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The Lower Town of Bergamo

November 5th, 2014

The Lower Town of Bergamo

I have just come back (October 2014) from a painting trip to Bergamo, a beautiful town in Lombardy in Italy. In fact I was on my way to Budapest, but made a longer break there to visit and paint the town.

Bergamo is divided into two parts, the lower town, which is also the more modern, and the upper town, "citta alta", which is the older part of the town and which one can access by a funicular. A fun ride by the way!

We visited the old town on the first day, but we have a wonderful walk through the lower town, through characterful places which are not that modern yet...

See and read more about the still life in Bergamo in my main blog.

Still Life In Bergamo

November 2nd, 2014

Still Life In Bergamo

I have just come back (October 2014) from a painting trip to Bergamo, a beautiful town in Lombardy in Italy. In fact I was on my way to Budapest, but made a longer break there to visit and paint the town.

And as often the case is, I was charmed by the shop windows, and could not resist painting some still life inspired by them. Italians are so good at decorating their shops, they make you want to buy everything!

See and read more about the still life in Bergamo in my main blog.

The Art of Cycling

January 14th, 2011

The Art of Cycling

Today I want to present to you my last painting on commission. I am not a big fan of paintings on commission, as there is always quite a risk, some kind of stress and above all, it is always connected to some restriction of freedom, which is my worst enemy. But a commission is also a challenge, and when the client is happy, the emotional reward for me is much bigger than by any other sales.

Anyway, just before Christmas, I was contacted by a professional in the Spanish Cycling World, asking me to make some cycling and other sports paintings on commission. Here is the first one, which I just finished.

In this special case I am very happy about the commission, for 2 very important reasons:

Firstly, I love sport, and I love to paint sport. I have always wanted to make some sports paintings, did some in the past but in watercolour and gouache on paper. But I wanted to do some work on canvas, just could not find the time so far, or at least it was not always on top of my priorities. This commission is a wonderful occasion to start.

Secondly, concerning cycling, I have a special emotional relationship to this sport. As I was a child and we were still living in the French Pyrenees where I was born, we used to go and see the Tour de France when they were passing in the Tourmalet and other mountain passes. And it was always a big party. Painting that guy racing through the canvas really put took me back to that time, and in fact, I felt like going there again...

one more dream on my long list of dreams of places to visit and events to attend!

Epiphany and Epifunny

January 6th, 2011

Epiphany and Epifunny

Today is “El Dia de Los Reyes Magos”, The Three Kings day. A very important day here in Spain. As far as I am aware even more important than Christmas for the children: it is the day when they get presents and loads of sweeties. But to be totally honest, living quite as a recluse in my art world, I don’t really know what is happening outside there and even less between the Spanish walls… but I am quite sure that today is an important day here in Spain, the shops have been closed since yesterday afternoon, and more important than that, our indoor pool!

Yesterday we heard that they celebrate Kings Day’s Eve in a very special way in a fishing town about 5 kilometres away from where we live. Apparently, after nightfall, about 8PM, the Kings arrive to the town by sea, each one on an individual boat. When they have landed on the beach, they get transferred onto a float, and then roll through the town, throwing sweeties to all the kiddies on the road side. They say it is quite interesting to see.

I was tempted to go there, but then I remembered all these little naughty Spanish kids, who don’t stop screaming under my windows until they get what they want, and have no respect for anybody nor anything, You will say, it is not their fault, they are badly educated. But still, children are not silly, they know what they do. Even badly educated, this does not mean that they should not have an ounce of good sense and respect inside of them. They do know what they do, one can see it on their faces. So I thought, I don’t fancy seeing these little devils being rewarded for all their naughtinesses, and I boycotted the show!

Now the funny thing is that I misunderstood the show as they told us about it yesterday. I thought the kings arrive on the boats and take the children away!!!

Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin!

Isn’t it very EPI-FUNNY?!

Unravelling

December 22nd, 2010

Unravelling

Some words about the creation process of this piece.

It was originally a gouache painting of Nightfall, one from my watercolour/gouache series "Times of The Day" which have never been exhibited, neither in the real world nor on the net. I liked it a lot as it was, but somehow I had worked on so many similar ones these last few weeks, that I wanted to do something more out of it.

Who knows what inspired me to add the silhouette of the black cat behind the foreground field line!

It was certainly the result of an association in my brain, which is, according to my experience, the way how my creativity works. I won't enter into deep considerations about how the brain works, but I think I have found out that my own is very quick at creating association chains, and going from the first link of the chain to the last with lightning speed. Personally, I think that the basis of creativity is the ability to build these chains and to consciously use them.

