A calendar of my current hometown of Houten compiling 12 paintings created outdoors this past year. The Houten calendar cost €25 excluding postage. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to order your copy now.
My duo exhibition together with nature photographer Rob de Groot has kicked off in Theater aan de Slinger, Houten The Netherlands.
Exhibition runs until January 6th 2021. The theatre is open weekdays during office hours and in the weekend and evening when a show or film is planned.
The exhibition consists of 11 paintings of Houten, painted outdoors on the spot and also my whole collection of 2020 abstract paintings. Be sure to check out the exhibition space which continues on the second floor of the theatre.
A blanket of warm words both enveloping and soothing
Pain-filled pockets of old wounds passed down from generation,
Arms and legs wrapped tightly around the thinnest peak of the tallest tree,
Heart pounding, tensed muscles aching, body swaying gently on the breeze of hope,
Suspended on a thin life-wire, connecting all that is and ever was.
Ever-fluctuating time, suddenly fusing the many layers of existence,
In a mere flash, the wholeness and inter-dependency of our being,
Revealed and understood, if only just for a moment.
The wisdom once ever-present, contained in a nutshell,
Eroding now and fading before us while we busy ourselves with hot air.
Returning to the womb for warmth and protection,
Detracting the claws of persistence,
Unwinding and retreating underground to a state of inner quiet.
A thick mulch of rotting ways decomposes on the surface,
Awaiting to nourish when we are ready to receive and grow towards the light.
But for now, we seek comfort in the dark edges of the soul,
Wallowing within the depths of our own entangled jungle.
Stoop to hear the whispers being carried on the wings of a flickering flame,
Soar to joyous heights of a heart open to receive,
Kneel in adoration at the awe-inspiring detail of a single rose,
Raise up your defiant head against the destructive tide of envy and corruption,
Stand tall in the promise of a life worth living,
Confident in your task of giving.
Shine bright in your inner glow to share and be a beacon in the night,
Trust and launch your might at your darkest fears shape-shifting,
Be steadfast in the knowledge that hope no matter what is everywhere,
Scream out if you dare to feel alive,
This land is both full of ecstasy and of our ancestor’s ancient cries,
Go now and melt into the existence of who and what we are,
Longing to be reunited with our inner tribe.
Golden shimmering dragonfly wings flicker in the late afternoon sunlight as he rests momentarily on a glowing ruby-coloured blueberry leaf.
Nearby, dancing a figure eight are twinned white butterflies rotating in mid-air. A magenta petaled zinnia calls me closer with its contrasting sunflower-yellow pollened centre.
A bumble bee busies herself just above the zinnia, where a lilac painted verbena keeps her captivated as she zips from one tiny protruding T-shaped purple flower segment to the next. All the while, my blue banana-shaped hammock sways gently to and fro, matching the glorious cyan September sky.
An orange-red peacock butterfly swoops down beside me to say hello. The spikey coned heads of echinacea’s stand tall and balding, while its darkening crumpling leaves droop slowly downwards, making them look like a swarm of Halloween-styled jellyfish, backlit by the low Autumnal sun.
The perfection and beauty is almost painful as I’m reminded of the transience of this cherished moment. Can’t these numbered early Autumn days, still glowing with late Summer sun, stay a little longer? I’m missing you already even though you stand before me. And yet your transient quality is the reason I now take notice. Ironic isn’t it?
Embrace change they say: I want to.
Be in the moment they say: I try.
Why does it hurt so much? Your resisting.
Let go, let go, let go…I die, just a little.
During a hot mountain hike, as we pass under the cool shade of a cheery horse chestnut:
Respectful of your greatness, like you might a Queen of the past. Thank you dear and majestic great one for all that you give. We are eternally grateful. Bowing under the pulsating epiphany of life. How could we ever pass you by in a fumbling blinded stance? We are but of great ego and with little true understanding of the world within or without.
Oh, strong and not so silent entity, how well you communicate with fellow tribe. Through unimaginable sophistication, you send your message of warning through the tiny particles in the air as well as feed a whole community through your roots. In contrast, we toot our gaudy horn and supposedly know better, while using and abusing your kind to serve our every whim.
Forgive us for our ignorance. A tree is but a tree, only when our eyes and heart are closed to your wonderous ways. In reverence and awe, I bow before thee.
A tree is but a tree…
Gushing, flowing, twisting,
Your power can split rock,
Your beauty hypnotic,
Your sound soothing.
Refreshing, cooling, cleansing,
Thirst quencher, purifier, giver of life,
Running like the veins of the land,
Your stormy strength undeniable, sometimes treacherous.
As you dance and spill over and around all rocks before your,
Ever-flowing until you’re not.
Humbled by your power and godly importance,
If I listen hard enough do I hear your sounds
Make words or even just meaning?
Are your messages encrypted in a crashing wave?
In the deep tones of a gushing waterfall?
Or a gurgling stream or a silent lake?
Or in the pitter-patter of rain?
I believe you have the answers to my quest,
But unless I take the time to listen,
The answers will continue to remain
Hidden within your melodic song.
To all the silent women in the world;
Rise up and speak your truth,
Take back the power that was your own,
Rise up and speak your truth.
Believe not the lies that have kept you small,
Nor the fists that have moulded you so,
Break free the ties that silenced your cries,
Rise up and speak your truth.
Find strength within and raise your chin,
Make defiance your only sin,
Awake from your silence and brave the tide,
Your time is now!
Rise up and speak your truth.
by Olivia O’Keeffe
70x100cm, acrylic on canvas, 2019
60x70cm, acrylic on canvas, 2019