Kunstatelier & Galerie
Seylech & Franziska Leuthard
Entry No. 90, Brienz
It saddens me to witness how fearful and obedient people are. New cases of Covid-19 infections are increasing each day, and almost daily the government announces new measures to combat the virus.
Fear has always been a terrible counselor because fearful people can very easily be controlled and manipulated. Such a person believes the state, the politician, the police, the doctor, the preacher, the teacher, and so on.
Perhaps I am wrong, but I would rather make mistakes and follow a difficult individual path where truth, freedom, and intuition are always safe companions.
A related story:
Death sits before the old city walls and waits. A scholar comes by, sits down with him, and asks, “What are you doing here?” Death answers, “I am going into the city to collect 100 men.” The scholar runs into the city and excitedly calls out, “ Death is coming and will take 100 people!” Subsequently, all the people panic, run into their houses, and lock themselves away for many weeks. 5000 people die. As the scholar leaves the city, death is still waiting there and he angrily says, “You wanted to take 100 people, but it was 5000!” Death answered, “I took 100 sick and old, just like every week. The rest were taken with fear, for which you were responsible.”
May the good unfold!
Entry No. 89, Brienzwiler
I left for Munich at two o’clock in the morning. I urgently need rock crystals, single pieces and groups of medium to very good quality. Pedro is a geologist and Brazilian and has lived in Germany for over thirty years. He has a large stock of various minerals and is a dealer for mineral stores. I have known him for twenty years and appreciate his pleasant and sunny demeanor.
The drive is always a challenge and this time was no different. After the Glarnerland rest area along the Kerenzerberg, I had to make a detour in the darkness and in rain and fog, which took an extra forty minutes. In addition, there were repeated construction sites with reduced speed and traffic jams, which made the trip even longer.
At 9.15 AM. I was finally in Pedro’s magnificent stone and mineral store. I lingered for about 1¼ hours and purchased 2500 Euro worth of mainly rock crystals in different sizes. Afterward, I drove home making only a small stop at the border for custom’s clearance and a light meal.
Tired but satisfied, I arrived home at 5:30 PM. I just unpacked all the minerals and put them on my work table. Let this splendor have its effect on me, and I can hardly wait to get creative with it.
At the moment I am able to work day and night, so many possibilities are waiting for their design. However, I dedicate myself first to the commissions and put my strength into them.
Everything is going well.
Entry No. 88, Brienzwiler
With much energy and inspiration, I have just now primed and spackled the basic form on canvas panels for three works with the dimensions of 65 x 50 cm. I would like to keep working to breathe life into the painting with pencil and pastel shades of color to make the whole thing blossom, but I must be patient until the spackle is dry. A few days ago I dreamed about these works and now I am uncompromisingly urged to make these come to fruition. This means that today I will probably work a little longer than I planned.
This is the first time that I will wait to show the works to Franziska only after I have finished and framed them. It is difficult to say why this is so, but perhaps it is because my energy is still bundled up.
When they are finished, a link will be added here in this diary. You must also have patience!
Entry No. 87, Brienzwiler
Each year I have the desire to drive on a hot summer day through the countryside to the cornfields in order to observe, be still, listen to the summer and glide my hands over the ears of grain gently swaying in the wind and feel the earth. These moments when the earth shines golden like the sun itself are magical for me.
I cannot help but paint these impressions, so the following day I created four small-format oil paintings with cornfields. Two are on wood (33 x 29 cm) and two are on canvas (50 x 40 cm). I was especially struck by the fourth one.
Here the sun and the cornfield take up the same amount of space on the canvas. The sun is already low over the ears of corn, but the heat of the day and the power of the sun are still noticeable. A timeless moment. A great peace spreads out.
Here the sun and the cornfield occupy equal space on the canvas. The sun has already set low over the ears of corn, but the heat of the day and the strength of the sun are still felt. A timeless moment. A tremendous peace spreads over all.
I name it “A Golden Day”.
Entry No. 86, Brienzwiler
For the last three days, I have been on crutches. My left knee is swollen and painful. While I was out for a walk in the woods, I clumsily tripped and fell hitting my knee directly on a rock. The doctor thinks that the inflamed bursa requires a cool compress along with rest. In this case, antibiotics are the best medicine for recovery.
I am taking it easy but do not let it deprive me of the opportunity to do smaller works in my studio, which is something that is good for my soul.
Today I was able to sell two commissioned pieces that I agreed to create over a year ago. The couple and I, as well, are happy and satisfied. Commissioned pieces are always a challenge, but I like this and believe that everything will turn out well.
Good fortune is with me, and understand that if I use my abilities and have the courage to live my dreams, the positive forces of the universe that are in the background will accompany everything favorably and supportively.
Entry No. 85, Brienzwiler
A fire is burning!
On Whit Saturday at 10.15 p.m. the police are at our front door to inform us that there is a fire in our forest garden. Our small tool shed is burning and the firemen are already extinguishing it. We all go out to check the situation. After the initial shock, we realize that the damage is manageable.
As we have so many times before, we had dinner surrounding a fire here. On site the following morning, a fire expert explained that a spark probably nested somewhere in the old wood of the shelter and glowed in front of it until the wind did its part and it grew into flames.
A Pentecost fire! Symbolic of lightning and transformation.
We are all–including me– subject to this natural process of life. We take in more and more light and let go of the old.
Entry No. 84, Brienzwiler
The corona virus is on everyone’s lips, and the topic reaches us daily through the various media channels. Personally, I like the way Sweden deals with it. They appeal to the self-responsibility of citizens and thus respect the sovereignty of the individual, which is a wise decision by the government and a good basis for peace.
The atmosphere in the studio is totally relaxed. I am working at an unusually slow pace, but I can definitely see something positive in it. Normally, my hands work quickly and agilely, which is more in keeping with my nature and also gives me good work time and again.
Our oldest daughter Livia moved back in with us at the age of 26, which we are very happy about. She will be able to reorient herself from here, not only with her living situation but especially in her professional environment.
Life is full of surprises. I gratefully accept them.
Entry No. 83, Brienzwiler
The Corona Virus no longer permits what is customary to continue. All people are affected and must make adjustments. It’s about time. We find ourselves in a situation that our inner wisdom should now guide us.
May we now act for the good of nature, animals and people.
May peace on earth unfold and brotherhood be established.
May prosperity and health be available to all.
May a healthy, life-friendly technique be introduced in all areas.
I call upon the leaders of the earth to let light flow in all areas and for decisions to be met with love and harmony.
May humanity together with this wonderful planet, our Mother Earth, now take this good path with courage and happiness.
Entry No. 82, Brienzwiler
Despite my three weeks of flu, I produced nineteen works in February. The last one finished today is called Dimensions, which is created partly in a new style that has kept me busy for several weeks: simple forms milled into wooden panels with subtle colours, harmonious and modern at the same time.
Business continued as usual and interested visitors came during the whole month. Someone asked if I would have trouble exhibiting this new style and confronting visitors with something different. Certainly not. I love to show my new creations, which are created with the impulse of joy in my heart. I have always followed this path in my artistic work and the side effect of this was success.
Furthermore, I am very happy about the newly-created short film entitled How is a Crystal Sun Created? that can now be seen on YouTube. What a successful father and son project!
Entry No. 81, Brienzwiler
Now I hold it in my hands, this little art booklet with selected pieces of my work, which is a successful mixture of oil paintings, sculptures and also a new, more modern realization on the subject of the sun. I also like the short description at the very beginning, which is a successful summary of the direction and perception of my work. Franziska has designed and implemented this wonderfully.
I still work a lot and with great energy as if I were electrified to tackle what needs to be done. I feel the power to do it and the inspiration is there, as always.
My goodness, what an intense life…
Entry No. 80, Brienzwiler
The year 2019 has come to an end. I look back and see the number of works of art created, 171 of them, more than ever before and far more than I ever thought possible. It is good not to know what is possible in a day, in a week, in a month, in a year. I am not exhausted, I am simply happy with what my hands can create.
I like to be in my studio and I am inspired and use all possibilities. For example, at the moment I create various works in sand, which I use as a background and expand with different materials such as glass, gold and metals and implement the sun theme. I am now 53 years old and it is the first year in which the children only come home on weekends. My daily flow of work is no longer interrupted and I draw with a strength that now unfolds unrestrained.
May the good on planet earth also unfold and succeed in the coming year.
Entry No. 79, Brienzwiler
The second ARTFUL, ART FULL ZUG exhibition in the Altstadthalle from the 22nd to 24th November was very lovely and included encounters and conversations that were inspiring. I was able to sell three works.
