A painting journey through Vietnam

image‘I’ve often watched Jan paint in his studio, but its only for a minute or two while we chat about domestic logistics. Being in the hotel room with him while we were hemmed in with the typhoon is an an entirely different experience. The energy in the air changed so much I couldn’t focus on my reading. The concentration, intensity and finer-dashing was exhausting viewing. I held my breath for minutes until he changed colour or finger before dabbing madly again. With different colours on his different fingers his hands moved like old fashioned typists who knew the qwerty keyboard blindfolded. How does he remember which colour is on which finger? It was mesmerising. And when he comes up for air, his eyes refocus to reorientate to a world with a wife in it. Where does he go?

The entertaining aspect is how he settles down or disentangles himself from a wet canvas, a palette with colours escaped from their indentations – to the sides, underneath, his knees, fingers, floor, chair, wrist and occasionally his clothes. The dance to get everything wiped clean is as frenetic as the painting itself. And then we both deserve a beer, and I can breathe again.’

Terry – Hoi An, Nov ’17


Flower Seller

Yellow flowers, for the full moon honoring of ancestors, everywhere you look. Bunches in the baskets of scooters and bicycles. Bunches for sale on street corners and the entrance to the market a yellow carpet. Striking against the golden-yellow walls of the old town.

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Lone Traveler

Acrylic on linen 40cmx50cm A woman traveling alone through Hoi An, Vietnam. The safety of a corner in a coffee shop. Light playing across her contemplative emotions. Searching for that perfect line. Inspiration from the stunning Japanese painting ‘four seasons’, copies of which were in one of the galleries.   Fortunately, the painting doesn’t reflect…

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Drenched in yellow

Acrylic on 425gram paper 17cmx23cm Messing about with paint, the floor in our room the studio. Hard it is, and my back certainly doesn’t enjoy the contortions. ‘Drenched in yellow’, a small acrylic on paper to capture the golden colour of the buildings in the old town. Van Gogh yellow! Alleyways of intrigue, weaving between…

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The Cooks Shrine

29cmx21cm Acrylic on 300 gram paper One of the special aspects of the Nocturnal Artist Restaurant in Hoi An is that the cooking is done in their home kitchen. Within the tiny space, the family shrine watches over the cooking.

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A Man from Hoi An

Acrylic on linen 40cmx50cm A grey from Naples yellow, Raw Sienna and Phthalo blue, which is one of the scariest colours as its strong pigmentation turns everything into a blue-green hue. However, with the Cadmium yellow deep it creates a balance that I used for the portrait of ‘A man in Hoi An’.   During…

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Temple detail

27cmx18cm Acrylic and marker pen on 425gam paper There are Buddhist temples all over the old city, with their intriguing architecture and sculptural elements. I made sure that for my painting of the temple detail, I included nine beam circles, 9 being an auspicious number.

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Pushing the Oars

Oil on canvas 120cmx40cm Sampans on the busy waters of the Mekong Delta, searching for the slowest part of the river flow. The brown waters not what I wanted to dominate the painting, and while acknowledging the strength of the women who ply the eight foot oars of the boats, it was the delicate butterflies…

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A 92 year old women in Hoi An, Vietnam. The simplicity I was striving for being lost in the contours and crumpledness of her face. The complexity of the years driving the painting? Raw Sienna, permanent magenta, Ultramarine blue and Naples Yellow with Alizarin crimson the key colours. I did include touches of Cerulean and…

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