Archives for the month of: April, 2012

Okay, I have uploaded Hermit’s Web onto fishpond. But of course I haven’t read the fine print when I originally investigated how to sell the book. The title has to be included in the Nielson Book database, before it can be sold via fishpond. I have filled in the form for Nielson last Saturday and emailed it off. When I uploaded the book info onto fishpond today I read, that it can take up to f o u r! weeks to be processed by Nielson and then another two weeks before fishpond actually starts selling it. OMG, in this time I can write the sequel.

Back to plan B. I need to get our own web page up-dated.

The three images I have put up today are from a series called “Gallery of ancestral portraits”. They are layered and scratched on wood blocks and are sitting on my mantelpiece. When I am painting without intention I always end up with sad faces.



I wish I were out sailing.


This post I had started yesterday, before I did my GST returns. But obviously my bad conscience took over just in time, as I didn’t publish it and really did the work I had to do…. And as usual –  it felt soooooo much better once it was done!

I have a couple of obsessions. Maybe obsessions is too strong a word – Recurring topics might be better –  Barbed wire is one of them. (I am sure, a psychologist would have something to say about that. I haven’t asked one yet.)

Last year I had a few images on display in a cafe up the road. It doesn’t count as an exhibition in my books (and how it came about is a funny story in itself). It was put together rather quickly and the photographs were chosen by their mass appeal rather than artistic merit.

The feather was one of them. I personally like this photograph, as for me it has a specific meaning. I am pretty sure, if you search through a stock library you will find heaps of images of feathers on barbed wire, some better resolved than mine.

However, I have been asked countless times, whether the feather was already there or whether I had placed it there.

Does it really matter?

It’s late again and I am still at work. I have to think of my dad, who passed away a long time ago. He had this saying: “In the evening the lazy ones get busy”. How true!

However, evening is the quiet time, when nobody interrupts you and you get much more done than during the day. I have finished 3 of my 4 tasks. The one I haven’t finished (actually I haven’t even started) is the GST returns for the tax man. Why am I not surprised. Unfortunately that is the one task I really should have done and it means I have to come back tomorrow and do it. buggeridoo!

It’s Friday again and looking back at the week it wasn’t a particularly successful one. I’ve set out to do all these things and I ended up with half finished jobs, jobs not started, as well as having done things that needn’t to be done this week and also dealt with stuff originally not anticipated. To cut a long story short, my to do list hasn’t changed much since Monday, but I haven’t been idle this week either. I guess that’s life.

Today I have four things to finish on my to do list and I hope I will have completed them by tonight. So, let’s not procrastinate further and get on with it.

Moving on

I was hoping, once the launch is over, I can slow down a bit. But I can’t. I have no idea what drives me at the moment and where the energy is coming from. I have two new photographic projects, I would like to embark on, though the puppets are still requiring all of my attention. I am currently putting a proposal together for an exhibition in a gallery and I am also about to send a couple of books to the mothership (that is the newspaper the puppets are made of). I will labour over that particular letter for a while, as I will have to write it in German. Even though German is my mother tongue, it won’t come easy as I haven’t written a letter in my native language for yonkers. I don’t even know the proper format anymore.

I still have to update our website, but I think I will capitulate here. Down the corridor is a company that does web sites and they will be able to solve the technical problems much quicker and more elegantly than I ever could. This will free me up to do things I really like to do. Time is an extremely precious commodity… But what am I telling you (:

I’ve noticed, that my posts don’t get many likes at the moment… Sorry if I bore you, what I am writing here is more like a diary, basically for me to remember in a year’s time what it was like. I am also writing for my students as they will have to put themselves on the line once they will have completed their studies. I hope sharing what I go through will help. As one artist friend of mine told me: “When you go out there and exhibit, you are nailing your heart to the wall.” I don’t know if these were his own words, but they stuck!

So, the book is launched. I had my five minutes of fame, and now I am left with the minor problem of selling the print run. At the moment you can’t get the book anywhere else than in my office. And boy, every poor person who comes through the door, is greeted by three puppets and a grinning me. If they want it or not, they have to listen to my story and nobody leaves the room without having bought a book. It won’t be long and I will have exhausted all the people I know and I will  slide back into my hermit state, because everybody is avoiding me (just kidding).

