This painting (wip here) will be at the Gallery Stoker exhibition which starts tomorrow – only filled with artworks of 20x20cm and smaller.
Thomas Schmall - "Emily" - oil on 20x20cm canvas
Coming weekend is this also this huge flee market in Amsterdams old NSDM Docks again – called “IJ-Hallen Vlooienmarkt“. Just a quick trip with the ferry from Central Station. I think sometimes this one is art-related – but since their website is horrible I can’t see if I remember it right. The market is every month.
Either way I’ll try to buy some old frames for the upcoming exhibitions – and I sure will bring a camera, because it’s just beautiful there. And if you go for some shots yourself, be sure to check out the old trams there – some squatters made their home out of them.
Good news: I can extend the art display at Amsterdam’s Nieuwmarkt for two more months. And I’ll have have one more window, so I’m thinking about what to show. I also took some pictures at night – looks very nice with the warm lights from below.
The Yoga-Lab art display - with offline flattr button.
And right now I’m trying some geeky stuff by adding a flattr-QR. Flattr is originally an online tool for micro-donations. You might notice the little buttons below my posts. It’s an awesome idea: you can give quick tips to things you want to support without the hassle of buying useless merchandise or going though complicated donation setups. Recently they added real world buttons – so I print a physical image with a code and people who like the work can take a picture of it with their mobile phone. Given that they have the right app for it a micro-donation will be transferred to me.
If this works it might not only give me a couple of coins, but I think it could solve a specific problem of such open art displays. Because I do not directly interact with the viewers, I have little feedback about them. Even if anyone takes the effort to remember my website and visits it, I won’t know. Only if they want to buy prints or originals then I would hear about it – but the barrier is very high.
So this could be a new and easier way to interact. Besides, its kinda fun.
The only problem is that I might be too early: Flattr is not very widely known yet – especially not in Holland. The Flattr team should work hard on ending the German domination on their website. Those Germans… I guess my fellow countrymen see the same potential in this idea as I do.
On the forefront of next generation art exhibitions... yeah that's right!
Also for the window I fixed some little damages on “Yola” – a painting from last year, and gave it a protection layer. Since I was at it, I did some enhancements on the shoulders and hair… it’s nice to notice that I learned quite a bit in the last 12 months, not just about painting, but also about how to treat and present an image, and scan it properly.
I recently got the DVD with the documentation about Amsterdam I was part of called “Weit Weit Weg“. Here is a little snipped of it, where I am going to the church in the city center to paint.
I thought the whole show was very nice, very centered on the people rather than tourism views. If you notice the word “Rembrandt” somewhere at the end, it’s because they’re saying I’m three times better than him. Trust me!
Now as it gets warmer, I really wish I had more time to paint outside. But I’m concentrating a lot on “Caromble”. Here are two images that I’ve made for the website. I think I’m slowly closing in to the image I have in my head of the whole thing.
Caromble: Website background.
And on another note: there is a inspiring read at the Illustration Art Blog about “Words that Shouldn’t Be Illustrated“. I always tended to think that words are more powerful than images – they are way more precise in telling a specific idea or emotion. Which made me a bit envious of singers and poets. But the examples there make it really clear – images have something else that make them more dangerous in another way. Clearly, saying “he got stabbed” is way less stirring than seeing a graphic illustration of it. Food for thought.
As promised in my earlier post, I want to continue showing modern woodblock prints. The following are made by Katsuyuki Nishijima (born 1945). He sticks to traditional themes, but adds a contemporary perspective to it. Love the little flying umbrellas.
Katsuyuki Nishijima - "Rain and Fine"
Katsuyuki Nishijima - "Roofs" (not official title)
Katsuyuki Nishijima - "Street Corner" (not official title)
Katsuyuki Nishijima - "Laundry Day"
Those rooftops remember me on towns and villages near my hometown (which is not in Japan, but Saxony, Germany).
I’ve exchanged one image – but I will change back and around coming Friday (another image be removed instead). Beside the original, I am also selling limited original-sized prints for 90 Euro. Contact me if interested – until I’m done putting an ordering system on the web site.
