Website link: https://corneakkers.com/2022/06/29/geesje-kwak-and-the-secret-of-the-universe-28-06-22/
This oil painting ‘Geesje Kwak and the Secret of the Universe – 28-06-22’ is my second one. The first was Geesje Kwak – 07-07-21. Plenty of drawings though but for some reason Geesje lends herself to a grand but time consuming elaboration in oil paint. Must be her beauty as well as the lush kimonos.
When I drew the penultimate drawing ‘Geesje Kwak – 08-10-21’ I didn’t have a clue it would result in an actual oil painting. I mean, there are so many drawings to put in oil yet. It is after I made the last graphite pencil drawing ‘Geesje Kwak in Space – 20-10-22’ I had an idea developing. Then came the Risque series in between and the self-induced paiting frenzy that came sudden in February 2022. Last May I felt it was time to finally begin this one and so it came to be.
No Abstract Styling
Right from the start I knew it would be all about the light she is holding in her hands. Obviously that was the theme in the underlying drawing. So I started out incorporating certain elements of Roundism just as the drawing shows. Soon I realized this was not going to work like it did in the drawing. I simply had too much fun doing the knots in the tapestries. They had the same look as in the first painting, creating a perfect realist feel. I found the roundistic approach in the kimono simply too much of a contrast with the carpets. Next to that, thanks to the thick oil paint blobs in the tapestry I had to paint the kimono even thicker. That left me with no other option than to skip nifty abstract styling.
Enter the rough style of old masters like Frans Hals and Rembrandt van Rijn. You see, there was another reason to go for another style than cubist abstraction. That is the depiction of light and we are talking straight chiaroscuro here. Let the light guide you and so it did. The whole painting is built around the light orb. At one point I couldn’t made the paint thicker and lighter. In art depicting light with titanium almost is a mortal sin so I tried to glaze over it with iridescent violet. It didn’t work out though. It only became darker, even grubby. At long last I came to realize I had to repaint the orb in pristine white again and have iridescent paint radiate outwards. I happened to have my Williamsburg paints at hand. Consequently the iridescent parts around the bulb are best seen when approached sideways.
Way over Yonder
As to Geesje, what can I say? You already know her secret. She didn’t really die on us. She just left like Elvis did. In fact, she took off into deep space and wandered about for years. Finally she found it: holding the secret of the universe in her hands, trying to unravel it. Meanwhile, sitting in her tin can she collected can food from the international space station. You think Major Tom was the Real McCoy? Ha, Geesje preceded him 70 years earlier. Still, the planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing she can do. Alas, Geesje will be floating there forever as long as the rivets hold. But look at direction her space dish is pointing, Geesje never really lost contact with us!
Oil painting on wood panel (85 x 120 x 0.9 cm)
Artist: Corné Akkers