“Timaeus” – a work in progress

“Timaeus” – A series of 8 panel paintings (part 1)

The world is a fascinating place. For an artist who started his adult life as a student of philosophy it is very difficult to lay aside the lens that continuously colours and adjusts the way he perceives this world.

Some time during the last year I was off and on working on different projects, writing texts and planning for new initiatives when I started doodling on drawing paper. It was something between an exercise in ‘écriture automatique’ and conscious matching of shapes, symbols and meaning. I traced the images that emerged in India ink with relatively heavy lines. Then I started to colour the drawing with gouache, using a flat style, avoiding indications of shading and depth.

painting 2 from the Timaeus series
Timaeus II – unfinished fragment (panel 50 x 50 cm) © Eelco Bruinsma 2020

I continued this exercise on other days, creating a small series of – sometimes unfinished – coloured drawings. At that time I was also considering creating a series of paintings that could be displayed on a wall as a horizontal series or tiled in any order the owner wishes, creating her or his own narrative. So I decided to purchase 8 identical wooden panels of 50 x 50 cm and started preparing them.

At the same time I was analysing the gouaches and discovered that they could be read as a slightly unordered way to ‘read’ the world from a perspective which I can only label as ‘slightly platonic’. Slightly, because there is no strict application of platonic ideas or a literal translation of images derived from Plato’s dialogues, which a have always enjoyed reading. But there is a pervading sense that the notions, as we find them in the later dialogues, like the Timaeus and the Critias, are instrumental in the constructing the images, albeit in a somewhat chaotic way.

Timaeus I – fragment (panel 50 x 50 cm) © Eelco Bruinsma 2020

To be continued…

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Kleine gedaantes
Doorkruisen de avondmist
Mystieke muizen

Small appearances
Traverse the evening fog
Mystic mice

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Petite Maison Bourgeoise

vooraanzicht van Frans huis naar 19de eeuwse litho
Vooraanzicht van Frans huis naar 19de-eeuwse litho. © Eelco Bruinsma 2018.

A while ago I posted some images from a portfolio of French architectural drawings that I bought at an auction. Today I post the first of a series of re-illustrations based on these drawings. I re-imagined them, well, actually I am still working on the series, to be able to create a flexible series of art prints that can be reproduced digitally on high quality art paper with archival inks. Working on every detail of these images, which are lithographs, makes me appreciate the tremenous skills of the reproduction artists that created them.

Stone lithography in the 19th and early 20th century was as important to all kinds of commercial imagery as DTP and digital design is now. I once wrote a small book on the collection of sigar-box labels that were printed in the south of the Netherlands during the first half of the 20th century. There was a plethora of designs to choose from. Only a few survived as commercial brands. Lithography was the preferred medium. The artisans were creating subtle images and wonderful colours by putting tiny little dots on the lithographic stones rom the Sollnhofer quarries – by hand. They were real virtuoso’s.

These French architectural images were part of a large portfolio of housing types. From small labourer’s cottages to stately city mansions for affluent people, from hunting lodge to architect’s practice, everything was pre-imagined. Driving throug semi-rural and semi-urban areas of France, one can still encounter many of these charming buildings.

The art-print is available in Moonfrog Studio’s Etsy shop. It will be printed on high-quality paper, sent in a tube, and is available in 3 sizes:

  • 30 x 30 cm / 11,81 x 11,81 inch
  • 50 x 50 cm / 19,68 x 19,68 inch
  • 60 x 60 cm / 23,62 x 23,62 inch.
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Hades – II – “Styx”

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II “Styx”

Pathogeen neolithicum, van begin tot eind.
Van uitgang tot ingang.
In een omgekeerde viscositeit. Een vicieuze regurgitatie.
Van een cumplementair complement. Peristilium Pterodactyli.

Wat!? Een dagboek van het Annum Pestilentium.
Verdwenen, verseucht, verkramt! Versuchs doch mal.
Nee. Ik ben dokter Drudd. Dokter Jan Drudd.
Mij krijgen ze niet, mijn masker gaat niet af.

Hoofddeksel, mag ik uw hoofd… uw hoofddeksel?
Nog niet. Want, wie staat daar heupwiegend voor het raam?
Wie is Anna Pestilentia? Eerlijk zeggen.
Verdwenen, verseucht, verkramt! Versuchs doch mal.

Fluvius aestatis, Fluvius nocturnus. Feste feste!!
Want ook de dwergen zijn klein begonnen.
Dat zei de hertog onlangs nog, hij zei het zelf.
Is het alweer zo lang geleden? Hoe lang geleden is het?

Bij de gapende ingang, de geeuwende uitgang.
We stonden aan de rand van de groeve bij Memphis.
Een gietijzeren spiltrap met sierlijke ornamenten.
De diepte in. De diepte in.
Oh steenkolos, hoe sleept men u voort?
En waar zijn de stieren gebleven?
Hij heeft haar niet meegenomen,
Want zij dwaalt door het…

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Hades – I – “Serapeum”

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I – “Serapeum”

Is gelukkig niet echt … eg … eg echt weg
Al weet zij er heg noch steg
In haar rode jurk, blauwe jurk
Rood-blauwe bloemenjurk.

Want het stroomt, alles.
Alles stroomt. Volgens de analoog pathonoom
Is de taartpunt de oorsprong van lipogenese.
Lipopotamus in de Po Popotomac.
Het zwaarste beest in een beest van een kist.
Een granieten kist, diep, diep onder het woestijnzand.
Waar het tentdoek klappert in de hete wind.

Salmonella, Salporeum, Peristilium, Peristalticus.
Serapis, Sepaleum, Serapeum. Apis, Apis!
Waar zijt gij Apis?
Uw kolossale sarcofaag is leeg. Hoe!?
Hoe kregen ze dat voor elkaar? Hoe?
Meneer de anagraaf… hoe?

“Ik ben autonoom pathograaf. Ex Officio, zogezegd.
Van de Oostelijke Necropool.”
“Dank u. Aangenaam.”
Lino, linoleums; de zwartste de eerste.
Ik vind het, vind het, want het…

English translation

… is not really re re really gone, fortunately
Although she is lost
In her red dress, blue dress
Red-blue flowery dress.

Because it all flows, everything.
Everything is in flux. According to the analogous pathonomist
The piece of cake is the origin of lipogenesis.
Lipopotamus in the Po Popotomac.
The heaviest beast in a beastly coffin.
A chest of granite, deep, deep under the sand of the desert.
Where hot winds flap the canvas of the tent.

Salmonella, Salporeum, Peristilium, Peristalticus.
Serapis, Sepaleum, Serapeum. Apis, Apis!
Apis, where art thou?
Your colossal sarcophagus is empty. How!
How did they do it? How?
Mister pathograph, how?

“I am the autonomous pathographer. Ex Officio, so to say.
Of the Eastern Necropolis.”
“Many thanks. Nice to meet you.”
Lino, linoleums; the blackest go first.
I will find it, find it, because it…

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Schilderij van schip op de rand van een waterval - door Eelco Bruinsma 2016, acryl op papier
“Waterval”, acryl op papier, 32 x 24 cm Eelco Bruinsma 2016
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