Category Archives: Inspiration

It’s FREE… (and some insight into the life of an artist)

Yes, it’s free.

It seems these days one has to spell it out in capital letters or mention it over and over….

FREE… FREE… FREE…

…and then still somehow get misunderstood or frowned upon.

In my last blog I shared with you the 21 Secrets Color, Color, Color! Fall 2016 Workshop at which I am a teacher and offered you the chance to receive one of these workshop packages valued at US $98 for … FREE.

I can give away two workshop packages at my own discretion to whomever I like. And I decided to offer this to my valuable supporters who follow my blog. By the way, I could have also just decided to gift them to my two best artist buddies as birthday gifts. 😉

Reminder:

All you have to do, to stand a chance of receiving one of two FREE workshops, is to subscribe to my blog, or if you already are a subscriber, write a comment on my blog, stating that you are interested in the workshops. If you like more privacy, you can even send me an email, as long as you are a subscriber to my blog. Deadline is the 18th of September and I will announce the two winners here on my blog in the week thereafter.

Have a look at the official workshop page to see what is on offer! Just click on this picture:

21-SECRETS-2016-Color-medium

From the mixed reactions I got, I guess something was not clear.

Some told me: This sounds fantastic, but I cannot afford it.

Really? Which part is not affordable? The FREE part? Taking a chance on winning? Or can’t you afford to leave a comment on my blog, or subscribe to my blog (which is the one favour I am asking in return, in order to be considered for my free gift)?

Others told me something in the line of: Oh, you just want to promote yourself… I am not going to share this or support you.

Hmmm, now, let me put it to you like this: YES, I do want to promote myself. But actually this was more about offering you the opportunity to get a FREE inspirational workshop to learn new skills. Remember I could have just given it to my buddies, who would have loved such a gift.

KadinskyQuote

So just that you understand the thing of artists and promotion:

Unfortunately in this reality, artists have to do self-promotion in order to survive. We seldom have the luxury of a gallery or agent to do it for us. As an artist, I have my artwork, my experience and my knowledge to offer (and earn my money with). Most of that I generally offer for free most of the time. I generously share my artwork, creativity and experience and knowledge on various social media in order to inspire, uplift, entertain, delight or question. Everybody has access to it, without needing to pay or even say thank you.

And I am happy to share as much as I can, as generously as I can.

It might surprise you, but I, too, have to pay rent, buy food and pay for my medical aid, amongst others.

I can only pay my bills and make an honest living with the artworks I sell, or offering my expertise and experience. And in order to do that, I need people to know about my art and offerings. Ideally I need to have many people who know about my art… because not everyone either likes or buys an artwork or would participate in a workshop, or be willing to pay for my expertise.

That is the (sad?) reality of being an artist. We can only survive and keep on creating and sharing, if we put a lot of effort into promoting ourselves.

If more of the people, friends or blog or Facebook followers who enjoy my art and who find inspiration, solace or joy in what I have to offer, would tell their friends about it, then I could focus more on creating and sharing my art for free, than into promotion and marketing.

Instead I spend hours trying to make my offerings exciting and worthwhile AND then trying to promote my work as best I can.  I also take on opportunities where I can share my expertise in a workshop, get paid for it and have the possibility of earning a commission on any sales generated through my small community. I assume that is acceptable practice?

You might have also noticed, that I am always trying to offer some value in return. Like, hey, I am giving away stuff to the value of US $196 for free! All I am asking in return, is to follow my blog (so that you can receive more news and offerings from me and get to know me and my art better) and you can un-subscribe with one easy click at any time you like.

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This is me, blatantly promoting my art through sharing my work, accumulated knowledge and experience 😉 while presenting my video lectures for the workshop.

OK, now that I have finished ranting, I hope you are still interested to find out more about the workshop. I did not want to drown you in information in my previous blog, so here is a bit more detailed information about what you can expect to learn, when you either are selected as one of the two lucky recipients of the workshop, or even are willing to invest the US $98 in yourself and buy the package.

