From the Old Box: Old Mobile Phone Pictures Redone

When I stumbled upon the enormous amounts of pictures I have been taking with my old mobile phone some weeks ago when cleaning up the inevitable mess on my hard drive, I relived the joy of starting of with what is basically a very low quality picture and challenge myself to try and make something out of it that is still pleasurable for the eye. At the time I remember how so often I was frustrated about the quality and so happy when some of the pictures had a nice quality or something extra. Now finally starting to understand more about this incredible photo editing software I am amazed again at what simple mobile phone pictures end up looking like.

Hagley Park

Amazed by the colors that I did not see before to see an ordinary little photo transform to impressionist painting. It seems like every time we wander along the Avon it looks a bit different depending on the season and the time of day.

An otherwise ordinary tree was caught by the light an its silver trunk lit up amazingly.

One of the many ponds in the Botanical Gardens showed this amazing play of color, light, shadow and reflections in the water.It was as if the white of the flowers in the front made everything else look softer on tone.

On another walk the trees appeared particularly incredible as a result of a mix of dark skies an at the same time the sun trying hard to break through.

The amazing colors of the sky and the fine pattern of branches, an amazing view.

And there it was finally the sun breaking, and all people were happily accepting the light that day. As for the tree: it was as if it had left open this opening in its crown for the light to shine through.

Light Through the Trees

We had been driving to the West Coast and we had been encountering rain, rain, rain. During our stop, a bit of sunshine broke through the clouds in beams that you could almost touch. It let for a beautiful scene when it came through the trees.

The Massive Trees in a Park in Singapore

What an amazing walk this was. These trees were enormous and provided nice an beautiful shaded walkways on an otherwise sunny, moist, beautiful day in Singapore.

More to come soon so keep coming back here.

I am the Gate

Another mobile phone picture. It reminded me of John 10:9

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.

I am the gate? When Jesus compares himself to the door or gate one should keep in mind the way things worked in those days. The sheep pen in those days (unlike the gate in the picture) only had one entrance/exit. Very often the shepherd would sleep in the entrance thus functionally being the actual door.

Through this metaphor Jesus tells us that He is the means by which the sheep (us) may enter into the promised fullness of life. It is also good to remind ourselves, in these times of religious pluralism and syncretism  that Jesus did NOT say I am A gate but THE gate, so as to keep us reminded that through Him and through Him only we are saved. Furthermore he presents us with a certain liberty ‘to come in and go out’; in His presence we are able to live our lives in freedom, peace, protected and in His presence we’ll  find ‘good pasture’ or a fulfilled life.


Going through the rough mobile phone snap shots, I cam across a snapshot of one of the many wonderful ponds in Hagley Park and with some editing it turned out like this paint like snapshot.


In a Dutch Magazine (FEM), Edin Mujagic reported on the question of whether or Art is a smart investment. It is reported that on average the ROI of investments in art are below those of stocks and bonds. Investment in art is presented as fad, a hype that comes and goes, with markets being flooded by funds that invest in art, advisers on investment in art and self-help books. Millions of dollars are paid for paintings of famous painters and those that would have invested in art in 2006 would have had a higher ROI on their art than those that had invested in art.

As in wine, you have bad years, good years an exceptional years and apparently 2006 was an exceptional year according to a professor and his promovenus at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands who concluded that art investments often have a lower ROI than ios commonly thought. Based on the details of 1.1 million sales they come to an average yearly ROI of 4.01%. 1982 was apparently a turning point where the ROI went below that of stocks and bonds. At the same time there were exceptions especially the period of 2002-2007 (11.6% on average) and the late eighties.
Similar as sock and bonds, it does make a difference what you invest your money in. Oil paintings. especially city scenes and self portraits score high, drawings and prints are at the bottom end of the ladder.

Now it may be me, but could it maybe be that art investments follow the general patterns. When there is money around, a surplus even, you can just give an art investment a go without any expertise. The need for expertise, is in periods like this where if you consider investments in art you will need to know what you are doing if you expect it to provide you a return on investment. That is not any different than on the financial market where a number of advisers end up left puzzled and others have a knack of knowing which ones will do great despite the general trends. Investing simply requires expertise and perhaps some patience.

