Anne Kelly (00:00:12):
Welcome to art in the raw today. I’m excited to introduce you to artist Roland van Loon. Roland is an oil painter, and I’m your host and Kelly. If this is our first time meeting, you’re probably wondering who I am. In a nutshell, I am someone that’s been obsessed with anything, creative art music and beyond most of my life. About 20 years ago, I made the decision to, to Santa Fe, New Mexico to attend art school and further immerse myself in the Santa Fe art scene. I’ve now been working in the professional gallery world for about 15 years now, and about halfway through 2020, I made the decision to start art in the raw. So thank you for watching today. And if you’d like to know more about me, there is an interview that I did with lens scratch. You can find the link to that in the description, but in the meantime, I’m excited to introduce you to oil painter, Roland van Loon. Thank you for joining us today, Roland. The first time I ever saw your artwork was that, that mural at all for roll. Nice to finally meet you. Thank you.
Roland van Loon (00:01:29):
I appreciate that. It was fun. Painting it in those
Anne Kelly (00:01:32):
Days. Yeah. What, what, what year do you, do you think you painted that? I know I’ve been seeing it for about 20 years now. Maybe
Roland van Loon (00:01:43):
20 years ago,
Anne Kelly (00:01:44):
You work primarily in oil. Do you do the occasional mural from time to time, or was that mostly something you were doing for, for alpha roll?
Roland van Loon (00:01:53):
Well, as a kid, I started off painting a mural with a famous artist named, uh, Jean Charlo in Honolulu, Hawaii at this, uh, community college called Le community college mm-hmm <affirmative>. And, um, he painted the foyer. It was, um, a hundred feet wide and like 23 feet high. So it was, you know, I was in high school. I didn’t know he was famous. I was trying to sell on a PUK necklace. And then, uh, isn’t it seemed kinda old. He seemed kinda old to be up on a scaffold, but <laugh> I told him he needed me to help him. Mm-hmm <affirmative> anyway, so that’s where I started off. It was a fresco mural. So it’s kind of like stayed with me. So I’ve always liked larger pieces.
Anne Kelly (00:02:45):
The is the Elfa roll mural, a fresco as well.
Roland van Loon (00:02:48):
I was wondering, no, it’s just a mural, but basically murals mean, um, paintings on walls, the particular kind of mural that this was, was called a fresco mural, which is basically painting into wet plaster with, um, pigments that get soaked into the plaster as it dries and the plaster kind of whitens, uh, more over time. And so the reflection of the light coming through and bouncing back off of this really, um, white surface kind of makes the colors look really nice, like, like a really beautiful water color almost,
Anne Kelly (00:03:27):
You know? Right. So it’s actually more part of the surface as opposed to just being on the surface.
Roland van Loon (00:03:33):
I think if you were to chip into a fresco, you would see that the, the pigment probably goes in maybe a quarter of an inch, maybe half an inch into the plaster itself, not the expert Jean Charlo was
Anne Kelly (00:03:49):
Well. And you were his apprentice
Roland van Loon (00:03:50):
Just to do this one mural. I, I, I totally lucked out on having this opportunity. Yeah. You know, it wasn’t something that I planned on, but I had all teary motives, you know, I, my ter motive was to sell PKA shell necklaces <laugh> and the lady that was working with him made the best lunches on earth. And so, so that’s why I like really wanted to do it, to get those lunches, but in the process. So I had no idea that this man was of heavy caliber. When he came into the art world,
Anne Kelly (00:04:28):
I was gonna say, he was kind of a big deal. He hung out with Diego Rivera.
Roland van Loon (00:04:34):
I learned that you can be an artist. That was something that I wasn’t quite sure about before that time. But after that time, for sure, I knew that art was a definite direction for me. I could do it, especially since, since you thought I was talented, et cetera, et cetera, it helped, uh, I, I was going to a little class mm-hmm <affirmative> by a college professor named Alan Braley. I’d seen him starting his mural and I went to the class and I announced it. I saw this guy painting a mural, and then she right away marched the whole class and said, oh, that’s right, Mr. Charlo is painting his mural today. But instead of just letting teacher take over, I climbed up the scaffold again. And I said, Mr. Charlo, I brought my whole class ISN, this school and I was smoking a cigar and he didn’t like the cigar smoke.
Roland van Loon (00:05:36):
And, uh, he asked me to get down and I basically turned it into a prank. And I said, no, I’m not gonna get down unless you let me help you paint this mural. <laugh>. And, and he says, no, I, I told you already. And then I said, well, I’m not getting down unless you help me. And then finally he just went, okay, well, go down in that room and ask this lady named Evelyn GIS to find me something to do. And when I climbed this and at my teacher, she looked at and you have idea what just happened. And I went you’re right. That’s how it all happened.
Anne Kelly (00:06:18):
That’s such a great story. And, and how long did the whole process of painting that mural take?
