Sunday, January 25th
Lucerne - Switzerland - Hotel-room 10pm

...I visited the mirror-palace, it reminds me of my childhood, of those mirror-palaces at the Brussels-fair, where we got through, bouncing our head against those mirror-walls, while the people outside were laughing. This one is much better. By the way, do you know that you can get through 75% of maze by always turning rights - or always left...
...I visited also the Picasso-museum and have been attracted by an oil-painting of a boy looking at a lady who’s doing her hair ‘La coiffure’, where you can see the principle of his ‘art’ – looking at a person or an object by all the sides at the same time. But the image that impressed me the most was a photograph of the master himself, putting his first stroke of paint on a ‘virgin’-white canvas. It makes me think of the text I’ve written a week ago for my first exhibition, where I talked about the moment of creation. Then, thanks to the beautiful weather, went to the Tribschen-peninsula, where Richard Wagner lived a couple of years. Even if the museum was closed (I knew it beforehand), walking through the neighborhood gave me some kind of satisfaction. Afterwards went to the museum of art (in their temporary rooms till 2000). It was the first time that they asked me to put a cow - really a little object that sounds like a cow if you turn it up-side down – by the object of art that I disliked the most. I’ve put it on a kind of sound-art-environment that irritated me from the moment I’ve entered the room till the moment I left. But my god … what is art expensive. Should I reconsider my prices for my first exhibition in March?...

Thursday, April 15th - late at home

Started on the new painting with pencil on the canvas of 220 cm on 60 cm.
I have drawn the main perspective of the whole. The main perspective-horizon is on 1/3rd of the height of the canvas. Two decagons put in the perspective. The lower one will be the water pool, the upper-one (above the horizon) will be the opening in the roof so you can see the sky. Drawn the ten columns-angles. This was not a easy task.

Sunday, May 2nd - evening in Longueville

Talked about the next exhibition in October 1999. I've seen the walls where my big paintings will be exhibited ... if they are finished ...

Monday, May 3rd - late at home

Worked on the new painting with pencil on the canvas.
I have drawn 9 of the 10 columns of the construction, all plants.

Tuesday, May 4th - late at home

Worked on the new painting with pencil on the canvas.
I've drawn part of the upper construction (roof) of the architecture, there will be leaves overlapping each other forming the roof of the construction. The columns will hold the roof up by holding it at the top or by going through the roof. The roof will be transparent, so you can see the light shining lightly through. Around the water-pool there will be views under the construction (roof) and in the distance there will be more of these pools. The subjects of the columns seem right except for one which I'll change when painting.

Thought about the next painting too. Will have the same format but instead of having the water in the pool, there will be air in it (so we assume that we are in the water). And the columns will not be plants but water creatures. The roof will be closed, so we will be in a sort of cave.

Listened to Tosca with La Callas after my session.

Sunday, May 9th - late at home

Searched sites for the Belgian Artists Ring (If you know some don't hesitate to send the addresses to me).

Monday, May 10th - at office

Listened to El Greco of Vangelis : the music I almost listened to continuously when I painted 'the unexpected visitor'. Wants to put the first painting on the canvas tonight while listening to this music ... we will see ...

Thursday, May 13th (holiday) -

- late in the afternoon

Made a 10 km (a little over 6 miles) walk through the wood and fields ... question to breath the spring colors and forms into my brain ... I feel that I shall paint tonight ... there will be a metal (I think bronze) wood around the water pool of my painting with golden leaves making the roof ...

- late at home

At last ... I started with the oil paint on my new painting (the water basin). I think I needed the walk this afternoon. It perhaps childish to say but I think I did not started to paint because I needed to see those trees in the forest and all the greens this afternoon !! Worked for two hours and painted almost completely the sky ... used cereliumblue, sky-blue, a bit of cadmiumbleu and a lot of white ...

Listened to Dreamtime Return from Steve Roach (real floating music) during the session ... glad my wife offered me the wireless headphones ...

Friday, May 14th - morning drive to office and early at the office

Thinking about the three painting I need to finish before October.

The first will be the current one (220 cm x 60 cm) :
A water basin with grass around it (that's new) and a bronze wood surrounding it holding a golden-leaves roof. Around the water basin ten columns of metal plants.

The second one could be (same size 220 cm x 60 cm) :
The same as before but the air will be in the basin and the water in the sky .. the ten columns should be more coral  and other underwater plants like algae's ... (yes I know corals are no plants but animals)

The third one could be (150cm x 150 cm) :
A grass basin surrounded by air (so you can see the roots of the trees that surrounds the grass-basin) golden-leaves sky and water-roof ...

