The Italian Job 01 – Imperia

Imperia in italy 02 - Travel sketch by Miki

Before we arrived in Italy we spent a few days in France, where I sketched a bit. Right now I don’t know where these sketches are, they kind of disappeared into one of the many secret holes of “Boo” (new nickname for our Boomobile… ), but at some point they will probably reappear and land on the conveyor belt of my production line…

For now, let us go to Italy. It was the Second of April 2011. Some distance before the border between France and Italy, on the Cote d’Azur,  we had abandoned the National street for the highway. In Italy our first contact with an Italian person was the woman at the toll station, well equipped with a charming, welcoming body language. Nothing better than entering a new country and getting at once the feeling  to be wanted! We paid the highway fees and that lovely lady opened her mouth to say:

“Grazie!”

Well, as I commented to Kevin,”There was a whole Italian opera told in this one word!”. The way that woman spoke it was beyond what we normally call language, it took her ages to arrive at the final letter, and the accompanying music was of the most surrealistic kind. From that moment I knew I would never be able to speak Italian, never find the patience and motivation to spend so much time and drama to deliver one word. Later on, every time I heard Italians speaking, my first impression was confirmed. Quite a disappointment to me, as I wanted to learn Italian!

After having left the highway, we drove directly to the coast, in search of a place for the night. We eventually stopped in Imperia, a beautiful little town about 40 kilometres North of San Remo. We had a walk though the town, eager to capture the first impression of Italy. What impressed us here, and would never cease to impress us for the rest of the trip, was the size of the buildings: Great, towering, imposing edifices.

I did some ink and watercolour sketches, and thought of staying one day more there as I saw many attractive motifs. But well, we had just started the trip, and I would probably see millions of stuff to sketch. Better learn from the very beginning to let it go…

Imperia in Italy 02 – Travel sketch by Miki

You can see more sketches and paintings from Imperia in my Fine Art America gallery.

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2011 Valentines Countdown 01: I’ll be OK…

I'll be OK... - by Miki

The Valentines Countdown today is dedicated to all people in the world who are actually not with  their sweetheart to celebrate Valentine together, or who haven’t got a sweetheart at all… I know many people in this situation, and I feel immensely sorry fro them, from the bottom of my heart. If I had a magic wand I would change that…

I want to say to these people, especially the ones who haven;t got any love partner, that they should not lose the hope. I met my wonderful partner exactly in a moment when I less expected it, and in fact when I had decided to stop looking for it. Love is there, in each tiniest corner of our space-time, and there is enough of it for anybody. But to get it, I think it is very important to always keep the eyes and especially the mind open for new ideas,  experiences and adventures. And also trust fate, and  let it make its job, as fate is quite good at “planning” the right encounters…. :-)…

HAPPY VALENTINE 2011!


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2011 Valentines Countdown 03: Valentine Duval and his Love Wave

Here is the artwork with which Kev Moore will enter the Valentine’s art competition in our local Gallery “El Retiro” in Turre. With such a name and his heart-shaped guitar, that cute musician will surely be very welcome in the show and break many hearts!

Valentine Duval - by Kev Moore

By the way: it will be the first time that Kevin exhibits publicly one of his art works. This will be followed by a solo exhibition on the 11th of March, where he will present about 25 of his recent character paintings, all striking by their vibrant colours, the love of details and the humour.I wish him good luck for this new artist career.

As for myself, I will exhibit one of my Lovescapes, called “Love Wave”.

This painting is meant to show how I feel every time I think of Valentine Duval’s Father!  🙂

Love Wave - by Miki

HAPPY VALENTINE 2011!

Both paintings are available as prints and greeting cards in Fine Art America. Just click on the widgets below


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Hen Love

Not that I love hen so much… I find they don’t have lovely and kind eyes, in fact their eyes are quite hard. And I don’t like the noises they produce, it really does not sound like music to my ears. Well perhaps I ma too hard with them, as I know a wonderful person who cherishes very much her hen, and always makes wonderful paintings of them, the most beautiful chicken paintings I ever seen of . In her paintings you can really see her love for her chicken. I am speaking here of Susan Cornelis.

Well I was working on one more of my new impressions: this time it was 2 chicken which appeared on my painting. I emphasized them, and here they are.

Hen Love - by Miki

The chicken heads were inspired by photos I saw on the net. I am not  familiar enough with these animals to be able to paint them from memory in the accuracy I wanted them here, as a contrast to their bodies which gradually vanish into the background.

I heard Kevin laughing as he read my title. He explained to me that the general name is chicken, and then there are the female chicken, hen, and the males, cocks. So apparently, I have painted a couple of lesbian chicken. Have I really? No idea if my chicken on the painting are hen or cocks or both! I must admit here I have no anatomic chicken knowledge! But I do know their wings taste wonderful on the grill with some special barbecue species!

If you chicken couple, you can buy a print or a greeting card directly online by clicking on the widget below

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The Art of Cycling 01

Cycling 01 "Yime Lines" - By Miki

Acrylics on Canvas – 80 x 60 cm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Epiphany… Epifunny!

Epiphany - by Miki

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

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

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

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

Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin!

Isn’t it very EPI-FUNNY?!

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Times of The Day

These days I am going through older watercolour paintings b me (well, between 2 and 4 years old), a series of “simple” landscape paintings evoking the different times of the day: dawn, early morning, midday, early afternoon, late afternoon, nightfall, sunset… In fact they look simple, but well, when i look at some of them, i really haven’t got a clue how i reached some of the effects! I just know that they are painted very fast, from memory/fantasy, without thinking, and somehow they are meant to be just emotional impressions… with, like always, a big weight on the colours.

Here are some examples

Dawn 01

Early Morning 02

Early Morning 11

Midday 06

Early Afternoon 12

Late Afternoon 13

Sunset 05

Nightfall 07

You can see a big selection of them, and even buy prints online in different sizes in my RedBubble Gallery

Also they are available in my Fine Art America Gallery

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