Thomas, our host and initiator of ARTFUL, ART FULL ZUG, will most likely, as it appears, help the city of Zug by continuing to organize this art event twice a year. I think that this will attract much more attention and be made known to a wider audience so that visitors from near and far will not want to miss these art days.
We four artists now contribute ideas and see what we can implement.
My artist’s heart is heavy, and I can only shake my head while I am preparing my artwork for transport, when I see other artists not packing and protecting their work, but carrying it stacked in front of their chest and clamped down and depositing it on the street next to their cars. These works, which were hanging on the wall for quite a bit of money, are now simply lying here ready for loading, without any protection. For me this is not possible. For me it seems disrespectful and devaluing. The difference is probably whether or not the artist lives off it or not. It is the small things that make the difference. Of course, everyone decides for himself how he treats his works, but it hurts me.
Entry No. 78, Brienzwiler
As already mentioned last month, the days have become quieter. From time to time, the children come home on weekends and fill the house with life, lightness and great ideas and visions about nutrition, alternative places to live, clean energy, relationship possibilities, spirituality and art.
I love these moments of intense togetherness, even if they are often short.
I love the silence in the studio during the week.
I love my work and classical music.
I love nature and the finches at the birdfeeders.
I love my life.
Above all else, I love my wife Franziska.
Entry No. 77, Brienzwiler
I have never worked so quietly in my studio as during the past few weeks. There is an unfamiliar silence in and around the house.
David, our youngest, has begun his apprenticeship at the horticultural school in Hünibach at Lake Thun. He is very happy and stays there during the week.
This is a new chapter in Franziska’s and my life. To experience daily life without the children. It is a process in which we always rediscover ourselves.
The weight of the huge responsibility a father has is lessening. It is impacting my work because I start my work day much more relaxed and patient. Sometimes it feels as if time has slowed down.
It is quite a new experience for me that life can also be this way.
Entry No. 76, Biberist
I am exhibiting my work at the art exhibition “Inspiration through Transparency” at the former paper factory in Biberist. 65 artists from far and wide are participating. I am here for the ninth day and the exhibition will end tomorrow.
I am opening myself to it all and express my impressions in a poem.
Some people come and go.
Some people come and linger.
Some people came
And I never saw them.
But they were here. How wonderful.
Some people were so quiet
But I heard their music…
Entry No. 75, Brienzwiler
A father-son-project has come into being. It is called, “A man and his faces.”
The hair was falling and with each new cut I expressed various emotions. Some props like hat, glasses, cigar among others completed my facial expressions.
Everything happened spontaneously and on the spur of the moment. An invisible string of joy and coherence oscillated between David and me. He always knew when the right moment had come to take a photo. We both felt that something extraordinary was about to be born.
The photo session came to an unexpected colorful end. Some of the photos David took will probably go down in history.
This is the link to the video that David produced afterwards on his own: A Man and his Faces.
Two days later the game continued. Experiment in White was born out of much fun, spontaneity, and the joy of playing. It seems that it overwhelmed some YouTube subscribers though.
I also would like to mention that I was so happy that two oil paintings – one sun and one universal painting – made their way safely to Sweden.
Entry No. 74, Brienzwiler
The days are hot and in the morning I really don’t know what to do because of all the beautiful possibilities that lie ahead of me.
For weeks I have been watching and photographing the red kites and their three young in their aery. The first of the young birds is already fully-fledged. I was able to approach it through the scrub to a distance of three meters and take some extraordinary photos.
In the nest boxes in the apple tree in front of our house young wrynecks are being fed by their parents and make crackling noises. I love to watch them and the four pairs of house martins that breed underneath the roof and fly in and out.
And my studio is calling me of course. Especially the oil colors want to be put on canvas once again.
A heavy motor bike is standing in front of our house for a week now and is waiting for me to ride it. I have to practice because I have to pass the test in August. Therefore a tour around the lake is a pleasant way to end the day.
My beard and hair will be cut tomorrow. David and I are about to start an art project called “A Man and his Faces”. I am looking forward to the adventure of letting go of all hair and meeting a new face.
Entry No. 73, Brienzwiler
Business is going well with lots of sales and new orders.
But in daily life I am often moody and for my family difficult to deal with. I want more freedom and more time on the road. Franziska has encouraged me to realize my dream. It’s pretty typical for middle-aged men, I want to ride a motorbike to the North Cape.
I am torn between the desires of my heart and my responsibilities. I am still responsible for the financial welfare of my younger children. Noëmi finishes her apprenticeship as medical specialist for surgical technique in the fall. And David starts a new apprenticeship as ornamental plant gardener on August 1st at the horticultural school in Hünibach. This will be a good start into a new career.
The thought of being at the North Cape at summer’s solstice next year is very inspiring to me.
Entry No. 72, Brienzwiler
I am in a state of constant exhaustion. The slave driver in me is merciless and allows me no break. He is constantly pushing. I observe myself and think, let’s see how long he will be able to keep it up. For goodness sake during the past three months I have created 64 works of art and sold 17 of them already. Is this not enough?
Of course it is. But the monetary system forces me to keep on going like this. The unconditional basic income would be a blessing for me as well as for humanity as a whole. Creative potential, now lying dormant, would blossom. I would rent a large studio and finally start to create large-scale works. And I would treat myself and my wife to four to six weeks of vacation.
I have managed to support my family as an artist for the past 20 years. But at what cost!
Entry No. 71, Meiringen
Today I crawled out of bed on all fours. I had incredible pain in my sacrum. I managed to stand up with a help of a cane and made it into the bathroom. It was 4.30 am and it took me half an hour to get dressed. It seems I somehow pinched a nerve while doing woodwork in the forest. Through moving and walking it improved somewhat.
I always work early in the morning. Right now crystal suns and natural works of art are emerging in my studio.
A little while ago Franziska mentioned that over the course of the past two months almost 30 works of art had come into being. She wondered if I could not approach my work in a more relaxed manner. I guess I could but part of me is always inspired and highly charged. I constantly think about art, from dawn to dusk. I see possibilities everywhere that want to be implemented.
If it goes on like this I might even become somewhat peculiar.
Entry No. 70, Brienz
I really enjoy the days between Christmas and the beginning of the New Year. Time seems to slow down and appears to be very meditative.
When I enter my studio now I don’t work. I am just creative in a relaxed and quiet manner. I want to try to apply this attitude as long as possible in the new year also. But often I catch myself listening to my inner slave driver that demands more of me than is healthy.
I have plans and ideas that I would like to implement. For one I would like to write down the story of my life – inspired by Bert Hellinger’s book “Mein Leben. Mein Werk.” On the other hand I want to write down the stories of Giaberuso that I would like to tell in an illustrated children’s book. And of course there is my art that still thrills and transfixes me.
Oh well, each day has 24 hours, and untold days lie ahead of me. And I have two hands that are well skilled and eager to work…
Entry No. 69, Brienzwiler
A little advent story
The other night my son David came into my studio. We discussed the emerging works of art as we often do. Suddenly and unexpectedly I saw someone sitting in the upper left corner of the studio. It was a tiny dwarf smiling contently: Giaberuso.
He was surprised and a little startled that he had been seen and called by his name. Puzzled we looked at each other for a few seconds. Then he told us that he came from Northern Italy and had passed our house on his way over the Grimsel Pass.
In regards to choosing a place to stay dwarfs are very picky. He informed me that he already lingered in the studio since late last summer and had watched me often while I was working. He had noticed our love for nature. He was especially fond of the breeding swallows underneath the roof. The nature garden was very much to his liking too.
Dwarfs are never idle. Just like humans they have a mission in life. Giaberuso told me that a dwarf has to serve humans for a certain period of time. He had decided to fulfill this service with us and to stay for twenty years. He was 285 years of age and in his prime.
Meanwhile he has changed his abode and sits on a natural work of art on the wall. Right at the end of a branch. I noticed that he was wearing a green pointed hat instead of the usual red one. When I mentioned this to him he communicated somewhat embarrassed that he did not want to talk about it. It had to do with something unpleasant in his past…
Entry No. 68, Lucerne
David has terminated his apprenticeship after four months consensually. I am a little sad. My fine son, a gentle soul full of openness and sincerity, is trying to find his place in life.
During the past month I have worked very little in my studio. On one hand the roof of our house needed to be repaired causing a lot of turmoil. On the other hand various deliveries and smaller weekend exhibitions took up a lot of my time. Actually it was quite pleasant to be able to get away from the studio for a little while.
I was also able to contemplate upcoming works that I would like to implement soon, i.e. golden tablets and universal paintings. I collect ideas until I am all fired up and I cannot contain myself any longer. Then I retreat for a few days into my own world. I am extremely grateful that Franziska takes care of all the domestic stuff, especially now that we are trying to find a good solution for David.
