Happy Valentine’s Day 02: The Queen of Hearts

“The Queen of Hearts”

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 first one, “Chocolate Hearts and Champagne” bubbling all over the painting, was rather a transition between Christmas, New year and Valentine’s Day. But today, I want to go into the heart of Valentine’s and present

“The Queen of Hearts”

(An acrylics painting in what ‘they’ probably call an impressionist style.)

I ask my partner and occasional art adviser if the painting was nice, mainly if the big heart was ok. His answer was:

“It is very nice… but if the heart was meant to be anatomically right, then no, it is not ok… it is too big!”

MEN! 🙂

Anyway, in my romantic world, and especially for Valentine’s Day, no heart could be big enough. And well, the lady is The Queen of Hearts, so not only has she got a giant heart herself, but she also grows hearts for everybody in need…

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 widget below to access my FAA store

Art Prints

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)

 


Old Retold

Old Retold: Getting Old and Lovin’ It!

Some days ago I was contacted by a woman from the USA, Teri Bult, telling me about her relatively new website – http://www.oldretold.com – dedicated to people who are getting old, but are proud of their age. She has a feature on her site that highlights the work of professional photographers and artists whose subject matter is elderly people. She kindly wrote that I have wonderful paintings of old people that she would like to put on her site, and asked me for my permission.

(Homepage of “Old Retold”)

I was deeply charmed by the name of the site, “Old Retold” and so, what with me loving elderly people, and finding this project very nice, I agreed to be part of it with some of my paintings from the series “My Dear Old People”. I let her have the choice of the ones she wanted to use, trusting that she would know exactly which ones better fit her purpose. On the screen shot of the homepage above, you can see on the right side, that Teri has already published my paintings, 28 altogether, making a wonderful job of it. I can’t really explain it, but I do feel very emotional about it. I love to see my paintings in their happy environment of elderly people having fun being older!

Here are two of the paintings she chose.

In April 2011, I was biking along the city walls of the town of Lucca (Tuscany, north-west of Italy), as I suddenly saw these two elderly ladies sitting on a bench, deep in an obviously funny conversation. They seemed to have many secrets to tell each other! I so much loved the scene that I stopped biking, hid behind a tree, took my travel painting pad out of my bag (always have a sketching pad with me, wherever I am) and started sketching them. I added the watercolours later at home.

This watercolour painting is called “The Men from Tàrbena”. Tàrbena is a little Spanish mountain town quite near the tourist places of the Costa Blanca such as Benidorm, Altea and Calpe. I had rented a house in that town for a week, with the intention to paint the town and its people. I saw these men sitting on a bench in the main square, by the church. I adored the colours and fun of this motif, the men looking so relaxed enjoying their togetherness and life. Also I liked the structure of the wall behind them – if I remember well, it was the church wall – which looked like shimmering soap bubbles. Even funnier was the painting I did of 3 women from Tàrbena (perhaps their wives?) standing in a house entrance in a side street. The contrast was so striking! I won’t post the painting here -too scary!-, but if you want to see it, just browse “My Dear Old People” gallery: you won’t miss the women from Tàrbena!

Teri has also a nice new project on her site, called “Then and Now”:

Embrace Your Age!

Show the world how MARVELOUS you look!!

If you want to know more about it, and perhaps participate, (and also see how Miki de Goodaboom looked like when she was 20 years old… I am sure you are curious about it! 🙂 ), just go to Then and Now

Thank you, Teri, for this wonderful idea, and good luck with your great site!

I am sure that many elderly people around the world will find a little bit of a new home there!

The paintings presented in this post, as well as many others from elderly people, are currently available as Giclee prints in different dimensions, on paper, canvas and metal, as well as greeting cards, in my

FAA Gallery.

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)


Back to My Golfing Past in Soufflenheim

Houses in Soufflenheim - by Miki

Before I moved to Spain, I used to live in Reute –see here my previous post about it -, a charming little town in the South West of Germany, in a region called “The Three Countries Triangle”, the three countries obviously being Germany, France and Switzerland. And it was indeed a fabulous location to do loads of exciting stuff, like skiing, diving (in the Swiss lakes) or golfing.

We had the chance to have a nice little flat on a wonderful golf course in the little Alsatian town of Soufflenheim, directly opposite us on the other side of the French border, about 80 kilometres away from Reute, and we used to spend most of our weekends there.