I think this could be nice ... we'll see ...

Sunday, May 16th - evening in Brussels

Went to a concert in the 'Paleis voor Schone Kunsten' (translation: Palace for Beautiful Arts') On the program : symphonic orchestra of the opera house 'De Munt' with choir and solo conducted by Antonio Pappano. They played first 'Le tombeau resplendissant' of Olivier Messiaen (superb piece) and the 'Messa di Gloria' de Giacomo Puccini (a bit to easy for me).

Thursday, May 20th & Friday, May 21st - at home

Took a few days off to paint. wednesday too but my little girl felt from the stairs and she stayed at home ... so no painting session that day.

The two other days went very well. I painted the rest of the background - greenish construction, brown basin for the grass and green-bleu water around it. Yes, I changed my initial idea. There will be a grass-basin and water around it (inversion of initial idea). On  Friday searched a gold-color and found it by melting cadmium-yellow and cadmium-red as base, cadmium-yellow and white for the light-reflections and a bit of VanDyck-brown for the dark-side. Tried it out on the pallet and it gives a good result. Started to paint the first border on the top-construction - a golden tube ...

Listened to the complete Ring des Nibelungen of Wagner (till the first act of Der Götterdämmerung - which gives a idea of the number of hours worked on it : 12 hours in 2 days).

Sunday, May 23rd - morning at home

Before going to visit friends in Brussels painted a little more on the first border in gold (2 hours paint-session).

Monday, May 24th (holiday in Belgium) - afternoon at home

My wife and children went to visit family - stayed at home to finish the first golden border.

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During the next sessions I need to finish the border of the decagon (10-sides) on the top-level and start the golden leaves of the roof.
Completed listening to the the end of the Ring of Wagner (another 2 hours).

Saturday, 29th - afternoon at home

My wife and children are in the garden and I painted for a few hours on the upper-construction while listening to The Messias of Haendel. It will take time to finish the painting.

Thursday, June 3rd - evening in Longueville

A friend took me with him to visit a lady who makes sculptures. She lives in a little house with beside it a working room almost as big as her house, the whole surrounded by a beautiful garden. In the garden naturally her art-works. She was working on a series of wigwams in lost-wax-method-bronze (really superb). And also she was making a textile of woven paper that she is going to inlay into long wooden pieces. I love the way she lives, lonely in her house.

Friday, June 4th - evening at the opera

Took a friend at the opera : Verdi's Rigoletto. Beautiful music and lovely voices. I had some remarks on the scenic part. Stéphane Braunschweig put coffins throughout the scenic action. I can imagine his ideas behind it, but for Verdi's music I find it a bit dark. All by all a good evening and 6 out of 10 points.

Sunday, July 4th - evening before the pc

Helping a lady with her art-site, she got magnificent modern art. You can find her site on the Links-page.
Set an image of my new painting on my site. Got to finish it ...

Tuesday, August 17th - evening at home

Been on holiday in Turkey (just before the earthquake) ... no art where I've been, and no time to search for it. Been depressive for a while - had problems to start working again. Listening to music does a lot to me ... started to work again on the current paintings. Completed the golden top-construction and started to add the golden leaves of the roof. Has to finish for end September ... and it takes time to finish my 'fine' art paintings ...

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Monday, August 23rd - evening at home

Started on the next painting (150 cm x 150 cm) by putting the complete background on it.
A sky with clouds.

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Wednesday, August 25th - evening at home

Started with the grass on the golden leave shrine nr 1.

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Friday, August 27th & Saturday, August 28th - at home

Finished the grass on the golden leave shrine nr 1. Liked the way I did it and wants to share it with others ... why not put the technique on my site ... will work on that issue.

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Monday, August 30th - evening at home

Worked on the first upper golden leave on the golden leave shrine nr 1 ... gives a good effect ... but still a lot of leaves to do ...

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Thursday, September 2nd till Saturday, September 4th - ill in bed

The problem is when I get ill, I am really ill - laying in bed, fever, hot-cold feeling, can not work on the paintings - three days lost.

Sunday, September 5th - evening in Brussels

Went to a concert in 'De Munt' in Brussels : a litle to structured Piano concerto nr 24 of Mozart and a beautiful 5th symphony of Gustav Mahler.

Worked today also on the second upper golden leave on the golden leave shrine nr 1    ...

Monday, September 6th - evening at home

Worked for a couple of hours on another leave on the upper side of golden leave shrine nr 1.

