Archives for posts with tag: reflections

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“Admit it,” said Sunny to Mouse (who is a workaholic) “you have all laughed at me because I want to be an artist.” He just assumed that Mouse and the others all thought artists are slackers.

“We have not laughed at you, Sunny, we laughed about your approach,” Mouse explained and pointed to the billboard she just had installed. Then she reminded Sunny, that he spent years trying to find a patron without having any work to show. Worse, while he was trying, he ate all the other Dede’s pizzas. Everyone can recall the last sure thing he followed up. The time, when he tried to get the money from his deceased great-uncle in Nigeria. He is still waiting. The reminder, though true, made  Sunny very uncomfortable and he quickly headed for the exit.

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Then Rob D Light passed by the billboard, looked at it and shook his head. “Lucky them who still can afford dreams,” he thought, “I simply need a job for survival.”

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I was lying in my last post! It wasn’t all hard work. Before we dived into the hot phase of the last preparations for the exhibition, L’Artiste wanted to have a little time out. To get away from the others he suggested a road trip up North. As he can’t drive, (he is too short to reach the pedals)  L’Artiste usually keeps himself busy with an ongoing project he calls “Driveby shooting.” It is pretty easy in New Zealand. You just have to hold the camera out the window, press the button and presto, you have an amazing photograph. No, honestly, there is a message in his project. :) This time he used the mobile phone for the first time to take the pictures and he found out it is much more diffcult than with his trusted SLR. Anyway, here are the images from from the last trip. They were taken around Broadwood in the Far North.

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mum-comp copy

This is the very last composite I did in Photoshop and it is a very personal and painful one. I think I did this one in late 2014 or early 2015. (I haven’t even dated it, as I am not sure whether it is finished). It is a reflection of my mother who was an enigma to me all her life. I think you have to be German and of a certain age to understand.

That is enough about my art and from tomorrow I will write about the puppets again :)

beads

This is more stuff I made over the weekend. I came across an interesting tutorial on the internet about burning glue to create a textured surface. In the video the result looked amazing, so I had to have a go. I used some air dry clay I found in my art cupboard as the foundation to apply the glue to. I wasn’t too sure about burning PVA glue but it didn’t smell bad. Actually, it didn’t smell at all though this doesn’t mean it isn’t toxic. (Okay, I found a site on the internet that said it wasn’t). While I like the look of the beads, I don’t like touching them. It irritates me that they feel warm, not cold like stone. It’s a fail in my book :) It made me realise, I don’t think much about the temperature of objects, but I certainly have a subconscious expectation.

 

x

My interest is in the process of painting, rather than the end result. Therefore I am by no means a fast painter. I am not a prolific painter either, partly because I have no idea what to do with all the finished canvasses. They collect dust under the bed. Every so often I create an image I am very happy with and this might get hung on the wall. Others may be overpainted at a later stage. I scratch and scrape away paint as much as I add it and with time the canvas gets covered with a thick layer of acrylic paint. A unique texture evolves. For the viewer it might look as if the paint is just slapped on but I think about each step. I am also led by the emerging features .

Today’s image is from 2010 when I explored the meaning of x. X is a very ambigious symbol. In English, signing a letter with two or three x’s means kisses. X also means the ‘unknown’ as in Mr X or ‘forbidden’ (don’t go there). Ambiguity is my other big subject. If you follow the Dedes you might have realised nothing is what it seems to be. One puppet says one thing and the other says the opposite. We all have our own realities. Once again, our own brain fills in the gaps and often tricks us into believing things that are non-existent. But I am digressing.

I can’t remember how long it took me to finish this very simple painting and a photograph certainly doesn’t do it justice. This one does hang on the wall and even after six years I still enjoy looking at the paint that is breaking open like a wound and the fraying edges of the x. So this painting is definitely safe from being worked on again.

x detail

 

Modern Man

Tony, who is not only a puppet maker but also an x-ray artist (visit his blog: xraygraphics), commented on my post yesterday that the artwork I put up is very tactile. He put his finger right on the core of my art. To explain where it comes from I have to dive down into my personal history. In a nutshell: back in the day I took to Photoshop like a duck to water and have been teaching digital imaging for 20 years. In the beginning I really enjoyed working with blend modes and masks to create amazing textures. But along the way, I realised how much our brain tricks us into perceiving surface properties. When you touch a print it is always flat. The appearance of texture is created by our brain interpreting what we expect to be there. So we see texture that really isn’t there.  Over the years my yearning for honest textures grew stronger and stronger.