Soufflenheim in France

A few sketches from that past – I am speaking about the years between 1996 and 2000- reappeared as I was emptying my house in Albir, Costa Blanca, last week. I must say that I became very emotional as I saw them, as I did enjoy my time there: the golfing itself, the course, the town and its people. Being French, and having lived at that time for almost 30 years in a German environment, I was happy to hear my language, even if the people there spoke it in a quite different way than I was used to! But their accent was delightful, funny and “cosy” somehow.

All the sketches I found were just in ink, and I simply added water colour to them, with a tiny fragment of memory I have of the real colours there and loads of fantasy! But I am quite sure that the tree leaves were green though, so at least this will be ok!

Place de La Gare in Soufflenheim - by Miki

The above sketch mentioned “Place de la Gare, 8h” (Railways Station square) on it. I don’t remember why it was called so, or even if there was really a train station in Soufflenheim. But judging by the buildings, it was quite an old place and probably the station had moved somewhere else. Anyway I remember exactly when I did that sketch. I had got up early that day and gone to the local bakery to buy some croissants for the breakfast. I had made some quick sketches on the way, and when I had come back home, I had put the radio on:

they announced Princess Diana’s death!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I even found a sketch I did on another morning, while having my first coffee. It makes me smile that at that time I already loved to draw coffee mugs and put them on the foreground! Soufflenheim being a quite famous ceramic town in the region, that special mug had probably been bought there, but I don’t really remember it, and I invented the colours. The design though is true to the original drawing. Funny too to see which book is on the table, next to the mug : “Russckij Jasik”.. I was learning Russian at that time, my dream being to read the Russian classical authors in their own language! Well, I learned some Russian, but unfortunately my reading never went further than some short poems…

Our Flat in Soufflenheim - by Miki

The paintings on the wall behind the big yellow lamps was a golf painting by me: a golf player in the woods searching for his ball! I wished I had a photo of it, as with all the other things I drew and painted around that time…

The Golf Course -I hope it stills exists!- was designed by the famous German golf professional Bernhard Langer, and is just one of the most beautiful I have ever played, with its 18 lakes, its mini-forest and the hundreds of more or less wild animals. One of the most challenging too: you had better take a big bag of balls with you if you wanted to finish a round, as most of them became lost in the many woods and lakes!!

Sometimes I stood there alone, a whole week, between 2 weekends, and used to play a round by myself every morning around 8. I adored it, the course was a nature Paradise at that time of the day. No other human being was on the course, wild animals such as does and deers were wondering around on the fairways, and I needed only 2 hours for the whole 18 holes, something very suited to my impatient nature. And sometimes I took a sketching book with me and did some rapid drawing.. like the one below.

Golf Club Soufflenheim - by Miki

The little lady in the background walking to the tee is not me though. Well, it could be me symbolically, but I didn’t look like that when I played golf. I never pulled my bag on a trolley, I carried it on my shoulder, like a real guy. And I only wore trousers, and always a cowboy hat or a baseball hat. I never was one of these female golf players whose main reason to play golf is to showcase their new outfit… in fact I was quite often told off for not complying with the golf course clothing etiquette! Well, I never liked rules, on the golf course or wherever… not that I am an anarchist though, I understand the need for rule,: I just find it hard to have them applied to me!  🙂

What I also did there on occasion was to sketch the golfers in the Club house. The bar-restaurant had a wonderful terrace and I really enjoyed the opportunity to sit and relax there when we had an afternoon game on the weekend.With a glass of Cremant in one hand – Cremant is a typical Alsatian bubbly drink,  similar to Champagne  – and a pen in the other, sitting in front of that gorgeous natural view, I just felt as if I was in Paradise! Well, here are 4 of these golfers I sketched there on one of these occasions

Golfers in Soufflenheim 01 - by Miki

Golfers in Soufflenheim 02 - by Miki

It was the 19th of August 2000, probably one of the last times I was there before I moved to Spain. So, if you were there that day, and recognise yourself on the sketches, please say hello! But I doubt you will -recognise yourself I mean -, I was at that time not very good at reproducing similarity! But to be honest, I didn’t really try either, I was more interested in expressions and attitudes, more than in exact features. And what I especially loved in sketching golfers after their game, was that you could see in one second, through the body language, which kind of games they had just had: excellent or catastrophic. There was hardly anything else, especially not in Soufflenheim. And most of the time it was catastrophic.