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The second painting will be the golden leave shrine nr 4 and not the third one. This 4th will be the last of the 4 for the moment. It will be easier than the 2nd and the 3rd, so I think I can manage to finish it before the exhibition. Listened at the same time to Turandot of Puccini : my god !!! this is a very strong opera. Each time I listen to it it seems stronger and stronger, especially the first act. I think the origin for the beauty of the piece is not only the music, each time I listen to it I remember the settings of the representation at the Flemish opera house in Ghent.

Tuesday, September 7th - evening at home

Worked for a couple of hours on another leave on the upper side of golden leave shrine nr 1. Slowly but surely ...
Listened again to Turandot of Puccini

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Thursday, September 9th - evening at home

Started with the reed on the right end of the painting - I am satisfied. It is going all well now... next time finish the reed and start the main subject in the middle. Afterwards I've got to finish the golden leaves. Listened to Macbeth of Verdi (almost completely - this means a 3 hour paint-session)

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Sunday, September 12th - morning at home

Painted the tree ... the real subject of the painting ... or not ?

Monday, September 13th - evening at the opera-house 'De Munt'

Went to a concert with my good friends Mimi and Johan (South Africa). It was the first time Johan saw the opera house from inside ... he is right to say that it is beautiful. French Music : Dusapin (too rough), a beautiful 'La mer' of Debussy, the superb 'Shéhérazade' of Ravel (sung by the mezzo Beatrice Uria-Monzon - very good !!!!) and Bacchus and Ariane of Roussel. It would have been better that they did not play the additional numbers (march from Damnation de Faust of Berlioz and 2 pieces of Carmen de Bizet). Afterwards went for a drink and talked about art ...   

Tuesday, September 14th - evening at home

Filled in the gap of golden leaves behind the tree and added the reed at the bottom two corners also behind the tree. It's starting to look good now ... Listened to 'The city' of Vangelis

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Wednesday, September 15th - evening at home

Painted for a few hours. Filled in other gap of golden leaves  and added the reed at the other corners (6 out of ten done now). Listened to 'Peter Grimes' of Benjamin Britten ... I think you noticed that painting and music are really linked within me. Music reaches to something inside me that is emotional ... a certain mood is created ... the stronger the music is emotionally, the better painting goes on ...

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Friday, September 17th - a day at home

Took the day off to activate the paintings ... worked on the second big golden leaves shrine (actually nr 3). Added the tree .... listened to a lot of music : 'The turn of the screw' of Benjamin Britten and a lot of others ...

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Saterday, September 18th - a day at home

Painted on the third golden leaves shrine added the golden root-leaves ...

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Monday, September 20th - evening at home

Painted on a new painting - I turned the second golden leaves shrine around a I clearly felt that I was looking at water. So I started a new painting by painting a sky-background and turned it around. I am not sure to paint golden leaves or reed in the water ... we will see. I think I maintain the golden leave theme for the moment ... Listened to Tancredi of Rossini and the first act of Turandot of Puccini (3 times ... - this one I really suggest to everybody who likes opera ant painting  - painting a background on this music is a must ...)

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Friday, September 24th - day off at home - afternoon

Worked on Golden leaves shrine nr 3 : finished the golden leaves and added some floating objects around the tree - pieces of reed and parts of the grass-object.

Saturday, September 25th - different parts of the day at home

Finished the painting of Golden leaves shrine nr 3 : added some other objects around the tree and added the signature. Listened to several music's ... too much to mention.

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Sunday, September 26th

- midday

Framed the Golde leaves shrine nr 3.

- 18h

Went with my wife to "A midsommernight's dream" of Shakespeare, in French, played by the 'Balladins du mirroir'. It is in our village that these people played it in their 'circus'. It was a subtle mixing of theater and acrobatic movements above our heads. A superb presentation ... It is a pity that these were the last presentations of this work. They had it for several years on their program. Next year a new piece will be given and they even will go to Canada with their circus. We are lucky that they reside in our little village ... I surely will go to their other works ...

Monday, September 27th - evening at home

Now I finished the previous painting (golden leaves shrine nr 3) I can work on the next one - golden leaves shrine nr 4 : painted a few golden leaves. Three in the upper right corner a fourth lower at the right side. The leaves are sunken, which means that I didn't paint part of the leaves, this way the contemplator can imagine in what they are sunken. Is it water ? Is it the sky ? ...
I think I can finish the painting tomorrow or at last Wednesday-evening. Frame it and 'ok' for the exhibition. I think I'll paint next to the golden leaves pieces of reed and wood (the tree) also submerged in the water-sky ... I am thrilled for the opening of the exhibition Friday.
Listened to 'La finta giardiniera' of Mozart and 'El Greco' of Vangelis

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Tuesday, September 28th - evening at home

Added a piece of wood and some submerging twigs. Had some difficulties to listen to music (headphone batteries empty) ... listened to El greco of Vangelis when everyone was upstairs and had to put the volume quite low ... Tomorrow will be the last day to finish the painting ...

