Gallery

Compositions #3 and #4
Acrylic and ink on watercolor paper, 2 x 14 x 19 cm.
2019


The Story 


Compositions #1 and #2
Acrylic and ink on watercolor paper, 2 x 14 x 19 cm.
2019


The Story
I was in Spain in January. I had brought watercolor paper and pens and ink, because I wanted to work on some art, and it seemed cumbersome to bring an easel and a big canvas and acrylic paints, and also risky, painting in a rented apartment or a hotel. What I had planned, was to so some 'blotted line' drawings. I had seen a perfect instruction video online, that showed exactly how Andy Warhol did this. But once in Spain, it turned out there was no way I could do the blotted lines. I still don't know why. I did everything exactly as it was shown in the video, but it didn't work. Either no ink was transferred at all, or big stains were transferred. And it had seemed so simple... So I started improvising with the materials at hand and I really enjoyed it.


I wasn't sure that hystericat told the truth
Acrylic on canvas board, 40 x 50 cm.
2019



The Story

From a dark space, crawling with murky currents, a hystericat has appeared. Inside him we see a furnace burning. And he speaks differently from the two sides of his face. He is literally a two faced bastard, and obviously he is no ordinary cat. But you have to admit, his words are well organized. His text is sharp and flowing and warm, hot even. His elegant ears flapping in two directions. I would say: believe his statements at your peril! He could even be in politics.


Good night, Doctor Kline
Acrylic on canvas board, 40 x 50 cm.
2019



The Story
The night has come. Interestingly, Kline's night is brighter than his day has been. Scroll down and see for yourself. Dylan said it: Trying to be tender, with somebody I remember. But the night is always brighter than the day". If you look at the bottom of the painting, you can see the good Doctor falling. Or is he floating? Diving? Jumping? What do you think? Falling or floating? It's a big difference. Above him a group of birds (or are they fish?) are flying or swimming. Definitely night...


Blind Horse Dreaming of Dragons
Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 90 cm.
2019



The Story
The blind horse is dreaming. It looks quite comfortable. Happy red-pinkish beings populate its dreams. Tall trees bearing orange fruit in an impressionist orchard. And dragons floating calmly in the sky, one of them looking at the horse with curiosity. When you step into the horse I hope you feel the same. Calm. Interested. Dreaming. Trusting.


Good Evening, Doctor Kline
Acrylic on canvas board, 40 x 50 cm.
2019


The Story
What's going on? The afternoon has passed and the evening has arrived. Where the afternoon was very structured, the evening provides more room for the unconscious mind. Two primordial beast are arriving, like cave paintings. There is a harvest of plants floating down. Primal man would sit by the fire in the evening. Remnants of the day are visible. It's a pretty monolithic thing, the evening.


Good Afternoon, Doctor Kline
Acrylic on canvas board, 40 x 50 cm.
2019


The Story
What's going on? The morning has passed and the afternoon has arrived. Mechanics of work are visible. Structure, elements, relationships, activities. The process of business as usual. Complex and immersive, but familiar at the same time. Two figures trying to embrace their tasks, sort of trying to grab the void. Square wolf heads lurking in a row. White marble heads floating by. Messages in stacks. A submarine trying to get through a barrier. Currents spinning. On the one hand there's a lot happening. On the other hand things seem static.


Good Morning, Doctor Kline
Acrylic on canvas board, 40 x 50 cm.
2019


The Story
The longer you look, the more you see. Here and in life in general. There is a small square building with a lone tree, standing on the edge of a cliff. There's a red staircase going nowhere. Someone is falling straight down with their feet in the air. There's a huge container full of water. There's a steel door and floating black clouds. There's a vague yellow robot standing on the shoulders of an ancestor. There are a few classical mounds of hay in a barren field. And the story goes on. With a collapsing bridge, a yellow bird, an excited meeting... How did it all get here?


Welcome to the working week
Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 90 cm.
2019


The Story
This painting is part of the first XP2020 team project. We were all making works about fear and excitement.

Some people are sensitive. The city may look innocent, drab even, but it emits dangerous energies. The city creeps up on you. The city is trying to grab you. It is trying to envelop you. The city is trying to drink your soul. The black woman understands. The city is creeping up. Like voodoo. Others may not see it. But she does, all too clearly. She feels fear. That's always how it is. You're afraid of the things that aren't happening yet...


