Portfolio Link

Should you be interested in viewing a more "formal" portfolio site, please visit: http://www.carlverster.com

Monday, May 31, 2010


Another one going up to Mercia's Petite exhibition in June.
Psyche, Oil on Canvas, 20cm x 20cm x 4cm

I wonder how well you know your Greek mythology.

Hear me.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Another one going up to Mercia's Petite exhibition in June.
Eros, Oil on Canvas, 20cm x 20cm x 4cm

Tell me what goes on in your head when you see this ...

Carl is listening to this

Kiss me?

Another one maybe going up to Mercia's Petite exhibition in June.
Kiss Me?, Oil on Canvas, 20cm x 20cm x 4cm
Carl is listening to this

Friday, May 28, 2010

Such stuff as dreams are made on ...

Another one of 6 going up to Mercia's Petite exhibition in June.
Dreams of Eros, Oil on Canvas, 20cm x 20cm x 4cm

In the theatre of my mind,
On the rapid eye reflex movie screens,
Playing on the insides of my eyelids,
There you will find .....

Carl is:
  • reading this among other things
  • listening to what is not being said
  • listening to this
  • laughing wryly at how strange life is

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This Kiss

One of 6 going up to Mercia's Petite exhibition in June.
This Kiss, Oil on Canvas, 20cm x 20cm x 4cm

"Where do two souls touch?" he pryed;
"The skin, fingers entwined?
Or here?", gestures to eyes.
"Here", she smiles.
"This kiss" she says, "This kiss of mine".

"How do you know me?" she cries;

Carl is:
  • heading to bed ... where are the dreamless sleep inducing drugs?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Threadbare Children

"Tale of the Threadbare Children"
Oil on Canvas
20cm x 20cm x 4cm

There is so little left of them. They have been worn through and through and through. Handed down from one to the other. Washed, and soiled, and washed again. Dried in the sun and wind. Worn and washed again. These children, these second hand children. We second hand, threadbare children, we.

Carl is:
  • Too tired to think
  • Listening to sermons online
  • Preparing for the departure of his brother in arms as Paul leaves to live in the UK. :(

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Just another manic depressive sunday.

I think I might be bipolar ... I go from wanting to slash my wrists to a few hours of franetic painting or drawing and back to wanting to drive the wrong way on the freeway in the dark on my bike as fast as possible just to see what will happen. Just battling to see the point of anything at the moment ...
Problem is I really need to get off my butt and paint ... there are exhibitions coming up etc etc. Everything I paint at the moment looks rubbish, so I end up distroying them.  That can't continue, its a waste of time, oils and everything else.
This is my 3rd charcoal drawing ... "Kayleigh".
Carl is:
  • reading art sites, but actually writing more than reading
  • listening to Dolores O'Riordan
  • watching

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Charcoal ... I haven't given up on you yet!!
That was seriously close ... I SO didn't enjoy my first charcoal experience that I almost canned the idea ... almost.  A fellow artist pointed out the obvious ... I had chosen the hardest route to learn (typical!) and hadn't chosen the 'fun' route'. Remedy? Do something for fun.  This is still rotten, but it WAS more fun. :)

 Quick sketch Dinosaur Jnr ... charcoal experiment no. 2

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Art for the sake of ... well ... I'm not sure.

Inspired by a song I spent a large portion of last night painting a picture that I can probably never let anyone see.  That's a very weird thought isn't it?
In the early hours of the morning I came out of the creative coma I was in, only half concious of what I was painting, to find I'd done a painting very different to anything I gave done before, and good ... really good, but so potentially controversial that I cannot show it to anyone. I guess this fits the definition of "art for art's sake" down to the ground, but something in me just doesn't buy that. It's tempting to think that it's a waste of time if no-one can see it, but I don't feel that.
Just when I think I've got the reasons why I paint figured out, I prove myself to not actually have more than a clue.

  • watched this (wow!)
  • listening to this.
  • pretty damn tired at the moment .... but have started 3 new charcoals, just to keep the momentum.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

One in a long line of Starving Artists ...

"Why 'starving' artist?" I was asked by someone recently. "You aren't starving!", they challenged.

I replied, "I am sick to death of staving. I have been starving so long I can't remember what it was like not to be starving". The reaction was a very blank, almost cow-like stare before she changed the topic to something less challenging and safer.
 "Sally", A3 Charcoal on Paper
(My 1st charcoal sketch... not crazy about it. In fact, you can say it, it's crap ... but I promised I'd post, so ...)

Most people seem to get that the "Starving Artist" title is somewhat ironic and multilayered in meaning, but there are less ... shall be polite and say, insightful ... people who need a little hand-holding when it comes to interpreting the less obvious.

I chose the title precisly because it works so neatly on different levels.
Obviously the concept of a starving artist is the art world cliche. There is a certain expectation that artists should suffer for their art. After all, Van Gogh who is claimed by many to be the best artist of all time (not a huge fan personally), created around one thousand of the worlds greatest paintings in four years before his death. he never sold a single one before his early demise. Supported by his brother Theo, Vincent's only monetary goal was to earn enough to buy bread and paint to try and ease the financial burden on his brother.  (here are some other interesting Staving Artist stories.)  An artist who goes straight from obscurity to success without a long struggle has no where near the 'street cred' that someone who has lived under a table (done that by the way), lived off dog food (haven't done that) and sold their children to buy canvas (haven't done that yet) has. So yes, I may not be dying of hunger, but one can be starved of other things, can't they? Yes, I am starving.

Aside from that, it's an obvious marketing tactic ... people like the idea, and my business card pretty much always gets a smile.