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Friday, October 1st, Saturday, October 2nd and Sunday, October 3rd 1999
- exhibition at Longueville

My god !!! What a week-end ... Full of emotions (art-speaking and private) ... Too much to tell everything. First friday : framing the golden leaves nr 4 (almost forgot the signature), transferred the paintings to Longueville and installed them - the location is superb - saw there was a lot of space left and decided to come back to home to fetch other paintings - evening : private opening of the exhibition - already some good reactions of other artists and had long discussion with Johan (even went to the exhibition and turned around the golden leaves nr 3 - impossible to look at as the perspectives are wrong).
And then the exhibition itself ... Had some great reactions (nothing sold, but I think that isn't the point). Especially 'The unexpected visitor', 'The golden leaves shrine nr 3' and, of course, 'Dead water' were the ones the people looked at ... some people liked more the abstract ones especially the autumn series. I think all by all there must be over 1000 visitors on the whole week-end.
Very tired but satisfied ... now the private problems ...

Friday, October 15th - evening at the opera-house 'De Munt'

Went to a concert in 'De Munt' opera-house. Program : Dvorsak (variations op. 78) , Mahler (Superb 'Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen' sung by the baritone Peter Mattei - the best one of the evening for me and Mimi) and  Schumann (symphony nr 1).

Monday, October 18th - evening at home

Started to paint again : golden leaves shrine nr 2. I think it is best I prepare the background and paint this one first, it is completely finished in my head (the nr 1 is not). With pencil draw the lower decagon (ten-sided figure) in perspective (same as golden leaves shrine nr 1). Painted the whole sky. The construction will be floating above the clouds ...
Listened to 'Les contes d'Hoffman' of Offenbach.

Friday, October 22nd - concert in Tournai

I was invited to the closing-concert of the 'Festival de Wallonie'. They had no luck ... First of all the cathedral in which the concert was planned had structural problems which resulted in changement of the location ... (acoustically not so good) and after that Jose Van Dam (famous Belgian baritone) had to cancel (suicide of his son two days before) and has been replaced by the mezzo-soprano Petra ...  Van Dam planned some months ago to sing Gustav Mahler's Kindertoteslieder (songs of the dead children ... premonition ?) !!!!!! This part was very good ... I think I like more and more Mahler's lieder. Afterwards the 4th symphony of Anton Bruckner : I was very tired and yes it happened ... I almost fell asleep !!! Afterwards invited as VIP to the drink and discussed with an impresario and an artistic director ... very interesting to hear their side of the festival ...

Saterday, October 23rd - evening at home

Painted the first brown layer of the grass on Golden leaves shrine nr 2. I've done it this time with the knive and afterwards flattened-out. Listened to Vangelis (The city and El Greco).

Tuesday, October 26th - evening at the opera-house 'De Munt'

Went to 'The Entführung aus dem Serail' of Mozart. For me it was a very good performance. Singers all right (Elzbieta Szmytka as Konstanze was not so good in the first act, but she did very very well in the second act). Scenes and costumes also good. The only think that bothered me is that they build a platform that came partly above the orchestra. This way they cut the whole scene in three parts : a platform in front, a pit with an oriental water-fountain in the middle and a 'background' in which they showed in each act a different landscape (1st act : serail-room, 2nd act : a garden at night, 3rd act : garden landscape during day with broken column ?). I didn't understand why he wanted to build the platform and almost not use the second-pit-scenery. Apart from this negative issue I had a wonderfull evening.

Wednesday, October 27th - evening at home

Started with the grass on 'golden leaves shrine' nr 2 (did almost a third). Listened to 'Wish you were here' of Pink Floyd and a part of 'El Greco' of Vangelis.

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November 1st till November 4th, 1999 - vacation in Burgundies (France)

Food, wine, sleep, colors (especially the vineyards in their autumn-colors) and history (from prehistorically paintings in caves and dolmens of the Celtic age till the 18th century in Dijon ...) : absorption of many thinks into my head ...