Hounds of the Orange Woods
Acrylic on canvas board, 40 x 40 cm.
2019


The Story
This one is from the same series as 'Waiting for the end of the world'. But I finished it only recently.

You are sailing on a strange boat. That might be the story of your life, right? Sometimes you wonder if it even is a boat. And then out of nowhere, the hound appears with its pale baby rider. It must be coming from the orange woods to the left. It brings a large gray crystal. Makes you think of that old saying: "If the hounds are bringing crystal, the orange woods can't be far off". Your grandmother told you. Anyway, many things are afloat. Like debris in space. The arrival of the hound emphasizes that.


Fear
Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 90 cm.
2019-8

The Story
We live in frameworks. Mental and emotional constructions that we call 'The World' or 'Life' or 'Things'. Like when people ask you 'How are things?'. Maybe the most scary thing is when the framework breaks down. Things are not what they seem. Things are not what they were. This is not the life you ordered. Actually, things are not nearly as safe as you thought. Here you see the framework literally being invaded by abstract - but not exactly comforting - entities. Primal fear! Run! And is that car safe. Or is it with them?

I made this work for the XP2020 artists group. We are all making works about fear and excitement. I have a post where you can see more about the process of this work.


Geldersch Landschap
Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 90 cm.
2018-3

The Story
Last year my wife Anneke and I had a great vacation here in our own country, the Netherlands. We took our bikes and cycled all the way from our home town to the Northern city of Groningen and back. Visited some friends on the way. It was a beautiful vacation. We were struck repeatedly by the beauty of our own country. On our way back, close to Nijmegen where we live, I saw this landscape. Our province is called 'Gelderland', hence the name. I realise this is not the 'Big Story' that's supposed to accompany an XP2020 work. Oh well, maybe it's about the small stories too.

Although, now that I mentioned XP2020, I did endeavor to paint this in the style of 'De Ploeg' (The Plow), a Dutch expressionist movement in the province of Groningen in the '30s of the last century. They were strongly influenced by the German expressionist painter Kirchner.


Psychologists on the beach
Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 90 cm.
2019-2

The Story
The psychologists are on the beach, catching some sun. Some ar looking at you. Some are daydreaming about minds. They are talking about the human condition. A web of meanings comes from their minds and their bodies. Somehow you can see right through them. Or are they seeing through you? There's fire, there's water, there's personalities. Although, personality, is that even a useful concept?


The doctors thought that I was gone
Acrylic on canvas board, 40 x 60 cm.
2019-7

The Story
The story is a bit vague with this one. Or very vague, actually. I am quite unsure what it means. It has something to do with upward striving. It has something to do with light rising from a cup or a chalice (= a container for drinking out of. Figuratively: an emotion that affects one's life path). Made me think of Andy Warhol somehow. Hence the title. But not in terms of form, of course, which is not Warholesk at all.


Me big chief me got 'em tribe
Acrylic on canvas board, 40 x 60 cm.
2019-6

The Story
The big chief arrives and brings his entourage with him. You see his dark warriors floating in. And his guiding spirit of course, whom you see on the right side of the painting in a golden color. Small natives scurry off, bigger natives quietly emigrate or prepare to fight. The jester floats above the chief. Is he even real? He looks a bit schematic. Anyway when the big chief arrives with his tribe, all are forced to relate to that, one way or another. And this is an essence of nature. Things happen. There's no morality.


Things got back to normal as the train began to roll again
Acrylic on mdf board, 60 x 60 cm.
2019-3

The Story
My first painting (after 30 years of doing other things since art school) was inspired by Andy Morris. Andy has a number of courses on Udemy. I will definitely put up a post about him later. We were opening a new office and I was looking for some good art work. But I couldn't find what I liked. Saw one of Andy's courses and decided to give it a try. He has a wonderful talent for making it simple. Anyway, at one point he was demonstrating how to put stripes over a painting with masking tape. And here they are.  See if you can get behind the stripes... Trust me: things will get back to normal when the train begins to roll again.


