About the drawings
A fleeting glimpse...
Een vluchtige moment...
Realising how complex life can be I decided to stop a few years ago.
No more running just because that is what people do.
I started looking at life in slow time.
I started meditating.
First in Europe. Belgium, Sweden, England, at meditation centers.
Then to Asia: India, Nepal and the Himalaya mountains. Lately in Myanmar, where I learnt extra-ordinary things that came from ancient texts as taught by a monk,
explaining our existence. Profound information.
When I travel I go for months at a stretch, mostly meditating a lot. Traveling with my “knapsack over my shoulder” and a roll of paper under my arm, the drawings are mostly made outdoors in the in-between periods. Sitting there for hours, looking at the landscapes and getting deeply absorbed in the moment...
I use local water to make the drawings. It feels like taking the drops of water for a walk, and they leave their tracks on my paper as drawings, telling stories about the places where I travel.
I started running with the flow of the water and allow the surprises that are integral in the technique to dictate what the image will be, instead of trying to control the process. Exactly what I was learning in meditation.
Then watercolour becomes the most wonderful and free medium that is experimental and filled with life and movement, a constant communication with the place where I am drawing. I often use my hands instead of the brushes - which are far too intimidating and limiting in what it can do. My favorite drawing tool is the back of a broken brush, and often rubbing the precious watercolour paper, breaking the surface, brings very interesting qualities which a brush cannot do.
And of course: letting the water run its own course.
Watercolour is an ideal medium to deeply express transient moments of life: “Try to catch it!” - and it is gone. Just as one gets it - “Yes, it is working, the painting is perfect...!” - and already the moment has passed. What becomes very important in the working process is to catch that òne fleeting moment when the balance is just right between the technique and the image, then these drawings start telling a story that is more than the sum of the parts. To catch the sphere of the place, the movement, to allow the surprise - and then to leave it as it is...
It becomes really interesting when trying to repeat this moment. “That was magic, I’ll try it again, this time it will be better!” Not possible, the moment is gone. But instead of regret and frustration caused by the perfect drawing that simply does not happen, there is a trail of drawings left that tells the story of the day. While working colours change, shadows move, every object is continuously different. That is why I mostly end up with series of the same object - almost like film stills that change from moment to moment, but a film in slow time. Always searching for the óne image that will tell the reál story about thát place.
They tell a story about that one fleeting moment of recognition, or of understanding, of communication beyond strict boundaries, about how we perceive our existence. Colour, texture, the energy of the place. Looking at one place for a long time changes one’s perception from solid, obvious objects into an awareness where one looks so deeply into it that time and boundaries disappear.
“Who am I, where am I? Am I this, am I that...”