Being a real artist, of course I have procrastinated the selling task.  I always said, once I have the books in my hot little hands, I will put them up on (that is sort of the New Zealand answer to Amazon) and also on our own website. I dutifully read up about how to put a paypal button on a website and I am in the process of updating the website generally. Paypal says it takes 15 minutes to set up the button… Yeah right! I haven’t figured out yet, how you can charge different shipping costs for people here and overseas. But maybe I am just too tired now. Tomorrow is a public holiday in New Zealand and I will try with a fresh mind then. Thankfully, I have to sell books and not cream cakes. So it doesn’t matter if they are not sold by the weekend.

I have sent the 2 required copies to Legal Deposit Office of the National Library yesterday, that means that the book is now officially published in New Zealand. That’s at least something!


More launch images

I have put up a new page on my blog site with some images from the launch last week Thursday (click here). The images were taken by Sonya Roussina. It was really worthwhile to have a dedicated photographer there and not trying to take the images myself or ask my friends to do it.

I am pleased how well the format of the launch worked. It started at 7pm. The puppet show was scheduled for 7:15… I had asked my boss from the polytech, where I teach, to introduce me to the crowd before the puppet show. He was just brilliant. We had a talk for about 20 minutes and I could explain the art background of the puppets and my thoughts behind the entire project. And then I did a puppet show of maybe 5 minutes. Re-enacting what happened when the puppets found out that Hermit had written a book.

I am still smiling today…



Here is the foreword of Hermit’s Web. Just to give an idea of my writing and what to expect when reading the book…

Artist’s preface

My friends and I go back a long, long way. All of them were bright young things once, making headlines. They sure were looked at in their heyday, and admired for their knowledge. I for one thoroughly enjoyed their companionship. Sadly, as they grew older they lost their attractiveness. You know how it goes: even great stories become old news as one makes new friends with new stories and new insights. So I shuffled them off to a rest home, where they desperately awaited my visit.

Isn’t it sad? All they had left was a life in anticipation of something that might never happen. Of course I was so busy, that once they were shuffled out of sight, my visit stayed pretty much a promise. Every time I walked past that place, I had a bad conscience and thought, I really have to look up my old friends. Needless to say, it rarely happened. Too many other things demanded my attention.

To cut a long story short, my friends experienced it first hand: our world, is a world of youth. Once you are past your prime, people lose interest fairly swiftly.

Then one day, I heard of plans to demolish the rest home. I was told all my old friends would have to go. I decided instantly to go down memory lane one more time. The next rainy day, I went to pay the old dears a visit. As soon as I sat down, Chance (normally not one to push in front and speak up) said: “If we want to have a new lease on life, we have to re-invent ourselves. Our situation won’t improve by just sitting around.” I am not sure whether they already knew about the demolition plans, or if it was an act of desperation, tired of waiting for some sort of attention. Anyway, the Devil, sitting next to Chance, and of course having no fear, held his hand up immediately. He said to me: “I know, I can do it with your help.” Admittedly I was flattered by the Devil asking me for help. How could I say no to him? So I gave it a go. The others watched suspiciously, but Devil turned out wonderfully and was invited out to dinner that very same night. In fact, he never returned to the rest home. Needless to say, the next day they all wanted to have a go. Now there is a long waiting list.

Of course we are not living in a fairy-tale world, are we? There is danger in re-invention. In the process their brains shrivel dramatically. They might still have a glimpse of who they were before, but more often than not, they become a totally new personality. But one thing they all have in common: they couldn’t give a toss about what’s going on in the big wide world. But why should they? They have been cast aside before.

I just love to watch them and think of my part. With all their imperfections, they are great fun to have around.

Translation for the less imaginative of my friends:

Of course I was talking about the pile of old newspaper in the spare room, and the dreadfully wet summer Christmas of 2011/2012, when I created all the hand puppets featured in this book. But this wouldn’t have taken up two pages.

author photo I just looked through the launch images my friend Renee had sent me.

I think this is a beautiful one of Hermit. It was taken right after the puppet show and the actors are pretty tired. Ducky, (the one in the foreground) wasn’t part of the actual show, but he has always something to say and wants to be centre stage. Pig (lying on the table) drank the entire bottle of snaps by itself and is now out of it.  Pirate (at the top) casts his good eye around for the next opportunity to make money. And Mouse (on the left) is just exhausted from running around all evening (tongue hanging out). Witch, Devil (very obscured) and Deutsch Fraulein are protecting Hermit from being recognised (:

Of course everybody knows by now Hermit is actually a Hermitess. It is the age of equal opportunity after all…