Guinness Gives You A Lift

The Irish Art of Levitating

As we went to Dublin in April 2013, one of my plans was to drink a pint of Guinness beer while listening to traditional Irish music in a typical Irish pub. If I remember well, I have had only one Guinness before in my life, and it was in an Irish bar in Gibraltar. Well, in Dublin I had to wait until the last day to get my beer -which I enjoyed very much by the way, the look as well as the taste- Unfortunately at the time of the day I had it, no Irish music was available to listen to. And the one evening we spent in Dublin, after having attended a gig by German metal rock musician Michael Schenker, nearly all the pubs were closed! A very frustrating experience…

Nevertheless, Guinness was omnipresent in Dublin and its surroundings, as one might expect, and mainly in the form of funny adverts which I really liked. The ‘vintage’ Guinness adverts from a bygone era were reproduced everywhere. As I saw that street performer – and I am sure that many people who visited Dublin will have seen him and, judging by the look in their eyes, wondered how in the hell he was managing it! – Anyway, as I saw him levitating, surrounded by a circle of little orange cones, I had the idea for the painting above, something of an amalgam of the images that assaulted my senses in the Irish capital, Guinness, crazy street performers, and more Guinness…

The painting presented in this gallery, and many more Ireland paintings, are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper, canvas or metal, and also as greeting cards. Please “click here to purchase” from the widget below to access my Shopping Cart Online.

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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 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.

When Maths meet Sport…

Painting Football

Today is Saturday, and that means football day and our team DCFC, Derby County Football Club, nicknamed “The Rams”, is facing Blackburn in the English Championship. As with every time they play, nothing else matters in this world, our whole energy and attention is focussed on the game. So deeply are we invested in this ritual, that we even start the day drinking our morning milk coffee out of 2 giant DCFC mugs! To give you an idea, here is a watercolour painting of one of our pets, Bear’nadette, with one of these mugs.

As we usually drink milk coffee many times during the day until late in the night, the rule is: when DCFC is playing, we use these mugs until the end of the game. If they win, we go on using them. If the opposition win, we stop using them until next game. If we draw, we can choose what we want to do, we go on with these mugs, or we take some new ones.

Some years ago, my partner, the Derbyshire-born English rocker Kev Moore wrote a whole album in honour of his team, “Fan Fayre for The Commons People”. And the same year, to celebrate DCFC and the new album, I created a series of 12 artworks featuring the teams which Derby was facing that season and put them together in a calendar. Here is the artwork about the Club Swansea, whose nickname is “The Swans”.

Well, the Queen must have done a great job as their goalkeeper, because in the meanwhile, the Swans stepped up to the Premier League, even doing quite well up there, currently being in 9th place! I wished our manager Nigel Clough could sign up the Queen for the next season… Anyway, I have heard that DCFC is organising an exhibition of Club Memorabilia, and right now my calendar is proudly standing among them, signed by Nigel himself and two players, Craig Bryson and Jeff Hendrick. I am very glad about that, and I want to give a special thanks to Vernon Moore for having made it possible.

Now I want to come to the title of this post: “When Maths meet Sport”. In one of my previous lives, I was a passionate mathematician (still am somehow, but not active as such) and I was one of the first people to get interested by the World of Fractals. Later on when the fractals became so fashionable and even started invading the world of art, I lost my interest in them. But recently I had the idea to combine classical art with digital art, and one of these techniques I invented was to “fractalise” some of my paintings until something very different and attractive appears. The following painting, called “The Football Game”, is one of the artworks resulting from that experiment.

It was a coincidence, but the players on the painting are even wearing the DCFC colours, black&white! Some people would argue that the other colours have hardly anything to do with football, the pitch being green. But firstly, I don’t like green very much, and secondly, the red is meant to express the passion and the heat of the game! And anyway, as I always say: I am an artist and I am free to paint the world as I want to!

Well, for those who want to see some green around the players, here is another fractal football artwork, called “Quarterback Dance”. This one however is meant to represent the entirely different sport of American Football.

So, our game will start in one and a half hours, I need to start focussing now and gathering my positive thoughts for our team.

UP THE RAMS!

The football paintings presented in this gallery, and many more sport paintings, are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper, canvas or metal, and also as greeting cards. Please go to my Sport Prints Gallery  to see prices and eventually purchase 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.

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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 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.

 

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 New Year and Happy Valentine’s Day!

A Painting to celebrate Valentine’s Day


I had many people from around the world looking at my blog post, “Happy New Year 2013”, publishing funny New Year artworks. It became almost viral. Quite scary in fact: I had the feeling that my computer would explode and fireworks would whoooosh out of the screen into my face!…

It was comforting to see that so many people were searching for FUNNY images. We all need fun and a good laugh, especially in hard times, and I am glad to see that we are all still able to understand that, and search for it.

