Crocodile     "Crocodile"

  oil on canvas h64 x w64cm,
  January 2003

"Crocodile" presents another magnification, but this time not of a complete object but of a detail. Source of inspiration was a photograph of a crocodile, and here I concentrated on the left eye and a number of teeth. After having made the first - orange - layer with a brush, I subsequently finished the painting almost entirely with a palette knife. It is for the first time that I hardly used a brush to make a painting. It was partly due to an appetite for experimenting and partly to practical necessity. Painting with a brush in wet oil paint inevitably leads to messy colours when you do not stop in time, but with a palette knife you can put layers of paint on top of each other rather than through each other. This means that you can go on painting for a bit longer without smudging your picture. Besides, the structure made with a palette knife neatly matches that of reptile skin.

Love Me, Love my Dog     "Love Me, Love my Dog"

  oil on canvas h60 x w60cm,
  February 2003

Man and animal are merged into one here. Such a symbiosis can indeed take very strange shapes. And can others love both the animal and its master so easily? The English saying means 'loving me means accepting my friends'. I interpreted this very literally by choosing man's best friend: the dog. This painting on canvas is put on a 3cm-thick wedged stretcher, which means that no frame is needed.

Crown-caps     "Crown-caps"

  Oil on canvas h44 x w44cm,
  March 2003

Just as in "Love Me, Love my Dog" I put in a dark spacious area that suggests depth by its darkness. On top of it I painted crown caps, as a tangible memory of a party. "Corks" is a variation on this same theme.

Corks     "Corks"

  oil on canvas h44 x w44cm,
  March 2003

Just as in "Love Me, Love my Dog" I put in a dark spacious area that suggests depth by its darkness. On top of it I painted corks, as a tangible memory of a party. "Crown-caps" is a variation on this same theme.

At the Concert in the Park     "At the Concert in the Park"

  oil on canvas h74 x w94cm,
  April 2003

Listeners enjoy a sunny day out in the park at the outdoor concert of a string orchestra. The background has been made in a transparent way using green and yellow tones, and outlines of a violin are vaguely visible in it. The melodies floating over the grass and through the bushes can be imagined by the viewer. The amorphous, liquid-looking background is suggestive of a reflecting pool and gently flowing sounds, and it is set off against the six thickly painted, high-contrast faces that cut through the backdrop like a band. Each of the listeners seems to have his own opinion about the concert, because there is no disputing about taste, but there appears to be no discordant note here really.

Rush Hour     "Rush Hour"

  oil on canvas h95 x w135cm,
  September 2003

Get up, collect your stuff, and off you go. Being underway is a ritual that takes places twice a day, off to work in the morning and back home in the evening. We are so preoccupied with our daily troubles that we fail to see the absurdity and the humour of the situation. I have set these five persons as separate cartoon figures in a firm, minimalist background to make them stand out. To suggest speed I have added a thin line behind them, a technique often used in cartoons. Looking at the figures you start wondering what makes them tick and what they are thinking of. Do we know these people, or is it ourselves that we are seeing? And for how long have they been carrying those bags and briefcases? On a philosophical note: do these people walk towards the light where they can find fulfilment? Or on a more mundane note: why are some smiling mysteriously? Has anybody farted? Who knows what we don't?

Cocooned I     "Cocooned I"

  oil on canvas h104 x w54cm,
  October 2003

With most canvases the difference between width and height is not large for various reasons. The viewer is used to the standard proportions and appreciates them, and for the artist spacing is not terribly difficult. It becomes tricky when a divergent size is selected, so with this high canvas and the next one I have consciously set myself a challenge. I have dared to leave quite a bit 'empty' to create space. The image in the lower half becomes stronger because there is space above it, and it does not become stronger if you imagine the space gone. All beginnings are difficult but such a sheltered beginning as depicted here seems ideal. The encapsulated foetus sits with his umbilical cord wrapped around him, safely waiting for things to come. He has a long way to go, but does not yet see the windy path spiralling up into the dark. And perhaps it is better that way too.

Cocooned II     "Cocooned II"

  oil on canvas h104 x w54cm,
  November 2003

Again I have depicted a foetus, once more enveloped in a heart-shaped cocoon. The foetus is younger than the one in Cocooned I, but the space it takes up on the canvas is larger. After all, the earliest sign of life has the biggest impact on our feelings of the heart, because our lives change from that moment on. The umbilical cord now has a different position in the picture, and the way up is not yet there. The heart shape illuminates the external darkness above.

Off the Road     "Off the Road"

  oil on canvas h103 x w83cm,
  december 2003

A still from the film Heimat, in which Paul Simon returns to Schabbach, has led to this painting. Just as in Rush Hour I have set separate elements in a background, in this case two human figures plus a stranded car and this time in perspective. 'Pity about the car' I hear you say, but you know that technology regularly lets us down and throws us back onto ourselves. Then there is nothing for it but to think of a solution or hope for a helping hand. Still, for these two travellers both options appear to yield nothing for the time being.
Two more style elements: as in At the Concert in the Park I built the background thinly layer upon layer, but kept it blurry this time. And just as in Rush Hour and so many previous paintings the men are wearing hats.

top Top previous 2002 next 2004