Did I tell you that I am crazy for pigeons? Ah well – probably a thousand times. But honestly – they make such wonderful painting models and with thousands of photos it is not so difficult to find a couple of wonderful painting motifs – if I only could decide where to start first…

This time I decided to give Pete (who went over the rainbow on the 19th of February this year) another memorial in his role he loved most: being a father. More than any other pigeon I “met” so far was so in love with his kids and not even only his very own – he also took loving care for his grandchildren Pina and Peppi. It really hurt to watch him how he cared for them with so much love. Incredible.

I miss you so much Pete. I will never forget you. I feel blessed that you decided to share a part of your life with us, on the balcony. It sure had a huge impact on my own life… It will never be the same without you, Pete…

Btw – the little chap with the funny hair-do is Willy, Pete’s first son and our first pigeon baby we had the luck to get to know and watch how he grew up. An experience that I can only recommend to any person who has a heart for animals. It will change your life! And for those, who do not like pigeons at all, you will definitely change your mind – forever!!

 

All feral pigeon babies have a hair-do like this – isn’t it extremely funny????

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Oh my – a pigeon I started in Feb this year is finally finished. I had so many other projects to take care for that I didno find the nerve to finish above painting. But now it is done.

I am not 100 % content with the outcome of the plumage but after spending so much time on it with layer after layer I decided to leave it as it is. It looks so simple and easy but in fact it is quite a challenge to paint these iridescent feathers. I have to tryand exercise this again…

But here he is The Philosopher aka our lovely Jimi, who is a PMV survivor and now enjoys good health. From time to time he has to cope with body tumors but he is an exceptionally strong (and large) pigeon and when he is in trouble he comes home to his mommy.

Every day he visits us at least once to get his beloved sunflower hearts which he always takes directly from my hand while he is sitting on my knee!!! Very cute. A couple of months ago he developed this behaviour because he was always molested by other pijjies and he does not like this. He wants to eat in peace in his slow and pleasurable manner and therefor he decided to fly on my knee while I am sitting at my desk. There he cannot be bothered by any other pijjie.

 “The Philosopher”
(from the Pigeons series)
18″ x 26″ acrylic
©Petra Voegtle

And here are some details:

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…nay – not really. Nothing is really new under this sun – someone has somewhere used this “genre” at some time already but it would have been nice to have a first start. And you know my faible for definitions – so please do not take this too seriously  😉

As you know I am somehow fascinated by photorealistic and hyperrealistic painting and have written quite a few articles about painting from photos with interesting conversations with other people, the painters who represent these genres and what I think about this style of painting. You can check out the series here.

Here are some short definitions from Wikipedia:

Photorealism is the genre of painting based on making a painting from the use of a photograph. The term is primarily applied to paintings from the United States art movement that began in the late 1960s, early 1970s.

Hyperrealism is a genre of painting and sculpture resembling a high resolution photograph. Hyperrealism is a fully-fledged school of art and can be considered as an advancement of Photorealism by the methods used to create the resulting photorealistic paintings or sculptures. The term is primarily applied to an independent art movement and art style in the United States and Europe that has recently developed since the early 2000s. However, many Photorealists are also considered Hyperrealists.

I do not want to dig deeper now into these genres but go back to my new series. The new series is very exciting for me because it merely represents a new painting style. I was wondering in which genre this would fit and I came up with an idea such as Realistic Minimalism. What do you think about this? Astonishingly this term has not been used yet – at least not on the Internet – and at least not in the painting medium but rather in philosophical writing and here in a completely different context.

There is a painter I discovered shortly ago on another blog, who is talking about photorealistic minimalism in his work.  Nigel Cox, who’s delightful and phantastic work can be seen on his website says about the discovery of his painting style:

“I was captivated by how special people can be when removed from the crowd and how wonderful it is to observe them, alone, in this state. This idea developed in my mind over the coming months and emerged as paintings incorporating photorealistic people, who have been removed from busy City scenes and placed into minimalistic spaces and landscapes.
The above painting ‘A Quiet Moment’ was the first in this style and was the beginning of what I call ‘Photorealistic Minimalism’.”