Since you are a follower of my blog, you might be most interested what you will be learning from me specifically?

The title of the course, which I am presenting for the 21 Secrets Color, Color, Color! Workshop is:

Feeling Blue? Spiritual and symbolic influence of colour in your journal and life

And here is the short description, which I wrote about the contents of my course:

What colour is the rain?
Red is life. Or is it death?
Why are we drawn to one colour and hate the other?

I welcome you on a colourful journey to reconnect with the ancient wisdom and power of colour. Discover the magic, myths, symbolism and effects behind the individual colours, create your personal colour reference guide with the ‘Colour a Day’ exercise and gain a deeper understanding how you can select and use colours for specific intention and purpose in your journal and life.

I will also share with you how colour is understood and used in Feng-Shui and in the seven main Chakras (energy centres) of the body. For the workshop I have compiled a lot of written content, fun and interesting exercises and 3 videos, where I share many thought-provoking aspects about color.

This is only my part. And that is not all! By far!

There are 23 more amazing courses prepared by 23 wonderfully inspiring and creative artists from around the world.

Just as some examples: Tori Weyers will teach you to tango with colour (Color Tango: Make your Colors Dance) while Mystele Kirkeeng will take you on an exploration of the colour of skin (Flesh in Living Color), she says: “When you really, really explore skin tones with color media, it becomes increasingly apparent how ridiculous it is that we still attempt to label the races monochromatically.“

You can learn how to easily create watercolour sunsets with Lorraine Bell or test the benefits of a limited palette and how to use it to your advantage from Jeanne Oliver.

Connie Solera, the founder and director of this incredible 21 Secrets workshop series, will teach you how to boldly overcome the point where you are too scared to continue as you fear you are messing up your artwork, but know that it is not finished yet.

As you can see, there are many interesting, fun and stimulating courses for you to explore.

Untitled mixed media work by Imke Rust

Detail of Untitled mixed media work by Imke Rust

If you do not know me yet, here is a short description of who I am:

“Can we create rain through a creative process?” This question, together with my deep-seated curiosity, interest in shamanism and alternative worldviews and stubborn insistence that we can make the world a better place have guided my journey as a multi-passionate creative being. I love uncovering the deeper meanings and mysteries of life and figuring out how everything is connected.

I am a Namibian multi-media artist, rainmaker and curator. I grew up in the desert of Namibia and since 2010 I am splitting my time between my home country and Germany, between the desert and the forest. I have completed my Bachelors Degree in Visual Arts at the University of South Africa and have won Namibia’s most influential art competition, the Standard Bank Namibia Biennale, twice.

My artistic expression is versatile, with a strong attraction towards nature and land art. I also enjoy sharing the joy of creativity with others, through joined projects, workshops, interventions in public spaces and via my blog.

I am excited to welcome you on a joint exploration of the stories, symbolism and effects behind the colours we use to paint the stories of our lives.

(You can find similar course descriptions and artist introductions from all other 23 courses in this package in the link to the course.)

Curious?

Well, you know what to do. I hope.
If not, you are welcome to ask!

Click on the image to find out more or buy the workshop.

Click on the image to find out more or buy the workshop. As a teacher I am also an affiliate and I do get a commission if you buy the workshop if you used my link to get there. So please, treat yourself to a fun course and at the same time thank you for supporting me and my art!

21 Secrets – Color, Color, Color! Workshop Pre-sale and Give-Away (time sensitive)

21-SECRETS-2016-Color-artistblock-imke-rustI am thrilled to announce that I am one of the teachers presenting this year’s 21 Secrets – Color, Color, Color! art journaling workshop, which it is going on sale NOW.

Connie Solera from Dirty Footprints Studio, initiator and organizer of this successful workshop series says: “… because you can never have too much color – I went a little bonkers and invited 24 talented teachers instead of my usual 21 – all for the same low price!”

And this low price is: US $98!  — for a plethora of information (follow the link or see below, to find out about all the goodies which are included).
(for European people, that is about 87€ and for my Namibian folks: N$ 1320.)