Entry No. 67, Brienzwiler
Just a regular work week.
Monday, October 22:
I start to work at 5.30 am and work until 12 noon. I do various types of work and finish crystal suns and frames.
Afternoon from 1 pm to 6 pm: Work on sculptures and natural works of art.
Tuesday, October 23:
7 am: Departing with Franziska for Château-d’Oex. We have to pick up a painting that we had on exhibit to show it to a client in Graubünden. The round trip takes three hours.
In the afternoon I work at my studio: Gold-plating and spackling of crystal suns.
Wednesday, October 24:
I start work at 5 am. At the moment I do not need more than six hours of sleep and I awake refreshed and feeling fit. I enjoy the quiet morning hours in my studio when I feel especially inspired. I do various types of work like cutting, fitting, and mounting.
Preparing for Thursday: Packing five works of art and preparing tools and a power drill.
Thursday, October 25:
7 am: Departing with Franziska for Surselva via Susten, Andermatt, and Oberalp Pass. Beautiful weather, mild, and the sky electric blue.
11 am: Meeting the client. Showing the paintings, discussing, and mounting.
12 noon: Return trip. Lunch at the monastery in Disentis. Continuing via Andermatt, and the Furka Pass. A visit to the Rhone glacier. The ice is melting at a breathtaking speed.
5 pm: Arriving home. Unloading, tidying up. Franziska is doing office work.
6 pm: Work is done!
Friday, October 26:
Start of work at 4.30 am. Since I am not allowed to make noise before 7 am I work on a new golden tablet. I contemplate make-up, structure, focal points, and consider various possibilities.
7 am: Shaping work for crystal suns and golden tablets in front of the house.
12 noon: Lunch with Franziska outside the house.
In the afternoon working in the garden with Franziska and tidying up the studio.
Saturday, October 27:
7 am: Working in my studio, gold-plating.
10 am: Departing for a meeting with a client at the highest building in Luzern. Spectacular view. I feel disconnected from my worldly worries and challenges. Discussion and placing of order.
12.15 pm: Lunch at an Indian restaurant.
In the afternoon I stroll through the old city and enjoy the first Christmas decorations.
Sunday, October 28:
8 am: Leaving the house for a visit with our daughter for brunch. Because the weather is cold and clammy we stay inside. We play, engage in discussions, and enjoy our get-together. I even have time for a noontime nap.
At 5 pm we have an appointment in Luzern to deliver and mount a work of art. We are invited to stay for dinner and enjoy an animated discussion from the heart.
Entry No. 66, Brienz
Sometimes things like this just happen.
Today I antedated the exhibition “Golden Times” originally planned for December and went with Franziska to our gallery in Brienz to set it up. We were making good progress when suddenly a lady entered to take a look at the not quite finished exhibit.
She was from Berlin and an avid art collector. Salvador Dalí and Picasso were her favorite artists of whom she owned some original works. She felt magically attracted by the golden works exhibited here.
She was extremely excited and you could tell that she knew a lot about art. She had an eye and a feel for art. After a lively and enthusiastic discussion she decided on the spur of the moment to buy the work called “Source” – the newest in the series of golden tablets.
A truly wonderful encounter that I had never expected to take place here.
Entry No. 65, Meiringen
I like writing my artist’s diary best in a café with coffee and cake. And this is exactly what I am doing right now.
I had planned to paint large-scale universal paintings this summer but it didn’t quite turn out that way – like it often does. There were orders of crystals suns to be taken care of and the work at sculptures and natural works of art for upcoming exhibitions took up all my time.
I took a break on a Sunday and on the spur of the moment decided to visit the Kunsthaus (museum of art) in Luzern. In front of one of the exhibits I had an inspiration which thrilled me. The work was large, colorful, and had an assembly of various materials like a mosaic but it was quite unprofessional in its craftsmanship and pretty dull in its expression. I imagined something similar. Also large, full of different materials, and in various shades of gold but filled with light and spirit. A series of golden tablets.
Yesterday I finished the first one: Solar System I
Entry No. 64, Brienzwiler
I live of inspiration, God, and love.
My art is dedicated to the sun and to life itself.
The tranquility in my studio is very uplifting and I am able to create from an inexhaustible source. That which has always been there now rushes into physical form to become visible to the human eye.
I rejoice in those unknown works of art that will be born through my hands.
Entry No. 63, Europa-Park Rust
The Russian wood carvings are fantastic and in an incredible way inspiriting to me. And when I get inspired to write – as I do now in the midst of all the hustle and bustle and the countless possibilities of the Europa-Park – I look for a quiet place und put my thoughts to paper. I know too well how fleeting and ephemeral inspiration can be.
David came up with the idea to release various short movie clips about my work on the internet. Like “The Yellow Summer” or “Corpus Delicti”. He would really love to do this. The work he has begun to do looks very promising. Of course I think this is really great!
Furthermore work in my studio continues to be simply wonderful. Various works of art that bring me great joy are in the process of emerging. Among them are two sculptures with wooden spheres for which I have just found fitting pieces of amber. Then a mirror with a Greek frame. A round painting with feathers of a red kite. An old door…
These are times in which deep and serene joy is my constant companion.
Entry No. 62, Rothenburg
Yesterday I painted my largest universal picture so far (120 by 150 cm). By doing this I implemented my idea to paint large-scale universal paintings although the limited space in my studio hardly allows doing it. Since the universe seems to be so vast the canvass should be correspondingly large as well.
Now I am on the road riding my scooter to buy oil colors. I need a lot of different shades of blue because I want to start working this afternoon. I hardly have enough space for drying or storing and I have no clue whether I will ever be able to sell one. I don’t care.
I need to paint.
Entry No. 61, Gruyères
This is our second exhibition in Gruyères. All in all twenty works of art. Crystal suns, sculptures, oil paintings, and natural works of art.
It is quite cozy here. With classical music playing and desert being served – meringues with double cream, a specialty of Gruyères – we are ready to meet with and talk to people.
Nice words and also true but the last few months have been very tiring. I miss having enough time to paint universal paintings. But I also know that my time will come during the coming months of summer. The time of blue and mystical spaces that seem to be endless and filled with stars.
Entry No. 60, Brienzwiler
Yesterday a wedding took place at my studio. The oil painting Voyager from the series of universal paintings has received its definite frame.
This is always a very special moment and a highlight for me and the painting. I had this large frame (100 x 140 cm) with a shadow gap especially fabricated in Germany because I couldn’t find one in Switzerland. Now the frame arrived by delivery service. Everything went well und it fits just great – which couldn’t be taken for granted. Even after work I went down into my studio several times to sit in front of this work of art to enjoy and to dream.
Entry No. 59, Lucerne
Last Monday a television crew visited our gallery and produced a 20 minute clip about my artistic work. During the recording I was tense and clumsy – which did not amuse me at all. Although I had prepared myself I was not able to speak in front of the camera in a relaxed and detached manner. Oh well, there is always the opportunity to do better at another time.
Franziska on the other hand was her usual competent and calm self. Great! What a woman! Tomorrow, Sunday, the talk will be aired on television.
I will watch it much later – if at all…
Entry No. 58, Vienna
Whenever I see works of art, like right now the works of Gustav Klimt, I become alive and inspired. I feel the urge to start working with color and joyfully create works of art that are a testimony to enthusiasm and spirit. Life is full of colors. It would be a shame not to use them.
Life is not about one and one make two. Rather there are three or four possibilities and resources that should not be allowed to lie dormant.
I wish everybody had the courage to dare to use them.
Café Central, December 20, 2017: Whenever I visit Vienna it seems to me the entire world is made up of music, literature, art, cafés, and cakes. This suits me well and I can never get enough of it.
Museum of art Albertina, December 21, 2017: There it is again. This special feeling that overwhelms me when I look at works of art. I want to paint. And I think I have only just begun. After more than 2000 works of art that I have created I feel my fingers itch and I gasp for air.
What an exquisite pleasure to have such feelings.
Return flight: At age 51 I am a contented man. I am so much more composed and patient than I used to be. I see the moment as a gift. I view life as a gift.
Entry No. 57, Brienzwiler
An exciting and most memorable month is coming to an end.
The bottom line is that all of us are free and have the opportunity to decide and choose from moment to moment what we want to experience. Therefore we create our own fate and the one of the planet.
The power of thoughts and the choice of words are of utmost importance. All of us are of the same light and emanate from the same source. The source of the universe is hidden within us.
We are beings of infinity, incredibly creative, and limitless. We always define anew what we want to experience and play. The game of “being human” goes on for such a long time. Well, now it is within our reach to wake up.