Well, time to leave Soufflenheim now, I have nothing more to show. But I hope I will go back there one day.. and of course I would love to play the course again. Although, being out of practice, I guess I would need 100 balls for a round.. and unfortunately I gave all my balls to charity last week as I emptied my house! Well, not all, I kept the ones I was collecting, with the logos of the courses I had played around Europe and elsewhere. But I don’t think I could ever bring myself to play and lose them!

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

Sell Art Online

Photography Prints

Oh, yes, and if after having bought my paintings, you still have some money left, you can buy my house in Albir, Costa Blanca. It is quite cheap on the market right now, a real deal, think of it as an investment: it will assume a huge value as soon as I am dead, me being the famous just-passed-away artist Miki! 🙂

Cafe Life in Germany

1999 in "Cafe Filou" in Reute - By Miki

I explained in my last post “Back To My German Past” that I had recently found some sketches from one of my many previous lives… more exactly from the one in Reute, a municipality  about 10 kilometres away from the wonderful town of Freiburg, in Baden-Wuertenberg and on the edge of the famous Black Forest. And I promised some insight into the cafe life in and around Reute, based on some of these sketches done on site… some of them probably drawn while drinking one of those fabulous big Weizenbeers! I certainly was having one as I painted the above sketch! “Cafe Filou” was the main Gasthaus in Reute, a very cool place, where the whole town, young and not-so-young people gathered most every evening, to have some drinks or a meal. Or to have a date. This was THE place where to find a new girl or boyfriend if you had inadvertently lost one. A typically German place, with loads of wood and beer and solid tasty food… and allowing intimacy as well as social interaction if you needed to… I just loved it! And of course I loved the name, “Filou”, a French word, which my dictionary inelegantly translates into “crook, cheat”. Well, I suppose you don’t have any filous in English speaking countries, as a filou is nothing of that. It must be something typically French. I don’t know if you have heard from Arsene Lupin, the gentleman thief, but he was a typical filou. In fact, a guy doing very naughty stuff, but doing it with such a charm that one can’t help forgiving him, and even loving him! Normally used for a guy, but my mother sometimes calls me that, when I am especially “cheeky”… and honestly, I am, deep inside, a filou… but so deep that only my mother can know… and Kevin of course – who just told me that ‘rascal’ is perhaps the closest approximation to filou! But this, to my French ears, is far less delightful!

I Am Only Here For My Beer - by Miki

The above sketch was drawn in Cafe Conditorei Cappuccino, in Hochdorf-Freiburg. This also was a great place, but more for the morning or the afternoon. The Milch Café were served in immense bowls with much foam on top, gargantuan mueslies and fruit-salad yoghurts in huge crystal dishes .The cakes you could get with them were just soooo tasty, lecker as they say there! Most people indeed went there for breakfast, especially business men when they had their morning break like the guy with the tie in the background. I do miss sometimes the food from Germany, there was something quite gemütlich in it. Gemütlich, a word I could never find an appropriate translation for in French. In English I would say something like “cosy”… well, I guess the French don’t like it cosy, they just like it filou!

But even though it was more of a breakfast or afternoon cafe, you could also see people drinking beer there, at any time of the day… and when it happened to be in the morning, it was usually a lonely person and a very sad view indeed…

And now a last sketch from that time in Germany. I believe though that the subject is universal!

You drink too much! - by Miki

I am wondering though if times have changed since 2000, the date when that drawing was done … is it perhaps more the men nowadays moaning after their women that they drink and smoke too much? Possible, isn’t it? The world has changed so much these last 10 years…  🙂

So, this was my trip back to my past in Reute. It was fun to relive this time through these sketches. As I always notice, sketches and paintings have a much deeper and much more emotional memory value than photographs. Probably because when one does them, one generally goes much deeper into the subject, and stays much longer on it, even if the sketches are quickly done, like mine normally are.

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

Sell Art Online

Sell Art Online

Photography Prints

And more generally you can see ALL THE STUFF I paint by going to my gallery “Miki’s Enchanted World”.

Trip to Morocco 02

Moroccan Market 01 - by Miki

As promised in my last post “Trip to Morocco 01”, I have created some more watercolour paintings from Morocco, focussing on the Moroccan markets. The markets are I think what most amazed me there, probably even more than the tourist attractions such as the Medinas of Marrakesh and Essaouira.

