Thursday, July 23, 2015

Painting side effects

I love being a painter. For several reasons. The most important of course being painting itself. Nothing compares to working for hours, struggling to get it right, and at some point look at your painting from a distance and think: "Hey, now we're getting somewhere!".

The Last Quarter, oil on panel, 80 x 60 cm

Another reason is the fact that I get in touch with people from all over the globe. They share one thing: their love of painting. Every now and then I get to meet one of them in person. Like Robert Hobkirk, for example. He's an amazing guy. Lives in Northern California with his loving wife Jeannine and their dogs Belle and Molly. A few years ago he wrote me an email about my work and that was the start of an ongoing correspondence.

Last fall we met at the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam. He's 71 now, but that doesn't keep him from travelling Europe. We spent the day looking at great art, talking about the price of gas and about our favorite paintings.

Robert Hobkirk is a bit of a Renaissance-man. Not only is he the author of a great art blog, but he’s also the sculptor of wonderful objects made from stuff other people throw away. Not only does he write short stories that are both funny and sad, he’s also an amazing poet, who recently published his first book: Haiku Avenue, 333 haiku poems.

Though the classical Japanese haiku style is pretty old, Hobkirks poems are as fresh and alive as can be. The subject matter ranges from sensitive nature observations to steaks sizzling in a frying pan. I just love every one of the 333. Here's one:

Hard rain after dark
we slept in a driftwood hut
ocean snored all night

Even more recently he came out with a second book: Somewhere Poetry Grows Wilde Under the Eucalyptus. In the fall he hopes to publish some short stories and a novel is scheduled for next year. Just can't wait...

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