Dolphin Dives

Dolphin Painting

… Animal Paintings Beyond Realism 03 …

In my last post I introduced my new series of “Animal Paintings beyond Realism”, inspired by a painting group recently created by Studio Tolere. The first of the series featured a dog, the second depicted owls. Today I present a new painting of the series, done in acrylics, gouache, China ink and pastel chalk. It is called

“Dolphin Dives”

My emotional connection to dolphins goes back almost 50 years (scary to think how long ago it is!) when the American TV show Flipper was broadcast. I guess just about any child in this world and of my generation, and perhaps of later generations too, knows and loves Flipper. I am no exception. I deeply enjoyed the show and since then have kept a very emotional connection to dolphins. A deep fascination too…

I had a few more experiences with dolphins in my life. When I was around 20 years old, I had a German boyfriend, who was a diving instructor on his holidays, in Spain and in Thailand. Where we spent our holidays in Spain, there was a Zoo not too far away, with a dolphin show. Once my friend was called to perform a special task in the pool where the dolphins swam. It was incredibly touching to see him swimming among them, and to witness how playful they were, and how they let him come closer and caress them. They seemed to enjoy it so much! It was again a very deep experience, confirming that Flipper did ‘exist’, that it was not only an American show.

Now I will make a jump of 20 more years. I was on a sailing boat, sailing with my brother from Gibraltar to the Canary Islands. I was on the deck, keeping an eye on everything while the captain -my brother- was reading in the cabin. In fact there was nothing to keep an eye on, as we were all alone on this immensity of water which is the Atlantic ocean. And suddenly HE appeared… he swam some seconds along with us, then dived into the water. I was in shock. To see dolphins on the TV is nice, to see them in a zoo is great, but to see them in the wild is  just… beyond words! I ran down to the cabin and told my brother that there was a dolphin outside. When I say “told”, it is wrong : in fact I was hysterically screaming. He looked through the porthole but he could not see anything. I had my eyes glued to the glass, but could not see anything, then ran up to the deck again, spent hours watching the sea, but my dolphin never appeared again… I was immensely sad, I had the feeling to have lost a very dear friend. I thought that my screams had probably scared him away…And to add to my sadness, my brother never believed that I had seen the dolphin..

Last but not least, about 15 years later again… In June 2013 my partner Kev Moore and me were on a little painting trip up the coast here, to a seaside town called “Aguilas”, not too far from our house. Just some days out to “restart the system” and find new inspiration. We went on a boat trip, on a boat called Don Pancho. And there HE was again… here is what Kevin is writing about the experience:

“… the whole crew were great, and clearly loved their job, or at least gave a superb impression of doing so. Smiles all round, and the guy tasked with the commentary on our jaunt up the wilder coastline to the north of Aguilas was passionate about his subject.  When the sleek dorsal fin of a dolphin broke the surface off our port bow, he was about as ecstatic as we were.  I can only say it was mesmerizing. Time after time it buzzed our vessel, playing with the wake, darting off, leaping out of the water to our cries of childish delight. Witnessing a dolphin in the wild makes one regress. It reduces life to a microcosm of simplicity, to something almost Utopian. It speaks to the very depth of your being, of freedom, innocence and sheer, unadulterated joy. I’ve swum with dolphins in Venezuela, but they were in captivity, more’s the pity. This is were they belong, and seeing one exuberant, dancing on the waves where it’s supposed to be, is a privilege, and something I’ll never forget…”

I could not say it better! The meeting with that dolphin was one of the deepest and most emotional experiences in my whole life! And this time, at least, I had witnesses…

The dolphin painting presented in this blog post and other animal paintings are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper, canvas or metal, and also as greeting cards. Please click on the painting to access my Shopping Cart Online. 

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating which painting you are interested in and in which size. Go to Goodaboom Boutique to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

 

I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffner.

Poster Price: 50 euros.

They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.

(the prices for the Giclee prints and posters are not including packing&shipping)

Hand-signed prints incur a surcharge of 30 euros.

