low polygon oil paintings

September 22, 2016

Low polygons are hot.

Nowadays you can DIY your own polygon art online. Google for ‘low polygon art generator’ and let the web turn any digital image into a techy triangulated image, select from 100 palettes or brew up some of your own colours, tweak the triangulation and before you know it you are ordering an online poster print of your very own polygon art.
I feel that I am a bit of an expert on the subject having 5 years experience making paintings of low polygon object. On my onepage website http://kvan.pe.hu/ you can see my artistic development. (For full enjoyment of the site use a smartphone or a tablet so that you can swipe or pinch at the screen.)

New oil paintings of the low polygon.

Only recently have I gone for the large canvases 200 x 200 cm (almost 80 inches) stretched on aluminum frames.  With a larger canvas size I have also changed my painting approach. Now it is out of the box, out of the lines.

Art decision tree in Cyprus

December 15, 2016

In the last days of November 2016 I attended the Symposium/Artist Residency Dysfunctionalities of Contemporary Art 2, which was organized by the Cyprus Chamber of Fine Arts (E.KA.TE.).

During the Symposium/Artist Residency I wanted to examine the input and the results that artists get when they show their art work to the public through an art-fair, internet or even a  closed circle. Is it worth our time and money?

In the video, you can follow the workshop of the Art decision tree and I will explain how you can visualize your choices and the results through a model by giving values to [money/time], [status], [social capital] and [our inspiration] input and expected results.

The idea came about by following these two Massive Open Online Courses.

As a result I have come to the conclusion that I show my art work to further expand on my curiosity and inspiration and I see the importance of using  [status] and [social capital]. By making use of the art decision tree tool I also noticed that other artists could also make a quicker analysis  of their situation and chose to see if the method (art-fair,  closed circle exhibition….) is going to bring me the right results.


eroes Square

Presentation under the Heroes Square, Limassol Cyprus


tree model

Model, testing the results for an artist’s workshop for artists


The Symposium/Artist Residency Dysfunctionalities of Contemporary Art 2, was organized by the Cyprus Chamber of Fine Arts (E.KA.TE.) and took place at the 30th of November until 4th of December 2016, by the support of Cultural Services of Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture, the Department of Fine Arts of the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) and the International Association of Arts (IAA).

Raspberry Pi Sense HAT and Blockly

July 16, 2016

Last year my son MJ and I got an extention for our Raspberry Pi, namely the Sense HAT. Great! We connected it up, started Scratch, scratched our heads and stopped. The learning curve, practical applications and online information for Scratch and the Sense Hat was just not up to scratch. And when Pi3 came out Sense Hat and Scratch just crashed.
Bugged by the potential of the Sense Hat we tried to type in a few Python examples. But typing without typos is not our thing.

Months later…..Blockly seemed to provide a hack-able answer in the way that we can visually code and copy/paste the resulting python code into a .py document. Through a process of trial and error I have pieced bits of code together making Blockly produce a code in Python for the SenceHat.

In the next paragraphs I will explain how I set about creating my own blocks for python. My methods might not be the best but it is one that works, and I hope it will help others make a start.
If you are not familiar with blocky go to their demo page https://blockly-demo.appspot.com/static/demos/code/index.html, and read up on creating custom blocks.

what you will need:



1) Unzip the code and closure (you should have something like this)

2) test out the demo file index.html


3) the result in a browser

preparing the ground for new blocks

you will need to edit the index.html that you have just opened
and create a new java-script file: SHat_LED.js in google->blockly->blocks.


make a new empty  SHat_LED.js file. Blockly will need this to generate your custom blocks using java-script.

Index.html and the TOOLBOX

within the index.html connect your new SHat_LED.js file with a link.


by adding a category name you can expand the ToolBox with your blocks.

If you open the index.html in your browser you should see that the left menu has added your category.

Test and try

Make your own pre-assembled block

see  <https://developers.google.com/blockly/installation/toolbox#block_groups>

Thus, the easiest way to construct the XML for such blocks is to use the Code application to build the blocks, then switch to the XML tab and copy the result. The x, y, and id properties are ignored by the toolbox and may be stripped out.