New Year festivities are finished now, the 1st of January 2013 has gone forever in every place of the world (a dreadful thought, isn’t it?), and it is time to think of the future. Soon will come the time to celebrate a feast which gives much warmth to my heart:

Valentine’s Day

I personally don’t care if it has become too commercial, at the end it depends on what you personally make out of it.

And to do it my way, with fun and love, today I publish a painting I did about 2 years ago: a still life featuring gifts which my rocking partner Kev Moore brought me back from Germany for Valentines, returning from a gig near Hamburg, just in time to celebrate love with me – something we do all the time anyway!

I think the theme makes a great transition between Christmas, New Year and Valentines, with all those chocolates, bubbles and hearts going on! It is drawn with China ink, and painted with watercolour. With a little bit of red pastel chalk on the chocolate hearts inside the box, simply for enhancement. I don’t know about you, but when I look at this painting, I feel like partying all the time!

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)

 

Happy New Year 2013: Funny Artworks

I have seen in my sites that many people are searching for 2013 new year greeting cards and artworks,  generally looking for “funny” or “cute” or “humorous”… at least they are the ones who land by me! So it is probably time to present some stuff I have done for that occasion. In fact most of them go back to a time when I was working for an ecard company, and I have actualised them. Let us start with greetings from the Antarctica…

… with these cute little penguins waving happy new year from their iceberg. I love penguins, they are the funniest thing in the world, and I dream of seeing them in the wild one day…

The other day I was dreaming of my lovely mountains, the Pyrenees, wondering if they are covered with much snow right now. I was thinking of a watercolour painting I did while crossing the border from Spain to France at the Col du Pourtalet 2 years ago, and it gave me the idea to use this painting to create the new year painting below.

Unfortunately the bear is not really from me. I found him per accident in my computer, a very old file, and the only thing I remember is that it is a copy of an artwork I saw somewhere, many many years ago, from a time when I was learning drawing. I don’t know where I found it, and I don’t know who was the artist. But it fitted so well in my Col du Pourtalet landscape, that I could not resist using it. Having said that, I doubt we have white bears in the Pyrenees. But our brown bears are very famous! I will compliment myself now: I find very cute how the bear wrote 2013 with the stones!

We’ll go further south to Spain now, and celebrate the new year 2013 with a bunch of mad bulls escaping the bullring to attend the traditional fireworks

Some of these paintings, and also some featuring Christmas and other seasonal holidays, are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper, canvas and metal, and also as greeting cards. Please click here 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)

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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Oly, The Olympics Turtle

After I paid homage to the victory of the Ferrari team at the Formula 1 German Grand Prix from  Hockenheim this weekend by giving birth to The Ferrari Turtle,  I thought it was time to do the same with the Olympics. Shame on me really, me who loves sport so much and has a big body of sport artworks, I didn’t even make one painting celebrating the games in London so far! Ah well, probably because everybody else has, and I don’t like to go with the stream…

So here we go. Tonight I could not sleep any more after awakening from a weird dream. I was in a giant castle, with hundred of rooms, and in each room were sitting giant people in Renaissance theatre costumes awaiting me to paint their portraits. But before that I had to paint first the portraits on their own faces, and when they were finished, they had to look at themselves in the mirror, and say if they liked it. Then I would have to reproduce it on big canvasses.  I had only a short time to paint all these portraits and I was running from room to room, trying to optimize the process. Hundred people were following me everywhere, eager to see me painting these portraits, and my stress increased accordingly, a real nightmare! Anyway I woke up when the tension became too strong, happy to have escaped but totally awake. It was 4 AM. My brain was again in turbo mode, thinking about all kinds of things and projects. And among them, a new turtle started to haunt my brain, until I could not think of anything else and had to get up to paint her

Let me introduce you to:

“Oly”, the Olympics Turtle!

Oly, The Olympics Turtle – By Miki

The little beast could not wait until the morning, she had to come out in the middle of the night! She said she was a little bit late already and was not sure if she was going to make it for the Games Opening ceremony on Friday!

She should probably have put the Ferrari gear on, but I guess the rules don’t allow you to carry the Olympics torch on wheels…

Sleep Tight in The Travelodge

So, here I am. Back from a 6 week painting and sightseeing trip through unknown territory, that is to say: 3 weeks Cyprus, 3 weeks Crete, 1 day London. And although the weather was great almost all the time on these Mediterranean islands, it can never be as warm as at home, at least psychologically not. So, not a trace of vacation withdrawal, simply happiness to be back home after a fantastic time in which I did loads of sketches. Because in fact, what I call here vacation, is not really vacation for me, it is work too.. a dream job though!

And now it ‘s time to gradually complete and publish all this work.

