maandag 30 januari 2017

Witty Art at people's homes: another Lost Bear (un)happy at home!



It's always great when a happy new owner of my artwork sends me pictures of what's now their very own piece of Witty Art. I always am happily surprised by the often creative ways in which many owners display my art at their homes. They go to great lengths of choosing the right spot or even specially creating one. 

Some know it straight away, others take a bit longer. Some will move stuff around Witty Art, others will make it blend in with their surroundings. But whatever they decide, it's always a loving, welcoming and often very thorough process. It's never random.

Over time, I have built up quite a collection of pictures of Witty Art at people's homes and/or offices.


The other day I received two snapshots by my fellow artist, theatremaker and director Irene Siekman, who purchased one of my 'Lost Bears', while they were on display during my soloshow at Hostel Ani & Haakien last autumn. I was pleasantly surprised to see this little Lost Bear being surrounded by the work of other Dutch artists: Theo Huijgens, Lody van Dulken and Karin Rianne Westendorp as well as a lovely vintage seventies' photograph of her parents.

The result is a very nice, very intimate little gallery up there. One, I think this little brave Lost Bear will be very proud to call his new family now!
 
And I absolutely love it!



maandag 23 januari 2017

''The King of Clowns Descends'': small two-piece with a very personal story


Today, I feel the need to share a special kind of work with you, one, or rather, two, I haven't really shared with you before. It's a small two-piece I made in 2012 and originally, I intended it this two to expand to a larger series, but I never got around to that, because, even though he does reappear often in later work, the main character has a very special meaning for me.

It's called: ''The King Of Clowns Descends, #1-2''

This little two-piece is dedicated to my late Bigger Brother William de Witt, affectionaly known als Willy. A charming dreamer with a heavy heart and mind, who lightened up other people's lives, but didn't share a deep affection for life himself. He departed from this earthly building at the too-young age of 38, when I was only in my early 20's and trying to come to terms with this thing called Life myself. Which, in more ways than one, I never really could and never will - but still, in many ways more than he ever could.


In many, many ways I didn't know him really well, but I do remember his witty intellect and humour, his way with words, his boyish charm, his love for playing chess and for cats. I remember the sound of his voice as he was making fun with (or rather making fun of) my other siblings or my mother, but also as he was reading comic books with me, such as The Adventures of Asterix. But most of all, engraved in my memory for ever, is the sound of him singing along with one of his most favourite song of all time, the great American singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka's ''King of Clowns''.

That pretty much explains the title of this little two-piece (and nope, this one is NOT for sale, EVER).

So long, my Bigger Brother, our very own King of Clowns. Wherever you are now, whatever destination you took off 27 years ago, I hope it's a place where you can play all the chess of the universe. And that there are lots of cats around.







zaterdag 21 januari 2017

On working with rediscovered materials and yes, more new Witty Art!

 
So, the previous post showcased a couple of brandnew Witty Art Singles - and, surprise, surprise, so does this one. As I said before, there is a LOT of new work waiting to be featured on this blog, so might as well share all previews as soon as possible. Which is now ;-) 
Perhaps I should write just a bit on the techniques and materials I used for making many of these drawings. Ofcourse, my favourite material without a doubt is still ink and will forever and always be ink and it's fair to say that without my treasured dip pens I'd be lost. Also, a couple of years back, in 2014, I wrote this blogpost on my undying, eternal passion for ink. Nothing has changed since then.

But other materials managed to grab my attention off late, as I rediscovered working with pencil, charcoal and especially contรฉ crayon again. I love how it helps me to add more or a different sense of depth to a drawing, to play with light and dark, if not dark and darker, but still keeping it 'light'. I love how these different materials interact and often fight each other, as their characteristics either work with or against each other.
Last year, I kind of rediscovered working with mixed media again and did so in series such as ''Redemption Day Is Not Installed'' and ''Once Upon A Time... Never Happend!'' 

So far, to be able to work again with different mediums and materials together, mixing and exploring them, has certainly enriched my work, as I rediscovered skills I'd thought were gone and lost. Turns out, I didn't. For sure, ink is still ny number one love but guess there are some pretty good runners up there now! So, I hope you will stick around to see where this path will take me too.