Make this construction in Blockly and click on the XML tab. Copy the code and remove what you do not need (ie <xml..  and id=…)

<xml xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml”&gt;
<block type=”variables_set” id=”iQz3^l@i,IH*(wL%WiM@” x=”38″ y=”113″   >
<field name=”VAR”>colour_field</field>
<value name=”VALUE”>
<block type=”lists_create_with” id=”*!mKDzWmW4W45iZVQoTB”    >
<mutation items=”3″></mutation>
<value name=”ADD0″>…..

you should have something like this (below)  and ADD this to your index.html

<category name=”my_own_custom_block” colour=”202″>
<block type=”variables_set”>
<field name=”VAR”>colour_field</field>
<value name=”VALUE”>
<block type=”lists_create_with”>
<mutation items=”3″></mutation>
<value name=”ADD0″>
<block type=”colour_picker”>
<field name=”COLOUR”>#ff0000</field>
<value name=”ADD1″>
<block type=”colour_picker”>
<field name=”COLOUR”>#ff0000</field>
<value name=”ADD2″>
<block type=”colour_picker”>
<field name=”COLOUR”>#ff0000</field>

Run the new index in your browser and see the new custom block.

Work shopping through an example:

goal: blockly spits out a Python code to use <set_pixel> with the SenseHat

definition: Sets an individual LED matrix pixel at the specified X-Y coordinate to the specified colour.

from sense_hat import SenseHat
sense = SenseHat()
# examples using (x, y, r, g, b)
sense.set_pixel(0, 0, 255, 0, 0)
sense.set_pixel(0, 7, 0, 255, 0)
sense.set_pixel(7, 0, 0, 0, 255)
sense.set_pixel(7, 7, 255, 0, 255)


1) getting value inputs

we need x, y and a colour
lets set up a block using blockly factory


This block allows for an x, y and colour input. Click on the image to open blocky factory.

JavaScript for the  SHat_LED.js file

copy the Language code and paste it  into your JavaScript file. (SHat_LED.js)

Blockly.Blocks['_pixel'] = {
  init: function() {
        .appendField(new Blockly.FieldColour("#000000"), "colour");
    this.setOutput(true, null);
    this.setTooltip('specified X-Y coordinate (0-7) 
    to the specified colour (HEX)');

now add  <block type=”_pixel”></block> into the index.html



Your toolbox will now have _pixel, and your javascript can reproduce the custom block.

Extra fine tuning:
remember the pre-assembled block?
Use the maths tool to pre-insert the number  blocks, insert the XML into the index.html


The Python generator ‘writes’ a bit of Python code using  java-script. We need x, y, r, g, b
Set the generator to Python, copy and past the script under your previous entry in the SHat_LED.js file


Blockly.Python['_pixel'] = function(block) {
  var value_x = Blockly.Python.valueToCode(block, 'x', 
  var value_y = Blockly.Python.valueToCode(block, 'y', 
  var colour_colour = block.getFieldValue('colour');
  // TODO: Assemble Python into code variable.
  var code = '...';
  // TODO: Change ORDER_NONE to the correct strength.
  return [code, Blockly.Python.ORDER_NONE];

change var code = value_x + ‘,’ + value_y + ‘,’ + colour_colour;
this will result in (example)   = 1,4,#123456

opps.. and needed  x, y, r,g,b.… lets convert the colour_colour into RGB with a function

add the function to the top of your script

///// convert a hexidecimal color string to 0..255 R,G,B
function HexToR(h) {return parseInt((cutHex(h)).substring(0,2),16)}
function HexToG(h) {return parseInt((cutHex(h)).substring(2,4),16)}
function HexToB(h) {return parseInt((cutHex(h)).substring(4,6),16)}
function cutHex(h) {return (h.charAt(0)==”#”) ? h.substring(1,7):h}

and change the var code to

var code = value_x + ‘,’ + value_y+ ‘,’ + HexToR(colour_colour) + ‘,’ + HexToG(colour_colour) + ‘,’ + HexToB(colour_colour);
return code;

2 ) Make a new block  ‘set_pixel’

our goal (in Python):

from sense_hat import SenseHat
sense = SenseHat()

sense.set_pixel(..       …)


follow the link to blockly factory


  1. adjust your index.html by adding <block type=”set_pixel “></block>
  2. copy the Language code javascript code and the Generator stub code (Python) to SHat_LED.js.
Blockly.Python['set_pixel'] = function(block) {
  var value__pixel = Blockly.Python.valueToCode(block, '_pixel', Blockly.Python.ORDER_ATOMIC);
  // TODO: Assemble Python into code variable.
  var code = '...\n';
  return code;


change var code = ‘sense.set_pixel(‘ + value_set_led_field + ‘) # (x,y,r,g,b) \n’;
Blockly.Python.definitions_[‘sensehat’] = ‘from sense_hat import SenseHat\nsense = SenseHat()\n’;
// the previous line will import SenseHat once (very handy)
return code;

More on  create you own custom blocks:

at tip: save your blocks by coping the XML in a text file, then at a later moment you can load your bloacks by pasting the XML in the XML tab.


if you are intrested in the code head over to: https://github.com/niceprogram/blocky_raspberry_pi_sensehat