Roland van Loon (00:06:25):
I dunno, I think maybe like 5, 5, 5 months or something. These guys were really efficient and they knew what they were doing. That definitely something I learned when I was in 11th grade, I was student body by high school, all these teachers of mine. Didn’t like the idea that I’d be skipping class and going surfing all the time while I was in this position. And then the next year, when that position was over, they really thought we gotta help this guy out surfing is still my true first love. But my, uh, true purpose is to communicate some deeper things. How I can be a support in the world in humanity. That’s kinda like what art is for me.
Anne Kelly (00:07:09):
So there’s not lot of, uh, surfing in, in New Mexico. You go back and visit Hawaii where you’re, where you used.
Roland van Loon (00:07:18):
No, I, I, I, I, I don’t get home enough. I see body of which is in yeah. Surface emotions, the tears kind of roll on the inside of my lungs and I go, oh, why am I doing? But then, um, the, that same thing is, is that I go, but the, to like once, and, and I GOs and the mountain, I get to go shred and I pull out my snowboard and tear it up. Cause with all the snows. Nice.
Anne Kelly (00:08:09):
So you a snowboarder too.
Roland van Loon (00:08:11):
I love snowboarding. And I do it, you know, as often as I, we, you know, us and so kinda always put the art world up front, but, you know, I need things to paint about. And so snowboarding and being with nature is always like a good thing, but covering the alternative to the madness that’s plaguing the earth was my actual original reason for being an, I wanted to figure out what that was and, um, how I could use it. And, you know, I could maybe benefit the world with it. Um, I think I’m actually way closer than I was, but, um, it’s still part of a process and then discovery. And I think we need that
Anne Kelly (00:08:57):
More than ever
Roland van Loon (00:08:59):
Recently. Yeah. We do look at the times that we’re in, you know, with this pandemic and for crying out like the politics and everything that’s going on, and then the corruption, and this is like, how do we navigate through this whole thing? What do we do? How do you know what’s important discovery I’ve made about this madness that we’re trying to overcome is really on the inside of us, you know, through creativity, we can look at things in a different way. And art has taught me and, you know, you can have a different perspective on things I recently was asking myself like, so what, what constitutes happiness anyway? And so I use technology, I Googled it, Hey, what chemicals run through your body? And what, what da, anyway, it comes up that, um, there was an interview about family that really were happy, you know, a man and a wife, and they got four kids and they were always happy what constituted them to be happy.
Roland van Loon (00:09:56):
And it turned out that it was a form of flexibility, you know, people being flexible and kinda bending and not being so rigid. And I looked at myself and I went well, I’m kinda rigid sometimes. And then I, this other perspective, and then I went, I’m gonna be more flexible. All of a sudden, I, this coconut tree and how it was flexible. And then during the hurricane, it can over and all that. And I went, I wanna be like tree, it survive, you know, survive. So this creative way, then I’m able to take the, and like in a flexible way. And like, do I have to just stick to this way that I do it? Or can I experiment? Can I be more loose? And anyway, so this is how this, um, this ties into discovering alternative, you know, creativity, I right. Was watching the guy that was helping me.
Roland van Loon (00:10:59):
Uh, Todd from Laia comes over, helped me out. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and I’m going, aren’t you gonna hard trial it. Cause that’s how the plasters and Santa Fe do it. They do hard trial plaster makes it. And then you put, OK, it makes a really nice glass finish wall. Beautiful. I thought, well, when are you gonna hard trial it? When are you gonna hard it? And he goes, well, he says to me, you know, if you hard, it’s just gonna be all gray. It’s just gonna look like a, just a blaze gray, smooth thing. He goes, that’s not how I do it. He has these dying, um, sanding pads that he sands it afterwards and he smooths it out. And, and I, I ask him, so can that diamond pad like sand through the rocks and everything he goes, yeah, will sand the rock smooth. And all of a sudden I could see it.
Roland van Loon (00:11:53):
It, I go, oh man, that, so this thing surface is gonna have all these different textures and all that kinda stuff. Boom, on my whole world just like changed with cement. Now I wanna like go sand cement and I wanna find all these cool textures in it. So the creative world is about like discovering other ways of sea discovering all the ways of doing things, putting it together and having a fusion about like, like how you live your life and you able to like, go, I should live my life. Like the way I’ve made that cement. I’ll just metaphors like lessons of life. And so that’s, what’s cool about it. That’s kinda like what painting here in New Mexico is like, there’s this, all these really rich, like things in New Mexico that people don’t know about. Like all for everybody thinks like the buildings in the country are like on the east, the buildings are in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Right. People don’t know these little things. And then
Anne Kelly (00:13:00):
The capital and I think is oldest car in,
Roland van Loon (00:13:07):
In the country. Yeah.
