Archives for the month of: April, 2013

lartiste very close

L’Artiste wanted to tag me and he had thought up some curly questions. Unfortunately I had to disappoint him and decline.  I was busy sanding wooden window frames yesterday. Admittedly not one of my favorite past-times and therefore I wasn’t in the mood to answer anything last night. Thankfully I have a good excuse. The game they are currently playing is called “Tag-a-Dede” and I am not a Dede, or am I?

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lartiste answers

Socialite was a bit slow coming up with questions and telling us who she wants to tag. We should have guessed, really. She was after L’Artiste. She had been so keen on interviewing him ever since his film “Life of an Artist” was posted. This time she got lucky. It took her a while to find him, though, to present him the questions. But then he couldn’t hide forever.

1.Why are you an artist?

L’Artiste: I think I have answered this question before. I just am, there is no reason for it!

2. What would you be if you weren’t an artist?

L’Artiste: Dead!

3. What would you consider a must read for every artist?

L’Artiste: “Josephine the singer, or the mouse folk” by Kafka. I only read it recently when the blogger Eva-d recommended it after I had released my film. It deals with the perception of the arts by the audience and the artist. It made me think a lot.

4. What was the most intriguing piece of information you have heard lately, not sourced from the internet?

L’Artiste: I read a very interesting article about fraternal polyandry in a Western Chinese province.

Socialite: You’ll have to explain that.

L’Artiste:  No, I only have to answer the question! And I think I have.

5. What are you currently working on?

L’Artiste: On a “Stair spirit” for the new stairs we will have in the house soon. It is sort of like the Saints that were placed at bridges to ensure a safe journey across. My one will of course look totally different, but has the same function.

socialite and witch

We were very suprised that Witch wanted to tag Socialite. It is an open secret: there is no love lost between the two of them. Socialite is an outgoing champagne kind of gal, while Witch is a staunch teetotaller who loves to stay at home. There are worlds between them. Anyway, Witch presented the questions to her nemisis. And Socialite jumped right into answering them.

1. Describe yourself in three words?

Socialite: I am outgoing, it is easy for me to make friends and I have a great fashion sense. I know what’s hot.

“Three words” Witch reminded her.

Socialite: Mhm outgoing, driven, sharp and gorgeous of course.

2. What don’t you like about yourself?

Socialite: I like myself. There is nothing that needs changing. Oh, my big nose maybe. Yes, definitely my big nose. One day, I will fix it.

3. What would you save if your house was on fire?

Socialite: That is not difficult. My big collection of lip sticks. I feel naked without my lippy. I wouldn’t go anywhere without it.

4. What is your biggest dream?

Socialite: I want to do something really, really big. Something I will be remembered for forever. What exactly… I don’t know yet, but it will come to me!

5. If you would volunteer, what organisation or job would you choose?

Socialite: This question isn’t fair! I don’t have the time to volunteer right now, so I haven’t really thought about it. Sure, I will do it one day. But I know already I couldn’t volunteer in an old peoples home. This really would depress me. Nor could I help out in an animal shelter where it stinks. Help migrants settle maybe? No, I am not patient enough. That rules out anything with kids as well. What a silly question! I don’t know, I’ll have to think about it.

mouse and socialite

Socialite couldn’t wait for her turn and Witch went away to think of some questions. By the time I left she hadn’t come back.

“Tell me,” Socialite asked nobody in particular, “does Witch really think she is good looking?” As there was no response from anybody she answered for herself. “No, she must have been joking. She has a crooked nose with a big wart on it and she is all wrinkly. No, she can’t have been serious.”

“I think for her age she scrubs up nicely” Mouse said now.

“But Mouse, we don’t know how old she is!” Socialite replied.

“But you can see she has life experience. I love the look of her wrinkles. They are witness to a life spend laughing rather than crying. I want to look like her when I am old” Mouse continued.

“No way” Socialite waved the idea aside. “Who wants to be old? Of all people, a witch really doesn’t need to be old. With her magical powers and potions she could make herself look stunning and young!”

“If she wanted to, maybe, “Devil chipped in. “But after all she is a witch. If she looked too young would anybody take her  seriously as witch? It is her trademark after all, isn’t it? Maybe she is too coy to tell us her age because she is much younger than we all assume!”

“Now you are getting silly!” Socialite said angrily. She was sure Devil was taking the mickey out of her now.

witch cooking2

Devil had the great idea yesterday to play tag-a-Dede for a while, but he didn’t reckon with the rest of the Dedes. When he put it to the others they rolled their eyes, or at least some of them did. Luckily for Devil, Witch was  busy cooking as usual and didn’t pay much attention to what he had to say. When Devil announced he would tag her first up she didn’t react at all, so Devil took it she’d agreed.

It was a slightly different story this morning when he wanted to give her the questions she had to answer. All of a sudden she didn’t want to have a bar of it.  Everybody had a hard time convincing her that she was indeed present when the game was discussed and she did not object to being the first one tagged.

Finally she shrugged her shoulders and conceded. “But I won’t tell you how old I am!” she said, as Devil handed her the questions. “Rest assured, there are no incriminating questions” said Devil. “You can answer in any way you like. We don’t know if they are correct!” Of course I know very well everyone will try to appear in the best possible light.

1. What is your pet hate?

Witch:  When someone judges without knowing the full story.

