Monday, June 23, 2014

notre dame des anges (again)

notre dame des anges (intense), frank waaldijk
notre dame des anges with shells (own work, 2013-2014, 55 x 80 cm, click on the image for an enlargement)

well, i worked hard on this painting, and yet it's like i'm still feeling my way around... perhaps this is a sign of finally reaching a stage where the result is not in my own hands. this might seem strange for an artist, but if i really want to reach other planes, then at some point i must allow for results that are difficult to judge from where i'm currently standing.

which is why i think the painting is finished. it is what it is, and in reality it touches me with its colour, form, and expression (although the photo doesn't capture all of this very well).

[repeated from previous posts: the woman portraits made in this series share the name `notre dame des anges´. this is a reference to the `medieval´ spirituality i mentioned above. but the portraits are of course not a depiction of maria. they are intended as portraits of contemporary women emanating this type of spirituality which i find hard to describe.
in this series i experiment with all sorts of visual elements. you can see that i do not shy away from outsider-like techniques. at the same time, i'm also studying the human form and face, as a means of expressing spirituality, vulnerability, openness, unarmedness etc.]

street art project by google

google launched a wonderful project: street art on google view.

i'm a longtime fan of street art, for various reasons. one of these reasons is that street art relates closely to the human need for artistic (visual) expression, stripped from commercial and elitist considerations.

you can of course wonder why i do not engage in street art myself...

but that is a question of circumstance and personality. i'm shy to perform in public, and i'm also not at ease with anti-street-art legislation. if i would have a commission, and if i could work in reasonable peace, it would be different... so i can see myself doing murals (i did some inside murals long ago, and it was very inspiring) but only if the wall in question is given to me freely and explicitly.

nonetheless i have great respect for many street artists who are more daring in their approach, and who create wonderful pieces for everyone to see. in my opinion, we need art very dearly in this technocratic society. and this whole capitalistic structure where a very few rich people control all the infrastructure, buildings, land...why? do not all people have a right to this earth?

street art is a way of challenging these rigid and corrupt societal structures, in a way that i often find endearing and enriching. we need societal change. we really do. so instead of wasting our attention on football and fickle politicians and corrupt bankers and other media `stars', why not simply go look at art once in a while?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

museum van bommel van dam (15 june - 10 august 2014)

from 15 june - 10 august 2014 i'm participating in the art event

join in!

in museum van bommel van dam (modern art, venlo, the netherlands)

mountain blaze, frank waaldijk

mountain blaze (78 x 200 cm)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

exhibition `dance' in galerie meander 18 may - 20 july

from 18 may - 20 july 2014 i will participate in


a theme exhibition in galerie meander, zevenaar (near arnhem)

exhibition of dance art, galerie meander

dance has always been important to me, and is a main theme in my drawings for over 25 years. also on this blog you will find many posts related to dance.

you are of course cordially invited to come see the show.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

LaTeX in blogger

you may or may not be aware that i also maintain a math & science & philosophy blog. an important reason for starting this as a separate blog on wordpress was that the mathematical typesetting of formulas used to be difficult on blogger. but recently things have changed, and now it is possible to use LaTeX (math formatting language/software) also in blogger, through the platform of mathjax, see here how to run this on blogger.

so, just because i like math formulas also aesthetically, let me write some simple formula here. Let $f:\mathbb{R}\rightarrow\mathbb{R}$ be given by:


whatever that may mean... and i'm left with the problem of deciding whether i should integrate the two blogs or not...