Active learning

October 31, 2015

[Future projection 2024 ] Sarah walks out of the FAB-lab, she has just had an prosthetic replacement hip printed on a 3d printer. It is her own design and her final assignment for the Institute for prosthesis and orthesen. The Fab lab is situated in 34 countries and the small workshops provide a high-tech computerised tools ‘to make just about anything’. For Sarah the concept of the Fab-lab is not new. 10 years earlier in primary school her brothers introduced her to the local open art studio. Volunteers helped small groups of kids materialize their own creations. The basic tools where provided for; paper, pencils, scissors, glue, clay, saws, hammers, screwdrivers, sandpaper and varnish. The volunteers instructed the children how to use the tools safely and correctly, and would coach/guide them in their project.
My brothers would conjure up all sorts of invention,’ Sarah recalls, ‘some times we would sit up all night watching YouTube clips on how to make plastic rockets. As long as you had an idea and a drive the volunteers could guide you along. Of coarse we did all the work our self. Sometimes we would have a retired carpenter, a local artist or I remember a banker that was an expert on model making. At home we did not have the art supplies, the space nor the tools, but at the open studio we materialized our fantasy. In fact we made all our own toys.’

gas_regulator Painting: Oil on Canvas.

gas_regulator Painting: Oil on Canvas.


The Open Studio for children provides an environment where children can work on their creative(art) talents.
or the problem: [Develop a system and/or place where children can evolve their creative(art) talents]

There are 3 main reasons having a Open Studio for children.
·         Encourage the creative driving force by helping the creator to create.
·         10.000 hours (Malcom Gladwell  decribles in Outliers http://gladwell.com/outliers/  how talent surfaces with hours of practice).
·         Participation of the children and adults.

Clients: Children, volunteers and sponsors.
Time and Money: the pilot project for the duration of 3months can be run on current resources. After an evaluation we will need to look for sponsors to finance the coordination of the project.
Expertise: from the coordination and volunteers.

Artistic and personal growth part II

September 13, 2015

The Artist’s success lies in joining peer groups with a common artistic goal.

When I read Mervyn Peake’s fantasy works Titus Groan (1946), I was obsessed and almost shocked by his description of the Bright Carvers:

“whose only purpose is to carve elaborate objects out of wood and present them to the Earl..”,
“..three of which are chosen to be placed into the castle museum ‐ a place where hardly anyone ever goes apart from the curator, who sleeps through the days amid a thick layer of protective dust. All the rest of the carvings are burned.”

I was stunned back then some twenty odd years ago by the vanity; the efforts and the waist. Yet now I see that the Bright Carvers might have been quite content. They could carve elaborate objects as they desired, they have the prestige of being a Bright Carver, and they seem to have a support group and a creative environment from which they could tap
inspiration for personal and artistic growth. In 2015 the world of the artist is more sinister. Creative industry, ego driven art curators, needless to say the sham in the art market. All these keep me as an artist well away from my chosen vocation.

In part I of Artistic and personal growth, I have identified that my personal artistic growth can be greatly increased by making/joining a peer group with a common artistic goal. The common artist’s goal could be for example: the representation of technical and mechanical principles in the fine arts.
{personal note: Would this help me? Do other artists also feel they could gain from interacting with peers from their profession? And can I pin point its failure or success.}

A brief formulation

Using an adaptation from Hart, R. (1992) the ladder of participation, I want to see if it is possible to activate artists’ own participation from tokenism to full citizenship in
the art world and develop a peer group in the field of ‘the representation of technical and mechanical principles in the fine arts’ whereby there is a potential for
artistic growth.

 Hart's adapted ladder of participation


full citizenship

  1. We the artists initiate a project and invite curators to co-run it. [peer groups with a common artistic goal]
  2. We the artists organize and direct our own exhibitions and shows.
  3. The curator-initiates the exhibition and shares the decision with us the artists.
  4. I am informed and consulted by the curator about the exhibition or show.
  5. My artwork is sold as a product, I am not consulted, but receive my money.
  6. The curator shows my art work to decorate an event.
  7. My artwork is used for someone’s political, financial or social gain.


this pole was published in Dec 8, 2013

There are areas where [peer groups with a common artistic goal] are successful. Like the Bridges Organization (art and mathematics). They hold annual conferences, where practicing mathematicians, scientists and artists come together in mutual exchange and encouragement. What makes them successful participants?
Many questions will need to be addressed:
Is it possible in theory to set up a functioning artist peer group?
Why are visual artists especially reluctant with the idea of gaining full citizenship in their own field?
What are the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators and are they found in an peer group?