If you wish, you are free to explore older Singles from the years 2011-2014 and from 2015 up till now.



Brandnew fresh previews of brandnew Witty Art Singles!

Apart from working on several older and new(er) Witty Art Series, such as ''One Step Forward (How Many Steps Back?'' and the most recent additions to ''EarthRocks & MoonSwings'', I've been also busy creating new Witty Art Singles: artwork that are no part of a specific themed series or featuring a fixed main ''lead character'' in it. Which does not mean they are not somehow bound by underlying themes and threads, they most certainly are - but in a far more 'loose' way than is the case with my series.

So, I actually have a huge volume of work not published here on this blog before, though I showcased some previews on my Instagram feed. I now feel it's about time to share some out here, as well. Well, some previews, that is.
What I am most pleased with, is the development of my artwork. Yes, it's still definitely signature ''Witty Art'', so still definitely me all over, but I can also see a certain artistic growth over time. I hasten to add, for me ''growth'' does not necessarily mean ''growing up'' or ''maturing''. To me, ''growth'' here means the deepening of my work, as more and more layers get exposed, more and more layers seem to be added as well. As in: often I still don't know what awaits me when I start drawing and the final outcome often still surprises me.

So, I honestly hope, that by keeping on drawing, I will keep on surprising myself and therefore, I hope I keep on surprising you, the viewers, too.

The adventure that is art, and in this case, Witty Art, my art, coninues. And I could not wish for more than for you all to join me on this beautiful adventure! 

If you wish, you are free to explore older Singles from the years 2011-2014 and from 2015 up till now.


 

woensdag 18 januari 2017

'One Step Forward (How Many Steps Back)': ALL 16 of them!


After having shared a couple of previews with you all, I am now proud to show the whole series ''One Step Forward (How Many Steps Back)'' on this blog. This is a series I am very happy with, as the main character (and yes, this is yet another rabbit or in Witty Art vocabulary: just another UnBunny) came out on paper exactly like I portrayed him in my head: kind of lean, but not mean and determined to just get those steps right - whether they are in fact the wrong ones or whether they take him boldly forward or backward - or nowhere at all.

So, without further ado and with no further comment, here they are, all 17 of them (for now). Let me know what you think, I'm curious!





maandag 9 januari 2017

Unapologetic, unfazed, uncompromised: Lost Bear stands tall and braves all!


As many of you know, 'Lost Bear' is one of my most personal series up to date. Now, most of my work is either somewhat or even highly, yet not overly personal - well, I'd like to think so, at least, otherwise no one would put up with it as there wouldn't be any room for the viewer's perspective at all

But, in any case, 'Lost Bear' is very close to my heart. Some people have even gone as far as stating that these drawings are, in fact, little self portraits of some kind.


So, are they? .. Well, I am not going to elaborate on that here, except that the feeling of being disconnected of the world and therefore in many ways adrift, even lost is not unfamiliar to me.

In an earlier blog, I described him as 'Perpetually Glad To Be Unhappy'. He certainly was back then, when I first created him, now almost two years ago. And he still is today. Now, that is not because he is one who likes to overindulge in drama but because he is intrinsically wired that way. It's his natural state of mind. He just isn't capable of being happy but that doesn't mean he is miserable. He's also very glad to be just who he is. 


Lost Bear has no desire what so ever to have happiness forced upon him like some kind of miracle cure. You won't see him participate in today's modern culture of 'having to be happy' at all cost, even when that means you are faking it and, with every fake smile, become even unhappier than you already were to begin with. 

I'd like to add that above anything else, this brave little Lost Bear is a survivor, none the less. He won't run. But he won't hide his pain and struggle either. He will stand tall and face the world, even if that world doesn't want anything to do with him. He will do so weeping, screaming, sobbing, yelling. He will do so laughing, smiling, grinning. He will touch you and make you smile. He will blow your mind and captivate your heart. He will do so because he is everything most ordinary people aren't.


Perhaps he's not for everyone - but he does not want to be, nor does he claim to be. Take him, or leave him, or leave him alone and in peace. But accept him for who he is. 

He is Lost Bear. Unapologetic. Unfazed. Uncompromised.