Thursday, September 22, 2005

Now that we are entering the autumn season, summer is giving a few weeks of sunny days as an 'encore'. In the centre of Amsterdam people are on cafe terraces enjoying the last rays of sun and realizing that soon autumn storms will knock on our windows and that we have pass through the dark and cold tunnel of winter These days the sunlight is low and at the end of the day the city is in a golden glow. In this light everything looks like being part of a big painting.

Unfortunately I was too busy to paint outside. I made a series of sketches of a circus girl doing hoola hoop dancing. a dance developed in Hawai in 1959. It is fun to watch and to draw. She is a born model. Also she seems to be born too late. She would fit better in the Moulin Rouge at the 'fin de siecle" when Toulouse de Lautrec was there. Now she has left to Berlin where there are more opportunities for this kind of performances.

My friend Marion is coming back from the USA and will bring a special device which i asked her to take. A "tube wringer", so that you can squeeze the last bits of paint of old tubes

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

My friend will come from Bali, Indonesia to visit Amsterdam. I met him at a landscape painting course in France where i was teaching. For 25 years he was a missionary in Irian Jaya, but now he is retired, married and converted to art. He is painting about his experiences with the papoeas and the daily life in Bali. see:

I am planning to go with him to the exhibition 'Een Indische Israels' in Museum Mesdag: about the dutch impressionist Isaac Israels in Indonesie. this is one of my favourite portraits by my favourite painter: Mangkoenagoro VII, 1922

to be continued

Friday, September 02, 2005

It is hard to believe that most of New Orleans has been flooded now after the hurricane Katrina hit this city and that so many of its inhabitans are in deep misery. I am impressed by tv- footage showing black people at a refugee center. People who lost everything singing the negro spiritual Glory Glory hallelujah: "All my troubles will be over. When I lay my burden down All my troubles will be over When I lay my burden down Lord, I'm feeling so much better Since I lay my burden down Lord. " Needless to say that is was sung with lots of emotion.

It is hard to imagine that this birthplace of jazz and blues is under water now. The New York Times is headlining: Do You Know What It Means to Lose New Orleans? The capital of music is silenced. I have been a long time fan of New Orleans music: the jazz of Louis Amstrong, the funky rhythm of Neville Brothers, the piano playing of professor Longhair and Dr John, the brass sound of Dirty Dozen Brass Band, etc. and I wonder: what is happening to the musicians? It is seems that the legendary Fats Domino who was missed is found now, but Charles Neville is still searching for his three daughters. On internet there is a list of musicians who survived the hurricane: .Wynton Marsalis will organize a Hurrican Relief Concert Higher Ground".

One of my favourite "Nw awlins" cds is Funeral for a friend. by Dirty Dozen Brass Band. it is intense brass music they use to play at funerals . it is dedicated to one of the band's founders, the late Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen, but now it can be dedicated to the city of New Orleans
Another song comes to my mind: Louisiana 1927 composed by Randy Newman who spended his youth in New Orleans:
"The river rose all day. The river rose all night. Some people got lost in the flood. Some people got away alright. The river have busted through clear down to Plaquemines. Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline
Louisiana, Louisiana. They're tryin' to wash us away. They're tryin' to wash us away..."

Another song by Bob Dylan High water (for Charley Patton) deals with the same flood:
"High water risin', the shacks are slidin' down. Folks lose their possessions - folks are leaving town"