ON THE NECESSITY OF STUDIES TO NATURE IN ART.
It is fantastic to grasp the specificity of a site, an environment, to transform it, to archive it with all its special oddities in colour and shape, expression, atmosphere, flora, habits, just like human behaviour and clothing. Nature and Man, as he exists and changes. Grasping what is different in the world there, and what typifies it. As I lived in the Caribbean for a long time, I search for water, sea, sand and refined colours. I write down what occurs... ON THE NECESSITY OF STUDIES TO NATURE IN ART.
It is fantastic to grasp the specificity of a site, an environment, to transform it, to archive it with all its special oddities in colour and shape, expression, atmosphere, flora, habits, just like human behaviour and clothing. Nature and Man, as he exists and changes. Grasping what is different in the world there, and what typifies it. As I lived in the Caribbean for a long time, I search for water, sea, sand and refined colours. I write down what occurs to the eye, often unconsciously. But afterwards, that world settles down and articulates itself.
Tunisië is soft, with contrasts in blue and yellow. The technique, too, creates its own oddities because of the heat. The water colours dry in spots on your hands. That creates a totally unique character of airiness and transparency which you cannot do in northern Europe. You need 40°C for it. The palette is poetic like the sound of a soft instrument. Nothing becomes heavy. A palm tree is a waving hand. The people in the water perform Indian tableaux. You see the relationships. Families are mostly sitting together and you seldom see women alone. They look like colourful flowers, in their veils and long clothes. Their oddities are not interchangeable. Their morning ritual for the rising sun against a yellow or glassy sea is unique, a uniquely Islamic way of doing things. Their ships have typical sails leaning to the right and look pointy: you can recognise an North-African from afar. For my coloured drawings in oil pastel I used accents. Nature and everything you see in them creates Persian-Arabic shapes of accents, abstracts, as it is incorporated in their architecture. Strange consequences I can barely explain. Maybe the flickering of sun and sea?
Bretagne. Here, my watercolours have a totally different character. They are flashing sketches in black, red or pencil, washed with colour afterwards. Life is clearly Occidental. Self-assured people with dog. Their posture is short-lived like life here. They are mostly holidaymakers. Their stay at the seaside is not part of their daily life, but a sought-for, short-lived spot of enjoyment. They are always busy, with a bike, camera, sunbathing or scouring the island for something: stones, shellfish or seaweed: a different world, not in any way comparable with the Arabic one.
De Ster.: My environment close by, an interesting site, the place of relaxation of a normal Belgian who is now, in this time of globalisation, mainly of foreign origin, Arabic, Turkish, Jewish, Western, Indian, Black. My technique is closed, slow, sometimes fragmentary. People do not stand still. The Middle East in Belgium.
Contact with reality, life in its own specific aspects, is an important foundation of my work. How do you want to create consciously off the top of your head? To do that, you have to charge your battery with colour, shape, movement and composition. The contents then automatically flow from the information that was gathered earlier. It forces itself upon you. Copious, continual daily observation leaves a vision. It can be compared with a scientist’s research. You can draw conclusions from it. In this way, repeated studies are a necessity for creation. Even techniques force themselves Into the foreground in different environments in different ways, like clothes for a different climate. Following this, I consciously test out different possibilities technically for this too: the English and French ways of working, and I even discover how the ancient Greeks used the red lines on their vases, already in 400 BC, afterwards washed with colour. Excavation in Kabul (the age of Alexander the Great) brought these to the surface. So, there is nothing new under the sun. People stay within their spectrum.