Christmas in Lanzarote

I have just come back (December 2012) from a painting trip to Lanzarote, the easternmost of the autonomous Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 125 km off the coast of Africa and 1000 km from the Iberian Peninsula. I had already visited there a long time ago, but at that time my holiday interests were more focussed on partying than painting, and consequently my memories of the island itself were rather blurred!

Lanzarote - Google Map

These last 3 weeks spent in Lanzarote have been a wonderful experience, in many senses. Landscapes, people, towns, little harbours, boats, cafés, shops and even toys have delighted me and made of my daily live painting sessions a deep pleasure. I hope with this new series of sketches, to have succeeded in capturing the soul and the heart of that place, and to transmit the fun and joy of living I felt all the time.

I will make diverse blogs about my painting time in Lanzarote, publishing sketches from many different places there. But as it is Christmas soon, I will start with a series of funny sketches related to Christmas and mostly inspired by toys and shop windows decorations seen on the island.

I don’t know if the people from Lanzarote have ever seen snow on their island, but I did find it funny how snowballs and snowmen were a repetitive element in their Christmas decorations. Especially funny when an elephant is also involved… not an happy elephant though: you might have noticed, some love story is going on between the smart little boy and the snowman, and I do sense a bit of jealousy on the part of the elephant…

The Christmas balls on this sketch were directly inspired by wonderful real ones I saw in a local market in Teguise. They were representing scenes and landscapes from Lanzarote. I loved them so much that I would have adored to bring some back, but I thought they were too fragile to survive a plane journey. On one of them you can see a red demon: he is the emblem of Lanzarote. Why a demon, you might as? Simply, because the early settlers interpreted their first experience of a volcanic eruption as the work of the devil. In fact I also wanted to bring back a big sign with it for our entrance door – you know, exactly how people have “dangerous dogs” signs, to warn prospective thieves… – a way to say: careful, in this house lives a demon, and even two – me and my English rocker, — but unfortunately I could not find an adequate one to sufficiently convey our fearsomeness!

Nothing really special to mention about this one, except that I was attracted by the juxtaposition of Santa Claus and chicken. Who knows why? I seem to remember having seen many wooden or ceramic chicken in window decorations, and wondered why. Because the fact is that we have travelled through the whole island and never seen a real chicken! What we did see though, in the volcano park of Timanfaya, were real chicken parts being cooked by the heat of the volcano!

And now, last but not least, comes the masterpiece of my Christmas in Lanzarote sketches series:

The Troll

I saw him in Playa Blanca (meaning “White Beach”), the southernmost town of Lanzarote. He was standing all alone in his high child chair on the sea promenade, and in the background, a ferry was leaving… It was a ferry from “Fred Olsen”, the Oslo based Norwegian shipping company. The ferry was probably only on its return trip to Fuerteventura, the Canary island closest to Lanzarote, but in my little romantic head, I was imagining a heartbreaking story of the little troll coming directly from Norway with his troll parents and them having abandoned him in Lanzarote, a long way away from home, never to come back…

These paintings, as well as many others of Lanzarote, 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

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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.

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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)

Please click on the widgets below to directly access my shop online.

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For The Shear Joy Of It….

Christmas painting by Miki

Merry Christmas everybody!

Hairy Christmas from No Man Land…

May the Advent Light Always Shine on You

There is hardly a feast which has some emotional importance to me, except Christmas and Advent. I do love Christmas, even if I have been forced many times to spend it in a way which did not match my dreams… but well, these times are past now, and I am looking forward to Christmas this year with the impatience of a child… although, to be honest, we both are far too impatient to wait until the right moment to discover our mutual gifts. This is a huge mistake, it tales a little bit away the charm of the Christmas gifts unwrapping, but on the other side, it allows us to enjoy these gifts a longer time… my rational excuse to my impatience! What we have got this year is something very special, something which massively increases the life quality of our “Palace of Pleasure” how we now call our home…. I might show you at some point!

I was really confronted with the Advent time first when I went to live in Germany, and I loved it a lot! Spending 4 weeks actively waiting for Christmas, with all kind of nice things like Advent Calendars, Advent Kranz. etc is simply the right way to lead to the Christmas climax. I especially love the tradition of lightening a new candle on each Advent Sunday, starting 4 weeks before Christmas.I have lightened the first candle today, unfortunately alone, as Kevin is away,  gigging in Belgium

So here we are, today is the first Advent and here is my piece for you.

(as always available to send for free as ecard from my ecard gallery at the 123Greetings Studio)

A Round with Me

I think I mentioned it before in my blog, I have been quite busy lately stretching my pens and my imagination to create card designs for the 123 Greetings Studio. Golf being one of my passions, I have developed a whole series of funny golf cards for some of the annual events like Halloween, Christmas, New Year, etc… I will do some more later on this year, but for the moment, I am done with golf, and here is a little video featuring most of these cards.