Well, I have a very weird habit: when I read a magazine, I cannot help starting with the last page and browse my way back to the cover. No idea where this comes from -I have researched, I have definitely no Arabian ancestors!-, have often tried to fight it, but I cant: I have to start with the end. The reason might be my impatient nature, I perhaps cannot face that amount of pages until the end? Whatever:  for some obscure reason, I will now start my publishing work with the very last sketch I did, yesterday evening in London.

London Gatwick

We had to come back from Crete through the UK, Kevin having a BCSweet gig  in Great Yarmouth  and I had to wait for him in London. For all kinds of reasons we had booked a room for me in a Travelodge at Gatwick airport. Now, I didn’t know exactly what a travel lodge is, but I imagined some very cheap, cold, impersonal and unpleasant place. But let me tell you: I have been in many hotels in my life, some very posh and some very fancy, in any case much more expensive than the Travelodge… and much worse! I know I am running the risk of being judged as a tasteless and common person – truly a bad reputation for an artist! – but I do love well-thought-out and functional things. This hotel is one of them:  the shower is hot, the shower curtain is not too short, there is enough room around the sink for 2 persons toiletries, the towels are immense, the bed is double and big, the pillows are soft enough to not break my neck and long enough to be cuddled in case of the loved one’s absence, the TV is not microscopic and does not offer hundreds of useless channels, there is a long table-top to display all my painting stuff and start painting without having to move everything else, there is a big wardrobe area set apart, the heating works fine, and the most important thing in the world: there is a water kettle and a tray with instant coffee and milk!!!!! And outside the rooms, there is a vibrant cafeteria/restaurant area with loads of nice stuff to drink and eat, and free speedy internet. Now this is much more than what I got in some 500 euros a night hotels in my luxurious past!!!!!

So, there, I was, Friday evening, ready to pack again for our flight to Alicante next morning, when I noticed one of the leaflets pricing the services of the Travelodge. There were some very cute photos on it, featuring 2 bears having a ball at the Travelodge, drinking coffee, looking at TV and surfing the net. Having started a series of coffee mugs sketches  on this holiday capturing our coffee adventures in Cyprus and Crete, I decided to make a sketch of these bears, strongly inspired by one of these photos. And here it is:

Sleep Tight in The Travelodge - Watercolour and ink sketch, by Miki

By the way: If you really think now that I have a cheap taste, then I must tell you that I am not the only one. Among the bears and also all sorts of people there, of all ages and nationalities who seemed to enjoyed their stay there, I discovered a celebrity of the rock scene, obviously trying to stay incognito behind his sunglasses, probably not to admit publicly that he too loves the Travelodge at Gatwick Airport! He couldn’t fool me though, but well, to respect his wishes,  I won’t tell his name and and considering his aristocratic look, I decided to baptise him

“The Count of  Gatwick Travelodge”

Any similarity with a living person is purely intentional…   🙂

The Count of London Gatwick Travelodge - Watercolour and ink sketch, by Miki

PS: I haven’t been paid for this article, but if the Travelodge company wants to give me  a free life pass for all Travelodges of the world (do they exist outside the UK?), I won’t say no!!!!

As usual, these artworks are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Just click on the widget below to access my FAA Gallery

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Bear’nadette and DCFC

Bear/nadette and DCFC - Watercolour painting, by Miki

Some days ago, I introduced you to Bernadette, that pretty pink bear babe who suddenly entered my life on a dark day and brought so much light into it again.

Now, the same evening as I got her, our most favourite football team in the world –DCFC, Derby County Football Club–  was playing another game in the English Championship, and against the odds we were hoping to win, something we hadn’t done during the last 8 games.

Well, you can’t live peacefully in a house where not all the occupants are football fans, and certainly not fans of the same team. So we decided to get Bear’nadette into DCFC, involving her with the sacred preparations of the game: DCFC hat on the head, DCFC scarf around the neck and DCFC mug for the milk coffee.

We encountered much resistance though. Our Babe wanted to wear and have only pink stuff,  and certainly did not want to make a public appearance in all these black&white stripes and hoops.  “They depress me!”, she said, “and they are not very feminine… I will look like a guy!“. To eventually  get her consent I had to make her a gift: my little pink hippopotamus called “Socrates”. Also she insisted in having dotted and starred rainbow curtains hung by the window to bring some colours around her. And she didn’t want any milk coffee in her mug, “too boring”, she stated. We left her alone in the kitchen to mix her drink herself… don’t ask me what it is, but it did look very explosive! Some kind of Red Bull I suppose….

