2020 – 2: Update

Study for Wormwood

So the year 2020 is now 12 days old and the festivities are over, so it’s time for a roundup.

First of all I wanted to update my site but since I updated to the latest WP app, it has been acting up. Either it’s a problem of the plug-ins interfering with something or there’s a problem on WP’s end. In any case, I’m postponing the update for a week, hopefully it will all be solved by then.

Art school: So far I have finished only one real painting this year, apart from numerous studies, so that is not going great. Also I am quite frustrated with my lack of progress. I am not sure where the problem lies: maybe I did not spend enough time on it (I couldn’t because of all the other obligations), maybe I should take more drawing lessons, maybe I’ve reached my limit. Anyway, I don’t know where I’m going. I have started two paintings last week but my heart is not in it. We’ll see how it goes.

Work at home: same situation. I have decided I will finish what I still have lying around first instead of starting numerous paintings that will lie around neglected.

The days are still very short so in the evenings I am going to spend time on the quest and do some further research on the 1400’s. I also need to clear out my workroom because I had to store some stuff that came from my parents. The room is a huge mess at the moment with no room for books or laptops on the table or anywhere else. That’s something for next week.

A typical resolution is to exercise more etc, but I’m already doing that so no need to do more, except add some training at home with sword and bow.

Foodwise I have cut milk products, alcohol and bread from the menu. I’ve become intolerant to something and I don’t know what it is yet. We’ll see how that goes. The only thing I know is that vegan cheese is absolutely disgusting. Same goes for most non-alcoholic beer, lol.


2020 – 1

First post of the year. It’s strange how much things can change in a couple weeks…

First week of the Christmas holiday was mostly spent removing the last items and rubbish from the house of my parents. Second week was spent on the couch, being ill. Backlash of the rather tiring weeks before and some virus that was going around.

Still busy with the Bold, but I’m swimming around in murky waters and can’t see where I’m heading. Everything is connected but there is a giant Gordian knot in the middle I have to entangle first.

Painted a great many, mostly small scenes on paper the past few weeks. Every now and then I put something on IG, not sure if I should keep doing that. The walls have ears. I should put more stuff on this site, I have more time now. (Until some new issue/task comes up, that is…)

Finished watching The Witcher and Lost in Space, and this weekend when we were away I watched Wolf Hall on my laptop in the evenings while the rest were playing boardgames. A few years ago I got the book as a present but I couldn’t get through it, the style of writing is very confusing. The tv series is quite good, though. The main actor is convincing (though not so fond of the one playing Henry VIII and Claire is also a bit too much over the top) and the costumes and props, and the lighting looked realistic.

Last weekend we were away on the tradition annual in law family gathering, somewhere in the Ardennes. Here are some pics:

Marcourt village
The Ourthe river. The white chapel on the hill is St Thibaud’s chapel.
The chapel’s interior.
According to the info sign, the remains of the watchtower of the old castle lie under this hill. It was destroyed in 1413 by order of Anthony of Burgundy/Brabant, brother of John the Fearless, Charles the Bold’s grandfather. Anthony died a couple years later, in the battle of Agincourt (i.e. the battle that Henry V won).
There are cabins in the woods, and then there are toilets in the woods.
Not going to make the obvious joke again (medieval cars)…

Speaking with birds


Yeet

Detail of a painting in the Brussels Old Masters museum.

Yeet is het tienerwoord van het jaar; voor de rest is dat voor deze post niet van belang. Onze kat is weliswaar nog een halve puber maar de enige keer dat die yeet zegt is wanneer ik per ongeluk op zijn staart ga staan.

Ik ben momenteel bezig met a) correcties aan een paar schilderijen die ik begin dit jaar geschilderd heb b) verder werken aan Brexit c) het schilderen van Karels opgepofte wambuis.

Voor de rest ben ik aan het zwoegen om het schilderen van witte drapages wat meer onder de knie te krijgen. Ook op de academie (waar ik dit en volgend jaar min of meer vrij mijn onderwerp mag kiezen) ben ik vrijwillig aan een studie van een gedrapeerd wit kledingstuk begonnen maar het is lijden met veel bloed, zweet en tranen. Goed uitziende witte drapages vind ik een van moeilijkste dingen om te schilderen. Op YouTube zijn er massa’s instructiefilmpjes te vinden maar ze zijn voor het overgrote deel erg zwak. Uit boeken kun je het al helemaal niet leren. Kijken naar “live” voorbeelden en het gebruik van props en een goede belichting is nog het beste, maar zelfs dan… Er zijn maar weinig schilders echt heel goed in. Velazquez, bijvoorbeeld. Een van de meer geslaagde weergaves (de foto is jammer genoeg niet zo goed) vind ik ook de lendendoek van Christus op een schilderij in de Oude Meesters in Brussel. Ik weet helaas wel niet meer van wie het was.


Nancy and the Fallen Prince

The picture in this video is a portrait by Titian of Charles Quint, the great grandson of Charles the Bold, btw.

Activities of the past days:

a) Had a bad reaction to the tetanus booster so I was incapacitated for three days. Condition is slowly improving now. Bingewatched tons of Finnish detective series.

b) Spent time on my own detective work. Read some more articles about Charles the Bold. Conclusion: everybody hated him. Some compared him to Lucifer, the fallen angel. The Bold fell too, in the end, quite literally, from his horse, on the battlefield before Nancy in 1477.

c) Threw away a large number of old bad paintings

d) Spent some time going through old parish records. Around 1750, one of my ancestors from around Liège went to get married in a French village somewhere west of Nancy. I’m quite curious about the how and why and how he met his future wife but as I don’t have a time machine, I’ll never know the truth. It’s also interesting that it was close to the Woëvre forest, where Dagobert II was assassinated. But Dagobert, though linked to the quest, is a completely different story.


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