of Festivities…

Boredom, medieval fashion and...electricity cable...

Boredom, medieval fashion and…electricity cable…

So, one did not get easily bored in Sibiu…lots of things to see and experience…You should try it (and No, the tourist board doesn’t pay me nothing; but this is my native town and I’m surely proud of it).

Being a Portrayer (II)


Day 2:

A very beautiful and blonde fraulein Annemarie, with blue-green eyes...

A very beautiful and blonde fraulein Annemarie, with blue-green eyes…

And here is the portrait:

Annemarie

And last but not least, Victor and his portrait:

Victor, a serious young man with the same green-blue eyes as annemarie...

Victor, a serious young man with the same green-blue eyes as annemarie…

victor sarac

 

Being a Portrayer, Again


Yesterday I was drawing portraits at a nice, cozy restaurant in Sibiu, called “La Pasaj” (because is based at the bottom of the locally famous Pasajul Scarilor – see photo). I made a deal with the owner. He will reserve me a small table 2-3 times a week and I will give a bohemian, artistic “cachet” and attract, maybe, some clients…

This is the place where I will draw portraits this summer

This is the place where I will draw portraits this summer

It was the first time and I didn’t have any great expectations. Quite quickly I had plenty of “clients” / models since I did the portrait of Petrica, a little boy, a bit sad

A bit sad, Petrica did me a great "service" repeating to everyone that I do portraits for free (It was my first, so I gave him the portrait...)

A bit sad, Petrica did me a great “service” repeating to everyone that I do portraits for free (It was my first, so I gave him the portrait…)

I had the time, until my father called me to my dayly duties, to make another portrait (this one I really like) and a sketch. Here they are:

A "Gavroche", quite street and IT smart (he did photograph himself his portrait - that I kept). Nice blue eyes.

A “Gavroche”, quite street and IT smart (he did photograph himself his portrait – that I kept). Nice blue eyes.

The portrait of Roberto, 11.

The portrait of Roberto, 11.

Here it is the sketch. No big deal but then it was only my first day as a street (ok, restaurant) artist after a very long pause. Sure hope the searing heat of the last days will cool off a little… This first experience gave me the taste and I love it…

Just a sketch, between portraits...

Just a sketch, between portraits…

 

 

 

 

Good Omens?


I certainly hope so…

The first day I had the chance to get out on the Corso (the name we, Sibiu natives,use for Main street) I’ve fall onto this 3 rather overgrown, mature Cupids, getting their arrows gently trown to women of all ages…

I will let the images speak for themselves but I had a good feeling about this. Maybe the artist in me (even it’s more the photographer for the moment) is not dead and burried under de mundane and painful happening of old age (mine and my parents)… Maybe there is still some hope…Maybe I will still have some more time to fulfill my destiny as an artist… who (apart God) knows?

cupidoni cu fille de profil

cupidonii danseaza

dans de imperechere 2

pupici pt turiste

imploratori

bye bye patetic

 

Maybe it wasn’t a big deal (just some funny street entertainers) but , boy! did it felt good to be again with a camera in the middle of an event… I’ve missed that. A lot.

Coming back, to my native birth place, Sibiu, Transylvania, to take care of my old father is also a chance to begin again drawing and painting. And I’m telling you, I’ve brought almost all my colors and watercolor paper, enough to last me for a long time… And omens are good, it seems…

Remebering the Snakes


I woke up this Sunday morning with most of this post already written. “Written” for me, before I wake up completely, with a complete layout and all. Weird, eh?

“I” was remembering (ah, “Remembering” by Avishai Cohen! What a tune! see at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4kc0Aby2vA) myself that I am more than the public amuser, the caricaturist, drawing instant portraits for a living (which would be very good). But, unfortunately, there aren’t yet enough people willing to pay a symbolic price for their reflection in my artist’s eyes… Anyway, I am also – and I forgot that  for a while – a bizarre, original artist, capable of painting strange images, embedding symbols of deep (I suppose) psychological strata, that I do not completely, rationally, understand myself…

That I am also (or even mainly) this artist, the one who draws and paint minotaurs and snakes and black panthers running wild to mate, in the springtime night…

That, a part for trying (mostly unsuccessfully, which is not fair – but, Malcolm dixit, life isn’t fair, isn’t it?) to earn a good living, I am also trying to go deep(er) in myself, trying to tap into that evasive collective (or universal) conscience, the one mythical collective subconscious mind that Jung was so keen to unveil. The place where snakes and minotaurs and birds and black panthers mean something more … and not often, just from time to time, when I’m working & playing long enough to forget about car payments and maximized credit cards, I succeed. And then snakes & eggs, Angels of Death and black panthers and shining cemeteries with crows materialize on the canvas. And I feel that I am approaching my true self, Danu the artist, whom is more than a loser, and old geezer trying to get by… DAnu, the original artist, capable, at times, to tap into old worlds, worlds I do not even remember I know…or knew…

Walking up this morning (but maybe all this started yesterday night…) I had this small epiphany: whether or not I will earn good money& fame with my paintings, whether or not I will be appreciated & recognized or simply known as an original artist, it doesn’t matter. The only important thing is to keep my path, to continue to draw & paint, to continue to try to tap into the deeper strata, toward that evasive source which is me and isn’t me… That is my “mission”.

As a bonus, maybe, I will live enough to give Gabriel, my first grandson (and to the grandsons to come…) the taste of art, the taste of creativity. The taste of life. Ok now. That’s enough. It starts to be corny…

Copyright, Dan Iordache, 2011