A new life at 67.Can a woman start all over again?

Archive for October, 2007

Painting something called Art

Two Vermicelles and a big piece of Apple Strudel were staring at me as I opened the fridge door yesterday on my return from Art Classes.

The house was empty apart from Dominic von Tribo who was miaowing around my feet, and he doesn’t appreciate all the things that I do.

I hadn’t had time for a real lunch not that I was even making that an excuse, I just put the objects of desire on a plate and scoffed the lot.

You don’t have to be very perceptive to realise my painting hadn’t gone well at all.

It might be a sign of improvement because I am actually beginning to blame my teacher. He should have known by now that my great talents couldn’t be guided towards the abstract. Not at this stage anyway. (Am I beginning to sound like an artist?)

I am actually in his watercolour class because I admire the way he paints, wanting to be a sort of Raffaello to his Michaelangelo and what does he dare to do before I am quite that far.He changes his technique.

The Autumn leaves this week are no longer botanically recognisable, form is not important he wanted to see colour.

Cadmium red and yellow ochre, burnt sienna, crimson and sap green all mixed together with a splattering of prussian blue, and called art.
I asked if he found my painting just a tiny bit “restless”

“Not at all ” he said “from a distance.”


Pumpkin on sticks with Apple Chutney.

You might still have lots of apples lying around and after the end of the month there is bound to be pumpkins.

I know you like chutney,and if you are tired of Pumpkin Pie here is something different to use them up.

Pumpkin on sticks served with Apple Chutney

For the

Apple Chutney. you will need
500gr.Cooking Apples, peeled and cut in small pieces

2-3 Dessertspoons of Sultanas

225gr. Sugar

150ml Vinegar,if possible apple

1 Dessertspoons of freshly grated Ginger

1/2 stick of Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon ground Cloves

1/2 Teaspoon ground Pepper

Cook all ingredients by small to medium heat (circa 25min.) until the consistency of jam is reached. Leave to cool.

It can also be filled in clean warm jars, shut tightly and kept up to six months in cool dark storage space.

Pumpkin on sticks

800gr flesh of a firm Pumpkin cut into 2,5-3cm. squares

Salt and pepper

12 Strips of Bacon circa 3cm. wide

Butter to baste

Thin wooden or metal skewers or sticks

Sprinkle pumpkin pieces with salt and pepper.

Wrap bacon around 1/2 of the given amount of pumpkin.

Stick alternate pumpkin pieces on skewers, one with and one without bacon. Brush with melted butter.

Place on baking paper on a baking tray.

Bake at 220° C in preheated oven for circa 25min. Turn at half time.

Serve immediately with Chutney.

En Guete.

Are the 68ers to Blame for Blochers success.

The question from my non Swiss friends was how could the far right wing SVP (Swiss Peoples Party) with Christoph Blocher holding the Banner, have such success in last weeks Parliamentary Elections, and how could the SP (Socialist Party) loose so miserably?

Felix Müller in the “Neue Zürich Zeitung on Sunday” gave us his opinion and he might quite be right.

The voting results showed us all that the Socialist Party is finished,and who is to blame? The ’68’ers

The popularity of the right wing parties is not just in Switzerland, it is a dangerous trend that is occurring all over Europe for many reasons, but Felix Müllers opinion was particularly applicable here.

For twenty years the generation of socialists have dominated and influenced the situation in our country.

Very quickly, protesting middle and upper middle class sons and daughters arose from the campus after 1968 to take over positions of political influence in our democratic society.

The march was easy for them because they were all intelligent, well educated , aggressive and determined. In a short time they had taken over the power in politics,in the media,and in economics.

The socialist party transformed from the party of the “workers” and “underdogs” to the party with the highest education, highest income average ,highest number of civil servants, and with the highest consummation of expensive foreign red wine. The upper and upper middle class of ’68 hadn’t forgotten their roots.

Having come to power the Hedonistic upbringing of the ’68ers wanted to ensure their select and cultured lifestyle.They lived in areas that a prolatarian could only dream of.

From the heights they looked after the weak, and engaged themselves for social circles of which they personally had often no contact with: The Foreigners ,the Unemployed, and the Reciprients of social security funds. The ’68ers were now only interested in keeping the Status quo.

The negative aspects of their politics- the drug problems, the generous rules of asylum, uncontrolled squandering of social funds, the soaring criminal offences, a huge administrative machine, and neglect of urban areas which brought slums for the first time to Switzerland, had consequences.

With the solving of these problems another party as we all know ran a highly successful election campaign . SP voters flocked to Christoph Blocher and the SVP.

Political logic today should in fact lead us to lean more to the left and to become enviromently fundamental not to the right.
The SP have marched themselves up a dead end street.

Intellectually and for the development of Switzerland it will be interesting to see what course the 68ers will now take.