Please remember this and rise to light and love.
Entry No. 56, Schweibenalp
I have a lot of work to do and each day has just not enough hours to finish it all. I go to bed early tired and close to exhaustion and sleep like a log.
When I observe myself I think, “This guy must be crazy. Why is he working so much?”
Then I pause for a moment and allow myself to become still. And yet the work continues but with another attitude that I would describe as calmer and more relaxed. And the joy has returned too. Each day becomes a joyous event.
I simply have enough of worrying about a thousand little things. I tell myself, “Stop! Enough!” Then I look into the sun, close my eyes, and feel his warmth. And I know, all is well.
Entry No. 55, Brienzwiler
There she sits. My dear wife Franziska is bend over the table in the living room and glues stone after stone. Crystals for the unique crystal suns that are in such great demand. Her work is accompanied by meditative music and a unique atmosphere is filling the room. This is a sight that is so dear to me and so familiar.
She has been doing this for twenty years without ever complaining or refusing to do it. I bow my head in gratitude to such humility and discipline. I know the art is our common project. If one of us would back out of this it would surely be the end of the art.
Often – like today – we have to work weekends and glue crystals. Oh, my goodness, I am so lucky to have such a wonderful wife. She is not only the mother of our three children, she is my loving companion. She is unique, so dear and familiar to me.
Entry No. 54, Brienz
A wonderful month is coming to an end.
A month that for an artist could not have been better. Great sales, terrific encounters, and honest and deep conversations with people who find delight in my art. And then an inquiry by a gallery in Rome about an exhibition that we are still negotiating about. A short day trip by airplane to Munich to find a fitting quartz crystal for an art object that was sold only two days later. All of this made this month something very special.
Only luck? Yes, of course but I think that you are being helped if you know of your resources and abilities and use them creatively and properly.
It always takes courage to move on such thin ice (financial insecurity). But it is alive, exciting, and authentic.
Such is my life and the life of my wife Franziska.
Entry No. 53, Schweibenalp
In early May I started to exhibit my paintings for the second time at the center of unity high above Lake Brienz. On four floors I put 37 works of art on display. Some of them have been sold already.
Once a week I drive up there to check if everything is in order. Up there I feel very much at ease. The mix of the palpable love of the people for nature and the spiritual orientation as well as a great loyalty towards and acceptance of other people and cultures makes this place very special. Going there makes me feel like I am on a brief holiday.
And like so often the good is just around the corner, and I don’t have to transport my paintings neither to Paris and Palermo nor New York.
Entry No. 52, Brienzwiler
Just an average exhibition
I am exhibiting my works for three days in Vully at a vintner’s of premium wine for the second time. In a room of twenty square meters I managed to put on quite a decent exhibit.
But considering the beautiful weather it is hard for me just to sit and wait for customers who might be able to afford a work of art. I treat myself to a fine lunch and a dip into Lake Murten to lift my spirits. Franziska is positive as usual and unlike myself in good spirits.
It have a hard time to be here and wait for art enthusiasts. But of course I will not show my changing moods while engaged in conversation with visitors because it would not be professional and based on previous experience it is bad for business.
On the third day I start to pack early. And suddenly – while I am packing – there is a group of ten people in the exhibition room. They are totally excited and one gentleman spontaneously buys a work of art for himself and his wife. And with that all my worries that have haunted me are gone. We drive home happy and content. We will come again next year.
And for me the bottom line is: Live in the now and trust in the good spirit which is there for anybody who can surrender to him.
Entry No. 51, Brienzwiler
Franziska is away from home for two days. I use this time in my studio to paint four small-sized oil paintings. The theme? The universe.
I cannot explain it rationally but I feel that there is so much life in the universe, so many realities which cannot be seen by the human eye or grasped, pigeonholed, and accepted by the human mind. I use my artistic license to put this beautiful subject matter into form.
Life allows itself the opportunity to always adapt to circumstances, to experience and express itself.
I believe it takes a pathetic mind to imagine the Earth to be the only habitable planet and everything else to be mere décor.
Well, one day we will know.
Entry No. 50, Brienzwiler
My cooperation with Jacob, the gallery owner, is coming to an end. The new contract does not appeal to me economically and bears great risks. For some artists it might be feasible, especially if they also have a regular job. Out of 5000 artists only one is truly a free-lancer.
Tomorrow I will pick up all my works of art.
During the course of the past year I have had many impressions and insights. Generally speaking is the art business first and foremost a business and a game in which you have to distinguish delusion from the truth.
But I will carry on with my wife by my side. What is really important to me is the sacred in art which means that each work of art has to have a clearly perceptible higher spiritual orientation.
I am quite happy to continue working in this direction.
Entry No. 49, Brienzwiler
Did I really make it?
During a conversation with my hairdresser about art she mentioned that it seems I made it. This statement was going around my head for quite a while.
Well, when did you make it? And what?
It seems you made it when you had exhibitions in New York and Paris, sold more than 1650 works of art, and were able to support a family of five as a free-lance artist for twenty years.
This sounds quite wonderful and impressive. And in this sense I can truly say I made it.
But success and all outwards appearances are as fleeting as the smell of the forget-me-nots of my childhood. They are no guarantee for contentment, happiness, and serenity.
Entry No. 48, Brienzwiler
Exhibition in Paris
We packed 14 works of art and at 4 am headed for Paris to make sure we would arrive at 1 pm at the gallery Thuillier. It worked out beautifully!
The city made me nervous. All this hustle and bustle from morning to night. Cars, noise, people, the many faces of the human condition. Children begging in the metro made me sad. Palaces, museums, history – varied and unique. And then the art! Just delicious and simply the best.
I liked the Musèe d’Orsay. I saw so many works of art that I started to question myself as an artist. Back home I viewed my own art very critically and came to the conclusion that I did pretty well. And I realized that each age and era have their own demands, ideas, and challenges that need to be addressed and made the best of it.
The vernissage was terrific and successful. But I am happy to live in a village with a population of only 490 surrounded by greenery and white mountains.
Entry No. 47, Brienzwiler
Vienna! What a truly inspiring city! The exhibition on pointillism at the Albertina was a feast for the eye und inspired me upon my return home to immediately work with shades of yellow.
Today I finished four paintings. Three in the format of 34 by 55 cm entitled Sunset, Solara, and Sunny Eye. One in the format of 50 by 80 cm entitled Land of Sun. All four proportioned according to the golden ratio which I am especially fond of.
I enjoy having so much energy and momentum shortly before the end of the year to create such well-made paintings. Four paintings in one day is almost borderline but it happens when everything just falls into place.
I take a deep breath… I am grateful.
Entry No. 46, Brienzwiler
And this is also part of it: Working long hours and creating sun paintings using oil colors. And at night? There is nothing to show but three canvasses grounded in yellow.
Days like these are really bad.
I invest in materials like paint brushes, oil colors, oil of turpentine, canvasses, and in time. I add layer upon layer of paint only to take it off again later. I torment myself with measurements of 50 by 60 cm – which is not my preference at all – only to have to admit to myself in the end that the result is a total failure.
And why? Because there are galleries that insist on certain measurements: not too small, not too big, and all with the same type of frame.
I feel like I am suffocating. It is about time to be true to myself once again.
Entry No. 45, Brienzwiler
Today I turned 50 and I must say I am quite content with what I have achieved so far.
I often think about my life, about evanescence, and things to come. I believe it is important to be content with myself and my life, to tackle the daily challenges to the best of my abilities, and to solve them in a way that I can live with.
Especially in the field of art it is a constant challenge for me to live up to my own expectations. Sometimes gallery owners come up with new ideas und thoughts that I have to sort out and try to implement.
This year I have been given the opportunity to exhibit my art on an international level. And this was due to a double-page article in an art and design journal that has been sent to some of the leading galleries worldwide. I enjoy many exciting moments and I am grateful.
Entry No. 44, Brienzwiler
How fast the summer went by! Now it’s about time for a new entry in my artist’s diary.
I work a lot and long hours. Crystal suns, nature works of art, and oil paintings are constantly being created. And there is no lack of ideas. The limited space of my small studio often thwarts the creative process though.
I would like to paint an oil painting a day for a whole year. This project, this dream has been in my head for quite some time. Someday this dream will come true.
The two universal paintings that are currently on display in New York are being appreciated. They have attracted the attention of a curator who has invited me for a solo exhibition in Manhattan in December 2019. I accepted. I am happy.
Entry No. 43, Brienzwiler
The new dynamic homepage is finally finished. Franziska worked so hard until every picture was in its proper place and the accompanying text was translated into four languages. I am immensely grateful for all her work and I am happy about the new and well-made homepage.