But all that was still not enough: moaning that her mug was too high to drink out of, she declared that my beloved little pink stool with the pencils and erasers legs was hers! Well, DCFC does deserve some big sacrifices…

And still, after all these concessions  -my God, I am glad I never had children, they never give you any peace!- she still wanted to keep my pink New Orleans T-Shirt on, the one she stole off me the first day and has been wearing ever since. As I said it wouldn’t fit, she started crying: “I don’t want all these guys to see me naked!”.  So we had to wrap her whole little body into the scarf, paying careful attention to entirely cover her young breasts. She seems to be a very prude girl, our Bear’nadette

Well, after all these initial difficulties, having installed Bear’nadette in front of the TV and reassured her million of times that she looked fabulous, we all had a wonderful and lucky football evening together: DCFC won the game, and Bear’nadette is now a fan!

To be totally honest, Bear’nadette did not look as pretty as in her pink clothes from the first day, less feminine somehow. But this is normal, isn’t it? Have you ever seen a pretty, feminine football fan? I just hope she won’t get too engaged into the game, as to me she already shows all the hallmarks of hooliganism… look at her watching the game!

And after all, I am glad that I gave her Socrates. He is her pet now, following her everywhere, too happy to have found a matching mistress. I must admit that I was very worried about him, he had started to have some anxiety crises recently, too much thinking about his little existence… and believe me, a depressed hippopotamus is not to joke with!

So here we are, the whole family happy again:  DCFC because they have got a new fan, Bear’nadette because she has got a new pet,  Socrates because he has got a new life,  Miki, because she has got a new mug painting, and Kevin, who can’t stand sadness,  because he has got a happy family again!

I am a little bit worried for the future though: It is tough to be a DCFC fan! I hope Bear’nadette has got iron nerves and unconditional optimism. If not, we are facing dark times again…

Also her prudery makes me wonder… what will happen when she reaches her puberty? I guess I better start telling her about the woman stuff soon…

And if you want to get a Giclee print of her portrait as DCFC,  you can get one in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Just click on the widget below to access my FAA Gallery

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A Dog Called Pushkin

I have a dog. His name is Pushkin. A strange name for a dog, one would think. Alexander Pushkin was a Russian author of the romantic era and is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet. Now, my dog has some Russian ancestry, and when he was drunk, he got really poetic and romantic. I use the past tense here, because Pushkin is old now, he does not drink so much any more and his poetry has become very solid again, hard to get it out …he is still a romantic bugger though, and tells me very often how much he loves me when I hold him in my arms. Pushkin has learned English and Spanish in the meantime, but when it comes to such deep feelings, he goes back to his native language… and blushes much, as you can see on his portrait! The green thing around his waist, in case you wonder, is a kick boxing green belt. I’ll tell you about it later.

Anyway, a wonderful Russian lady called Ludmilla gave me that dog many years ago. She was the mother of a Russian painter with whom I had an art Studio in my previous life. I felt lonely quite often and had thought to buy a dog. Now, some Russian friends of Ludmilla wanted to get rid of one, not being able to deal with him any more especially because of his alcohol problems. This is how Pushkin became mine!

Now, I love to have a drink from time to time, red wine, champagne, beer, but I really don’t like alcoholism, it does change the people in a very bad way. So I decided to try to cure Pushkin. I could not face sending him to a detoxification home though, so I tried with him the only way I knew: sport! At that time I was learning kick boxing, and I simply took Pushkin with me. He really got into it, and we gradually made our belts together. And as soon as he got his yellow belt, I gave him the most wanted job in the world:

Miki’s Body Guard!

Rude Boy Pushkin - by Miki

He took his job very seriously, especially when I was sleeping. He sat by the side of my bed, the whole night long, without closing one eye -at least I think-, holding a big banner, and written on it:

“Careful!

Rude Boy

Miki’s Body Guard”

“Rude Boy” is by the way the  label of a Spanish company selling stuff for kick boxers. It is an incredibly cute name and label, I love it! On the painting above you can see Pushkin proudly taking care of Miki (at the bottom of the sketch is written is Spanish: “Miki duerme aqui…”,  Miki is sleeping here..  I obviously had no room left on the page to draw myself sleeping!)

In the meanwhile Pushkin is much more advanced in kick boxing, and is a green belt now, like me. But we both stopped our kick boxing career as I met Kevin, thinking I didn’t need to learn self-defence any more, and even less employ a body guard! So, green belt it is, and green belt it will stay!

As I said at the beginning, Pushkin does not drink so much any more. But it was a long process to get him clean, alcoholism is not really easy to cure, especially not when you are a Russian dog. Sometimes Pushkin fell back again, and instead of guarding my body in the night, he drank a whole bottle of champagne. In the morning I found him there, holding with a shaky hand a banner stating that he was sorry, that Rude Boy was drunk…  poor thing, he looked so tired, and so guilty, I always had to forgive him!

Drunk Pushkin - by Miki

I have many more stories and sketches of Pushkin from that time. I was focussing on learning drawing, especially portraits. Having no children, I often took him as a model…

His glorious days of body guard and model are finished now, but I still love him loads and he still spends his nights by the side of my bed… both eyes closed now!