To celebrate we’re having an Early Bird Sale now through Friday.

Enter discount code: COLOR and save $10.

Click here to get to the Early Bird Sale!

Click here to get to the Early Bird Sale!

AND…

You have a chance to receive one of two courses, which I am giving away for free to my valued supporters!!!

I love free goodies, especially when they are so valuable and exquisite and it is an even better feeling to be giving them away myself…

All you need to do, is to

  1. Subscribe to my blog – in the left hand column. If you already are a subscriber, please either comment below this blog or send me an email to tell me that you want to be included in the draw.
  1. Share this blog widely through your social media, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Tag me, so that I know #imkerust21secrets.

Signing up to my blog gets you one vote and sharing another, so if you spread the word your chances are increasing of being selected to receive one of the two workshops.

Recipients will be selected randomly by a third-party person and will be announced on my blog between the 19th and 23rd of September.

To make sure you do not miss out, even if you are not one of the recipients of the two free courses I am giving away, you can pre-order the course now and should you be selected, you have the option to cancel your pre-order (up till the 26th of September 2016) and receive a full refund. Or even better, just give away one of them as a gift to your best friend, so that you can do this course together!

I am an affiliate for the 21 Secrets course, so please use this link from my page to get to the 21 Secrets Course and purchase your workshop. That way you will support me and ensure that I can continue sharing my creativity with the world, as I will be earning a percentage of each sale generated through my page.

What is this 21 Secrets – Color, Color, Color! workshop?

In short, 21 SECRETS is a 150+ page downloadable eBook filled with 25+ hours of videos, full colored photos, templates, and clear instruction that will guide you through a colorful adventure with your art journal!

But what makes 21 SECRETS spectacular is that you receive all the content at once. We know you’re busy, so YOU get to pick and choose which workshops to do and when! Dive into your favorites first and never once feel rushed or falling behind — these workshops are YOURS TO KEEP baby!

Find out more about the teachers, short descriptions of each of the courses on offer and other information by clicking on the image below:

Click on the image to find out more...

Click on the image to find out more…

Do you have any questions? Please do not hesitate to ask – either by commenting below or sending me an email to: imke(a)imkerust.de   (please replace the (a) with an @ for sending your email)

Oh, and please do not forget to share this widely with your friends who might be interested too! Thank you!!!

21-SECRETS-2016-Color-medium

Longing to Belong

69 Strands of (be)Longing, Fake and natural hair, branch and wire. Artwork created by Imke Rust at the ILAM, May 2016

69 Strands of (be)Longing,
Fake and natural hair, branch and wire. Artwork created by Imke Rust at the ILAM, May 2016

In May I had been in Maastricht as an invited artist to the International Land Art Maastricht Symposium. I had shared some pictures from this wonderful event together with an invitation to come and see the results, but I have not had the time to tell you more about the artwork that I created there. So today I would like to share with you some thoughts and images, especially for those of you, who could not see the work in person.

Artists were asked to propose an artwork that they would create in the park of the Chateau Jerusalem. The theme of the symposium was ‘Connected’. We had five days to complete the work, which then was on exhibition for the following two weeks.

This is the concept, which I originally formulated for my plans:

“I am exploring the ‘Connected’ theme through a material that everybody connects to African women: long, black braided hair. Although they usually are made out of fake artificial material, they have come to represent a certain identity (African), but at the same time they are also an imitation of another identity (western, long, smooth hair). In so many ways they are connecting different worlds. To me they are also a strong metaphor for belonging and identity. Hair and braids can also be used as ropes to climb to another life (Rapunzel), and relate to the migration of refugees to Europe.

As a white African I am intrigued by working with this fake hair, as a form to express the duality and paradox of my own identity and belonging. The combination of synthetic and natural materials, illusions created and the process of braiding are additional aspects, which I want to explore.”