Now the summer holidays are here and I have a lot to do. There will be exhibitions in autumn that I have to prepare for now. I like it. The days are lively and there are just not enough hours to get all the work done.
Tomorrow we will travel for two days to Europapark with the children. A place of fairytales, colors, sounds, scents, and feasting where the impossible becomes possible.
How good it feels to let go of the daily routine for once.
Entry No. 42, Brienzwiler
I received an invitation to exhibit two paintings at an art gallery in New York near Central Park.
After some consideration and in accord with Franziska I agreed. Naturally there are some requirements that I have to meet that made me hesitate initially. I have to pay for the shipping costs and also a fee for three months for each painting.
But all in all I am very positive about this because I see an opportunity. Therefore joyful expectation prevails. Or in the words of my gallery owner Jacob:
“Live your dreams & dream the unbelievable”
Entry No. 41, Lugano
I am currently in Lugano at an exhibition (Tisana) and have some spare time to jot down a few thoughts…
…I want to tell and write so much but I am also tired and exhausted by life…
…It doesn’t take much to understand my works, an open heart is all that’s needed…
…The beauty of painting is that I can tell a little story from the universe here on Earth…
…The habitual mode of not thinking and acting holistically is failing creation and denying its intelligence…
…No matter how you twist and turn things, one thing is certain, the sun will rise again tomorrow…
Entry No. 40, Brienzwiler
The vernissage at St. Légier was very multifaceted, colorful, and quite amusing. There was art to marvel at and to purchase. Something for all kinds of taste. I amused myself quite well with wine and little, well-proportioned nibbles of food.
The audience was international. French, Italian, English and German was spoken.
I had a nice meeting with a certain lady. Her enthusiasm for my universal paintings will forever remain in my memory. She said, the longer she lets the paintings affect her, the more she is able to see details, structures, and lines. Although she was only looking at the paintings it seemed to her as if she was moving through the universe.
What a nice feedback for me and a successful Vernissage.
Entry No. 39, Brienzwiler
I am still working on paintings of the universe but also – because of economic necessity – on crystal suns. This is done quite easily and effortlessly. I tend to go with the flow and I am happy with what happens to be there at the moment. I do not force myself to increase my work pace and once in a while I even indulge in a ten minute power nap without neglecting the work that needs to be done.
One can argue whether crystal suns can be considered works of art or not. Fact is though that they bring joy to many people. And isn’t this a very important aspect of art?
Entry No. 38, Appenzell
On December 31, 2015 a large painting came into being. It measures 100 x 140 cm and I call it “Voyager”. I am totally thrilled about it. And I am willing to leave this plane now (to die). It almost feels like what I wanted to express through art has been achieved now.
I am so fulfilled when a fantastic painting like this one is created in one flawless act. This does not happen often because mostly I have to struggle with color and canvass. My self-assurance grows with each new painting. And I always think that this cannot be topped. But miracles happen and apparently there are no boundaries in conversations with God or the Infinite.
And it was topped with the painting Golden Globe which came into existence yesterday.
Entry No. 37, Brienzwiler
Before the year ends I feel the urge to jot down a few thoughts.
The studio has been tidied up and everything is ready for the new oil paintings. I have a hard time deciding whether to start with universe paintings in shades of blue or with sun paintings in shades of yellow.
Everything in me starts to tense up and I am quite anxious. Something like an electrical current flows through my body and my whole studio. My eyes start to shine when I look at all the oil colors, the spatulas and canvasses that are ready to use. This is exactly the kind of tension that I need to really start. Then sometimes it just happens that I create three paintings in one single day.
They are still in the dark, the paintings that want to be made visible.
For me it is quite difficult to leave this process of creation and pause. Especially when we are expecting visitors which we will have within the next few days. I need a certain amount of warm-up time until expressive paintings can come into existence. Tomorrow morning I will start anyway.
Entry No. 36, Brienzwiler
My meeting with a gallery owner in Montreux was quite extraordinary. Time will tell whether my dream will come true within in the next few years. I am quite optimistic.
Entry No. 35, Brienz
It is accomplished! The greatest and most representative of all the exhibitions I have ever had. I am able to exhibit 61 works of art on 7 floors in the city hall of Kloten. Each floor has a different theme.
The vernissage was pretty nice and rather pleasant. 15 people attended and nothing was bought. But that doesn’t worry me much. For me the exhibition is just wonderful. I take my time and quietly enjoy the presentation almost like a stranger. I look very closely at the works and embark on a journey through time and 20 years of working as an artist. The works look so very different in these surroundings and I discover compositions I haven’t noticed before. I am so delighted and satisfied with what I have accomplished so far and I look forward to new deeds.
There is definitely no shortage of ideas. And as long as my fingers itch and ideas keep coming everything is fine.
Entry No. 34, Brienzwiler
Fleeting thoughts while working in my studio…
I can’t say whether the involvement with art inspires me but it certainly makes me happy.
Sometimes I work without concepts or goals. And in those very moments often art emerges that lures a “wow” from my lips.
If your hands want to work, let them work so that they can finish their task. Especially if they are swift and fast.
Great art is always related to the great invisible spirit. How do I know this? Because I feel it.
All those years I experienced miracles, although I often only noticed much later.
I myself have always been the greatest obstacle in my life. The path has always been open and laid out before me. But often I wasn’t able to see it.
Entry No. 33, Brienzwiler
First works of the series of “art that goes through fire” come into being.
Actually it is a little bit crazy to produce works of art, to put a lot of effort and precision into sanding, painting, and cutting, only to deliver them to the fire in the end. But in this way something entirely new can emerge.
What a wonderful thought of becoming, passing away, and becoming something new. Just the way it is happening very naturally every day in every single moment.
Even though I burn my fingers in the process.
Entry No. 32, Brienzwiler
An extremely varied month is coming to a close. It began pretty desolate but then in the end turned into what would be a multifaceted, pleasant, and constructive crescendo. Even the weather is at its best. A summer high with temperatures up to 30 degrees Celsius is here to stay for a while.
And I feel inspired to work with this heat. “Art that goes through fire”. This thought that I had during the morning walk with my dog accompanies and inspires me. To put it in practical terms, I will work more with fire – especially in the field of sculpture.
The beauty of art lies within observing the immensity of possibilities and then implementing some ideas. In a passionate way of course.
Entry No. 31, Brienzwiler
I really don‘t know if I have the strength to make a living by being an artist until the age of 65. If I think about it, I get really scared. It is a constant balancing act. It won’t take much and my art will be a thing of the past – which I would deeply regret.
When I look outside I see nothing but rain. This has been going on for days on end now. It is gloomy and cold outside. It seems as if nature would be mirroring my present state of mind. I would be lost if I wouldn’t be certain that sunny days will be ahead. Without hope I would welcome death.
Entry No. 30, Brienzwiler
I am currently working full-scale on a series titled “Compositions sacrales”. The more intensely I devote myself to this subject and grapple with it, the more possibilities I see in composing and varying it.
I ascertain that whenever I devote myself to a subject and really immerse myself in it, I discover works that are special and stand out against others. This is often confirmed by people which come to my exhibitions. But each of the previous paintings is important as well, because it contributed to the evolution of the whole.
It is my heart’s desire to bring the beautiful and exalted into artistic form in order to make its essence visible.
Beauty often lies within simplicity.
Entry No. 29, Brienz
Um, I do not feel motivated today to write about art. The reason? Some works have to mature inside myself to a certain level of clarity. And wouldn’t it be a pity to talk about something that is not ready to show itself?
The sun is the heart of heaven, he comforts us when days are bleak.
No, I am not singing the blues, it is just very still inside myself. So I listen, I listen to a silence that is so soothing and wholly without emptiness.
I know a time is approaching that will demand all my attention. And then a twelve hour workday will hardly be long enough to accommodate all my ideas and all my energy. Those days will be like dreams passing away too soon.
What remains are works of art…
Entry No. 28, Brienzwiler
I feel pretty relieved that I decided to close the gallery in Grosshöchstetten at the end of March of 2015. Costs and yield were not in balance like I had hoped for. It was a dream ending after only one year. There were other reasons as well that made me come to this decision.
But all in all it was a good experience in my career as a freelance artist. It made me progress and confirmed me in many ways.
I also moved my storage room from Brienzwiler to Brienz. The good thing is that aside from the storage space there is also an exhibition space. Here I can present my works directly at the main street in Brienz.
The bottom line is, everything comes and goes, and everything is changing. I like the movement of life because it makes life exciting and lively.
And all of this with a loving, supportive person at my side – my wife Franziska.
