Become a Bamboo
I Love this Zen story, told like this by Osho: There was once a great painter, he was already well known and was painting bamboos for years and years. But his master said: “No, if you want to really paint a bamboo you have to go and live with the bamboos in a bamboo grove. Right now you only paint the outside of the bamboo, but you have no idea about the inside. Go and become a bamboo.” The disciple went, and it took him three years. Then one day the wind was blowing through the bamboo grove and he started swaying, just like a bamboo. He realised he hadn´t been a man for a while. Now he could go back and paint a bamboo.
It took him three years. Incredible, when I realise I try to make paintings of nature all the time. As a child I grew up in a forest and I believe I had an immediate contact to the nature around me, but now? So many thoughts focused on making money and how to sell this and that, how to present myself to the outside. No time left to become a bamboo!
I suppose this is a reason why aboriginal paintings have such a strong appeal to me. They paint the land they live on: the grass, yam bushes, animals and their dreams. They live in it. There is not much of a separation between the painter and the painted. The paintings are pretty abstract but very vibrantly alive. By looking at them I can feel the stuff they depict, feel rather than see. For me this is the essence of abstract painting: to convey the feeling of something rather than the visual appearance.
A little impression of the succesfull Open Door Day here in my studio and home in Blaricum. So many visitors were here! And many thanks to Barbara Houwers for her organisation, Leonard Schenck and Erika Schenck for their help, and everybody else who was here and made it a great day. And last but not least thanks to the sun that was shining the whole day!
Before Breakfast (left) Witches Cauldron (right)
explaining my work to visitors…
Multi- legged cloud (left) and Black and white series of nothing nr. 1, agape-lawless (right)
Before Breakfast (left) Witches Cauldron (middle) Multi- legged cloud (right)
Witches Cauldron (left) Multi- legged cloud (right)
Black and white series of nothing nr. 1, agape/lawless
My home and studio from inside and from outside!
explaining my work to visitors…
Blaricum, 1 November 2013
Settling in the Village
My world is getting smaller here. It’s as if I only see what I need to see. It is mostly a positive feeling, as my world has been overloaded with information from studies and the city in the past years. Things need to integrate. It feels like I am put back in time here: I function like a child in a way. As a grown-up, one tries to manage more than one space at the time on ones head. To keep everything under control, the whole house should be managed in our head, the whole way to the office or studio is already set out in the mind, before we even go out of the door. It’s probably also part of what a city does with us.
Here I am thrown back on my self and simple things. My emotions are suddenly only my own responsibility, nobody else has caused them, because I am alone. I see one space at a time, even my house is too big to contain at once inside. Even though the house is actually not that big. Every night when I go to bed, I have to reclaim my bedroom as mine. It is as if I finally have the space to expand, and now I actually have to relearn how to do it. When I am inside the house, the garden seems another world. When I come from outside, the whole house seems like a strange space. It takes time to fill it again with me.
But all this is not very fearful. It is, I think, the same feeling as I had as a kid, simply realizing the world is too big for a small head. It’s rather strange that this would become so clear in a village where nothing happens, rather than in the city. But I think the reason is, that in a city the ‘too muchness’ is so overwhelming that we filter the information on a huge scale. In this way we don’t even know that we don’t experience half of the spaces we move through. Here in the village the emergency-mode is finally put off.
There are many horses here, also cats and sheep. Yesterday a cat came running into my house, after some kids asked for tricks or treats at Halloween. The cat stayed for a while, running through my house sniffing, just similar to how I behaved here the first week.
About a week ago, I biked home from Hilversum and saw a small hedgehog on the biking path. I picked it up and put it in the bushes, hopefully so he would stay there rather than run out on the road again. After that I continued my way and cried for many minutes. About what I couldn’t tell you. This hedgehog was just amazing.
It might also have been yesterday. I went to the local bookshop to buy a map of the area. On my way back, a small boy fell from his bike right in front of me, because his shoelace was caught up in his pedals. His mother and elder brother stopped and started reproaching him for being so stupid not to tie his shoelaces. He started crying, not from the falling off the bike, but from this nasty treatment by his family-members. I watched dumb, holding his bike while his mother unwrapped the shoelace. I think she didn’t even see me. But I am sure I am not becoming a ghost. I am sorry for that boy, couldn’t do much for him apart from being there for a few seconds. What a strange mother.
Now I will brush my teeth and reclaim my bedroom again. Reclaim it from the world. Maybe I can find a way to make that a bit more easy. My studio and living room are already much faster to settle in, surely also because they are filled with paintings. Would painting actually be a way to give myself a place here, here in this world? To show myself and other people how that place looks, how it looks like when it really belongs to me. Not as a property, but as a feeling. I feel at home in the world when it looks this way. Now, I don’t know if that is always true, because my paintings are really rather strange. But certainly they do something with the space they are in, and certainly the space becomes my territory. I wonder how this works.
Good night my dear friends.