2. Describe yourself in three words?

Witch: Patient,  independent, good looking.

3. Is there anything you can’t get your head around?

Witch: If someone puts profit over humanity and the environment

4. If you could eradicate one thing from the world, what would this be!

Witch: Racism

5. You are a witch, why don’t you just eradicate it then?

Witch: I am a witch not the Almighty. There are limitations to what I can do. Like everybody else I can but try.

Witch was obviously relieved that it was over, but Devil explained to her that it was now her turn to come up with five questions for another Dede. “Who would you like to tag, then?”

Socialite” she answered, as she was sitting right opposite.

devil under tree

The Dedes were very upset that I brushed them off on Friday night. Quicker than I had anticipated, they re-instated Devil as their spokesperson.  It was a unanimous decision, mainly because nobody else wanted to do the job and Devil wasn’t really that serious about handing in his resignation. Secretly, he was chuffed everybody voted to have him back in the job.

Being earnest about his new, old, position he  came straight to me and aired the concern that bothered everyone. “Have you fallen out of love with us?” he asked outright.

“Of course not!” I said. It  must have sounded pretty lame, rather like I wanted to fob him off again.

“But why are you not writing about us then? There is still stuff happening in the Dede world. You simply don’t report about us anymore! When we look at the blog there are only photos of things we don’t even recognise. I don’t know how many times I have to remind you, it is our blog and it is your obligation to write about us. At least that is what our contract says, or am I wrong?”

Devil, we never signed a contract!”

“Ah well, naming the blog dedepuppets.com is as good as a contract!”

“I agree, it is your blog and yes, it has your name.”

“So, do your job then. I’ll watch you!” he said and turned away ready to leave.

“Hang on, hang on…” I said. I wanted to ask him what they would do if I don’t comply. Are they going to find themselves a new artist? Tough luck. Let’s face it, the Dedes and I are linked, come hell or high water. I have to admit, at the moment I am sick of these demanding little critters who can see only their own perspective. Oh, I would so like to give them a piece of my mind for a change, but I bit my tongue.

“Look Devil,” I said instead, “I am a bit pre-occupied with building stuff at the moment. It won’t be forever. To be honest, I would rather write nothing about you than crap. If I write rubbish, that won’t help your cause either. You do understand, don’t you?”

He looked at me for a while. I could tell it made sense to him but he was in a bind. He needed to go back to the rest of the Dedes with a more positive answer.

“Okay” he said at last. “I have an idea. Let’s have a week of  ‘tag-a-Dede'”

“What is that?” I asked.

“You ask a Dede of your choice 5 questions and the Dede has to answer it as honestly as possible! That would mean we are running the show and you don’t have anything to do with it. Mouse can help us putting the answers up on the blog. She is good at that.”

“That is such a brilliant idea!” I could have hugged Devil  but he is not the huggy type. I was so relieved he came up with a solution that meant less work for me for a change.

‘I can make a start and tag Witch tomorrow. I always wanted to ask the old girl a few things.” Devil was really excited about his idea. “I have to come up with 5 really good questions. Maybe some of our readers want to help me! So if you have a question for Witch, our health freak, let me know.”

meeting

I knew it, I knew it. I am in trouble with the Dedes again. They constantly watch whether I spend enough time on their cause. I think I finally figured out what their ultimate goal is. Even if they would never admit it, they want is to be famous…. at any price.

Of course they are annoyed that I put my photographs on their blog  for a week and worse, these photographs got more likes than their stories usually get. For them it is pretty simple. They blame me for everything. They say I am not representing them in the right light and I am currently neglecting them. I am far too busy with other things and I don’t spend enough time with them.

My experience tells me it’s futile to try to defend myself. Once an idea has taken hold in their minds it is a hard task to change their opinion.

Last night they all had a go at me again. I can tell you, it was the last thing I needed at the end of the week. I told them they need to organise themselves better and not rely entirely on me. If they have something to say, they should send their spokesperson.

You might remember Devil has resigned from the spokesperson’s position. So with this move I bought myself some time. They first have to fill the position before they can approach me again. Knowing how the Dedes run their meetings I can relax for a while. I guess  nothing will happen until next weekend :)

tap

I am really missing my easel at the moment. All my paints are stored away while we are renovating. In the meantime I try to capture painterly moments with my camera.

This here is an extreme close-up of an old-fashioned tap I have in the laundry. It goes with a  concrete basin and I call it my ‘cow trough.’  Two cows could easily drink from it side by side. I guess it has been in the house since it was build in the mid-sixties of the last century and it is so easy to imagine, how the previous owner  (who built the place) was sweating over the trough on wash-day. I am very hesitant to replace it, even though it is very clunky and has a lot of dings and dents. It is just perfect for cleaning brushes!

Set in concrete

I see the writing on the wall. Set in concrete the letter I. Not something I am aspiring to.

accelerated standstill

This is one of my favorite photographs. I captured it entirely unintentional, as I accidentally pushed the release button, before I had finished changing the settings on my camera. But I love the result for its colours and painterly properties. In my opinion it looks very haptic. I want to touch the surface, only to be disappointed. As it is a photograph it has of course a completely smooth surface.

In reality it is a close-up of a steam train at dusk taken with an extremely slow shutter speed. I called this image “Accelerated Standstill.” Finding one’s intrinsic speed is a recurring topic in my work.