Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Art Replaces Trains

The old retired train station in Merida has been beautifully restored to become the new University for the Arts. Thumbs up for the Yucatan government.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Different From Ordinary

Last week was the birthday of my mother. She and my dad moved to Merida almost 2 years ago and they thouroughly enjoy living there.
A few months ago, she started a blog with stories of her childhood during WWII, her memories of Ninove - the city in Belgium where she was born, grew up, married, and eventually moved out of. My parents moved to Aalst - a larger city 15 km away from Ninove -when I was 3, to start a new business. 25 years later they emigrated to Canada, the USA and finally settled in Mexico. She writes in the Flemish language. Her story recently appeared in 2 newspaper articles in Belgium where her blog is gathering a growing number of readers.

Congratulations, mom! and Happy Birthday!

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Markets are among my favorite places to get a sense of the basic characteristics of a culture in a certain region. I love the sights, sounds, smells of all the different produce and articles of common use that are offered at the markets, be it in France, Belgium, Turkey, Morocco, Sri Lanka, or anywhere on the planet.
The following photos are taken at the Mercado Municipal in the center of Merida, YUC. They only provide a few sights of a typical Mayan market. Imagine the sounds and smells.


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Friday, May 25, 2007


The dry season is nearing its end in the Yucatan peninsula. It has not rained in more than a month, causing the vegetation to suffer. Trees, shrubs and ground covers look beaten, dried out. Yellow tones prevail over vibrant greens. Yet a number of plants manage to produce abundant quantities of fruits and flowers in this difficult time.

Yellow is a prominent color in my paintbox. I usually keep a handful of varieties in ready supply and use them generously, as in these small sketches of 8" X 11", oil on canvas mounted on board.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Small And Untitled

A couple of years ago I made this small painting that was intended as an exercise in shapes, colors and contrasts, not typical of my usual work. I had not anticipated to become fond of it and like it enough to keep it. It is just perfect in the master bedroom at Villa La Esmeralda in Merida, YUC.

Untitled oil on canvas 16" X 16" Chris De Dier

In Merida

This morning I woke up to the exotic trumpetting sound of a tropical bird that reminded me I am in Merida, YUC. The sun was forcing its rays through a thick haze, creating soft shadows inside Villa La Esmeralda, while a gentle breeze made the white curtains in the adjacent main room dance with elegant billowing curves.

Flowing Visuals

Airports are wonderful places to watch people. Thousands of humans herd together in these highly controlled artificial environments from where they board airplanes that spread them in all directions across the planet. There is so much going on in these ports: arrivals, departures, hurrying, waiting, feeding, sleeping, working, boredom, excitement, anticipation, frustration, .... It can be quite entertaining to spend the waiting time between flights by just observing the activity and non-activity of people on the go. Nowadays with all the electronic gadgets we have at our disposal, it is interesting to see the new patterns of behavior they cause on their users. I think of cell phones and electronic notebooks as pacifiers for grown-ups, just like the TV's that are blaring the latest news in each waiting area - as if travelers wouldn't be able to function properly if they missed something.
I like the original use of TV screens as art at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, TX, in the photos below. They are lined up to form a frieze in an oval rotunda, displaying constantly changing computer-coordinated images. In the first picture they were all showing a red apple. A minute later, the apples had changed to green.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Rubble I & II

These 2 dark paintings have been stored unfinished for several years, taped together face-to-face. I recently pulled them out because I was needing canvas to paint on. Seeing them again after that long pause made me decide they were too interesting to destroy. At the time when they were started, I didn't know how, nor had the desire to complete them. Now I realize they didn't need much more because it was already clear enough what it is all about without adding too much detail. They make a striking pair.
For details, contact me at chrisdedier@yahoo.com

Rubble I oil on canvas 36" X 36" Chris De Dier

Rubble II oil on canvas 36" X 36" Chris De Dier

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

LA for beginners

Late last night I returned from a 4 day visit to our good friend David Chun, a very talented accomplished furniture designer, who lives in Santa Monica, CA. Cultural highlights of the trip were the ethnic diversities at nearby Venice Beach, the Dan Flavin Restrospective and The Modern West exhibitions at the LACMA , Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall - both in Los Angeles - and The Getty Villa in Malibu.

It was my first visit to the West Coast of the US and I went totally unprepared for the cool temperatures. Despite the shivering, this trip was filled with stimulating experiences that I hope to be able to repeat from time to time, remembering that I will have to pack warmer clothes.

Inevitably I also saw some familiar faces from TV and the screen, but the only one I know by name was Lou Ferrigno, an aging but still Incredible Hulk, who was pumping his biceps right next to us at the famous original Golds' Gym in Venice.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall

The Getty Villa

The Getty Villa

Roman statue at The Getty Villa

Designers' Block

On Monday May 14 2007, Di Overton, the owner of Designers' Block kindly posted pictures and links to my websites on her inspirational blog. I encourage everyone who is interested in style and design to check out this valuable source of information regularly.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Silence oil on canvas 60" X 48" Chris De Dier

Painting can be a very unpredictable activity. Sometimes I labor for weeks on end to finish a work to my satisfaction and no matter what I do to it, it just continues to fail. Though I do not give up easy, occasions occur when I eventually need to let go of it.
At other times, a great painting just seems to flare up on the canvas with minimum effort.
This painting started out as a desert plain with a mountain range on the horizon. Wind was pulling up dust and sand into a dust devil, the main subject. It didn't ever look right and a month passed before I gave up. Then a few weeks later I decided to paint over it, do something totally different. Without any preconceived idea I began filling in, changed shapes, saved what looked pleasing and suddenly, through pure improvisation, it became what it is now. It is one of my favorite works.