Thinking of Tolere…

Animal Paintings Beyond Realism

… Dogs …

Inspired by a new group in Fine Art America, created by Studio Tolere, and called “Animals Paintings Beyond Realism”, I decided to give it a go and try to create a series of animal paintings satisfying to following description and requirements, defined by Tolere in the group description:

“…The animal world, on land, in water, and in the air, painted with feeling and imagination, is the focus for this group.Rather than getting every detail down realistically.,this is a place for paintings incorporating abstract and more expressive approaches to depictions of animals as well as the human – animal connection. Humorous, emotive, visionary, and mystical work are very welcome…”

I love dogs, so I have started with a fantasy dog painting. I dedicated it to Tolere, calling it

“Thinking of Tolere”.

The dog painting presented in this blog post and other animal paintings are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper, canvas or metal, and also as greeting cards. Please click on the painting above to access my Shopping Cart Online.

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating which painting you are interested in and in which size. Go to Goodaboom Boutique to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffner.

Poster Price: 50 euros.

They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.

(the prices for the Giclee prints and posters are not including packing&shipping)

Hand-signed prints incur a surcharge of 30 euros.

Flags from Around The World 02

As I told you in my last post, I started a new contest in FineArtAmerica  about “flags”, and I announced a second post showing some more of my artworks where flags play an important role. So far, artists and photographers are participating very well to the contest, and I am very thankful about it. I  just wish there would be some more other flags than the “The Stars and Stripes” exhibited! If you wish to see the 370 images which have been submitted so far, have a look here: believe me, it is worth it!

So here are some of my other paintings featuring flags. To start with, my own interpretation of the American flag, in the background as well as on a tie:

“A Turkey for President”, a “just for fun” image I created some years ago to celebrate “Thanksgiving”.

A Turkey for President New S

Let us stay in the USA and go to New Orleans. It was in 2010 and it was Mardi Gras, but I don’t know what the flags had to do with it, and which significance they had. Anyway, here is a happy street in the French quarter

French Quarter in New Orleans 01 New S

Lets get all sporty again and go back to “The Golden Night of Gold”, that very special evening in the London Olympics Games 2012 when 3 UK athletes – Jessica Ennis, Mo Farrah and Greg Rutherford) won a  gold medal…

Olympic Night of Gold S

Back to Italy now. The following painting does not show a flag as such, but something more interesting I find:

 Italian shoes in the colours of the flag! This is really Italian elegance, isn’t it?

Italian Shoes 02 New S

Let us go to Germany and have some coffee, out of that wonderful mug with the German flag colours, a present of a very kind German fan of the famous chart-topping ‘Yellow River’ hitmakers “Christie” in which my partner Kev Moore plays the bass.

2009 German Mugs S

And finally I will go back to my roots, my dear France. A  sketch done with pastel chalk in the Perigord in 2007, as we were on our way up to Scotland.

Perigord 13 S

So, if you are interested in taking part to the contest and get a special feature in this blog if you wish, please hurry up.  Submission deadline is Friday, June 14th, at the following place:

Flags Contest

Birds and Flowers from Paradise

Birds and Flowers from Paradise

Watercolour Paintings

According to my opinion, Paradise exists only within our heads. Hell too. I say “only” even if I think that the best and the worst which can happen to a human being is to have Paradise or Hell in his own head. Anyway, I called this blog post “Birds and Flowers from Paradise”, because I simply invented these birds and flowers. And they appeared from my fantasy in a moment when I felt happy…

To have Paradise in one’s own head can take many forms. To me it often translates in colours, mainly warm colours -reds, oranges, yellows – and an irresistible need to freely spread them on the paper. With some stains of greens and blues among them, for the contrast. In the above painting the bird could be a blackbird; as I painted it, I felt the urge to put some black among the vibrant colours, and this is how the bird’s head suddenly appeared. Perhaps was it to be remembered, at least unconsciously, that even in the middle of Paradise, Hell is never far away. As to the flower, one could think first of a tulip, but honestly: doesn’t it look much more like a strawberry? Yes, there are not only apples in Paradise!