I can understand why an artist might be prepared to starve for their art. It's an intoxicating drug, creativity. To work with ones hand and mind and fabricate a slice of reality that wasn't there before, it's arguably right up there with the biggest highs one can get. No wonder I never take a day off. Every day is either working at my craft, or funding the paint, canvas, and time that my art demands.  Oh that I will oneday be skilled enough at my craft to have earned the title and feel worthy of it; that YOU believe I am worthy of it.

  • is listening to this (close your eyes, listen and imagine. Such beautiful music this album)
  • is watching this (nice idea, poorly executed, not worth writing home about really)
  • is not sure how he feels about charcoal! I'm hoping to be sent some figure pics to draw ... the fluidity of the human body might suit the medium better.
  • is battling to find time to write poems and book (another dream I'm chasing).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

You really can.

You really can achieve anything you set your heart to doing! You can!

If you are serious about something, passionate about it, are prepared to sacrifice for it, you can! You can come up with excuses as to why you have not, or will not (you've been denied this or were stopped by that) but they really are just excuses. Those who are determined overcome the obstacles and pursue their passions regardless ... seek their goals relentlessly. Yes, it may be harder for some than others, but it is YOUR decision to do or not do. Yours!
Don't place the blame on circumstances, others, history ... whatever. Don't be a victim. Make the decision and accept that the decision was yours if you choose not to chase that dream.

No ... I'm not taking up a career in motivational speaking ... I just thought you might like to hear the speeches I give myself to get out of bed in the morning.

  • is watching this.
  • is listening to the rain outside my window.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Idle hands ...

I have a proposal for you ... and it might mean you score some
free art!

I don't sleep much these days. I have a lot of time to read, paint, and do whatever. Problem is I also have a lot of time to think (read "stress"), and also come up with new ways to keep myself busy, distracted and stretch myself. Usually it is some hairbrained, life threatening activity, but on Tuesday night I decided I want to learn how to use charcoal as a medium. (I've never tried using charcoal before.) I got a stick of charcoal, did a rough 5 minute sketch just to see how the medium feels, liked the feel and decided I want to add charcoal to my arsenal.
Basic charcoal tools.

So this is where you come in....

I want you to help me learn. Yes you heard me. You! How? Give me subject material to work with!

What I want you to do:
  • Send me photos, (yourself, your child, partner, mom, dad, ... whomever, or whatever body you would like a sketch of).
  • I will select three out of all the photo submissions that I like and do a charcoal sketch of them, and in return for your participation I will give the piece to the elected when I am finished.

These are my terms:
  • You send me photos worthy of sketching;
  • I get to choose the photos I will draw, no negotiating, no explanation;
  • I will take as long as I like to do them;
  • Sending me the photo gives me the right to a) draw it and b) post a photo of the drawing on the internet and use it where/however I deem fit;
  • You understand this is a medium I have never, and I mean never, worked with and so the results are likely to be at best flawed and amaturish, and at worst, pathetic - I promise you it won't be ba brilliant work of art; which is why I'm doing this ... I need the practice and using your pics pressures me to give it a solid go. So ... this is a little like tightrope walking without the net. ;)
  • Although the drawing will be free, if you want me to post it to you, I'm afraid you will have to pay for the postage yourself ... I am a starving artist after all.
... So?  What so you say? Sound fair?

Send your photo/s to carl.verster@gmail.com (or upload to http://www.senduit.com/ and post the download link in a comment to this post).

Carl is:
  • Singing this
  • Reading this 
  • Not sleeping. (Why sleep when I can lie awake and worry about this)

Sunday, May 2, 2010


"Vanishing Hope"; Oil on Canvas, 20cm x 20cm x 4cm

Carl is :

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A world of your own ....

I wonder if you were like me?
I used to, as a child, actually believe that there really was another world out there, just for me. Narnia, Middle Earth, Wonderland ... I would read of all these places and KNOW that 'it' was there, this world ... somewhere. If I just held my breath long enough, spent enough time in the forest looking for it, dived deep enough in the sea and held my breath long enough, spent long enough in the dark of my garden at night ... somehow I would find the chink; that tear in the fabric of this world that would allow me to slip into the place I belong, this fantastic place where I wouldn't be forced to be something I am not. Where being different was expected, and not an automatic ticket to the rejection box. Where a person could be loved for being themself, not what someone else wants them to be.
Am I describing heaven? Is that why we feel we are strangers in a strange land? We are longing for heaven? I spent a lot of time searching out dark places and holding my breath underwater as a child.
I wonder how many artists use their art to create that other world for themselves, a place they can get sucked into and hide out in. Slowly but surely I can feel myself slip into that place more and more ... each hurt, rejection, loss makes it more and more appealing, that escape, that place where I can just ... be, where my hearts desires are attainable, where I can fight and exorcise my demons, the confusion dissolves into something manageable; line texture and colour. There is something very, very appealing in being somewhere where you just don't need anyone else.
Famous last words. I can live with being alone, but being lonely swallows me whole.
  "Intuition of a Soul", 55cm x 40cm, Oil on Canvas

 Carl is:

Vacant Stare

"Vacant stare" is one of your title choices from "Play a game with me".  I realise that the result is rather nightmarish. Possibly you would understand why if you read the piece of writing that it was inspired by which isn't writing for the faint hearted, it's just plain nasty, which is partly why I am not sure whether to post it or not.  The poem is called "Thank you", and it's about child abuse.
Any way ... this is the completed painting.

 "Vacant Stare", 20cm x 20cm, Oil on Canvas
  • is Listening to this off this album.
  • Watched this. It's based on the comic series, and is really in your face but fantastic.
  • is Working on 6 other paintings ... all of which are not coming easy, but will post ASAP.