Bob Dylan the Artist

As regular readers of my blog know I struggle with my watercolour painting. I now have a new inspiration.

My Idol of the sixties. The bad boy, the music maker, the singer, the poet, that particular spirit of those years also paints in watercolour!

The German press agency report that the art collection of the city of Chemnitz, (once DDR) are showing 140 water colour and gouache paintings from the musician in their latest exhibition.

When asked why Bob Dylan chose Chemnitz for his premier,they said, “Nobody had asked him before”

I’m off to get a ticket.

Building a Thai Temple and Buddhist Art

I have seen many beautiful Buddhist Temples in Asia.

It is impossible to travel on that side of our world without being affected by Buddhism, and its’ houses of worship.

The harmony of the spectral colours enriched by the gold in the paintwork and Buddha images transmit a feeling of, well-being, the air rich with the scent of Jasmin brought as gifts enhances it.

No grey stone Churches as cold as death itself for Asia.They have happy ones, ones for children.

It was near Chang Rai in the north east of Thailand where I was invited to visit a very special temple.

For me it is the most beautiful Temple I have ever seen, it is called

Wat Rong Khun

What makes it so special?

I had to blink several times when it first came to view, looking for all like an ice palace after a heavy fall of snow, completely white, glittering against a background of blue sky.

A work of man? Yes the creation of the famous Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. with the aim of bringing a unique piece of contemporary Buddhist Art to the world and to pay his tribute to Lord Buddha.
He wanted the world to look at his offering and look they do.

Chalermchai Kositpipat is famous artist and since 1997 his works have been invaluable and unavailable to buy.

In 1997 he started to build the new Rong Khun Temple in his home town with the money accumulated over 20 years of selling his paintings, on land donated by Wanchai Wichayachakhon the Bangkok philanthropist.

It is a life’s work,consisting of nine buildings- nine for the Ninth Reign, all different in shape and character. The ordination house, the hall containing the Lord Buddhas’ relics, the hall containing Buddha images, the preaching hall, the contemplation hall, the monks’ cells, the door facade of the Buddhavasa, the art gallery, and the toilets.

If it is not all completely finished in his lifetime,his disciples, as he calls all the students, artisans and people involved in the huge contraction and management organisation, will finish it for him. TheBuddhist dharma is behind everything and everyone.

Mr Chalermchai has vowed to dedicate himself to serving the religion by constructing Wat Rong Khun since 1997 when he was 42 to the last day in his life at this temple.He is devoid of all desires for material things but only aims at dedicating himself to his beloved nation, religion, monarch, and mankind with unwavering faith.

Go and look at it. Thankyou for picture Thaiholiday.

The Autumn Leaves

Having struggled through the Summer trying to paint outside. Never quite getting the depth I wanted in the picture, but realising that the wrong nuance of green could ruin it completely, and at last accepting that artists cannot paint what they actually see. It has all to do with the science of colour and optical illusion.

My trees still didn’t look how I wanted them to. My water was improving a little, but the reflections in it still weren’t a lot like reality. In fact as my painting course finished for the holidays I was completely demoralised.

I took off for Thailand late August and carted my Moleskin, water colours, brushes,pencils and even masking fluid around for over a month without doing anything except make a couple of sketches. I really couldn’t, and didn’t want to paint anymore.

Last week I saw that an Artist Blogger Friend had looked into my posts after quite a long time,probably checking out my progress. Somehow it gave me encouragement and I phoned my art teacher to say I would be joining the Autumn Classes after all.

I went for the first time yesterday. We painted Autumn leaves, and I felt I belonged. The painting didn’t look too bad either.

Sex Sells

“Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket”

George Orwell 1903-50:attributed.

To start with I am neither a feminist nor am I prude, and I don’t live in one of the Bible Belts.

I belong to the generation that changed the attitude of the world especially towards sex and now I’m hopping mad.

When is the advertising world going to stop using sex to sell everything.

Whatever it is from cat food to cars there just has to be an underdressed woman accompanying the picture or film.

Do the Advertising Specialists just have one track minds,or doesn’t witty and clever advertising exist, or sell any more.

In this part of the world we have been living for a while with this, but it seems to me more and more of the advertising films are taking on a pornographic element (and I have seen enough to know what I’m talking about) only to end up with the highlight being some kind of cleaning substance.

When are women going to start objecting to this kind of sexual abuse that makes money for some at our expense ?
Today I saw a picture of the new advertisement that will hail the winter timetable for the once noble Swiss Airlines. It was a well taken photo of last years “Miss Switzerland”, looking almost like Eve, (except she didn’t wear 14cm. Stiletto heels,) and lying in an oversized Champagne glass. “FLY SWISS” the caption.

Wasn’t quite sure what they were promising.

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