Saturday, March 21, 2015


Buy this item: Clamorous Coral
Anyone who likes snorkeling or scuba diving, like I do, knows how coral reefs can look like. Marine aquarists may experience the fabulous coralline colors in their home aquarium as well.

Coral reefs provide shelter to thousands of living creatures. The rock itself is mostly covered with a layer of algae, known as coralline algae. Eventually this becomes a beautiful, red crusted layer highly appreciated by hobbyists. In the marine aquarium it proves the water has ‘aged’, in other words your aquarium is ready for live stock. The crust layers grow upon anything, including pumps, windows etc. This can be annoying to an aquarist as removing the algae can be problematic and may require a daily routine.

Diving above the reefs, the current sways you back and forth. These waves provide the necessary movements for the corals as they are constantly providing new food supplies. The coral polyps, known to most people as the ‘little hands’, will grab the food out of the water. Of course divers usually go down under to enjoy corals and fish. I think the scenery of coral rock itself. The construction and the colors are creating a natural image which is worth to have a closer look. It inspired me over and over again.

The painting above is a triptych. Three panels of 60x60cm each (total length 180cm). It has the deep, crimson red and violet coloration which is also seen on coral rock. The water currents, bouncing in between the rocks, provided me the title. ‘Clamorous’ as in tumultuous, or disordered. The chaos of nature. I love it!

Saturday, March 14, 2015


The weekly paintings I make for my fish-blog, are usually studies, made of acrylics on paper. I bet you hardly recognize a fish in this creature at all. It's a so called seadragon, a relative of the well-known seahorses and pipefish. Fragile beauties, living along the coast of Australia, where they are considered endangered.

For these fish-paintings I use smooth watercolors paper. I think handmade watercolors paper is too rough for the details I like to draw. Basically I start out with a storyline for my blog. There are thousands of fish, so it will take me quite a while to run out of stories. And the best part is, every year 200 – 400 new species are described. How’s that for inspiration? Then I have to find a picture which includes the essential details (fins etc.) to create my own painted version. I start with a sketch (pencil drawing) to determine the right size. Then paint a few layers covering each other to obtain the colors I want. The process is a combination of techniques used for watercolors and acrylics. Like watercolor paintings I sometimes leave parts of the paper untouched, these parts are the natural whites. For other details, like the glancing eyes, I use white acrylics on top of the black eye.

I know I’m lucky to have many photos available to discover the details of a fish. In the old days, ichthyologists had to create technical drawings of the fish they described by using the real specimens saved in formalin. The blog entries I create usually are close to reality. But whenever possible I’m not counting every spine, ray or scale. So…back to reality. The queer fish in this blog is newly described. It’s named the Red Seadragon. If you're interested, continue reading my Queer Fish-blog for more details and the first description.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


Buy this item AM214131
Where do you get your inspiration? A question commonly asked. The answer not as renewing as many hope for. “It just happens” is my usual answer. Does this mean I am incredibly creative? Guess not. I prefer to think of my ‘creativity’ as a result of experience. How’s that? Let me try to explain.

The mind is a wonderful thing. It can withhold us to finish any work we have started. Writer’s block if you like to give it a name. (Made a stupid blog about that in April, 2005. Don’t mind if you take a look, but beware! A writer’s block really is awful…). On the other hand, your mind can also encourage you to proceed. Your mind has a will of its own. It’s working while you try to do some other work yourself. It’s even working while you are asleep. It’s more creative than you can imagine you will ever be. Experience, other people call it. And that’s the dirty little trick that does the work. The more you practice the better you will become in whatever you want to be doing.

Out of experience I can tell you the best ideas I get, pop up while I am working. When I’m writing, I get ideas for new stories. When I’m painting, I get more ideas to make another painting. To put it simply, one thing leads to another. I pick up lines from the news (yes, even from the old fashioned newspaper), TV, music, even fragments of conversations, said by people passing by. All these nice, angry, stupid, crazy, silly, lovely thoughts remain stuck in my mind. They pop out by occasion. Unexpected, sometimes unwanted, most of the time it seems an uncontrollable process. But as said before, practicing unveils many thoughts at the time you need them. Your unconscious is your best co-writer or co-painter. Hack, the best co-worker you can imagine. If you like to make a note, or a sketch of anything of interest you hear or see so you can use it later on, be my guest. I’ve made tons of notes and sketches which all seem to disappear. Except for the ones is have used in my Skredch-blog. It seems most of the time I am lost in my own chaos. But, when not asked for, my mind is able to retrieve those things I never considered lost. Ideas just pop up in my mind. Experience? Practice? Let’s call it inspiration.