Dike Mysticism III – Getting closer

Dominant clouds
Wim Kol and I are getting closer to finishing our first canvas in the ‘Dyke Mysticism’ series. Last night we added the abstract clouds to the yellow sky. The week before we had solidified the dike itself with a more opaque blue-green.

Do you want to see the whole process? Click on the tag ‘Dike mysticism‘. This week we corrected some color in the temple, and we added the clouds. But these clouds, well they aren’t quite what they could be, yet. They do have the desired estranging effect, but as they are now, they are too dominant. They seem to dominate the dike temple.

Scratching the clouds
Before we started on this canvas, we made a life size sketch on a pre-painted wooden board. To our dismay, the paint on this board turned out to be some sort of plastic, which made our acrylics extremely vulnerable. You could scratch off the paint with your fingernails, or in one case even with some extra pressure of a paint brush.

But as so often, this turned out to be a happy accident. Because I was able to scratch and distress the clouds so much, that they became more interesting and less dominant. So I will try to do the same with these new clouds when they dry. I will use coarse sandpaper to distress them a lot…

Earth, water, sky
Other than that, we’re well on our way. We already solidified the dike color and we will fade out the clouds a bit. And I think then we’ll be pretty much ready to have the solid lines printed over the painting.

Over coffee I talked with Wim about the concept of dyke mysticism. People, according to Wim, usually see the dike as a purely functional element in the landscape. They are often blind to the beauty of the dike.

The dike is such a unique architectural element. It is endless. It separates – as well as linking – the great elements of land and water. And, as you will notice when you visit a dike, there is always a lot of sky. Due to its position, the dike has a lot of space around and above it, usually with a wide view. Sky, water, earth. And then this little temple cuts through that mighty dike. Breaching the – hopefully – unbreachable. The black and white tiles in the wall of the breach are symbolic. Actually, there are not one, but several levels of mysticism to the dike….

About the Author JAAPH

JAAPH is a visual artist living in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.