I created the picture I’ve put up today in 2007. This is one of my favourites from my Photoshop era. In this triptych I used 4 different background photographs (a wooden door with flaky paint, a stone wall with a window, an iron watch tower in a forest, and a 200-year-old lace curtain) and combined them in different ways to bring different properties to the fore. My work is generally about relationships. This one describes that in a good relationship you should be allowed to be strong or weak at times.

 

Yes, I left civilisation and it looked like I never came back. But I can set your mind at rest. I have returned and the Dedes have been posting on Instagram every day. Fittingly, having had Valentine’s Day this month, they are discussing the various notions of love. :) It started with Minor, Detail‘s teenage daughter, looking for true love. Today Skeleton Edeltraut complains about an admirer who doesn’t respect her boundaries. Below I have put together a catch-up picture gallery. If you have any forms of love to add, please feel free to make a comment.

I have to apologise for my longer blog posts that have fallen by the wayside again. I am trying to make a major decision.  I am investigating the feasibility of  leaving  ‘honest  work’ and the big smoke behind and moving to the country side, engaging in art (not just the puppets), full-time and for good.

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Remember the beautiful pictures my friend Carly took at the launch of the Artist’s Survival Cookbook? I promised then I would write a special post about her as I truly admire her work and her as a person. Today is the day when I finally honour that promise. It has taken this long as Carly was working on her new website Fossick and Forage, which she finally launched last night. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that she is an excellent photographer and food stylist. She is also an amazing person, full of life and craving for new experience. I was impressed with how she magically transformed a run-down old church hall into a warm and welcoming place for my launch. And I was even more excited when I saw that the first  Story on her webpage is dedicated to the launch of my book. Comparing the photographs each of us has chosen for our sites illustrates brilliantly how you can tell a story simply by selecting the imagery. While I was looking for the people shots that conveyed the vibe of the day, Carly focused on the mood of the bygone era. (And no, I am not the lady she has selected as her poster girl for the story :). It’s also interesting to find out what others say about you. Thank you so much, Carly!

 

epiphany

Devil is depressed again. Each time the Dedes finish a project – even a small one – he has to take a couple of days off to question what the troupe is doing. Recently, the Dedes have started on Instagram and while Devil is overjoyed, the silly Dedes are not alone. He also developed an anxiety. Looking around Instagram Devil realised the Dedes are up against an entire army of traveling fluffy toys. It seems to be very fashionable to take an inanimate companion on a journey (I wonder if it has something to do with the film Amélie).  Anyway, he is convinced I should go traveling, take him with me, and leave all the other ones behind. Needless to say, this idea didn’t fly with the rest of the Dedes.

devil shaking hands

I can assure you, the Dedes are wrong, I wasn’t slack in the past months. I just had an energy-sucker of a job. I have recently resigned from this absolute terrible workplace. Let me rephrase that, the job as such wasn’t terrible, to be honest it was my dream job. I loved the students and every minute of teaching, but the school was suffering from a bullying culture, created by a bunch of alcoholics. One of them also showed very strong signs of a cluster B personality disorder. I only realised how much the situation sucked me dry – particularly my creativity – once I had resigned. It was an, how can I say that… “interesting” experience and I am surprised that I got to my age without having come across such a dysfunctional workplace before. Unfortunately I am very loyal person and often stick around longer than I should, because I so believe I can make a difference. Not!

Okay this was my rant for the day!

I hope the Dedes understand now why they have been a little neglected lately. And they were right, they didn’t get as much attention as they deserved. My first peace offering to them was, that I set up a new zazzle product for sale: An apron with the image of  Milky Bar Devil presenting his delicious hamburger bun – the cover shot of The Artist’s Survival Cookbook. My old mate Devil got all emotional after he’d realised I am back on board. He shook my hand and said we should renew our pact. I didn’t know we had one!

Artist's Survival Apron
Artist's Survival Apron by dededesign
Many more kitchen apron designs online at zazzle” apron designs on zazzle