Anyway, after the cat had arrived, I missed something in the foreground. Considering the expression of the cat's eyes, I thought it needed to be something which teases him, and stops him going across the landscape. I thought of course of a mouse, Too simple. Then of a bird. Too simple. And anyway, both too cruel. Kev Moore (http://mooremusic.biz) had the idea of the wool ball, and I loved it at once! This is the great thing when you live with another creative person, it always helps when you are stuck somewhere. Kevin inspired me on so many occasions already...

The title of the painting, "Unravelling", is from Kevin too!

My Imaginary Friend Michael J. Anderson

December 16th, 2010

My Imaginary Friend Michael J. Anderson

Last year my partner Kev Moore and me were recommended by our friend Tony Stevens, a Magician/Comedian from the UK, to watch the American TV Show "Carnivale". Trusting Tony's good taste we did not hesitate for one second and ordered the complete DVD set.

Well, this was a revelation. The show of course was great, but more than anything I was instantaneously seduced by Michael J. Anderson portrayal of Samson.I cannot say exactly what it was, but I felt a deep personal story behind the actor, a great intelligence and sensitivity too. I started fantasizing about him somehow, eventually calling him "My imaginary Friend". You know, like some children do. Him being a great subject, he also inspired me artistically very much, so I thought that the only way I could make my imaginary friend a little more real was to make a portrait of him. Well, so I did, twice even. I presented the first portrait of him in my portraits blog (http://mikisportraits.com/2009/03/08/the-little-man-with-the-coffee-cup/), in brown and white pastel technique, holding a big mug, and smiling.

Here is the second one. In colours, but a little bit more serious. . And yet, the smile does not seem that far away again... dreaming about Space perhaps?

I can't describe how sad I was as the show was finished. It was for me as if a friend had died. luckily I had his portraits, but still...

Now comes the clue. A wonder has happened. my imaginary friend is back to me. And more than that: in a much less imaginary way

Not as Samson, but...
as Michael J. Anderson himself!

In Red Bubble, one of the sites where I sell prints of these portraits, I found a personal mail the other day, with somebody telling me

"Your portraits of me are quite excellent!"

I first did not understand at all who he was, and what it was about, didn't even understand which portraits this person was speaking about. I must say that I get many mails from strangers, and they are not always genuine. So my basic attitude is, at the beginning, to tread very carefully.

But gradually I found out that he was... Michael J Anderson himself!

I am sure you can imagine my joy!

Of course I sent him a mail back, in which I must really have come across like an hysteric fan. The funny thing being that I generally don't especially care about celebrities, they are for me like everybody else, no better, no worse. But Michael was not a celebrity for me, he was my imaginary friend. And to see him suddenly 'coming to life' and contacting me, was simply heaven!

I really want to thank him for his kindness, and his messages. I also deeply appreciate the fact that he did not moan about me selling prints of these portraits of him. As far as I know, he is entitled to forbid it. Instead of that, he put a link to my painting in his Facebook page, inviting his followers to buy a print.

Now, this is a very generous act!

Robbie Savage makes The Stats

December 8th, 2010

Robbie Savage makes The Stats

When you start exhibiting your art on the net, and want to be successful all around the world, you have to work hard everyday. Publishing new paintings, writing new blogs posts, twitting, facebooking, etc. Unless of course you are already famous and already have millions of followers, which is not my case. Anyway, I don’t like fame, at least not when it becomes too obvious and followers become stalkers, kind of… following and being followed is in fact one of the many social jails I always tried to escape in my life.

Anyway, in the past, one of my active places on the net was Flickr. But caught on other platforms, I had stopped to publish for a long while. Yesterday, who knows why, after receiving one of these Flick mails from a new fan, I went there and checked the statistics, expecting to see the amount of daily visits reduced to null. But it was the contrary! What a strange thing the internet is! I have often noticed it, by sites and blogs, they always say that the search engines want you to publish new material all the time, but strangely enough, exactly in the time when I work much, the stats numbers go dramatically down! And when I do nothing, the numbers go up! This must be the result of some “Gravity”.

Well, this morning I checked the stars again, a little bit closer this time, and found out to my big surprise that half of my views in Flickr since the 29th of November, are focussed on ONE painting.

My portrait of Robbie Savage!!!!

