Tag Archives: Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent’s Irises… and mine…


Maybe some art critics and other blah-blah will be scandalised I dare to compare Vincent Van Gogh’s Irises (one of the series are the pride of Canadian National gallery in Ottawa, I think…) with mine. But I know Vincent wouldn’t have mind… He was a very generous fellow artist (his numerous friendships with other painters prove it; especially with the young Emile Bernard). And modest too. Just like myself…

The year, for my Irises, is still 2005, a good year, as I’ve already said. I add some Puppies (always liked them) and hope you, my readers (few or numerous doesn’t matter much) will like them…

2005, rediscovering watercolor


2005 wasn’t only a year of the nudes at the University of Sherbrooke but also one when I rediscovered the watercolor and started to work more and more with it or with combinations of it (watercolor + acrylic ink, acrylics and watercolor, watercolor and pastel, etc.)

In Romania, when I was a happy (it seems now, at least, I was happy; all the dilemas, the anxiety and muddy waters of teenage smudged, smoothened…) student at the “Liceul de Arte Plastice Sibiu” 1971-9175, names like Canson, Arches, Fabriano, Strathmore etc. were unknown. I’m not sure at all my teachers knew them, really… Good watercolor paper was as far away and imposible to reach as the moon… Or, I found out in 2005, a lot of a good watercolor has to do with the paper. I would say an essential part, even. There is no good watercolor on bad paper… Ok, this may seem pretty elementary in the West. But out there, in Romania, for an ordinary, non-privileged kid, good watercolor paper and colors (I’ve learned about Windsor and Newton, Holbein and Van Gogh brands as an old new artist…) were unobtainable. We did some “watercolors” on bad ordinary paper, with cheap colors… No wonder the results weren’t spectacular…

The following is one of my landscapes (Quebec inspired… I’m not 100 % sure but this must be somewhere near Baie St. Paul…) combining acrylic ink and watercolors. No master piece but a certain freshness, a certain spontaneity of the line and color…

Sancta Simplicitas


Probably this latin saying is abstracted from its original context but I could not resist (vanitas! vanitas vanitatis!) to parade a bit my (not very extensive) latin quotes… In fact, recently finishing reading one of Paul Coelho books I was thinking at “the secret” of this author’s succes (and not only – Georges Simenon, Agatha Christie, Dan Brown and other best-sellers authors could have the same “secret”)… The simplicity, the clarity of style could be it… Seems simple but it isn’t. This authors have this talent: to express in simple, short, clear sentences essential human sentiments… somethimes giving you the impression of complexity (like Dan Brown with his Da Vinci code). The most elementary human feelings, the most basic conflicts: love, hate, family, greediness… I wonder if the same “simplicity principle” could apply to drawing and painting… Could be… Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings are like that. Miro and Paul Klee cultivated the simple, elementary, expressive signs. So did Georges Bracque and Picasso. So did a lot of others… Maybe the “secret” isn’t really a “secret”… Maybe it’s just concision and simplicity?

I choose one of my simple paintings to illustrate, from my point of view, the simplicity… (It’s a charcoal portrait of Georges Bracque, after a photo by Henry Cartier-Bresson from the same 2002-2003 period)

Bracque

The last one – the first one…


This is the painting which ended 2007. And since is not entirely finished (I may do some changes to it as it is my bad ? habit) this is also the painting with which I started the new year… I called it “El Muerte – la maja desnuda” because I use some of Velasquez only known nude as an excerpt… It’s an acrylic on canvas (14′ x 18′) and I’ve painted it with long intermissions…

Since this one will my only blog from now on, I’ll alternate my old stuff (I will still try to present it chronologically) with the last things I do. 2007 wasn’t my best year: only 100 drawings and paintings in my catalogue, about 1/4 of what I did in 2006 and even less than 2005…I hope it’s not a permanent trend. But then, I get old and tired (as everybody else – but after 50 it’s more evident)… Today, I’ve read in one of Robert Genn’s newsletters an excerpt from Picasso which (the excerpt) puzzled me. He said: “Titian, Rembrandt and Goya are painters. I’m just a clown.” And I was wondering what I am myself: not even a clown…

But then, not everybody can be Titian, Rembrandt, Goya, Van Gogh OR Picasso… Maybe there is a place, in this wide world, which could be mine… I don’t really know…

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Celui-ci c’est la dernière peinture de 2007 et la première de 2008 (étant donné que j’ai la mauvaise habitude de repeindre, à des long ou des courts intervals, selon ma disposition…) Je l’ai appellé El Muerte – la maja desnuda, parce que il y a dedans une citation de l’unique nu connu de Velasquez… C’est une toile de 14 x 18 pouces et, bien sur, une peints à l’acrylique.