Entry No. 27, Museum of Art Bern
When I visit an art museum like this one, I contemplate and reflect upon paintings and other works of art. Ever since I was a teenager I have developed the habit of approaching complete strangers and asking them how they like one work of art or another, what they think and feel about it. I find it very illuminating to learn about the perspective of other art aficionados, about their thoughts and movements. I compare them to my own and draw my conclusions.
And if I do not contain myself my feelings overflow and a veritable barrage of words hits my counterpart. I see it in their faces when they feel overwhelmed and then I often withdraw. If it was really too much, I even apologize.
I just cannot contain my passion for art and my powerful emotions. If you do not believe me, just talk to my wife Franziska. Well, I love her – despite all the inconveniences that zeal and passion brought into my life. She gives me the feeling of truly living, of really being alive.
And with this I wish myself a passionate birthday today!
Entry No. 26, Brienzwiler
Encounters like the one in Crossen (near Leipzig) are quite exhausting in regard to the distance (750 kilometers), the traffic jams, and the whole package of autobahn inconveniences, but the journey was also one full of pleasant surprises.
We had been asked to deliver a crystal sun to a friend who opened up a Yoga center and were invited to the opening as her guests of honor. We entered a light filled room, created with a great deal of love and professional know-how that put the visitor into a state of comfort and quiet reflection. The crystal sun was placed on a wall painted in purple with a little grey mixed in, thus creating a very soft impression. Very pleasant, subtle and delicately scented the room appealed to me a lot. Its loveliness mirrored the pleasant personality of the Yoga teacher.
Those are wonderful moments during which I can lean back and enjoy meeting people, talking, eating as well as the hotel room, the quality time spent with my wife, and the feeling of being an artist.
Entry No. 25, Brienzwiler
Actually everything is a matter of color and form perception. The eye looks at the details. The perception shows whether or not the various materials, proportions and colors are inherently consistent and create a balance between tension and harmony.
I search and struggle in order for the work to unfold in such a way that it makes a distinct statement. A certain sacrality must be felt. This sacrality in my works is of utmost importance to me. It is the reason why I am so hardworking and productive. If I had to describe my work in one word it would be sacralism.
Right now I am working in the format 24×30 centimeters with white and silver in a black frame. In the end there should be 15 to 20 pieces. I already see the in one row, one more touching than the other. I plan to finish one every week. Four have been finished already. I call them “composition sacrale”.
Entry No. 24, Grosshöchstetten
I am so very happy to experience how a dream comes true here in Grosshöchstetten.
To present my paintings and other works of art at my own gallery, to exhibit in a space bathed in light, is like reaching for the stars and witnessing how heaven answers.
I painted the walls in pastel colors – blue, yellow, and green – and in a vibrant ruby tone. This highlights certain aspects of the paintings and removes the coolness and distance of sterile white walls. Works of art convey a different message if you place a deep blue painting on a transparent azure background. I perceive this strong contrast between colors as totally infatuating – like liquid honey tickling my palate. This sweetness enchants all my senses.
I wonder if others might possibly feel the same.
Entry No. 23, Avebury, Whiltshire, South of England
At six o’clock this morning Franziska and I drove to Silbury hill. How excited we were when we realized that we had been given the gift of a new crop circle that hadn’t been there the day before.
Following the tractor lane we entered the crop circle only to marvel at how precise the corn had been laid down with left and right-handed rotations. The size was approximately fifty meters in diameter. After taking some quick photos we returned to our B&B, informed our hostess and woke up the kids. At once our hostess forwarded our photos to some local crop circle investigators. After breakfast we drove once again to the new crop circle – this time with the children. We were all very excited and stood in wonder. After a lively discussion each one of us drew his own conclusions.
We are not among those who sit cross-legged in a crop circle in order to feel or become aware of something. On the contrary, we were quite lively, cheerful and talkative. At ten o’clock a tractor appeared and mowed the crop circle down. How sad. Later we would learn more about the local farmers, the people and their relationship to crop circles in general. Then a lot of things would fall into place.
An eighty-five year old woman told us how they used to play in the circles when she was a child. The grown-ups hardly noticed because there was so much work to do.
While we were having tea and cake, Michael, an eighty-three year old architect and designer, who intently studied the crop circles for twenty-five years and wrote several books on the subject, shared some of his new and very interesting views on these geometrical and partly extremely complex circles. At the end he remarked that he thought our crop circle was a kiss from heaven. That was its message that touched us deeply.
How inspiring the thought to make today’s crop circle into a work of art…
Entry No. 22, Bern
The days are hot; the sun is burning down… And I love it! Lightly clad I work in my studio, lost in thought, the twittering of hatching house martins for companionship. The days are peaceful and nourishing. They allow me the space to ponder many things… like the impermanence of life.
Although this impermanence is revealed to me by the daily, even hourly changes of nature in a sanguine manner, part of me experiences it as pain. No, not briefly, the way I would like to have it, no, much more persistent and deeply ingrained. I have learned to come to grips with it and accept it as something that I can make my peace with.
I see it as an asset and a movement leading me to a place where I can feel the truth. I take it as an inspiration for future works.
My father left this plane two weeks ago.
Entry No. 21, Museum of Art, Bern
It is places like this where I thrive, get inspired and feel at home. To visit a museum of art is to leave the daily routine far behind and surrender to the moment. It is to arrive at the platform of my own being. I enjoy the moment and treat myself to coffee and cake.
The opening days in Grosshöchstetten are a thing of the past and the exhibition “Art at the Red House” has been opened. Well, how should I put it? It was a lot of conversation about art, form, color, life, music and – as so often – money and women. Meeting people and talking lifted my spirits. This is what I frequently miss at home in Brienzwiler.
I am glad and feel very privileged that the opportunity to show my work – even the larger paintings – has presented itself in Grosshöchstetten. The exhibition rooms have a touch of a museum, which I appreciate and which I only noticed after the work was done.
Last but not least a piece of good news. Sometimes it is good to voice your opinion and to express your displeasure. Lo and behold, oil colors in five kilo canisters are available again. Hallelujah!
Now, back to the studio. There are paintings waiting to be born.
Entry No. 20, Brienzwiler
Sometimes it takes a long time to discover myself and to find out what the core message of my creative endeavor really is. In the midst of working on a wooden sculpture I pause and listen to my quiet thoughts. These I want to share with you.
I imagine sitting on a train and looking out of the window. What I see are neither landscapes nor forests, mountains, lakes or villages. No, what I see passing by are all those works of art I have created. I recognize nature, my love for her and her diversity.
I see devotion, a feeling of awe. I am tempted to say it is a sacred moment like this that fulfills and thrills me. It inspires me to keep on working with gold, wood, stone, fire and suns…
Entry No. 19, Brienzwiler
Very soon a new additional exhibition stage will open on February 7, 2014. My good friend Beat Stähli, a wood-carver from Brienz, and I will put our artwork on display. Art aficionados may delight in oil paintings, sun paintings, sound paintings, crystal suns, bronze suns, installation art and wood sculptures.
It took a lot of dedication and perseverance for Willi Biser‘s dream to become reality. Willi Biser is the long-time owner of a store featuring household appliances. The new store on Bernstrasse has recently opened and won’t be overlooked because of its dark red color. The combination of a Miele center of excellence downstairs and an art gallery upstairs is a quite spectacular experience for all visitors.
I am very happy and I feel deeply honored to be able to present my art work here in a constantly changing permanent exhibition. This will be another challenge in my artist’s career that inspires me and will surely take me to the limit.
Entry No. 18, Brienzwiler
How annoying to suddenly learn that oil-based paint is only available in little tubes of 290 ml at a max. As a long-time and always faithful customer actually very annoying to be brushed off by sales clerks with the argument that large amounts (in five kilo canisters) are not in demand anymore. The manufacturer is just not interested in producing larger quantities because there is not enough money to be made. Why can’t they produce tubes of 290 ml and of 500 and 1000 ml as well? The drying out of an opened tube would not be as bad as it is today with the five kilo canister. It seems to me that it is just a question of goodwill.
This is how the costs compare: A canister of five kilo oil paint costs 196 Swiss francs. A tube of 290 ml costs 25 Swiss francs. 17 tubes equal 4.93 kilos at a cost of 425 Swiss francs. This is an additional cost of 229 francs. You might call it a concealed markup. All I can do now is to point this out to my art supplier and complain a lot. I am making a lot of calls and I am looking for remaining stock of five kilo canisters in shades of yellow abroad. God knows there are more pleasant things to do with my time. We are living in the 21. Century and starting in 2014 it will not be possible to purchase chromatic oil-based paints in quantities larger than 290 ml. Except – how else could it be – in black and white.
Happy New Year!