69 Strands of (be)Longing, Fake and natural hair, branch and wire. May 2016

69 Strands of (be)Longing,
Fake and natural hair, branch and wire. Artwork created by Imke Rust at the ILAM, May 2016

I had some vague ideas of how I wanted to proceed, but since I have not seen the park and have never worked in this material before, I decided to stay open and flexible and just trust the process.

When I arrived there and saw all the grand and impressive plans from the other artists, my heart sunk. Maybe my work was too timid, too small, too unspectacular? And what if it does not work out in any way I had imagined? I had no chance to try it out before, so either it worked or it would fail… What could I do, besides just start and hope for the best? I started and was flooded with even more doubts. Am I allowed, as a white woman to make art with this kind of hair, which usually is only used by black women? Could I even dream of braiding as neatly and perfectly as those hairdressers back home in Namibia do? Aren’t they the real artists who can make the most stunning patterns and styles for their customers? Who am I to now want to use this method and material to create my art?

Well, I had a lot of time to think, while I braided. And every time the doubts and insecurities became too strong, I heard the inner voice saying: Just trust the process.

I remembered that one of the reasons why I initially wanted to work with braiding, was the repetitive process itself. Somehow it is a process that is fairly easy, but demands just enough concentration and focus, that you have to stay in the here and now, but also leaves enough space for your mind to relax and wander off into thoughts that you usually are too busy for.

This work quickly became much more about that process and the inner dialogue that happened, than the final physical artwork. For five days I just sat there, under a beautiful tree, in the middle of the park and braided. I got to understand how this synthetic material reacted to humidity, dryness, wind and weather. How it sometimes could be so stubborn and putting up a real fight to get under control, and other times it just flowed through my fingers as if it was the most natural thing to happen. I became calm and looked forward to my work and every next strand.

My thoughts turned to my first memories of braiding. When I was a young girl, it was my father who braided my hair every day. And it was also he, who taught me how to braid. And I was so proud, that I even knew (from him) how to braid with more than 3 strands. While everybody looked at braiding as a typical female activity, I connected it to my father. And yet, it was my mother who had to go and buy the fake hair in Namibia (yes, these hairs were made in Namibia and sent all the way to Germany), so it was kind of a family effort that ensured I could sit in Maastricht in a park and braid ‘my’ hair.

Masculine and feminine… control and wildness… order and chaos… expectations and reality… appearance and authenticity… there were so many concepts that flowed into and through my being and into the braids (or did it flow out of them or the process?) while I was working.

With every next strand I had another chance of flowing. The focus changing and shifting… With every movement I moved on, the strand started, got longer and longer, and then, suddenly it reached the end.

I made a rough knot into the strand to keep it from coming undone and originally thought I will melt the ends to make a neat and proper ending. After a few strands with wild and chaotic knotted ends, I noticed the beauty, the wildness and the dynamic of these endings, the contrast to the neat braids… and decided to leave them just like that.

Through folding thin strands of hair over each other again and again… the central aspect became more obvious for me. With every movement there was a longing. A longing to come to the end, but also a longing for so much more… To belong, to understand, to control, to find the balance, to find a (my) place … to just be.

Where do I belong? To my home country, where I am too white in the eyes of many? Or to Germany, where I appear (on the first outer impression) to rather belong, but where I am a stranger? Do I ‘belong’ to be more controlled, or more wild? To fit better into the pattern of society or do my ends just come loose anyway?

Click on the images below to see a larger view and read about some further details.

Braiding, braiding, braiding… in 5 days I managed to braid 69 long strands. I managed to contain my sadness in these braids, to reassess the world and my ideas about it and to learn that I can and should just trust the process. The process of an artwork, but also the process of life…

Life is like these strands. Every day you begin with a new one, a new chance. You do your best to get as far as possible. But in the end it does not matter how far you come and how many days you get. What matters is your experience and your insights, your joy, but also your struggles and what you have learned through them.

Trust the process…

Here is a video taking you around the final artwork. In the photos one aspect gets lost, and that is how alive this work seems. How it dances and moves in the wind. The video gives you a small impression of that.

 

Impressions from my visit to Dnipropetrovsk

The poster announcing our event.