The above painting was in fact the first I painted during that recent ascension to Paradise. There were three of them, the three I present in this blog. This one is softer, less violent than the one at the top of the post, with more pastel colours and less contrasts. Probably was I in the middle of the ascension process still, not having arrived yet, and life was all peace. Because if you think that Paradise itself is a haven of peace, well, it isn’t! It is as violent as Hell, just in a positive sense…

This last one was the second I painted, the arrival to Paradise probably, full of surprises and wonders. The flower looks like some kind of thistle, I would say. By the way, concerning thistles: I just read that it was one of the favourite plants of one my famous compatriots, Théophile Gautier, French poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, art critic and literary critic . When I say compatriot, he is more than that: Théophile Gautier was born in the same town as me, Tarbes, in the French Pyrenees, and, as a child, I even went to a school bearing his name. Thanks to my new electronic book, I have now easy access to French books and I have rediscovered that author, reading his delicious and very instructive book “Travel to Spain”. There he says that his favourite plants are thistles and palm trees. I don’t believe though that he would have loved my painted thistle, judging by the paintings he describes and loves. In those days – XIXth century- one loved more detailed and more realistic paintings. I suppose. But I would have been curious to see his reaction in front of these kind of free watercolours and read what he has to say about it, as I really enjoyed his paintings descriptions of the Spanish and other masters (Goya, El Greco, etc). Well, I’d better stop now, because if I start thinking of what isn’t possible any more in my life, I will rapidly end up in a breathtakingly steep descent to Hell, and this post here is only about Paradise..

The birds paintings presented in this gallery are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards, in my FAA Gallery. Please press the link below to access it.

Buy prints online!

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating which painting you are interested in and in which size. Go to Goodaboom Boutique to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

Happy Valentine’s Day 05: Valentine’s Menagerie

“Valentine’s Menagerie”

Funny Paintings to celebrate Valentine’s Day

Thinking one cannot begin too soon to celebrate love, I recently started a series of blog posts featuring paintings created especially for Valentine’s Day. The last one I presented in this blog was

“Love Explosion”

Today I am happy to introduce

“Valentine’s Menagerie”

– Valentine’s Menagerie 01, watercolour and ink –

The idea came from a series of funny sketches I did in Lanzarote, some of them representing cats, dogs and giraffes with crazy markings. I thought I could create a series for Valentines, featuring these animals with markings on their skin, such as cats, cows, giraffes, leopards, etc, but with a difference – giving them heart-shaped markings and bringing them together under the lovely name of “Valentine’s Menagerie”.

I started with the cows… in the painting above, the bull was inspired by a little sculpture of a red bull seen in Lanzarote. The tattoo “I Love You” is replacing the usual breeders’ brand on fighting bulls. His tail ends in a rose for his Valentine, the cute cow with grass for hair and who shapes the end of her tail into a heart……

– Valentine’s Menagerie 02, watercolour and pencil –

These cows in love are more of an established couple. No need for flirting and asking out any more, it is clear who will be his Valentine… a little bit like my partner and me… in fact I recognise us very well in that painting, especially myself, could really be a self-portrait! 🙂

I hope the Valentine’s Menagerie will grow, but it might take time and need some very special and long breeding…

This painting, and also other paintings to celebrate Valentine’s Day, are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper, canvas and metal, and also as greeting cards. Please click on the button below to access

my FAA store

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating in which size. Go to

Goodaboom Boutique

to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

 

I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffener.

Poster Price: 50 euros.

They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.

(the price does not include packing&shipping)

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Happy Valentine’s Day 04: Love Explosion

“Love Explosion”

A Painting to celebrate Valentine’s Day

Thinking one cannot begin too soon to celebrate love, I recently started a series of blog posts featuring paintings created especially for Valentine’s Day. The last one I presented in this blog was

“A Frog in Love”

Today I am happy to present to you

“Love Explosion”