Comme ce blog sera mon unique blogue, je vais alterner mes anciens dessins et peintures (que je vais éssayer toujours de présenter dans un ordre cronologique) et mes plus récentes créations. L’année 2007 n’a pas été un bonne année pour moi: 100 dessins et peintures dans mon catalogue de l’année… approximativement 1/4 de ce que j’ai peint en 2006 et encore moins qu’en 2005… J’espére que ce n’est pas une tendence durable, celui-ci… enfin, je sais, on vieillit et on se fatigue plus vite après 50 ans… J’ai lu aujourd’hui une chose qui m’a intrigué, dans le newsletter de Robert Genn : une citation de Picasso, qui semble avoir dit que Titian, Rembrandt et Goya étaient des peintres et que lui, il n’était qu’un clown… Je me dis alor que moi je suis encore moins qu’un clown… C’est vrai, pas toute le monde peut être Titian, Rembrandt, Goya, Van Gogh OU Picasso. Mais, peut-être, il y reste, dans cette large monde, un petit endroit pour moi aussi? Pas très sure…Enfin.

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Aceasta e ultima pictura din  2007. Si probabil prima din 2008, avand în vedere prostul ? meu obicei de a re-picta tablouri considerate, initzial, ca terminate… E o pictura pe panza, de 14 x 18 inch, acrilica desigur.

Cum prezentul va fi unicul meu blog, voi alterna pe el operele mele mai vechi (incercand sa ma tzin de cuvant si sa le prezint oarecum cronologic) cu ultimele mele creatzii… Anul 2007 n-a fost bun pentru mine: n-am pictat si desenat decat 100 de desene si picturi, cam un sfert din ce am facut in 2006 si înca si mai putzin decât în 2005… Dar asta e, îmbatranesc, ca toata lumea si energia mea nu mai e ce-a fost. Dupa 50 de ani  asa se întampla… Sper ca nu e tendintza durabila, totusi…

Azi am citit ceva interesant in ultima scrisoare a lui Robert Genn
Il cita pe Picasso care, la un moment dat, ar fi spus (cu o modestie care nu-l caracterizeaza, in general) ca Titian, Rembrandt si Goya sunt pictori, el nefiind decat un clown. Si ma intrebam, daca el e un clown, ce sunt eu? Nici macar un clown, evident… e drept ca nu toata lumea poate fi un Titian, un Rembrandt, un Goya, un Van Gogh sau un Picasso… Poate ca in toate lumea asta larga exista si un locsor pentru mine? Nu-s prea sigur dar… cine stie?

El Muerta la maja desnuda

Little monsters


little monsters 

In 1999-2000 (I think) I’ve followed an etching course at the Bishop’s University. The plan was to complete a BFI (Bachelor in Fine Arts)… It didn’t work finally that way (I was too old and too tired to be a student again; more than that, it’s not for free…) but I’ve learned how to make an aquaforte, an aquatinta, etc. The teacher was a very good one (she came from Montreal) and I regret to say I do not remember her name… She did tell me I have some gift for engraving and was very encouraging (in which she made a big contrast with the bastard – a mean, envious bastard – who taught drawing…)

Vincent Van Gogh is supposed to have done one single engraving in his life (a portrait of dr. Gachet…but B. Landais, in a book called “L’affaire Gachet” says – and I have to confess he was pretty convincing! – that, in fact, the engraving, as some of the “Van Gogh” Paul Gachet jr. had donated to the Louvre in 1954, aren’t painted by Vincent but by the good doctor Gachet OR by his son…)  Me, I’ve done two etching, a aquaforte and this one, a small aquatinta… Both have as subjects monsters. This one’s “monsters” are little… Then, just as these days, I was pretty much depressed… I try to get out of it writing & painting… I cannot hope you’ll LIKE it. But I still hope you’ll be interested…

Combining Vincent stuff with mine…


Selfportrait with Vincent’t skeleton

The following selfportrait, digitally manipulated, a bit, is one of my sinister self-portraits (well, yes, I did that also, not only the sunny, joyous, gay – no implication! – painting I used you to…) In it, I’ve combined a self-portrait of myself and the smoking skeleton from a Vincent Van Gogh unusual – for him – still life… At that time (2001, autumn & winter) I was working in a Waterville factory (they did drawers and other similar stuff from wood and plywood) and I was living in a moist, dark appartment not far away from the factory… lousy building, with noisy rednecks over my head and on the side… Since my elder son just founded his first love of his life and kind of kicked me out from the Sherbrooke appartment where we lived I was alone and not at all happy. I had just ended the separation from my wife, I was working to pay the bills and applied for bankrupcy (took all the familly’s debts on my large and powerfull shoulders…) and did not yet finished my Certificate in visual arts… in a word, I was up to my neck in the worst depression of my life… Add the separation from my other two children, the car which started to broke and a hundred other motifs for going down (getting old, for one…) and you’ll have the picture… Not at all a nice one… Suicide wasn’t too far away from my thoughts and the Ecclesiat was my favorite reading… I let a wild beard to grow and I really was scary, sometimes… every time I met a nice old lady on the street she would inevitably cross the road in a hurry, cloutching his purse at her chest and hectically lookind for a policeman… But then, as the Ecclesiast says, everything changes and there is a time for everything. That was my time for depression and since you read this it means I kind of overcome it. For now…

Some more sketches…


My mother standing

Another two “baitz” sketches of my main model, my mother… when we were both much more younger… Looking at these, I remember I’ve used dry reed, cut “en biseau” (obliquely), the same kind of cheap but efficient drawing tool Rembrandt and Van Gogh used… It’s an interesting sketching tool, allowing you to use very fine lines but also large strokes and even accidental droplets and such…

My mother 2