I see business experts claim that this crisis requires the creatives to turn it around, and people that can anticipate results for the mid to longer term. Perhaps investing will turn back to something more of a personal commitment again. I am far from an expert in that field, but  could imagine that this is perhaps a good time to engage someone that understands or has a feel of what YOUNG and UPCOMING artists and works will be hot in the mid to longer term. Something that requires an in depth understanding of both art and its future markets.

At the same time I still find it a strange idea. To me art is something that’s very hard to put a price on, I see millions go for paintings I would not pay a dollar for, but then again, I am not know to be an investment specialist, let alone an art investment specialist. For some reason I have more sympathy for those people you see on those television programs that bought a work of art just because they loved what they were looking at and years down the line they find out they need to call their insurance company because they ended up buying a very special work of art.

Duh that’s why they bought it in the first place; BECAUSE IT WAS SPECIAL,TO THEM. Come to think of that, if all who could afford it, would end up buying with their heart, how many new artists would there be identified as important, upcoming and brilliant? But if you are in the art game for the money, by all means forget what  just said.

I still find it all a hard thing to imagine: here you are painting of $100,000 on the wall, another $25,000 in security and insurance. You friends come along and say wow! And you saying well I hate the painting but it was the best investment the market had on offer. I think when it comes to art and I have the spare money, I’d stick to my heart, who’d wanna look at something he doesn’t like everyday anyway. I will probably never be a smart investor in financial terms. At the same time I think that a smile on my face because I am enjoying a work of art so much is more than money could ever pay for.  Personally, I find a beautiful painting or picture ( to my taste) a fantastic source of ideas or inspiration. Perhaps as an entrepreneur, business owner or employer: what if this work of art inspires so much it brings you or one of your staff members that  one idea that’s worth a million. Now for that let’s say $25,000 and some time you allow for to dream away you may well end up having made the best investment you ever made (of course together with the staff member that came up with the golden idea. Buy that guy an office filled with paintings to his liking!!!!)

The paintings in this blog post are from two artists I really appreciate:

I suggest you go and have a look on their websites or if you are around, perhaps see and exhibition. Nothing beats the real thing of course. And if you are curious about that revolutionary new artist behind the photo at the top of the article; from a confidential source I have heard that that picture was taken with a mobile phone. The artist has a profile here >>> and his gallery  can be found here >>>.  He may well end up being that mid to long term high yield investment you were looking for hahahahahaha. And should you end up feeling defrauded because you find out the picture you bought was taken with a mobile phone; he investigates fraud as well.

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It turned out to be a nice and sunny early Spring day. I had a hard time not to leave everything and just go for a wander in the park, alas; work still comes for pleasure. My favorite time of the year where nature is awakening from its winter sleep and with the promise of  great weather and a beautiful Summer.

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The crocuses or a narcissus with its bright cheerful colors. Trees and plants showing signs of young fresh green that has a similar effect as the soft tones of a baby.

Somewhere a little bit further in the season, it will be the time when the blossom lights up against the blue skies.The whites and the reds that are so truly amazing and have over the centuries been an inspiration for many an artist.

Hagley 002 (1 of 1)

As it happens Spring is not just one of my favorite seasons. It is also one of my favorite songs.

Written by Rodgers & Heart this is actually a sad song with an otherwise cheerful and light melody.

Once there was a thing called spring
when the world was writing verses
like yours and mine.

All the lads and girls would sing
when we set a little tables
and drank May wine.

Now April May and June
are sadly out of tune
life has stuck the pin in the balloon.

Spring is here!
Why doesn’t my heart go dancing ?
Spring is here!
Why isn’t the waltz entrancing?
No desire, no ambition leads me,
Maybe it’s because nobody needs me.

Spring is here!
Why doesn’t the breeze delight me?
Stars appear,
Why doesn’t the night invite me?
Maybe it’s because nobody loves me.
Spring is here I hear.

I only have to look around and realize how lucky I am with my beautiful family. It gets extra good when this favorite is played by legendary pianist Bill Evans.

Enjoy the video and perhaps have a look at my Flickr Photostream at which you will find many more spring flowers but photographed with a camera that may get you in a cheerful spring mood as well even though it is Autumn where most of the readers of this blog live.