To be honest, this painting was never meant to be a painting! In fact, I had just received some painting materials ordered from Germany for my next painting trip in February 2013. Among other things, there was a beautiful box of big Chinese watercolour trays and some project paper blocks in square format. The paper is probably better suitable to be used with dry techniques, but I wanted to see how it reacted to watercolour. When I go on a painting trip, especially when I go by plane, I prefer to travel light, I don’t fancy carrying big and heavy watercolour blocks with me , my travel artwork being mostly sketch and drawing in ink with a little bit of watercolours. Sometimes, drawing paper allows me to reach interesting unusual effects. So there I was yesterday, putting some Chinese red stains on the paper, and I liked it at once, not only the paint itself – more vivid than normal watercolour – but also the way the paints interacted with the paper, without seeping into it much though. Better not to take much water on the brushes, but when one knows, great! I then tried Chinese yellow, then Chinese green, and soon, convinced that the new material was good, I stopped.

Some hours later my partner Kev Moore, who had given me the paints as a Christmas gift, asked me how they were and I showed him my piece of paper with the stains. He said:

“Oh, this is very beautiful!”

I was surprised, but then I started looking at the paper and the colour with new eyes, and suddenly flowers, hearts and birds appeared on the paper. I then spent some minutes to enhance the stains a little bit, and soon it was there, this explosion of love. I must say I am quite happy with it…

This painting, and also other paintings to celebrate Valentine’s Day, are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper, canvas and metal, and also as greeting cards. Please click on the button below to access

my FAA store

 

Sell Art Online

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating in which size. Go to

Goodaboom Boutique

to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffener.

Poster Price: 50 euros.

They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.

(the price does not include packing&shipping)

 

A Map and A Mule

A Peace Story of Queen Isabel of Portugal

“A Map and A Mule”… isn’t it an interesting combination of words? Well, this is certainly what I thought when Eric Timar contacted me the first time, in October 2012, asking if a certain painting of mine would be available for a book cover.

“Hello Miki — would it be possible to get a jpeg version of Serpa Portugal 27, in order to use it in a book? This will be a children’s book about Queen Isabel of Portugal. Queen Isabel helped draw the border of Portugal, and one town in question was Serpa, and there I see your painting . . . thank you…”

I get contacted regularly from people and companies wanted to use my paintings for many different projects, but I especially loved this one. I love books, I love children’s stories and this one seemed very original to me! I accepted, and had to do a little bit work on it according to Eric’s wishes:

“… There are many other towns that were affected by the border that Isabel helped create, but I am picking Serpa as a focus since it will be easy for American parents and children to pronounce …A couple of other issues: Since I want to show Serpa as it might have looked in 1297, I would have to use only the portion of the piece that does not have antennas (unfortunately). That means I would crop out the right of the piece. Would that be okay?”

As Eric said: unfortunately. I really did not want to crop the painting because of some antennas, and I proposed to take the antennas down. As I explained to him, I often have to do similar work on some paintings to make them exactly fit the requirements. Some people might think that it is like selling my soul, but personally I love to do that, it gives the painting a totally new life. So, I took the antennas down, and then we started speaking about the back cover. And this how, as one idea followed another, not only the antennas were down, but a tiny little woman riding a mule appeared in the painting…

… and became the star of the back cover!

The book is published now, out on Amazon, and I have even received my personally dedicated copy from Eric. It really is a lovely book, and I am glad to be part of it.

Also, I remember exactly when I did that painting.We were in our Boomobile (our atelier and music studio on wheels) on a painting trip through Portugal, we had come through Serpa by accident and liked it so much that we had decided to stay there until the end of the trip. I drew a lot in this place, and this one especially was made on the outskirts of Serpa, while we were on a bike ride. I remember exactly me sitting on the ground in front of that beautiful town and thinking how lucky I was to be able to witness and paint all that. But I would have never imagined that this sketch would one day, more then 3 years later, make the cover of an American children’s book! Life is so full of surprises, it is wonderful!

Eric has even set up a beautiful Facebook page for “A Map and A Mule”, so please feel free to go there and to like it! 🙂

This painting, and also many other paintings from Serpa and Portugal in general, are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper, canvas and metal, and also as greeting cards. Please click on the button below to access my

FAA store

 

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating in which size. Go to

Goodaboom Boutique

to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffener.

Poster Price: 50 euros.

They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.

(the price does not include packing&shipping)