Not that any of the above is of any importance whatsoever to the finished work, but I was wondering if that happens a lot with other artists as well, or if I just don't know yet what I'm doing.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pet Portraits II

I found these while browsing through my files this morning. These portraits of a cat were painted a few years ago. They are more traditional than the Chloe paintings but I like the composition.

The painting on top with the red background is in a private collection, the one at the bottom Molly With A Bone is available.

To order a portrait of your pet, contact me at chrisdedier@yahoo.com.

Molly Curious oil on canvas 12" X 18" Chris De Dier

Molly With A Bone oil on canvas Chris De Dier
available from the artist. call for pricing. http://www.chrisdedier.com/

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Pet Portraits

Before she suddenly and literally dropped dead at the young age of 7, I painted this series of portraits of my boxer Chloe. These paintings are hanging in my studio and whoever sees them invariably asks me if I want to paint a portrait of his/her dog. For a year I have resisted those requests but after a recent party held at my studio and hearing all the positive comments about these paintings I decided, Why not?

If you are interested in a portrait of your pet, or know someone who is, contact me at chrisdedier@yahoo.com. Prices vary according to size.

Chloe I oil on canvas 36" X 60" Chris De Dier
available from the artist. call for pricing. http://www.chrisdedier.com/

Chloe II oil on canvas 36" X 60" Chris De Dier
available from the artist. call for pricing. http://www.chrisdedier.com/

Chloe IV oil on canvas 36" X 48" Chris De Dier
available from the artist. call for pricing. http://www.chrisdedier.com/ 

Variation With A Twist

Vision mixed media on paper 204mm X 206mm Chris De Dier
I made a small drawing in mixed media on paper based on the oil painting Calm, pictured below. I used gouache, watercolor, pastel and charcoal in this drawing. The object in the sky hovering over the landscape can be anything your imagination cooks up. It could be a piece of thrown junk frozen in midair before it falls into a pristine lake. It could be a spaceship from another planet....... It could be a huge escaped balloon, growing ever bigger as it travels across the globe. It could be just a fantasy, a thought provoking shape, an object of manmade fabrication, a visualization of otherwise mostly invisible air pollution placed in a composition of water, land and sky to signify human presence and impact on this planet.

The original drawing is available at Gremillion &Co. Fine Art , Inc. in Houston, TX.

Signed and numbered limited edition prints are available directly from me.

Edition of 20. Image size 204mm X 206mm. Price: $ 49.00 + shipping $ 10.00
Contact me at chrisdedier@yahoo.com

Mostly Whites

These 2 paintings mark a new direction in my work. The skies are less dramatic, yet filled with subtleties over a more stylized landscape. Multiple glazes create depth and richness to the soft gradations. I am very pleased with the result and look forward to develop further in these experiments with lower contrast.
Both paintings are no longer available.

Brighter oil on canvas 48" X 48" Chris De Dier

White oil on canvas 48" X 60" Chris De Dier

Monday, May 7, 2007


Welcome to my new blog!

I have no idea how it will take shape or if there will only be posts about my own paintings or if it will include the work of notable others...we'll see what happens.

I was born in Ninove, a provincial city in the province Oost-Vlaanderen in Belgium. When I was 4 years old, my family moved to the bigger city of Aalst, 15km to the North of Ninove, and there I grew up. I went to school at the St. Maarten Instituut in Aalst for 10 years and afterwards commuted to Brussels where I studied design and art history at the St. Lukas Instituut.

My parents owned retail clothing stores - dba CARINI - in Aalst and Ninove and I joined the family business in 1976. The window displays became soon my responsibility and eventually I accepted free-lance work for a few prominent stores in Antwerp, Brugge and Brussels. In 1984 I became fashion stylist for the Belgian magazine Libelle, based in Antwerp. It was an exciting job that provided front-row seats at the fashion shows in Paris and Milan.

But 2 years later, in January 1986, I moved to Toronto, ON and opened my own business. It was a womens' clothing store named Colyseum, located in Yorkville, an upscale shopping district in the city. I imported a couple of collections from Paris and designed for my own label. Three years later I opted to give my professional life a new direction.

The vast open spaces of the Canadian countryside appealed to me more than the city and I became experienced in the husbandry of horses, sheep and dairy goats (with close to 100 head-count herds), plus growing Christmas trees commercially on a succession of 3 different farms until 1996. It is during those years that I started painting seriously and began exhibiting my work.

In 1996 the chance presented itself to become an immigrant in the USA, and I moved to Wimberley, TX to become a hotelier with the purchase of the Wimberley Inn. It started out as a run-of-the-mill plain roadside motel that I changed during the following 10 years into a more attractive unique inn with better accommodations, more services and plenty of landscaped outdoor areas. A permanent exhibition of my paintings was on display in the lobby and conference room.

The hotel was sold in 2006, and I moved to nearby Austin, where I currently have a studio and paint as much as time allows. I am also setting up a new furniture design company called Arris Studio, and I have been working on the renovations of a historic house in Merida, YUC. For more on that, visit arrisstyle.blogspot.com