Entry No. 17, Amsterdam
I am sitting here with Franziska in a café called Tambourin at the van Gogh museum. After having toured the exhibition for four hours I want to put my impressions to paper.
Much can be said about this honest and authentic artist who was so drawn to light and colour, but there is one thing that cannot be said: That he was insane. I am glad having Franziska with me. The impact of this artistic genius makes us become very still. I do not think I would have the strength to lead an artist’s life of such misery and ostracism knowing no one to be interested in my work and no one buying any of my paintings. And still he persevered. I am filled with compassion for this artist.
Everything I saw here and at the Rijksmuseum fills my innermost self. And like an avalanche roaring down into the valley the force of my impressions will find its expression…
Entry No. 16, Bern
My beard is growing and growing. Some people don’t quite recognize me. Comments like “dwarf” or “Alp Öhi” (the grandfather in “Heidi”, a famous Swiss book by Johanna Spyri) are pretty common these days. “I think you are just envious”, I answer drily. But how does the art of growing a beard relate to art and creativity in general? Maybe it helps my introspection. Maybe my senses are keener.
I can feel my hair working like antennae capturing new information that I couldn’t gather any other way. It’s a very sensual experience, a new experience that is not quite fashionable these days. A clean shave – in the most unlikely places – is the new ideal of beauty which seems strange to me because I feel that all things natural and nature itself should be allowed to develop and unfold. It’s up to us to marvel at nature’s vitality, beauty, and diversity.
Be it as it may, to each his own and to me my own. All in all I have noticed that long hair changes my perception of reality. It becomes more sensitive and more subtle. I become more attentive and much gentler. It’s only natural that those feelings and aspects will become part of my work. I am curious of what will become of it…
Entry No. 15, Bern
Life pushes on forward, sometimes quite impetuous, often in a colorful manner, and never ever boring. I wonder why nobody presses the emergency stop button. I am not complaining, because life forces me to use my energy in a more adequate way, to set priorities, to lower the standards I put on myself and still to feel free and authentic. There are so many challenges on all levels. Isn’t that the same for everybody?
I am looking forward to the following exhibitions: First “Spiritual Art” in Solothurn from October 11 to 13. Secondly „EARTH – Art and Nature“ in St. Gallen from November 1 to 3. Currently I am totally focusing on EARTH. Dealing with several naturally grown types of wood (among others branches and roots) inspire me to implement new ideas.
Despite the lull in economics I invest in various materials and hope – no, I am confident – that this will bear fruit in times to come. Like often before I am at a point where I have to consider very carefully where to spend my money and how much, before we get stuck between a rock and a hard place. This requires becoming still and listening. Surrender is the magic word. Answers will come in due time.
Entry No. 14, Bern
Once a month I visit the „Quelle» in Bern to meet people who would like to get to know the artist. When I’m done hanging up new paintings and when I find some time for myself, I write in my artist’s diary. The distance to my studio helps me to find the inner calm necessary to gather my thoughts and to write them down. Only now I notice that my hands are dyed in yellow, white and pink shades because of the oil paint I used. It will take a few more days for them to be clean again.
It has been a very intensive week. I created five large-scale sound paintings in oil and used my hands as instruments without considering how I should come to grips with the different colors. I thrust my hands into a five kilo barrel of paint, take the paint out and mix it with turpentine, until it takes on a buttery consistence. Then I put it onto canvass using my bare hands, finish it using different materials like pieces of cloth, wooden spatulas, sponges, sand or brushes, knead it and forget all about myself. How wonderful!
Five large-scale sound paintings in one week, I hardly dare to mention it. But it is possible if the circumstances are right. One of the sound paintings I did as a commissioned work to the music of Whitney Houston. I concentrated on it for six weeks until in my mind’s eye I saw the picture and especially the colors. Then it was just a matter of birthing it onto canvass. Sound paintings come into existence when I connect to music and when I see the picture in my mind’s eye. Then – and only then – the picture is ready to appear in this world. 23 sound paintings have come into existence so far and in two to three weeks the first ones will be shown on my website.
I am in an in-between state of being exhausted and “it is done”. So I treat myself to a small amount of my favorite chocolates: plum truffles…
Entry No. 13, Sylt
While my wife attends a workshop led by Barbara Bessen my son and I enjoy the still cold weather on the windy beach. It is an austere and very special atmosphere. We are bird-watching and we write down how many different species we see. When we surpass the previous day’s record we get quite excited.
The colors here are pretty intense. When the sun is shining and the brown reeds are swaying in the wind before a blue horizon I begin to daydream and fly with the seagulls high above the ocean…
It is good to be away from home. Often Franziska is sitting on the beach looking out onto the sea. A sight that is so characteristic for her and so familiar for me. These are moments when time stands still and all is well.
But this dolce far niente has to be learned. The greedy mind always wants to be stimulated which I do only in very small portions. I keep dwelling in the moment and absorb it to the fullest to make it part my artwork at a later time.
The local food looks very colorful and one is tempted to dig in. But oh, what a disappointment. One lady put it aptly when she said, “It’s enough to survive”. As an alternative we found a charming café serving northern German dainties that sweeten our days here.
Our four days have gone by really fast and I am really looking forward to start working again in Brienzwiler.
Entry No. 12, Bern
This is a very special time for me. Since January 2013 I have been working more than ever before. I have created more than 30 works and there is no end in sight. On the contrary, the more I work the more inspired I get and the more ideas come to me. Never before have I made an outline of my ideas or even written them down.
What does my wife say to this working frenzy I am in? One could put it this way: She is putting on the emergency brakes. And at the right moment too. Then we spend a weekend at a wellness hotel. And every time we do this, I tell her we should do this more often, because it’s good for our relationship, it’s good for the soul and for the body as well. How marvelous!
But the moment we get home I am in the grip of the working frenzy again. Although the days are getting longer, time seems to fly and days and weeks are so full and fleeting like never before.
I am very happy and quite content. There is one thing though that I try to remember: I have to find the golden mean, the middle way in my work and in my spare time as well – for the greater good of all involved.
Entry No. 11, Luzern
The new year begins quite active in a lot of ways. On one hand there are several orders that need and want to be finished up. On the other hand there are the crystal suns, of which I never seem to have enough in stock. And last but not least there are the sound paintings, which I have deeply fallen in love with.
Sound paintings are oil paintings on canvas or wood with a classical piece of music as their theme. For instance, I will listen to “Adagio in G Minor” by Albinoni while painting and thus creating a painting fitting the music. I add color and form to the sounds. I breathe new life into the sound. What a joy for all my senses. This is work and holiday in one. Up and down, back and forth, high and low, epic and dramatic, fanciful and magical, light and dark, big and small, sweet and beautiful. I could go on like this forever. My hands are burning because they yearn for oil paint, canvas and brush.
How privileged I feel to be able to do this work despite the daily challenges that family life, relationship and finances present!
Without my wife, who takes care of office work, household chores, the children and the gluing on of the crystals to the crystal suns, my form of art could not and would not exist. She takes care of the fine art of gluing with precision and unending patience.
I appreciate how well she manages the household and office chores every day anew. In addition she counsels me on each new work of art and can be at times a quite merciless critic – which sometimes motivates and at other times exasperates me. Being as impatient and impetuous as I am, I often thwart my own plans. Franziska manages to bring back balance, because she is so objective and neutral. Her criticism is a critical factor in creating good art, in creating meaningful art – especially in painting with oil.
For this I thank my wife from the bottom of my heart.
Entry No. 10
Happy feelings flood my psyche. And they do so for several reasons. On one hand have I sold a painting of the “Yellow Summer” series to a bank. On the other hand do I rejoice in the creation of the sound paintings, that demand to be put on canvas in a flowing and orderly fashion. The dynamics of color, form, and music are in constant motion and create a joyous realm.
A lipless smile is my constant companion these days. These are the days of my life as an artist that are full of joy and contentment. I do not take them for granted because over the years I have experienced many moments of insecurity, uncertainty, and doubt.
It is quite a challenge to admit to myself that I do need the approval and recognition of society. I know though that this will be a dead end. Well, I call it one of the challenges of life.
As a human being and an artist at that I do constantly reflect on myself, my work, my environment, and my fellow human beings. I question myself, I feel myself, I move. I am living a life that does not live up to the expectation of others and I am doing this to the fullest.
And I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.
Entry No. 9, Brienzwiler
Often a little bit of everything is good enough. But sometimes even this little bit is already too much. Especially when the days are as hot as they are now. My studio has turned into a sauna; sweat is dripping onto canvasses and oil paints alike. I don’t like this kind of heat. It makes me tense and quite irritable.