Again via Seth’s blog I found this article about a guy who describes his way to become US champion at memorizing. Amazingly, he just started as journalist wanting to find out how those guys manage these awesome memory feats.
It’s not only interesting for this specific topic – but his general ideas how to get better at something blew my mind.
This led me also to one of Richard Hamming’s talks, called “You and Your Research” – which is actually not much about research. It’s a very inspiring insight into what makes you productive – and reaffirming what the other article said: It is mostly not some magical talent that defines what we become, but more the drive and circumstances (although maybe not what you expect they should be).
And relating to the memorization: There is this blog by Ed Cooke, a British memorizer. He is describing lots of neat little tricks for remembering everyday things. Like you should imagine your keys being a little weird monster and you’ll never forget where you put it. But again, the whole thing generalizes very nicely for broader skills.
I think this will spawn some further posts – it’s just too many inspiring reads this has led to. But I’ll close with some amazing art by Brian Dettmer. He cut out parts of out-of-date encyclopedias, and glued the pages together in new shapes… he did not add anything, just cutting. …talk about drive and dedication.
Brian Dettmers reshaped encyclopedias.
I am now going to hang up my latest painting into the Yoga lab Displays. An scan is coming later this week.
Synesthesia is the mixing of senses – smelling music, seeing sounds as shapes, or perceiving colors as numbers. I’m doing some self-experimentation with it. No universe shattering surprises… just yet. But it’s a fun exercise.
This odd brain function not as uncommon as once thought: one in twenty persons might have synesthesia in one form or another. Artists are more prone to it. And probably it is just an overly strong occurrence of something we all use: abstraction, analogies and association. Everyone understands what is meant with “fuzzy feelings” or “having a blue day”.
Or how about those nice taste visualizations in Ratatouille?
I also found this short-movie interesting, that tries to visualize what synesthetes see. On the related blog they have more examples.
Another nice page is Carrie Firmans Synesthetic Library with little flash animations showing the shapes she sees for certain sounds. These are not completely random – a noise looks very similar to a TV static and the trumpet is literally a little yellow trumpet shape popping up. For me too a trumpet sound is at least yellow – just like the object usually. Which also fits to newer theories that synesthesia is mostly learned from real world child experiences.
There are some photos on Daniel Tammet’s blog, of how he sees numbers. He holds the European record for reciting PI, and describes the calculation more as flying over a landscape of numbers, shapes and colors. He also describes in his latest book, that he does not think he is unique – we all have these abilities, just have to learn to use it.
I guess the border to what is called real Synesthesia is gradual. I do not have unique colors for 10.000 numbers as Tammet does – but for low numbers I can tell very specifically which color they have. When scanning the old sketchbooks I came across one picture where I used numbers to color an image. So I filled it now on the PC with the corresponding hues.
Coloring by numbers.
The thing falls quite a bit of the image I have in my head, because the numbers I see are also describing the luminance. Number 10 is yellow – but bright like a light source. And since paper doesn’t glow, I can’t really put it in there. The 0 is more blueish and cold, but just as bright – a 3 on the other hand is a proper blue you can buy in paint tubes.
I was looking if there are some systems in the relations. But it does not go really nice around a color circle (which I guess would make the thing more practical). Here I tried to map the numbers on a color chart.
The numbers mapped on a CIE color chart. The line brightness shows the luminance.
Unfortunately I don’t see a logical pattern.
There are also some areas underrepresented. Number 6 is a strong cadmium red, but dark warm reds are missing. Maybe connected: When painting I do have trouble with dark reds. It is hard for me to observe exactly what color is what. Orange is a much more comfy area – with 5 being orange. 4 and 6 are close-by. Maybe that’s why this web-page ended up orange, as do many of my pictures.
And when going above twenty, or into fractions, it doesn’t follow mathematical rules. While 15 is still a glowy orange (10 and 5), for 25 it is simply: green and orange. Just as 2.5 … so while the numbers do help me to remember colors from real world scenes, there will be no awesome endless PI calculations for me.