Coincidently I had a similar idea some time ago. Only that my objects of interest were not people but my balcony pigeons which I am observing so often. Their stance and dignity, their postures, their look into an indefinite distance, far beyond the horizon. They spend so much time just looking and I wonder what they are watching or philosophizing about.

This inspired me to create paintings which represent the love for detail as well as an uncluttered canvas background representing an indefinite space.

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During the last weeks I was mainly busy with doing photographic work, as long as the weather still allows this, and a lot of computer work, which is far not over yet but I really needed to go back to the easel now.

I have been collecting so many motifs and pre-work for potential new projects that I would be busy for the next 50 years. So I have to make decisions and set priorities.

How on earth do people get into trouble finding something to play with? I have the trouble of having too many ideas so that I hardly know where to start first. Usually this problem is only superficial and so I am going to finish a project now, that I started some weeks ago – a new piece in the series Reminiscences about the Olympic Student Village in Munich (see the links in the sidebar about it) before I throw all energies on a new one.

This one will probably be called “Black Window” and will be part of a diptych in the series:

As you can see from the photo below this will be a very simple composition. Main interest will be on the details of the window, the marks on the wall and of course the dead rose stems which are a metaphor of course.

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In March I finished a painting called “Facade” from the Architecs series. It was painted from a couple of photographs that I took from an old watertower in a residential area in Munich. You can read the full story here and the finished painting was this
In the meanwhile the building looks like this:

It is strange. In one repsect I always find it sad when an old building has to fall for whatever reasons – on the other hand I feel fascinated by this. Is it morbid? I don’t know actually. With all those wires hanging around, with all those black holes that once were windows it looks as if a body is taken apart by the forensics…maybe I am watching too much CSI on TV…
The skeleton of a house is taken apart and finally there is nothing left but a heap of dust to make way for something new and maybe even some more paintings…

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I have finished this painting today. It took me quite a while – mainly because I had other things to do. Sometimes I don’t feel worried when other duties take away my painting time because I consider it a necessary break to refresh thoughts and inspiration. Yet with this painting I feared to lose the track on my “Reminiscences” series. It did not happen. Ah – and I changed the title from “The Tower” to “Facade” because this is what it actually is. Also I like the fact that it is much more ambiguous in its meaning.

Originally I dedicated the “Reminiscences” series exclusively to the motifs of the Olympic Student Village but this painting is a child of the original project and the idea was to grab other architectural motifs from buildings which are planned to be taken down. I have already described the story of this building here. So I decided to create a new series which will have more architectural motifs and cityshapes and called it “Architecs”.

For the next painting, I decided to do, I am going back to the motifs of the village – there are more than enough to be covered still. Until I need a break again….

And here it is now

If you would like to see larger images, especially from details, be sure to click on the image.

Back to work….

(I should have known better – spelling wrong although I asked someone from England – how embarrassing – 4/11/08)

The new painting is coming along nicely although I did not think that it would be so much work. But details need their time. As I am currently busy with a lot of other tasks besides painting it slows down the whole painting process quite dramatically in comparison with what I achieved in the past 2 months.

I must say I love painting these realistic details at the moment. It gives me the opportunity to really spend some time with the painting process and thinking at the same moment about the things that might have happened in this building. This is the narrative element that I want to anchor in my paintings.

The current painting techniques also make me aware of my choice, the reason why I paint these motifs, images of old walls, peeling paint, rotten windows and doors. Every piece speaks of the transience of all things which is also the major thought of Buddhism.

It is amazing how sometimes these influences and thoughts creep into your life although the images themselves have changed. At the beginning of my art career I was deeply impressed by the images and body of thought of southeast Asian cultures because of my travels and many pieces of these images became part of my art. Then the outer images changed bit by bit with different interests and plans but now I realize that the influence goes much deeper than ever perceived. This is an exciting idea.

This also proves that much more things happen on the subconscious level than you can ever perceive. This makes the art journey so exciting.

towerwip2a.jpg

detail:

towerwip2b.jpg

I really hope to finish this soon.

*(The title of the painting has been changed from “The Tower” to “Facade” -4/6/08)