Viewing posts from: November 2000

Atelier News: another reconstruction portrait

I'm working on a new 'reconstruction' portrait. From time to time that comes on my path. This post is about two previous reconstructions. I write this to explain to you what I mean by 'reconstruction portrait': some 2 years ago I painted the portraits of two girls 'when they were little'. They are now in their forties and when they were 5 or 6 years old, portraits were made from their two sisters. But before it was their turn, the artist died and their parents never found another one with the same style... Until they met me, thirty years later. With the help of lots of old photo's (all yellowed, sepia, black and white) and interviews combined with sketching sessions with them and their parents, I 'reconstructed' the portraits. It was very interesting and challenging, the difficult part is of course that the input is partly from memory and descriptions and partly of photo's of often vague and unclear quality... But I could also meet 'the portraitees' in real life and although they were older, their 'colours' were still the same. I finished the job and the two are now in a beautiful composition with their two sisters! The reconstruction I'm working on now - and will write about in coming posts - is even more challenging, the person I am about to paint, has passed away. Luckily I have his wife as great source of information -as well as his daughter, who looks like him. If you want to know how it will go - keep watching this space!    

From the Aquarellista headquarters 4

 The portrait is almost finished! There are some minor details but they will have to wait until I have done the greater part of the next portrait - the other half literally of this one... My plan is to connect them using the background. Their personal colours are very different, but this will make the two portraits, like the two people, 'belong'... Anyway, since my last post I worked on the cooler floor and the rug and the warmer wall and chair (window basically left white!) and after that I adjusted the reflections in the glasses...           The 'after' picture has much more likeness to the real person - his cleverness and perceptiveness are much more visible At this point I stopped working on it and handed it over to the new owners, who by the way are very content. But they will have to return it for the last strokes when I am in the finishing stages of number two, so I can align the rug, and the window. But that will take a while. I will keep you posted!

From the Aquarellista Headquarters 3

The portrait is coming along fine - the shape, colours and features of my 'muse'  are basically done. Still some tweaking is needed, for instance I am not yet completely happy about his glasses, but I will wait with that until the background is done, because then I can work with a reflection, based on something that is actually there. Right now I am working on the chair, which is coming along fine. Main colour used for that W&N burnt sienna. The most important colour for the background is going to be W&N Payne's Grey. It will probably have green and red tones.     And on the right there will be lots of white - but that is a true timesaver in aquarelle, the parts you don't have to paint!  

From the Aquarellista Headquarters 2

Although there is not as much time as I hoped for (because my artist bro Pim had to go to hospital and I'm taking over his classes for the rest of the month and April, lots of planning and general distraction)  - I am slowly working on the portrait commission, and 'the thing' is already happening: I fall in love with my subject. I am thinking about him and his features all the time. By the way, this always happens to me! Boys, girls, old, young- as long as it has a heartbeat, I love it deeply during the making of the painting! It is probably what the term 'muse' is all about... Anyway - a remark on my work is sometimes that I show a much too 'loving' image - and the above is probably why! Can't help it! Maybe I should someday paint somebody that I don't like - as a test... OK - here's a picture of the basic sketch: very thin , with a HB pencil on the Arches torchon, so that the drawing will hardly be visible on the painting when it is finished.     And then the first wash  of his face, without much detail and contrast - but definitely with a likeness to, euh... my muse!

Green Rosebud ‘covered’

Last summer I went to my favourite café in Valbonne village and there she was, this performer with just a guitar and a great voice... she was jamming a bit with a couple of local people and it was wonderful. Afterwards I went over to give a bit of super positive feedback and to ask if she had cd's. Long story short, her name turned out to be Catherine Taylor Dawson, she is a professional singer from the UK, who at this moment mainly does session work and (to give you an idea of her voice) did TV adverts and re-mixes for the vocals of Katy Perry, Joss Stone and Bjork...

She is currently recording and producing her first solo album with all songs composed by herself - and guess who is going to design the cover! I am delighted that for the time being  she has produced a jazzy album with covers of great songs for marketing reasons - and that she chose my 'Green Rose Bud' for the front as a try out...and by the way, the cooperation went very well!

To check out her photo and her music you can check out or google her name... You can listen to her music via internet... It's definitely worthwhile!!  

From the Aquarellista Headquarters 1

Today I started with a new portrait commission and as I am creating a 'Making of' book anyway I thought it would be a nice idea to use my writings to keep you posted on how it goes, the  materials, the details, the challenges and things I learn on the way... After  sketching, studying, discussing and taking a lot of pictures (spread out over several days) I started with choosing my paper. In this case (the protrait is head to feet and pretty big, hard to stretch on a board) I chose a sheet of heavy Arches paper, 640 grams rough grain Torchon, with those wonderful 'bords frangés' that only hand made paper has. And a beautiful watermark on all corners.   And then work on the perfect basic drawing - important because using transparent aquarelle watercolours makes it very hard to repair mistakes...  

