Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
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
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.
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
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
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.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
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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
Roman statue at The Getty Villa
Friday, May 11, 2007
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
If you are interested in a portrait of your pet, or know someone who is, contact me at email@example.com. Prices vary according to size.
Monday, May 7, 2007
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