Instead of an average of 1 view per day, it jumped to 250 views per day! Now, for the ignorant who still don’t know Robbie Savage, let me say that: he is one of the players of our Football Team “Derby County”

Like always my little brain was very curious to understand this sudden phenomena. So with these facts and numbers I went to Kev Moore, my partner and another ‘celebrity’ of Derby County and always aware of everything going on there. He explained to me what is going on with Robbie in the UK right now, and here it is, Kev Moore personally, telling you about Robbie Savage:

“Robbie’s star is rising right now as a result of a cumulation of many things, he has just passed his 600 league game milestone, he has been a high profile player for many years, via Man Utd, Leicester, Blackburn and Birmingham, and now of course Derby, where under Nigel Clough, he found himself resurrected in the twilight of his career. Enjoying the notoriety of being ‘the pantomime villain’ he was always the perfect candidate to have an autobiography ghostwritten, and this was recently released. Add to this Robbie’s dovetailing of his new media career with his impending retirement from the game proper, including appearances on BBC Radio and Television, and you see his profile spilling over into the non-football public. The icing on the cake is the huge following Robbie has garnered on Twitter. Simply put, he’s reaching more people than ever before and more people are talking about him, and searching for him on the net.”

And if you are interested in buying a Giclee print of this portrait, it is available in many different sizes and on different supports – Papers, canvasses, etc.) in my FAA Gallery. I am not sure though that I am allowed to sell these prints without Robbie’s permission, and if it is the case, I am sorry and will retract the painting from sale. I guess his agents will let me know. Anyway, this portrait is, I guess, much too romantic for most of the fans… which makes me want to make another one, depicting the wild Savage…

Another great product featuring Robbie Savage has been created in the family: “Fan Fayre for The Commons People”.
Kev Moore’s 12 track CD in homage to his club Derby County,
Featuring Commons People, Can’t let Savage go, The Derby Ram, Steve Bloomer’s (still) watching, We’ll always be the Derby, Nothinghamshire, and many more!
To purchase online at http://www.mikismart.com/CD_Fan_Fayre_for_the_Commons_People_-_Red_Dog_limited_Edition/p112123_228365.aspx



Nashville Nights

December 3rd, 2010

Nashville Nights

After The Memphis and New Orleans Nights, I'm now starting a new series about the Nashville Nights. All of these paintings are kind of artistic collages, putting together different elements I have seen in each of these towns during my 2 month USA trip through the Southern States in January/February 2010.
Most of them are done in a mixed technique starting with a first level in a classical technique (pastel, acrylics, gouache) and finished with digital art to reach some special effects and vibrancy.
The first Nashville nights paintings can be seen here in my FAA Gallery. Mainly featuring the Hard Rock Cafe and that wonderful emblematic building of the AT&T. I had never thought before that a skyscraper could be so beautiful, it really was a revelation.

My partner the English rock musician (lead singer, bass player and song writer) Kev Moore has written a whole album, "Blue Odyssey", 18 track CD, celebrating that trip. Please check his website (mooremusic.biz) if you are interested in more info and purchasing the CD.

By the way, if you want to exhibit your music/dance art in my new site www.paintingthemusic.com”, contact me please.

Painting Africa

December 2nd, 2010

Painting Africa

Some time ago, I presented in my main blog (mikiaboom.wordpress.com) a new artist, Emmanuel Baliyanga, alias “Barry”, originally from Rwanda but living in Cameroon now, for the sad reasons one can imagine…

We are in contact everyday, and I must say that Emmanuel amazes me more and more. He is such an accomplished artist, there is so much potential in him. I love the way he paints Africa, much sensitivity, love, sincerity and even humour are always present in his paintings.

We now have a very special relationship. I am his artistic “Godmother”, he is my “Godson”, and it is a wonderful feeling to be able to help such a great artist to promote his art around the world. I am also deeply touched by his humility and his thankfulness.. It is something which, I find, has become very rare, above all on the net…

Good luck, my dear Emmanuel, go on painting and showing your wonderful and fascinating Africa to the world.

Emmanuel's work is available here in FAA at http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/emmanuel-baliyanga.html?tab=artwork

The Sentinella

December 1st, 2010

The Sentinella

Just a short post to inform you that I have been featured in the December edition of the “The Sentinella”, a local magazine here in the Mojacar and Turre area. The magazine is available as well online as on paper.

For the cover the publishers have chosen my last Flamencoscape. And there is inside an article about me and my art.
www.mojacar.thesentinella.com

 

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