Wednesday, October 19, 2005

'Music is the wine that fills up the cup of silence.' I just found this quote by Robert Fripp. He has also put it vice versa: 'Music is the cup that holds the wine of silence". I don't know which one I prefer; both are true. Anyway, silence, well-timed silence, is a essential part of music. Silence between the notes is as important as the notes themselves. According to Carl Jung:"Music is the application of sounds to the canvas of silence." That's why musicians and conductors are so frustrated where a cough from the audience kills a silent moment. It is like spilling Indian ink on a blank part of a drawing.

Also for pop musicians silence counts like Van Morrison who is singing 'Hymns to the silence'. He is a master in varying loud parts en quiet parts in his music. I once heard him in concert playing a very quiet part of the song A town called paradise whispering "Can you hear the silence?" Yes we could hear, feel the silence, though the sound of music was still there. For Van Morrison the silence is inspired by being in nature 'Oh this must be what paradise is like, so quiet in here, so peaceful in here', a nature created by God ('you can see everything is made in God')

Yesterday an Argentian model was posing at Sheila's place. As usual she puts on music from the country of the models origin. So this time it was tango. The cd is called Mi Buenos Aires Querido by Daniel Barenboim and friends. This exquisite collection of tangos is the best I have ever heard. Barenboim is a famous classical pianist who returns to the city of his youth. He is forming a trio with two local tango heroes: Rudolfo Mederos (bandoneon) and Hector Console (bass). The tangos are filled with sentiment and nostalgia. And they are played in such a gentle and subtle way. At this cd silence speaks. What strikes me is how the musicians interact how they listen to each other. The piano asks a question and the bandoneon replies. It is a musical conversation. My favourite track is Invierno porteno from Astor Piazzola's Four Seasons.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

After the portrait class, I went straigth to the Vincent van Gogh Museum. at Friday evening they are open It is good tradition: in the hall there is a bar, easy chairs and a band starting to play. It is a kind of lounging with Van Gogh. At 18.30h hardly anybody was there. Actually there were more security people than visitors. Inspired by my zoo experience of the day before I visited the exhibition Fierce Friends: artists and animals. Well, maybe the difference is not so big. Both follow their instincts. They are related species, often endangered. The exhibition explored everything in relation to animals in art. It was done well: there were even footprints of a bear on the door. A few things struck me: how Delacroix is able to paint wild animals, the painting of Turner Noachs Arc, Gericaults horse with lightning sky the impressionist painting of Liebermann Parrot man at the zoo (Artis) and the fact that Picasso purchased a painting made by a monkey.

But the most of all I did an interesting finding in the bookshop of the museum. There I found a book Boudin Dessins full with sketches of Eugene Boudin in pastel, pencil and watercolor. For examples see .
As the son of a sailor, Boudin excelled in views of the beaches along the Channel coast of France He was a plein-air painter of light, water, and the crowd. Not surprisingly he was a friend of Jongkind and the teacher of Monet. It is amazing how he can suggest the space of the sea and the beach on a small size of paper with just a few pastel colors. Every stroke is right. He does not seem to possess an eraser.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I started the day by drawing at Olympia ballet studios. Frey Faust was teaching there. He is an amazing dancer. He started the lesson by floorwork, rolling movements and the bodies were unfolding like sea stars in the depths of the ocean. The tempo was accerelated and at the end of the class everybody was jumping and flying through the space on powerful African rhythms. I would call it AFreycan dancing

In the afternoon I met with Dora in Artis Zoo near the camels. We were going directly to the elephants, where 2 months ago a baby was born called Yindee. It was busy there but we had place to make sketches on the spot. The crowd of parents and their children was delighted to watch the cute little Yindee. If they were no barriers people would caress the fluff on the head of the pet-like animal. I did not expect that Yindee was such a small size. It was touching to see this toy animal hiding between the legs of her mother. From time to time she was pushed forward by her mothers trunk in order to learn walking.

Then something unexpected happened. The male elephant was demanding attention of the mother. He started standing on his back feet and eagerly climbed on the back of her. Between his legs a new 'trunk' appeared. It was then that people started realizing that this was not a public circus act but that they were witnessing a very private scene. Instead of being visitors of a baby room they all felt like voyeurs in a sleeping room. Parents did not know what to say to their kids.

After one hour i finished the sketches of the baby as well as the elephant couple (Dora was already drawing giraffes at a more quiet place). One of my favourite elephant drawings is by Rembrandt An Elephant, in the Background a Group of Spectators c. 1637. a black chalk drawing made of a travelling circus. He manages to draw the pose, shape and skin of the animals so well. I only wonder if the eye is not too big.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I went back to the Island of Texel again for a weekend. Jet and Anneke waited for me at the harbour of Oudeschild. We could stay at Jet's sisters house. and we did not need to go far to find a painting subject. we just settledit on the dike near the sheeps overlooking the flat country and looking up at the endless skies. With watercolour we tried to catch the everchanging colors of the clouds .

I the evening i found on the bookshelf a copy of Henry Moores Sheep Sketchbook (1972) which he drew for his daughter Mary. It was whilst working in a small studio overlooking the fields at his home in Much Hadham that Henry Moore first became aware of the sheep grazing there. He began to draw them and, as he sketched, he explored what they were really like - the way they moved, the shape of their bodies under the fleece. He draw the sheep again that summer after they were shorn, when he could see the shapes of the bodies which had been covered by wool.Solid in form, sudden and vigourous in movement, Henry Moore's sheep are created through a network of swirling and zigzagging lines in the rapid and sensitive medium of ballpoint pen.