The poster announcing our event.

Dnipropetrovsk. I practiced very long and often to say it correctly and still I stumble over it. Since November last year, when Artsvit Gallery‘s curator, Ms Iryna Polikarchuk, approached me with the idea to visit this beautiful city and share my art and curatorial approach with them, Dnipropetrovsk has been a phrase set on repeat in my head.

Lots of planning and ideas were sent between us, until I finally could board the plane and fly to the Ukraine again, on the invitation of the Artsvit Gallery and the German Consulate in Donesk, who are currently located in Dnipropetrovsk. On the first evening I was joined by a wonderful and inspirational colleagues Ms Sabina Shikilinskaya (Azerbaijan) and Nikita Shalenny (Ukraine) for an introduction on our art and curatorial practice and public discussion afterwards. Additionally the visiting artists each had one evening to give an in-depth presentation about our art. All three events were received by much public interest and a packed audience.

During the days we also had a full program, organized by the gallery. Another main part of my visit was to meet with the German General Consul, Mr Mössinger and representatives of the city and gallery, to finalize details for a public installation of my art planned to be installed in a park in Dnipropetrovsk later this year. I am very exited about these plans, but will share more with you about this, closer to the time.

Following is a selection of impressions from my visit. I hope you enjoy them. (Click on the images to see a larger view and description.)

 

Creation is about allowing… (and upcoming events)

Blue Sphere 2, carefully allowed in the branches between two trees in the forest, by Imke Rust

Blue Sphere 2, carefully allowed installation in the branches between two trees in the forest, by Imke Rust

Creation is about allowing
– not about going out and doing.

Recently I found this quote and it made me stop in my tracks. Coming from a society and background where doing is considered the highest virtue, this thought seemed so out-of-place and plain presumptuous. Yet, I could not dismiss it, as it also stirred something deep inside of me.

For one, I realised some time ago, that doing is not always the answer. I have written about this idea before HERE.

But even more importantly I was struck by the ‘allowing’ part. When we grow up, our life is filled and directed with an endless list of do’s and don’ts… In my younger years, I was convinced if I just learn this list and follow it to perfection, I would be happy, and so would be everybody around me. Because I was doing things right… Later in life, I realised that this list became more and more complicated and it was not always possible to separate clearly between the do’s and don’ts. This realisation was confusing and also depressing, because my neatly arranged roadmap to life seemed to be crumbling and I had nothing to hold on to anymore that would guide me along.

Allowing…

Wow, what a big concept.

In life. In creativity. In love. In believes.

What would happen if we allowed more and were less constricted by the do’s and don’ts?

Allowing… the creative process of the universe, of life, to happen, without the need to control it.

It is a difficult concept to grasp (at least for me). And I guess I will be allowing myself to ponder on this much more. And allowing the creative process more and more, instead of trying to go out and ‘doing’.

And as if the universe wanted to let me know that it was serious about this, it send some sunshine on Saturday and nudged me to go out and explore a new part of the forest. Allowing myself a break, with no responsibilities or work to do. I was so deeply touched by the spirit of the forest, the cold, fresh air, nature’s first slow attempts at spring coming, the sunlight playing hide and seek and the majesty of the trees…

I took some pictures. And when I arrived home and downloaded them onto the computer, I realised that without any intention or doing on my part, a special moment was created and captured. Yes, it is just the flare of sunlight hitting my camera, but it is also magical. As if a sphere of blue light has been installed perfectly between the trees… and documented.

If you just allow yourself to imagine that this was a carefully created art installation.

Blue Sphere 1 & 2, carefully allowed installation in the branches between two trees in the forest, by Imke Rust

 

Here are some upcoming events, where you can see or experience my art:

Save the date if you are in Windhoek, Namibia:

Art Inside 2016  

One of my artworks (Happy Mongoose, 2015, Mixed Media on Canvas, 112 x 145cm) has been selected for the Art Inside Project and exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Namibia. You are welcome to the opening this week Thursday! If you cannot make it then, the exhibition runs till the 23rd of April 2016.