In the painting above, there is a woman sitting by the side of the steps, one of the rare women I saw in these markets. But I was told by a local that the women do go to the markets, just very early in the morning, while we are still sleeping, dreaming of our breakfast… They know exactly what they want and  do their shopping very quickly. For the men, however, it seems to be more of a social event . I also got the impression that the men buy and sell all kinds of tat, just for the sake of it! It reminded me of my boyfriends and brothers when they were small, they just spent their time swapping whatever they had!

Like these guys in the painting below… no idea what that lively old man eagerly stepping across on the white board was expecting to buy from the seller sat on the ground… I personally saw only little bits of wood there!

Moroccan Market 02 - by Miki

I’m wondering also what the two guys were looking so fascinated by in the little bucket… some worms probably (!) … but I did not dare to go nearer to check… I just took a photo and escaped before I got shouted at!

Moroccan Market 03 - by Miki

The Moroccan Market 03 is in fact part of my series “My dear old people”, and is called (“Together Old in Morocco 01”), featuring old people from around the world, in their daily life, lonely or together. A series very dear to my heart, as I have a very sweet spot for all people. Here is another one

Together Old in Morocco 02 - by Miki

These two old guys looked so sweet!!!!! Portraits in watercolour is not so easy, and I have hardly painted any in my life, being more used to portraying in pastel and coloured pencils.  But well, it will do for now. It would be worth a real portrait though, focussing on the faces… one day maybe! As we say in Spain “Manana!”, meaning “probably never!”

So, enough with Moroccan markets for today, it’s time to go home and eat now!  🙂

These paintings are  available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Just click on the widgets below to access my FAA store

Art Prints

Photography Prints

Photography Prints

Photography Prints

And more generally you can see all the stuff I paint by going to my gallery “Miki’s Enchanted World”. Just click -gently!- on my face.

A Summer Trip to The Czech Republic 02

Welcome to The Czech Republic 04 - by Miki

As I made a painting trip through Italy in Spring 2011, I was fascinated by the shops and restaurant entrances and windows there , full of colours and fun, reflecting so well that famous feeling of  “Dolce Vita”. This is why I started a series of paintings on the trip called “Welcome to italy”, all featuring some of the most attractive shops and restaurants I saw on my travels.

Well, I decided to extend the series to the Czech Republic, as I saw many similar attractive motifs, especially in my three days in Prague. I will probably extend the series to all the countries I will visit in the future, as I find them very representative of a country and their inhabitants, especially in the way they live their everyday lives.

Welcome to The Czech Republic 02 - by Miki

Absinthe was a big attraction in Prague, available in many places and in many forms, even as ice cream! I tried absinthe once, a long time ago as it became available again in the shops in France. A French friend brought a bottle to me, with the matching glasses.  As a French girl and artist I had to try. Well, I can tell you: the stuff is a bomb!

I gave this painting a psychedelic touch, as it was more or less how I felt 10 minutes after having drank one glass…

Welcome to The Czech Republic 01 - by Miki

Also marionettes are very popular in Prague.. quite scary sometimes! I loved them though and could have painted all of them! Wouldn’t want them in my house though, some of them looked much too real!  🙂

Welcome to The Czech Republic 03 - by Miki

I saw this little baker and his bread carriage in the window of our favourite cafe in Prague. I just adored him. And the bread too!

All these paintings are available as Giclee prints in many sizes and as Greeting Cards. If you are interested to purchase some,  visit my Fine Art America Gallery or drop me a line

Art Prints

Loneliness in Old Age in Italy

Old and Lonely in Italy 02 - by Miki

 

Seen and painted in Cortona, Tuscany, Italy at the entrance of a wine shop. Watercolour and ink.

Old and Lonely in Italy 04 - by Miki

 

Seen and painted in the medieval town Montepulciano Tuscan. Watercolour and some ink.

Old and Lonely in Italy 05 - by Miki

 

Seen and painted in Colle d’Val d’Elsa in Tuscany, Italy. To tell the whole truth, the olf guy was not really sitting alone at that cafe table… and the bottle of wine was not THAT big!  🙂 But fits well into the series.

 

Painting By Countries… in Love with Art and Our Wonderful World!

As I said before in this blog, I have started a new project, called Painting by Countries. My aim is to exhibit on that platform as many paintings from around the world (scapes, towns,  nature, people, folklore) as possible, the challenge being to gradually cover the globe with paintings, according to the motto:

“Around the world in Arty days”

paintingbycountries.com is a site for artists and art lovers, run by an artist. I would love to invite painters from around the world to join me.

