donderdag 10 maart 2016

Inspiration for a brandnew Witty Art Series to be shown at my April Expo at Stroop!

So, while prepping my upcoming April exhibition at Stroop Rotterdam, I got some inspiration for a new series, a set of small-sized drawings called 'It's Not Really That Heart, Is It?', based upon a drawing made in my Witty Art Book 'My Life In Limbo'. I think it's going to be a neat one and can't wait to show the finished works.

Remember folks, my upcoming Witty Art Expo opens at April 3rd, 15-18 hrs at Stroop Rotterdam, Mathenesserweg 21, Rotterdam. One of the coolest maker's spaces in town, to chill, work, grab a healthy bite or simply have a great coffee and an even more special 'stroopwafel', that very own Dutch treat that foreigners might know as a 'syrup waffle'

You can find all the information about the April showcase of Witty Art in this blogpost

vrijdag 4 maart 2016

'The Life We Lead, The Life We Leave': free will versus predestination

When, after a long creative drought, I took up my own artwork again a couple of years ago, I almost exclusively worked with ink and watercolours. I even dedicated this blogpost to my love, if not passion for ink as a medium best suited for me to express my creativity.

But, off late, other materials and techniques have made their way into the realm of Witty Art. With some really surprisingly good results. Series like 'Once Upon A Time Never Happened!' and 'Redemption Day Is Not Installed' are perfectly good examples of that, as well as many of the Singles I created in the course of 2015.

And so is this series 'The Life We Lead, The Life We Leave', which features a God-like Bear-figure, who seems to possess almost divine powers and imposes these in a rather unscruplous way on seemingly non-suspecting mortals.

In a way, to me this series deals a lot the concept of free will versus predestination, but not in a very direct way. It's more an omninous presence of something 'about to happen', something of which you know will happen, but not what and when exactly. And there is nothing you can to prevent or stop it from happening because it's all been decided for you, by some Being far more powerful than you.

It's a feeling I think we all battle with every now and then. And that is's sometimes just mpossible to shake off. The feeling that, no matter how hard your work or how much you give or how many sacrifices you make, you just can't seem to change the course of your own life.

It's a very daunting and intimidating feeling. It leaves you powerless and incapacitated.

I have written before that there is a part of my art that leaves very little room for stuff like hope and forgiveness. It's a very dark, cold and lonely place - but it's a place that has every right to exist, because there, too, live creatures that try to survive and get by, one hard day at a time. Without them, without this part of my world, the rest simply cannot be.

So, yes, this too is one of my more personal series and putting them online, showcasing them, sharing them with the world, leaves me vulnerable. But, I still want to do it. Because I think it, it represents a very important part of my work and of myself as an creator, and as a person.

donderdag 3 maart 2016

How ''Willow Minnows'' crossed my path again

(Willow Minnows #3 is sold)

In a recent blogspost, I wrote about the birth of my series ''Willow Minnows'' back in 2012. And this turned out to be one of those rare cases I started working on what I thought was a brandnew series in 2014 and, much to my surprise, found out that these were actually new additions to ''Willow Minnows'', without consciously having intended them to be so!

The thing is, I only saw this when these set of new drawings was done and I just couldn't find a proper name for them. So I kept laying them aside, and back to them, and so on for quite a couple of days. Untill it suddenly hit me. There was this underlying vibe to it and also some clear visual elements that absolutely made them members of the ''Willow Minnows'' family.

The great thing of all this, is that I can see some clear development in this series, while at the same time still sticking to its original ''theme'' and using some of the same visual elements (the headphones and skateboards were an obvious sign) as some of other series as well. The loudspeakers however have been prominent in a series like ''Innovation In Carnation'' (which to this day is still ongoing as well).

It's a perfect example of how I am continiously surprised by how my art develops over time, how it shapes itself rather than me doing it for them. How it chooses and goes its own paths without even me, its creator, knowing it. And I wouldn't want it any other way!

A personal ode to Insomnia: ''My (C)Losing Time''

Many of my work is either inspired by and/or dedicated to one of the most persistent hate/love-affairs of my love: my very intense, very fickle on-off relationship with Insomnia. There is my series 'Sleep No More', which is definitely insomina-related, if not directly caused by it, created in that dreamlike, translucid state in between being half-awake and half-asleep. This series: 'My (C)Losing Time' deals with the topic of sleep deprivation too.

But whereas 'Sleep No More' clearly symbolises the more nightmarish aspect of sleeplessness, 'My (C)Losing Time' has much more an element of melancholy to it. Of loss, even. In the most literal sense: when suffering of insomnia, you lose every sense of time. You lose track of when it's day or night, you

In terms of purely artistic creativity, to me, it is almost ideal, because you live in a bizarre bubble, fueled by increasingl surreal thoughts, dreams, nightmares, visions that come from the deepest trenches of the human subconscious. There is absolutely no filter whatsoever between me and the world of Witty Art.

On any other level, it sucks big time. There is, indeed, a fine line, between going without very little or no sleep and going insane. Between the power of the surreal and the madness of paranoia.

Luckily, my bouts of Insomnia come and go, and have never interfered too much with my daily existence. But I can't and won't deny it: it's hard work sometimes. As an artist, I have both a great need and longing for the enormous surge of creativity that comes over me during my sleepless nights, but I do fear the enormous physical and mental exhaustion that follows after the wave has gone. So, I make an conscious effort not to give into my need for sleeplessness too much, and certainly won't let take over, let alone control the rest of my life.

So, that's why I chose the title for this series: 'My (C)Losing Time'. Yes, it may be so that Insomnia causes me to lose some track of time every now and then - but mostly, it's on MY terms: I decide when it's 'Closing Time', not she.

dinsdag 1 maart 2016

Sharp & soothing at the same time: ''To Swallow Bitter Pills''

Another series created in 2015: ''To Swallow Bitter Pills''. Partially inspired by one of my all time favourite songs: ''The Bitterest Pill'' by eighties UK band The Jam, partially by the circumstances I was facing in my personal life at the time. And undeniably fueled by that ever-present feeling of melancholy and loss that I somehow carry with me all the time - which is not necessarily a bad thing or a bad mood to be in, I hasten to add. 

Personally, I think this is ultimately one of my most personal and touching series, and to me, it cuts both deep and sharp, yet at the same time has a very soothing impact. And I have to be honest: it'll take a while before I am ready to let these ones go, one by one or perhaps all together at once.

One day. Not now, perhaps. But one day, yes.

'How To Love/Unlove': four-piece or series? Let me know what you think!

A small series about love - and how not to love, if ever such a thing is possible. Created back in 2015. At this moment, I am not exactly sure whether to leave it like this, and regard it as an actual four-piece; or to add new drawings to the series.

Will have to think about this. Or even better, let me know what you think! Should these be a four-piece or the first four of a whole series, according to you? Ofcourse, I will (eventually) make up my own mind, but I am always curious what friends and followers of Witty Art have in mind. So, let me know by either leaving a message below or by email.

Wanna feel ''the vibe''? Check out my series ''Vibrations''

Just posting these couple of drawings I made, early 2015. A small series called 'Vibrations'. And no, no, these were NOT inspired by the Beach Boys' legendary classic song of the sixties, none by any other specific event other than I was just randomly drawing and doodling around and out came these. 

And somehow, I think these should somehow stay together, as there's a little story unfolding as you look at the images. Not an obvious one or one that immediatly comes to the surface, but more like lurking in the background. It'd be nice if these all would fine a home together, with an owner who really feels these ''Vibrations'' the right way ;-)