Happy Mongoose

Happy Mongoose

OPENING DATE 24 March 2016
OPENING TIME 18:00
VIEWING 24 March – 23 April 2016
VENUE NAGN

Press information about the project and exhibition from the National Art Gallery of Namibia:

“The project Art Inside, which was first launched in 2014, is a nationwide art awareness project aimed at Namibian Government. The initiative aims at acquiring original Namibian visual art for installation in all Ministries and semi-government premises. By installing the artworks, the project aims to celebrate visual art as an important mode of creative communication, and to foster an appreciation for visual art as inherent part of government’s working environment.

In the previous editions Namibian artists from all Regions have responded positively by submitting inspiring art and craftwork of an exceptional quality for this project. From these, the best pieces were first exhibited at the NAGN and then purchased for the Government of Namibia Art Collection.

The Art inside 2016 exhibition will run from 24th March to 23rd April 2016 at the National Gallery of Namibia.”

*************

And save the date if you are in Germany and interested to participate in a special Land Art Workshop which I am offering in conjunction with the Fair Camp Berlin program:

Die Fülle in dir
Fair Camp Exkursion „Kreativ im Grünen“ mit Imke Rust am 24. April 2016

Wann: So. 24. April 2016, ca. 13 bis 18 Uhr inkl. Mittagessen, Wo: bei Oranienburg

Die FÜLLE in Dir: Raus in die Natur! Rein in die Seele. Sehnen sie sich auch nach neuem Ausdruck, Natur und kreativem Schaffen? Der Frühling ist die perfekte Zeit auch unsere Seele aufblühen zu lassen und neue Impulse in unser Leben zu bringen. Lust auf etwas Neues und eine Auszeit vom Alltag? Dann lade ich sie herzlich ein, gemeinsam mit mir die Fülle, ihre Kreativität und die Natur neu zu entdecken. Wir kreieren, gestalten und experimentieren mit und in der Natur und lernen dabei unsere eigene innere Fülle und die der Natur bewusster zu erleben und auszudrücken.

Sie brauchen keine Vorkenntnisse, nur Offenheit, Freude an der Natur und Lust sich auszuprobieren. Als deutsch-namibische multimediale Künstlerin und Regenmacherin freue mich darauf, sie dabei zu begleiten und inspirieren zu dürfen. Imke Rust

Dieser Workshop ist der Arbeit in und mit der Natur gewidmet. Aber vor allem soll er die spielerische Kreativität, den persönlichen Ausdruck und die Freude am Schaffensprozess anregen. Wir werden die meiste Zeit draußen im Wald verbringen. Falls das Wetter nicht mitspielt, arbeiten wir mit Naturmaterialien im Atelier. Alles ist in kurzer Laufentfernung.

Bei Ankunft gibt es ein Mittagsmahl, eine Spende von Wünsch Dir Mahl. Wasser, Saft und Kekse für zwischendurch stehen bereit.

Click HERE for more information.
Space is limited to 10 participants, and places are already filling up quickly…

Kreativ im Grünen_FairCamp2016

Playing with my Heart

It is International Women’s Day and to celebrate this I have created my very first ever animated GIF and will share it with you today.

A GIF is a graphic format, which I would explain as a kind of moving picture. These formats seem to become ever more popular on the internet and I can understand why. Instead of having just one image, you have kind of a moving gesture, usually composed of a few still images.

And so, without further ado, here it is:

Playing with my Heart

Playing with my Heart, an animated GIF by Imke Rust

I hope you enjoy it!

‘Let’s be more adventurous’ she whispered

Lying awake at night I saw myself painting a huge canvas entirely black and immediately I thought how dark and depressing that would be… and dismissed the thought.

Then I remembered that some time ago I promised myself and the universe, that if I get any clear inspiration, I would trust it and follow it. So the next morning I took a 100 x 100cm canvas and started to paint it black.

It did not feel dark or depressing… it actually felt comforting, calming and very rich in its smooth deep blackness. Not at all as bad as I had imagined.