Full Moon….

full-moon-s

Don’t think twice, it’s me hidden in this Santa Costume… and the painting is, more than anything, a symbol for how I feel this year for Christmas…

I would much more prefer to stay home and have tons of chocolate and silly Christmassy films with my Kevin …

but well, I have to go out and be social…

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I’ll spend Christmas with you in Lake County… kind of!

cover-lake-county-magazine

Today I want to tell you about one of my Christmas gifts this year, surely one that has most touched my heart!

Some weeks ago I received the following mail:

“Good Morning, Miki!

We are publishers of a magazine of, for and by folks in Lake County, California. Lake County is a small, rural area about two and one-half hours north of San Francisco, USA.

In my wanderings through the world-wide web, I came across your painting, “Sunday Morning in North Africa.” Perhaps it was not intended on your part, but I see the Virgin Mary carrying the Baby Jesus. I certainly do not pretend a complete understanding of abstract painting, but I find your “flippy” style most appealing. We are presently considering a number of alternatives for our December issue cover, and we wondered if you would allow us the use of your painting for that purpose?

I have attached a mock-up of our cover with your painting as the backdrop. Please let me know if you would find this acceptable.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Admiringly,

Roy

I found instantaneously the person behind these words extremely sympathetic, I mean, really, this man who did not know me writing these wonderful things to me. I was deeply  touched…

This first wonderful impression was confirmed  in the few mails we exchanged over the next few days.

And now, finally, my painting is on the cover of the Lake County Magazine! Here are the words which Roy printed there:

“We have made a new friend. Her name is Miki and she lives in Spain with an English writer. She was born in France, and lived also in Germany. She describes herself as passionate, impatient, unappeasable, uncon-trollable. She loves “color, contrast, ordered chaos, the desert and the ocean … all strewn with humor and chocolate flakes!”
I accused her of wandering through disciplines and mediums and told her, “I love it!” I said I’d seen one of her paintings on the internet. I told her I saw the Virgin Mary carrying the Infant Jesus.

I asked if we could use it on our cover. She said, “Yes.” . We are most grateful. “

And a little bit further in the magazine, presenting my original painting (without the words on it):

“Miki told us, “The building on the top left is reminiscent of the church in a small Spanish town where I once lived, and I was thinking of Mary and Jesus as I painted. No special reason …

divine inspiration perhaps!”

We have fallen in love with her work. We love the bold splashes of color. We’re intrigued by the intermingling of realism and abstraction. On her website, we found joy and humor and a carefree love of life. If you’d like to learn more about Miki and her art, you can visit her at:
http://www.artmiki.com

I was really moved to tears as I read these words the other day. And as I said to Roy, I really felt like the new friend of the entire Lake County in that moment! Anyway, as you perhaps already know, my best friend, Susan Cornelis, lives not far away from there…

You see, Susan, I will spend Christmas with you this year… kind of!”

To see the cover in its original context and to discover the Lake County at Christmas, click here!

Messiah found…

messiah-found-s

Due to my recent work with the  eCards department of Plaxo, and also the snow  falling down my screen all the time, I have become very Christmassy and have designed some more Xmas cards. I don’t know which program  is running through my brain actually, but it seems that I am ready to spend Christmas in a humourous mood this year… close to the border of black humour perhaps?  Whatever, I just mean it tenderly…

Well, I guess I will need humour for Christmas this year, I have to “confront” my old Mom whom I idolised all my life and to whom I always had an excellent relationship, of the kind

“My mother is my best friend”

but  big problems arose  last time as I saw her… the result being that I didn’t feel loved anymore… surely  silly from me, says my intellect, but the heart suffers…. perhaps I feel like that little lost baby… but as you noticed, still ready to play with the adult’s beard!

By the way, if you want to see and read some more huourous Christmassy stuff, drawn and written by  Kev Moore

go here!

Christmas Fun

I was working on some designs of Christmas cards for my Plaxo eCards gallery over the past few days. I chose unusual designs, although including normal stuff like Santa Babies, but I put the Babies in weird situations and environments and with comic words in their mouths… I wanted fun Christmas cards this year, as my life is pure fun and I simply want to share it with the world!

Here are 2 of the cards

cant-stop-now-2-s

christmas-with-my-sheep-s

And if you want to send these cards for Christmas, sorry, you will have to become member of Plaxo!

(No, they don’t pay me for the plug! )

Merry Christmas from Miki to Everybody!

Merry Christmas

I made this Christmas picture for my best friend, Susan Cornelis, but today I think she will agree me sharing it with all of you…

Kevin has made a Special Christmas Song for all his friends from Cafe Crem, but I am sure, he would be happy to share it with YOU too!

Allow me to serve you all a cup of hot Christmas chocolate and to wish you a merry Christmas, and to all your family and friends!