Sunday, November 7th - evening at the opera-house 'De Munt'

This time to see a ballet : 'Just before' from Anne Theresa De Keersmaeker. Wonderful - too much to look at ... so looking from one thing to the other ... Beautiful live music performed by the Ictus Ensemble : John Cage, Steve Reich, Iannis Xenakis, Magnus Lindberg, Pierre Bartholomée, Thierry De Mey and even Claude Debussy - especially 'drumming' of Steve Reich ... Text from Jolente De Keermaeker ( by the way : I've noticed that I had problems to look at ballet and listen to text at the same time, perhaps it is the perception in the mind that causes this ... strange though !!!)

Saturday, November 13th - evening at the opera

Saw 'Carmen' of Bizet. Superb in the Royal Circus in Brussels. Normally I don't like to see an opera outside the opera-house. This time 'De Munt' used the setting of the Royal Circus to recreate the arena (so important in Carmen) and it worked ... Everybody with me agreed ... only the male voices came less over but for the rest ... superb !!!! Performances until November 25th ... Go and see for yourself ...

Sunday, December 5th - down ...

A very bad period for the moment ... I am down ... luckily I got my music to get me to higher levels ... no painting for the moment ... simply waiting for the next day ... if there is one ?
The only things I see in the near future is an opera on December 19th and perhaps new-year's eve with friends ... never been so down in my whole life ... don't see the purpose of it all ...
Is this what they call the mid-life-crises ?

Tuesday, December 7th - evening at home

I was angry ... very angry ... Took a canvas (90 cm x 90 cm) which I was preparing for fine painting, laid it on the floor, emptied on it left-over of oil-tubes (cut open with knife) and had a go on it with my fingers. Added some colors of other tubes and finished it in about 90 minutes.
Put the canvas up, sat down and looked at it. Saw immediately the figure on the left ... which reminded me of Wotan after he kissed/put to sleep his daughter Brünhilde and demands Loge to create/be a magic fire around the rocks where she shall sleep until a mortal men shall wake her.
I think I have to put a bit yellow into the red (flames/Loge) and highlighted the figure of Wotan and perhaps even Brühnhilde ... perhaps the next session. I'll put the oil on the net as soon as I've got the image ...

Wednesday, December 8th - evening at home

Just worked on the new painting for about 10 minutes. Added the front part of the spear of Wotan, the red-shine on the rocks below Wotan, changed some 'flame'-directions which were disturbing and filled in some 'gaps' ... added my signature too in the left-bottom corner. I don't think I'll touch this painting again ... I've got to leave some imagination to the viewer too ... perhaps Sunday i'll have a picture to put on my site ...

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Saturday, December 11th - morning

Bought some wood and let it cut into different sizes ...

Sunday, December 12th

- afternoon at home

Prepared the wood-panels of most part of the panels by giving them a coat of gesso ...
Thanks to Bernard and his Malvica-camera I could take some pictures of Wotan ...

- evening at home

Put 'El Greco' of Vangelis as music and painted 2 panels with a sort of bleu-green-yellowish landscapes - give them the title : Midday in the canyon

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Friday, December 17th - evening at home

Painted a wooden panel with finger/knife/brush in a few hours : 'Here comes the flood'.

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Sunday, December 19th - afternoon at the opera

Went to the new world-creation of Philippe Boesmans 'Wintermärchen' an new opera in 4 acts adapted from Shakespeare 'The winter's Tale'. It was snowing outside and on the scene ... fine production with superb setting and voices and wonderful music. For me the 3rd act (integration Jazz-music from Aka Moon - even improvising on scene) was not necessary : it broke too much the opera in two parts. Understand my point of view. I am not against integration of other kinds of music in the opera-house, it just irritated me. A superb Dale Duesing, Susan Chilcott, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Cornelia Kallish and even Heinz Zednik (known for his Loge/Mime interpretation in Cherau's Ring)... all by all a fine opera (but not as strong ad Boesmans previous opera Reigen).

Friday, December 24th - Christmas-eve

We decided to unpack the presents ... surprise ... CD 'Meddle' of Pink Floyd ... My god !!! ages ago I heard echoes !!!! Simply marvelous ...

Saturday, Decmber 25th 

- family-visit

Another music-gifts (I asked for it) : 'Rubycon' of Tangerine Dream and 'Dark side of the moon' of Pink Floyd.

- evening at home

Put signatures on 'Midday in the canyon' and 'Here comes the flood'.
Painted a second wooden panel with finger/knife/brush in a few hours : 'Here comes the flood too'.
I've given the same name to this one while he has the same colors/structure/format as the previous.

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