[update: since this post scores way too high on google search, let me include the instructions for installing mathjax:

to get mathjax to work in blogger, go to your blogger account. click through to your blog's dashboard called `overview', and then click `template' on the left-hand menu. (at this point i myself always backup first, top right side). next click "edit html". after the first <head> you see, paste:

<script src='' type='text/javascript'>  
        HTML: ["input/TeX","output/HTML-CSS"],
        TeX: { extensions: ["AMSmath.js","AMSsymbols.js"],
               equationNumbers: { autoNumber: "AMS" } },
        extensions: ["tex2jax.js"],
        jax: ["input/TeX","output/HTML-CSS"],
        tex2jax: { inlineMath: [ ['$','$'], ["\\(","\\)"] ],
                   displayMath: [ ['$$','$$'], ["\\[","\\]"] ],
                   processEscapes: true },
        "HTML-CSS": { availableFonts: ["TeX"],
                      linebreaks: { automatic: true } }

you can now use $...$ or \(...\) for inline equations, and $$...$$ or \[...\] for displaying equations centered in their own line.]

art appreciation a century ago and today...

some time ago i came across the book of tea written in 1906 by okakura kakuzō. and i was surprised to see what he had to say on the subject of art appreciation, in chapter v:


V. Art Appreciation

...[i omit the beginning of the chapter]

It is much to be regretted that so much of the apparent enthusiasm for art at the present day has no foundation in real feeling. In this democratic age of ours men clamour for what is popularly considered the best, regardless of their feelings. They want the costly, not the refined; the fashionable, not the beautiful. To the masses, contemplation of illustrated periodicals, the worthy product of their own industrialism,would give more digestible food for artistic enjoyment than the early Italians or the Ashikaga masters, whom they pretend to admire. The name of the artist is more important to them than the quality of the work. As a Chinese critic complained many centuries ago, “People criticise a picture by their ear.” It is this lack of genuine appreciation that is responsible for the pseudo-classic horrors that today greet us wherever we turn.

Another common mistake is that of confusing art with archæology. The veneration born of antiquity is one of the best traits in the human character, and fain would we have it cultivated to a greater extent. The old masters are rightly to be honoured for opening the path to future enlightenment. The mere fact that they have passed unscathed through centuries of criticism and come down to us still covered with glory commands our respect. But we should be foolish indeed if we valued their achievement simply on the score of age. Yet we allow our historical sympathy to override our æsthetic discrimination. We offer flowers of approbation when the artist is safely laid in his grave. The nineteenth century, pregnant with the theory of evolution, has moreover created in us the habit of losing sight of the individual in the species. A collector is anxious to acquire specimens to illustrate a period or a school, and forgets that a single masterpiece can teach us more than any number of the mediocre products of a given period or school. We classify too much and enjoy too little. The sacrifice of the æsthetic to the so-called scientific method of exhibition has been the bane of many museums.

The claims of contemporary art cannot be ignored in any vital scheme of life. The art of today is that which really belongs to us: it is our own reflection. In condemning it we but condemn ourselves. We say that the present age possesses no art:—who is responsible for this? It is indeed a shame that despite all our rhapsodies about the ancients we pay so little attention to our own possibilities. Struggling artists, weary souls lingering in the shadow of cold disdain! In our self-centered century, what inspiration do we offer them? The past may well look with pity at the poverty of our civilisation; the future will laugh at the barrenness of our art. We are destroying the beautiful in life. Would that some great wizard might from the stem of society shape a mighty harp whose strings would resound to the touch of genius.


well, a lot of the above still seems true today, in my eyes. yet it is somewhat heartening to see that other people recognize this as a problem too. maybe in another century's time things will be different :-)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

vincent van gogh ... speechless

van gogh - lane near arles
vincent van gogh, a lane near arles (painted 1888)

at age 48 i'm still astounded and usually speechless when i look at vincent van gogh's paintings and drawings. we all have our own story to tell, therefore no artist should have the need to be envious, but i am envious nonetheless, more than i would normally expect of myself. not that i would want to paint the same kind of painting ... it goes deeper. i am looking and have been looking for a long time to paint in a similarly intense and personal way, but with a similar link to reality.

it remains utterly inspiring and at the same time daunting for me to see how brilliantly vincent achieved this in his paintings. look at the above, the incredible colours, but also the incredibly effective mix of detailing and broad brush strokes. and this is just one of countless masterworks. thank you vincent, you are the wordless answer to all those sceptical and non-appreciative of art.