Exhibition Holotropic Art Symposium 2011/2012

Exhibition Holotropic Art Symposium: Artists from four continents exhibit in the Dana Gallery by: Loredana OPREA Date of publication: 17/01/2012 The Holotropic Art exhibition is opening today. The works can be admired until 20 March. Professional artists from four continents - Europe, USA, Asia and Africa - will exhibit at Iasi. Their creations will be presented at the third edition of the exhibition "Art holotropic Annual International". The opening is scheduled today at 18 o'clock at Dana Gallery in Str. Prof. Cujba.

The exhibition brings together paintings by artists from France, Denmark, Switzerland, Romania, USA, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria and Algeria. Among the exhibitors this year are painters who participated in previous editions: Attika Boubezari (Algeria), Muriel Desgardin (Switzerland), Marina Kulik (France), Edi Apostu, Zamfira Birzu, Gabriela Drinceanu, Ana Gabriela Dulgheru and Dorin Lehaci (Romania). For the first time participating artists Wale Ajay (Nigeria), Helle Antonsen (Denmark), Smaranda Bostan, Sabin Drinceanu, Roxana Irina Odobasa, Lucian Sebastian Radu (Romania), Nadine Bertulessi (France), Anton Buttler (South Africa), Dumas Hufreesh (India), Damaring Ferasmara (Indonesia) and Dave Dazzlin Peterson (USA).

In making their creations, participants used inspirational music composed especially for this event by the initiator of this artistic trend, Edi Apostu. In his opinion, holotropic art is the art which is the result of transpersonal experiences and which can transpose the beholder into states of overconsciousness.

"His music influences my work: usually I let myself be inspired by a combination of my mood, sound, the light, the weather and the behavior of my paint, transparent aquarelle, which is thin as water and mixes, blends, drips and flows. The “look and feel” is organic, natural. For this project I concentrated mainly on music, which is new to me and cannot be compared. In order to express what I experience with Edi Apostu’s music I have chosen a mixture of smooth oil and opaque acrylics, which give me more control, and deeper tones. The transparency and the suggestion of depth and volume that I use in my “regular” paintings appear in this work too – the music requires that". says artist Marina Kulik.

The exhibition will be presented by Edi Apostu and will be hosted by Dana Gallery until 20 March.

The Mystery of Survival – MyDNA in Galerie Oscar

Until 1 February 2012, Marina shows an overview of her latest aquarelles in the hippest gallery of the Côte d'Azur, Galerie Oscar in Nice. The theme of this solo exhibition is 'the mystery of survival', referring to DNA, cells, fingerprints, portraits and other unique aspects of life that determine a person's survival and are omnipresent in Marina's work. The aquarelles are painted with Winsor and Newton on hand made paper, which absorbs the transparent paint in a different way. This makes the repair of mistakes absolutely impossible, but also makes the colours come out  much stronger - an effect I love!

Galerie Oscar is a galerie for contemporary, modern art. They work in an original and different way with their artists and  for example regularly have events around the art, with speakers, music and great food. They also organize yoga classes in the mornings and arrange art rentals.

You can visit the exhibition and Galerie Oscar on 9 Rue Fodéré, 06300 NICE For more information visit          

‘Farewell’ wins Prize of the Culture Council

 Out of hundreds of entries, one of the two paintings that Marina Kulik entered in the Grand Prix d'Aquarelle has won the prize of the Culture Council! Her other painting (MCRose 13) received a honorary mention.

'This year I am trying out several contests to see if that works as well for publicity as exhibiting does. So far there wasn't much worth mentioning, I ended up in the last fifty in the 'Power of Self' art contest (with self-portraits) and just missed the finals of the Saatchi Showdown (3 votes short, ouch!). This fall I  was invited to participate in the Grand Prix d'Aquarelle 2011. It was an interesting contest, with a theme that I found appealing: 'Roses without thorns'.

There were strict rules, the work should be made specifically for this Grand Prix, and it was not permitted to show it anywhere else before it was judged. That's why it hasn't been on my website until last week! I have actually produced three works for it, but one, though great fun to create, didn't come through my own ballot. I painted the singers of the Dutch song 'Rozen Zonder Doornen',  Gert en Hermien Timmermans... very lame but now kind of cult- But it would only mean something to older Dutch people.

Ok, and the other two that made it were a new version of my McRoses, number 13, a big one on handmade paper. Certainly no thorns there, as it is a painting suggesting an estranged rose, from fabric, or 'pillows' as many people say. The second was more complicated, and I am very happy that it is this one that won the prize: it's name is 'Farewell' because I painted it like the roses we dropped in the water of the North Sea, after we scattered the ashes of a dear friend. And, it has as a subtitle  'Such roses do not exist, but you can hide the thorns'. Hence the ribbon around it.

I am very happy with this acknowledgement!

One more contest-like happening to go, I have also entered for the second time in the Holotropic Art Symposium, held in Rumania, and this year it has prizes too.

Fingers crossed and I'll tell you all about that in another post...'

McRose 12