Flori loves summer
Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 40 cm.
2019-4

The Story
My son Flori loves the summer. He was visiting and this painting happened the next day. Look carefully and you will see that nothing is right. And yet everything is there... The sky is speckled with something. But clouds aren't like that. The balconies are hanging on precariously. Are those windows? Hmmm. Green stripes that look like light. These red balls in the sky can't be suns. Only the trees look fairly normal. But those chimneys are way to close again. If they even are chimneys.


Waiting for the end of the world
Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40 cm.
2019-5

The Story
You are in outer space with your small personal space vehicle. It is moored to a little blue asteroid. You have your sign language signaling system up. Catching communications. You never know. But apparently that's not the only thing you are catching. Two stone figures appear. In space, a stone object can drift. But are they really stone? And also, haven't you seen those two before in some museum in Germany? Yes. They were in a display case, pretending to be much smaller and hailing from some old culture. Persia? Irak?


Mister Oswald said he had and understanding with the law
Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 90 cm.
2019-1

The Story
My most carefully executed abstract painting so far. Made especially for my best friend Jeffrey Wijnberg. When Jeffrey saw my first abstract painting, he immediately called out: "I want one of those!". It meant a lot to me. So I set to work, and here it is. What is it about? In a sense it's about nothing specifically. In another sense it's about everything. A bit like Harvey Oswald, right? Maybe he changed history. Maybe he didn't even do it. After all these years we still don't know. And even if he did it, and if he was alone and if he changed history, he was still totally wrong. So there you have it: the human condition in a nutshell...


Somebody send out for the night nurse
Acrylic on canvas, 45 x 90 cm, 2 panels.
2018-11

The Story
We had refurbished our office building and I felt we needed one more painting for a little, cosy meeting and practice room. But the opening date was approaching quickly and I ran out of time. To save time, I decided to use two 'half size' panels (45 x 90 cm rather than 90 x 90 cm). In the Andy Morris color pouring process I wanted to use, the panels are at some point laid on top of each other with wet paint, making the one in a sense a mirror image of the other - in that particular layer. Using two panels, I would have to paint only half of two full panels while still being able to do the pouring process.

I got to the pouring step, and then I accidentally put the paint on too thickly. Most of the underpainting disappeared under the poured layer. Disaster! So I took the canvasses, ran to the shower and sprayed them with water until they were clean of the poured layer. But because I had been in a hurry finishing these paintings, the underpainting had not been as dry as it should have been. So it turned out I accidentally washed of part of that too....

Having no time to start all over, I decided to keep the slightly washed out background. I did a second colour pouring which turned out much better and I finished the paintings. On the day before the opening I hung them in the little meeting room.

At the time I thought I would take them back to my studio later to finish them. But as time went by, I started to like them as they were. For me, they still carry that moment of artistic shock when I put on too much paint. That's why I called them 'Somebody send out for the night nurse'. They are symbolically about the good things that can come from mistakes if you can roll with them. Good things can come from plan B. Or in this case: stopping on the way to plan B.


​Transparent Dutch cat
Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 90 cm.
2018-1

The Story
​They say that an artist should give the viewer's eye some resting places in a painting. Offer a clear composition, with some obvious focal points. This painting, the first in a series of two, offers no rest for the viewer. Some people stand in front of it and then quickly turn away, saying something like "Too busy". Others stand in front of it for a long time. They seem to step into it and wander around, discovering ​new structures and relationships every time. They say the painting changes their mind.


​Beckmann's ghost
Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 90 cm.
2018-2

The Story
Symbolic expressionist ​​Max Beckmann is one of my painting heroes. When I got stuck with this painting, his ghost appeared in my mind. He stood behind me and he told me to use grey. I did. Like its counterpart (The transparent Dutch cat, shown above), some people stand in front of​ it, step into it and wander around for a long time, discovering all kinds of structures and relationships. They say the painting changes their mind.


Blue man and owl with spirits
Acrylic on cardboard, 20 x 30 cm.
2018-10

The Story
Like all human beings, the blue man is working hard to balance the forces of emotion, history, his physical state, spirituality, social influences, the biological order of nature and so on and so forth. Poor blue man. So many forces. Such strong forces too. Luckily he is being helped by the solid owl right above him. The wolf is howling, the ballerina is dancing, the dinosaur is floating and the blue man needs strength just to keep standing up.