Sometime in the fall of 2007, Jana and I picked you out at a dog shop in Gits. We went to a dog school with you and you loved learning fun tricks that you performed well, especially when you were hungry. The little hair you left behind was too much. You soon moved to a large doghouse outside somewhere at the back of the house and you felt so alone there. You did nothing but bark to be with us. There was a neighbor who complained in such a way that it led to a lawsuit, which we eventually won. The feeling that I could never do good enough and the hassle surrounding your presence made me decide to pack my bags and take you into my office, behind the large sofa, where you could stare at me quietly during the day.
The first trip with the camper in 2010 was straight through France. I made a painting of our passage where you played the leading role. We visited the aqueduct of Nîmes, Alphonse Daudet’s mill in Fontvieille and the Devil’s Bridge in Thueyts. We went for 7 consecutive years to the Ardeche for a week in order to conceive a new bronze statue each time. You were always the pleasant guest there with the artist couple Paola and Fred. Every Thursday, the day that the wax was boiled from the molds, we were free, and we always took a long, grueling walk along the chemin des géants, with the échelle du roi, an almost vertical staircase carved out of the rocks where you had to use your handbrake on the high steps. In 2015 I made a bronze statue of you. It is called “My golden boy”.
Unfortunately, in 2017, classes were suspended and we had to find other travel destinations. I remember our journey that lasted 13 weeks overland to the south of Greece, we crossed 14 countries and returned via Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Germany. It was never too much for you, you were a pleasant traveling companion. And we couldn’t get enough of it. We had not even been home for 14 days and I asked you if you would like to go to the highest point in Norway, Nordkapp, by land. And you said YES.
What a trip that was, from Denmark via Sweden to Finnish Lapland where we had an appointment with Santa Claus. In Kemijärvi you fell in love with the cat Nala. A few days later we drove just along the Russian border to Kirkeness, with Nordkapp as our final destination. It was a beautiful day when I stuck you in the air, just like mandril Rafiki did with Simba, remember?
It took us more than a month to return. This journey lasted 9 weeks. In that year we had driven more than 32,000 km together.
Less than a year later we were gone again, we started looking for our permanent spot in the south of Europe. Spain was our preference, but it ended up being Portugal. Together we searched intensively for our spot 3 times for approximately 3 months each time. It eventually became Torres Vedras. We permanently moved at the end of April 2022. You were already 15 years old, but you were very brave until you suffered mild attacks of epilepsy. I had bought medication for this, but you were so active and the attacks were not intense.
On December 18, 2022, around 5:00 in the morning, I heard you crying silently and urged you to be brave. When I got up around 9:00 you were lying in your bunk on your side. You were already cold, your ears still flexible.
I didn’t know what to do until I decided to drive you to a taxidermist that same day in order to crown you as the most beautiful work of art in my entire collection. This idea has prevented me from grieving. You are still with me now. You have a sign around your neck that says “Dream”.
Since December 20, with your permission, I have brought into my home a female dog Sissy of about 3 years old, who has taken over your duties. The transition went smoothly, thanks for being there for more than 15 years”
HM-ART1053- FIREWOMAN SENDS POWER- 2010
<It is very common that in order to achieve his or her goal, the strongest personality always likes receiving strength, love, affection and encouragement from others.
This story applies to everyone. Firewoman Jana plunges with dedication and sends her sparkling power through the eyes of Jolien, who ultimately receives this strength in her heart>
This is the first portrait of Kyno, who looks up respectfully at FIREWOMAN. This artwork dates from 2009 when Kyno was 2 years old
On the left side of the painting we see a couple. Their heads are not perfectly fitting to their bodies that are also set up in a contrary way. Apparently, the pair is in the middle of a serious argument. The left side of the bronze mask shows the male side, the right side shows the female side.
Out of this trip I selected 3 amazing constructions . On the top left we notice the windmill of Alphonse Daudet (Fontvieille – South France), in the middle, the devils bridge, le Pont du Diable (Thueyts- Ardeche) and on the right we see le Pont du Gard (Nîmes). These 3 old constructions seem immersed in the stable life of a dog, who looks out at a couple in constant distress, where he is the main reason for it. Finally, the couple is not able to cross the bridge. Finally they move towards a divorce.
These two worlds are connected in complementary colors.
This work was partly painted with a palette knife. The oil paint is very old and originates from Leon De Smet (+1966), mentor of my teacher Eduard Declercq.
“I have known you since August 2007 and watched you grow in 3 stages, from puppy to adult dog to senior. In the last senior phase you still saw me blurry and you didn’t hear me so clearly anymore.
On December 18, 2022, a suspected heart attack was your cause of death.
I didn’t bury you, I took you to a taxidermist.
From March 2023 onwards, you will be the most beautiful work of art in my artgallery. If you want, you can be the first to welcome the visitors”.
From 2011 to 2017 we traveled together in the campervan to the Ardèche in France, where a Dutch couple invited us for one week every year during the holidays. Every year we came back with a unique cast bronze work of art.
The golden boy was made in the 2015 summer holiday.
In the photo you can see me working on the finishing phase after casting, deburring and sanding
to be continued….
Meet Miss Sissy