It is amazing how difficult it is nowadays to find artist interested in exhibiting their art in such places, even if it is free. I often wonder which is the reason. I suppose it has to do with mistrust, and doubts. But when you think about it, what is the risk here? I don’t see any, on the contrary. I give the artists the possibility to exhibit their work for free, linking them wherever they want, not even asking to upload good files, just good enough for the screen, so no risk to get stolen and misused on the net. Or do they think they are too good? I don’t know, but I find it worrying. For what is all this art good if nor to be seen and enjoyed?

Well, luckily, there are still artists who behave normally, and join. I want to welcome today our new member in Painting By Countries, Ion Vincent Danu, a wonderful artist and man born in Romania, and living in Canada. His works featuring landscapes and people from mainly Romania and Canada will be a great addition to the site.

Baie St Paul, Quebec, Canada - By Ion Vincent Danu

If you are yourself one of this artists who would love to go around the world with us in arty days, just contact me at

miki@paintingbycountries.com.

As I said, it is FREE, and you can link each exhibited artwork to wherever you want.

I would like  to add that my activity there is purely guided by my love for the art and our wonderful World!

Souls in Hell

Souls in Hell - by Miki

Acrylics painting

I painted this piece some years ago, starting randomly. By “randomly” I mean  putting some colours on the canvas, red to start with as I often do when I paint this way: red, orange, yellow, pink, these are the colours which seem to fire my fantasy. Anyway the painting turned out quite dramatic, and some people seeing it said it looked like people in hell. I have no idea what my finger and my brushes meant to represent, but when I look at the finished painting, I do see people going through fire, or at least their ghosts, or at the very least their souls.

I often wonder what people think when they see such a picture. Do they think the artist is in pain? A real mess? Going through Hell? Wishing other people to Hell?

I can assure you, none of them is true where I’m concerned. I have a wonderful life with a wonderful man and I wish all people the best. But Art really is a strange thing in this sense. Well, the whole human brain is strange (and therefore so exciting!). The weirdest things can come out when one lets the brain run free. This is really like dreams. My dreams are incredibly weird, and if I did not know better about my conscious state of mind, I would think I am ripe for the asylum…

Anyway, I had forgotten this painting, and  found it again yesterday among older stuff. I put it in my FAA gallery and got instantaneously the following comments, which I just find GREAT!:

“Whether one believes in the concept of hell or not, it is part of everyone’s world view. This is a fantastic rendering of the concept. I love this!”

“What a powerful and insightful expression of the human condition. Outstanding and masterful!”

“just read Dante’s Divine Comedy – you work is very much in the mood. Great painting!”

If you want to buy a print or a greeting card of this painting (which I sincerely doubt, who wants to buy souls in hell? apart perhaps from soul savers?!!!!   🙂  ). just click on the widget below

Sell Art Online

In Search of Lost Hope…

Illustrations by Emmanuel Baliyanga

Some time ago I presented a new artist to you, new to me and new to most of the world I reckon – Emmanuel Baliyanga, born in Rwanda and now living in Cameroon. Apart from being an accomplished artist, he is working right now in a book publishing company, making books designs and covers. In the meanwhile, we have developed a great relationship, and I gradually discover this wonderful guy who never ceases to surprise me,

I managed to convince Emmanuel to start showing his work in the internet, something he thought was impossible as I met him, considering the little logistic facilities in his country. He did not realise. I think, that it does not matter where you are, as long as you can get a connection to the internet, you can always exhibit your work there without facilities of your own, apart from the possibility to digitally photograph or scan your work.. I explained to him that there are now many galleries for artists on the net, where you can upload your work, have your own exhibiting space, etc. There is not really something like Africa on the net.

Well, the result being that Emmanuel has now got his own gallery in Fine Art America, in Art Majeur and in my 2 theme sites Painting by Countries and Painting the Music. Recently he has even started his own blog, called “Painting Africa”. I am extremely impressed by his work, his courage and his intelligence. His past life has been a tragedy, and has destroyed in him the ability to hope, but when I see all these qualities which inhabit him, I can’t help to hope that he will find hope again. I have no doubt that the world will love to discover him and his work, as I have done,  and we all together will certainly contribute to give him his hope back.

I post here an example of a work he did. He illustrated a dictionary about Negro-African celebrities. the dictionary is full of portraits by him of these celebrities. He also designed the cover, which I found wonderful. And if you want to see more,  especially the back cover of the book, go to his blog.

He will post regularly there his new paintings, and also his past work, books illustrations, newspapers caricatures, etc.