Nevertheless I am full of ideas and creative energy. I am enjoying the mixture of wood, crystals, and gold. Free flowing sculptures and wall objects have an expanding and cooling effect on my senses. I am working a lot, sometimes at two or three projects simultaneously. Mornings are reserved for oil paintings, afternoons for sculptures.
After eating my morning porridge made of spelt and walking our dog Jenny, I enjoy listening to classical music and totally surrendering to it. What a joy to immerse myself in the sounds and symphonies and embark on the adventure of making sound visible. I call them “sound pictures”. I
would like to create 20 of them, all in shades of yellow. Three have been finished already: First painting to the sound of “An den Quellen” by Bedřich Smetana. Second painting to the sound of “Adagio in G Minor” by Tomaso Albinoni. Third painting to the sound of “Morning Mood” from Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg. I intend to use “Minuet in A Flat Major” by Luigi Boccherini for the fourth painting.
One might ask, why again shades of yellow? Quite simply because there is still so much yellow inside of me that wants to come out and express itself. It’s wild, it wants to rear up; it’s mystical, soft, and still. It is like a big yellow river that wants to flow freely – into the hearts of people.
Yes, it’s true, while painting I am experiencing infinity and freedom more than in any other activity.
Entry No. 8, Brienzwiler
Surely not every day can be filled with inspiration and creativity. There are also idle days full of emptiness.
On a day like this it’s far better for me to go out into nature and take care of the fruit trees, look at the wild flowers, watch the butterflies and the bees, and just be with the wind and the sun. This is balm for soul and psyche.
Just as the days come and go by, my moods come and go by. It is a long and sometimes arduous process to always reaffirm again and again my commitment to art and creativity. But hopefully I will never run out of ideas. Maybe I am just expecting too much of myself.
I am weary. I need a break. A break from it all – from my wife, my children, my house, my dog, from paints and canvasses. In my mind I am at the beaches of Ireland flying with the seagulls…
Entry No. 7, Luzern
It’s fairly obvious that I tend to write only when I’m feeling fine. And when I write I tend to show only that side of me that impresses the most. Be it as it may, if you want to know more, contact my wife.
The Easter exhibition of “Yellow Summer” in Lucerne was a huge success – to say nothing of my second speech which was embarrassing and totally off the wall. The third speech however was as the second should have been. It was honest, spontaneous, direct, authentic, held without any notes and in cooperation with my wife. In short, it was wonderful! The audience seemed to be very interested and to like some of the paintings. Slowly I stopped doubting myself and a sense of joy and relaxation took over.
The encounter with a man, who spontaneously bought one of the large oil paintings, touched me deeply. It was a painting of a golden yellow sun in a golden yellow sky above a glowing cornfield.
I had to think of the day when I stood next to a cornfield looking in wonder at the swaying wheat stalks and surrendering to the elements. Then I knew not that in this moment the seeds of the Yellow Summer series were planted within me.
The sun embracing the earth and touching it with its golden light while the golden corn responded… The whispering of the wind seducing the wheat stalks to dance in waves of gold in an ocean of gold… Yes, these are moments of contentment, of peace, of inspiration and joy. May they be experienced by everybody!
Entry No. 6, Bern
I was very surprised to realize that I had not written anything for three months. Obviously my intention to write into my artist’s diary once a month wasn’t very successful.
My personal and artistic lives are just perfect. They are colorful and lively with a few obstacles strewn in to ponder and meditate upon. The exhibition in Gstaad came to an abrupt end. Oh well, in hindsight one is always more prudent and maybe even a little wiser.
The first messengers of spring have appeared and the titmice are singing their song. I am wandering about with my camera to take a few snap shots. For me finding a balance between working at my studio and being out in nature is very important and inspiring. Whenever I look around I feel the life flowing around me and new ideas are beginning to take shape. Unfortunately this inspired state of mind is very fleeting and only a fraction of the new ideas will actually find their artistic expression.
Good to know that the days are becoming longer and that during the days and weeks to come the golden sun will give us more and more of her time.
Some paintings of the “Yellow Summer” series will be shown at the “Lebenskraft” fair in Zurich from March 1 to 4. I am looking forward to the feedback.
Entry No. 5, Brienzwiler
Although I had flu symptoms for almost a week and we had to drive 800 kilometers to get there, the exhibition in Osterwald in Germany was an overall success.
The vernissage on the sixth of November was well-attended and meeting the gallery owner Maria Kaluza and other visitors was truly exceptional, due to their great openness and their warmth, which in this form I have rarely experienced before. Since I am always extremely nervous before a vernissage the flu turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It enabled me to stay calm, almost serene, and I could recite a poem by Goethe and talk spontaneously about my art. On Sunday evening my wife and I returned home in a very contemplative and happy state of mind. The exhibition will continue till the end of January 2012.
I am very happy about another exhibition of my work that came about quite unexpectedly. Some extraordinary paintings of the “Yellow Summer” series can be seen at the “Atelier Buch & Bild” in Gstaad. For some of them I had special gilded frames made since certain paintings deserve an appropriate counterpart. All in all it the exhibition is truly worth seeing. And a toast to fine art!
How do I feel despite the persisting flu symptoms and continuing sinusitis? Oh well, things can only get better…
Entry No. 4, Luzern
Much work to be done. The exhibition in Osterwald in Germany occupies my thoughts. Other commissions leave no time for working with shades of yellow, which I would love to do. But better this way than the other way around. Our material needs are taken care of and I feel free to think about more important things.
Nowadays the yellow pictures gestate within me and I am looking forward to a more quiet time. I feel fine and this is great. Autumn was warm and beautiful and my heart is full.
I am asking myself, “What should I write if the whole world is listening and able to read my very thoughts? What is really important?” Ermm… I am pondering this question…
Maybe a cheerful thought: “Flowers are the smiles of the earth.”
Entry No. 3, Brienzwiler
I am sorry to say that the yellow summer is passing – but not the yellow period. The thirty-first of August was the deadline and the conclusion of the “Yellow Summer” series. All in all 41 works of art came into being. Some of them I like very much, especially the cornfields and the large-formatted series “Supernova I to III.” What remains is the understanding that yellow shades are totally relaxing for me. They cheer me up and for some reason they give me great comfort. Maybe they create a resonance within me that awakens a quiet yearning for inner calm and reflection.
What could be more poetic than a cornfield ready for harvesting? It caresses not only the eye; it lightens up my entire being. May this radiance be my companion in the days of winter to come und may it be reflected in many works of art. Hallelujah!
I have achieved my goal of 30 to 50 works in shades of yellow. The process was a strenuous and extremely lively one. There were moments when I did not know where to begin because there was so much to be done. This still continues to this day. A pleasant side-effect was that I lost three kilos.
Entry No. 2, Hotel Giessbach
How quickly time passes!
Floating in yellow colors continues. I have painted several pictures of cornfields and sunny skies. I have been totally absorbed in the process and could hardly get away from it. I really enjoy this phase of this yellow creative process. It brings meaning and a feeling of deep inner peace to my daily life with its routines. Sometimes I experience moments of tremendous clarity and presence.
It was my goal to complete the work until the end of August. Right now it looks like I am pretty much on course since I have finished 17 paintings already. Now I take on the challenge of larger canvasses and need a whole kilo of oil-based paint for one painting. It has a special sensual quality to it to spend the oil lavishly on those larger formats without feeling guilty about it. I am transcending my own boundaries and ideas and deep within me I have a knowing that it is alright.
Although it is a cool rainy month of July, in my studio summer reigns supreme. Inside it is yellow and warm. Franziska does a lot of work in the office, the house, and the gardens. David and Noemi are enjoying their school holidays and are eager for some excitement. Once a picture is finished they are my first critics. Often heated discussions erupt.
All in all there is much commotion and dynamic in our family. Why in the world does father have to be an artist? Otherwise everything would surely be more quiet and proper.
Entry No. 1, Brienzwiler
After 25 years of creating works of art and 12 years as a free-lance artist I have become somewhat weary. My wife said, “I think you should really take a break, a creative time-out to get back on your feet”. Wow, that really hit home. I let myself go, entering a deep state of relaxation and recuperation, and allowed myself to exhale, to let go, to enter into stillness.
In this state of recovery I felt inspired to tidy up my studio and do a thorough cleaning. While tidying-up the yellow colors caught my eye. Suddenly it hit me, “Do 30 to 50 paintings in shades of yellow”. The same day I started on two acrylic paintings. Thus the “Yellow Summer” was born.
Meanwhile two weeks have passed and I have finished five more works in oil. I am extremely inspired and full of vigor. I sense a power within me that wants to be expressed. It is my goal to finish all paintings by the end of August. Am I still tired? No. Am I amazed? Yes.
PS: People, who do not believe in the sun, do not know God.