While painting I got the following insight:

Sometimes the darkness is not as bad, as it first seems...

Sometimes the darkness is not as bad, as it first seems… (Text added digitally to the photo.)

Then nothing. No new idea, no insight as to how and if to proceed. I hung the canvas on the wall and waited.

Yesterday I heard the kudu softly calling me.

Paint me! Remember, we have a long and special history together…

(When I was about three or four years old, my father worked in the field and my brother and I explored the near-by hill. I was the one who spotted the kudu, very close by. It did not run away immediately, which these wild antelopes normally do. How exciting… a tame kudu!

So what do little girls do? They wanna go and cuddle and play with any nice and tame animal…

Fortunately I had my brother follow close on my heels. We were really unbelievable close to this wild animal and it did not make any signs of running. Being older and already more knowledgable about the wild, my brother noticed strings of saliva running down from the kudu’s mouth. A sure sign that the kudu had rabies and was dangerous. This also explained why the kudu seemed so tame…

Immediately he grabbed me by my arm, softly, but urgently told me to back up and run. I was not very happy about this, as I already was so close to touch this cute and majestic animal. But, fortunately big brothers can be very persistent when they are about to save your life. 

So we ran. Down hill, all along a fence. Chased by a rabies infected kudu.
It is a common symptom that animals with rabies appear tame, but then also attack you… We ran for our lives.

My brother was faster and ahead of me. I realised that the kudu is getting closer and my short little legs had no chance against his (or hers). Somehow I realised that I could slip sideways through the fence and hope that the kudu will continue with his downhill chase. It worked…

But now the kudu got closer to my brother and my brother was getting close to the corner of the camp, with another fence right in front of him. He duck through the fence and at the same time the kudu lifted into the air with his powerful hind-legs to jump over the fence…

Another thing which happens with kudus who have rabies, is that they get weak. Usually they easily and gracefully jump over fences, but now they do not manage the height and get horribly tangled in the wires. Caught with its legs by the wires, this kudu came crushing down to the ground where my brother had just climbed through the fence. It fell partly onto my brother, but fortunately he could quickly get away and was not hurt.

My father, who was already alerted by my screams that something was wrong, came towards us and once he has ensured we are save, he put the poor kudu out of his/her misery.

This was a pretty unusual childhood encounter with a kudu and probably one of my very earliest, clear and lasting memories. And it made a huge impression on me… )

So yes, I do remember. Also the first time that I was asked to paint your portrait. I answered in my mind.

Ok, so will you paint me again?

Mhhh. Ok, maybe with white on black, that could look cool.

Ok.

What do you think of this?

Kudu White on Black (Detail)

Kudu White on Black (Detail)

Uhh, I like it. It is pretty. But…. hey let’s be adventurous tonight, otherwise we are finished so quickly… and black and white are so… mmhh, boring? Let’s just try something crazy…

I don’t know. I am scared. You look so pretty, what if I will mess that up?

You might, but wouldn’t it be fun? And anyway… if you do mess it up, you can just paint another one like this again, can’t you? Common, let’s just be a bit wild tonight… I dare you.

Ok, I trust you. And yes, I need to remember that I can always start over again. Art, like life, lets you start over and over again, as long as you are breathing. Mistakes can happen and they do. But it is not the end of the world and often they lead to amazing new and unexpected results.

So, yes, I dare…

(Untitled (Kudu on black background), Acrylic on canvas, 100x100cm)

(Untitled (Kudu on black background), Acrylic on canvas, 100x100cm)

So this is the kudu at this stage of our dialog… I think we leave her like this. Maybe, we will rather start another adventure on a different canvas.

And till we do, I am enjoying her presence. We are having fun, like girlfriends do, giggling and enjoying the neon colours we used, her prettiness and weirdness, marveling at the world, laughing at our vulnerability, fears and constant search for the elusive perfection… And think: who cares? When we can just be pink or turquoise or whatever we feel like? We should be more adventurous and less scared of making mistakes.