In the part III, I will set out a 2 year plan to answer if an Artist’s success lies in joining peer groups with a common artistic goal.

Artistic and personal growth part I

September 2, 2015

Paintings, drawings, animations, graphical prints and sculptures are the outcome of my artistic work. For 25 years an intrinsic creative energy powers me to look, mark and remark on my existence. Prodding in the darkness from different angles I try to determine the shape of my being. In South Africa, where I spent a large part of my youth, I attended a technical high school where we were taught the skills of technical drawing. From the first moment I saw the cross section of some unknown machine part drawn out on paper I was gob smacked by the intense clear facts that the drawing revealed. After high school I joined the mining engineering faculty of the University of the Witwatersrand and spend some time in the dark gold mines of Johannesburg. One year after enrolling at the university I quit my studies, left Africa and left part of my life incomplete.

Old people, they say, connect to their childhood, slowly moving their existence to the extremities of their life line. Now somewhere in the middle of my lifeline I seemed to have found reason to reconnect to machines and spaces devoid of sunlight. In my notebook I jotted down the following words:
[inclusion, inner silence, achievement, expansion, brain stimulant, belonging, desertion, fulfilment, learning and teaching].
I feel that these words connect me to my personal and artistic growth. On canvas I paint technical and mechanical objects in empty spaces and I feel that these paintings also connect me to those words. But an artist must also test and prod other areas to confirm the fabric of their existence. These other areas, as I will develop in the next paragraphs, are external motivators to accelerate artistic growth.

In my day, after leaving art school, one would approach the galleries with smart portfolios or for those living in the Netherlands apply for the subsidies. If those fragile self ‐ reference fields dried up, you became an artist in isolation. In my final year at de Vrije kunst academie, the Hague I was involved with Gaidaro, a group of artists that aimed to move the attention away from the entertainment aspect of art towards a more direct and raw form.
So far I have identified 3 external areas that can confirm the existence of the artist, namely: [the art school], [the art market/subsidies] and [peer groups with a common artistic goal].
Other areas are [projects], [artists in residence], [international call for participation] and [social media].

Last April I presented my art works at the Kölner liste art fair. My goal: sure enough was to sell. I wanted someone to exchange their money for my artistic efforts. For someone to go home and call their friends: “I’ve just bought this amazing painting from K_Van, you must come by the house for cocktails.”
During a slack moment of the day I got out my notepad and drew out each area that [confirms me as an artist]-> and connected them with the words that connect me to my ->[artistic growth].   This resulted in a great spaghetti of lines across the page. Then I regrouped the words using the Bartle test of Gamer Psychology according to the keywords Achievers, Explorers, Socializers, and Killer.


my personal and artistic growth
confirm the existence of the artist
inner silence
brain stimulant
[the art school]
[the art market/subsidies]
[peer groups with a common artistic goal]
[artists in residence]
[international call for participation]
[social media]

[the art school]
[peer groups with a common artistic goal]

[artists in residence]
[international call for participation]
[social media]

Achiever and Killer
[the art market/subsidies]



After tallying up the result I came to the following:

  1.  peer groups with a common artistic goal
  2. continue with education.

Resulting in: my artistic growth can be greatly increased by making or joining a peer group with a common artistic goal.


more to follow

Twice suppressed

July 22, 2015

Twice suppressed is too much for one human being. .

Bicycle, bicycle, bye cycle.          Twice suppressed, this is too much for a man.



Do you want to know more about these prints? a dry point on telephone cards
YES, they are for sale and remarkably affordable.
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the deeper motivation and emotions

July 13, 2015
Indirectly we get a glance in the deeper motivation and emotions that  move our existence in a certain direction.

Indirectly we get a glance in the deeper motivation and emotions that move our existence in a certain direction.


Do you want to know more about these prints? a dry point on telephone cards
YES, they are for sale and remarkably affordable.

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Evidently the aspect of plasticity has been present from the very beginning.

July 10, 2015
Evidently the aspect of plasticity has been present from the very beginning.

Evidently the aspect of plasticity has been present from the very beginning.


Do you want to know more about these prints? a dry point on telephone cards
YES, they are for sale and remarkably affordable.
PayPal Donate Button

jonge kunstenaars verzorgden een performance

July 1, 2015
Jonge kunstenaars verzorgden een performance waarbij gezichten op een plank masker projecten werden. Young artists provided the performance where faces were projected on blank masks

Jonge kunstenaars verzorgden een performance waarbij gezichten op een plank masker projecten werden.
Young artists provided the performance where faces were projected on blank masks

Do you want to know more about these prints? a dry point on telephone cards
YES, they are for sale and remarkably affordable.
PayPal Donate Button


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