Anne Kelly (00:13:08):
Roland van Loon (00:13:09):
And for that alone, I’m like totally a totally reli that I have a mural on that wall amongst, and I’m in good company with other artists, you know, like Alfred Ang and William Vincent. He’s got a mural in a buddy of mine, uh, Natchez as a mural off
Anne Kelly (00:13:27):
Over there. I’m all about the stories. So what if I pull up your website and you tell us some about, does that sound
Roland van Loon (00:13:37):
Good? Sounds good. I’ll tell you a story about any of these paintings. Sure. This
Anne Kelly (00:13:42):
Is Roland’s website clearly from the Santa Fe Plaza.
Roland van Loon (00:13:47):
The building is the bandstand, the center of our city, the Santa Fe bandstand. I wanted to build the, it kind of almost looked like a flying saucer because we have lost almost nearby. And there’s all this extraterrestrial things that everybody’s been trying to hide. Well, I know it’s really like the band stands, right? It’s all happening there. And, uh, light of all, if you look around, um, I have this bull smelling arose, right? And so basically the bull represents the Spanish culture in Santa Fe, meaning Spanish people from Spain, they’re descendants, like all the, the, like a lot of the names that the streets are named after cetera, et cetera. Gotcha. And then if you look on the left side, you’ll see the skeleton kind of dancing. And then he’s like the Mexican part of, uh, uh, Santa Fe. He’s the guys that come across the border look for jobs.
Roland van Loon (00:14:52):
And then right next to the skeleton, you’ll see this like a Virgin Mary. But if you look at her, she’s a face. And, uh, she is our lady Guadalupe, the, uh, uh, you know, the, the, the female divinity, the city that, um, that emulates, um, like total acceptance of people of color. Our city is a San, a sanctuary, all these guys that come across a border can come to Santa Fe or New Mexico, and they be safe. They’re not just gonna get arrested by ISIS and boom, throw you in jail. Or people here try to get help them become citizens. And which is a really cool thing about this city. And okay. And then right in between the skeleton and our, our lady, you have this cowboy guy, but he’s got green cowboy boots. And really the that’s all these guys that come from the east coast that have thought about wanting to be a cowboy, but they just can’t get away from their ostrich boots and all this stuff.
Roland van Loon (00:16:05):
They’re like, they’re real. They, they look like Cowboys. They really haven’t lasted, uh, cow all. And you have, uh, our lady Gaga. This is my depiction of her. And I didn’t really see her. I just imagined her here. Cause you have there’s this movie destination place that Santa Fe in. And that’s just the beginning of a little bit of like what my painting is about. It just includes a lot of different kind of cultures, lot of different mix. So if you look at the guy in the very front with the Blon and the hat, he’s got aha shirt, well guess what, like even people from Hawaii are here and, uh, and it’s EC mix of, you know, and what, and what, you know, what brings us all together? You know, it’s really, the art art is way bigger than you start off thinking. Like I thought, oh, I’m a painter and there’s paintings, but there’s art in dancing.
Roland van Loon (00:17:02):
There’s art in pottery, there’s art in the architecture. The more so the, the bandstand looking kinda like a flying saucer, it’s sort of this BTEX for the, uh, for the spacecraft just to come here and be the first place and are all these people doing over here anyway. That’s why, that’s what this story of this is, is just bunch of different things. And if you look at the children, the are my children, I put and basically all of my paintings, but I put my children as they grow idea of growth is something that I also think about a lot. We’re not just stagnant beings, I’m getting older, but am I actually getting older? Really? What I really attribute is is that I’ve just been growing like a tree. Everything in the art to me is alive and it has the possibility to continue growing what that painting is about. And this happens in the summer. So it’s warm. It’s a great event. It’s like one of the best things about Santa Fe to actually be able to dance at the Santa Fe bandstand during the summer. It is the,
Anne Kelly (00:18:16):
I can’t wait to do again, honestly, I’s
Roland van Loon (00:18:30):
I dunno. But then the other thing, if you notice in my painting, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, you know, you have all different kinds of people from all different races. It’s a melting pot. Like Hawaii is a melting pot. And I like that about this place,
Anne Kelly (00:18:45):
Santa Fe. So out curiosity. Why, why did pick Santa Fe, when you decided to relocate,
Roland van Loon (00:18:53):
I’d heard about this place. I’d never really been here. I, I won the Ford foundation traveling grant while I was in college and it allowed me to do some traveling. So I gotta see some things I won’t say I saw everything, but I did dedicate every day to see a different museum. I ended up going to Europe and I could like get a Eurorail pass. I could sleep on a train and be in a different city every day, you know, in my travels. And then I’d go to these different cities and look at art, but I actually didn’t like cities that much. And even though I had these romantic idea is about being in the city, like being in New York or being in, in LA or being in Paris. I didn’t wanna completely give up nature. Even though I traded ocean for a different kind of nature.
Roland van Loon (00:19:43):
Santa Fe is actually the way old Hawaii, really the laws around protecting the land actually were there. Aren’t a whole bunch of high rises here. For instance, there’s a mountain and there is a lot of art. You can’t meet people really outside of art. So they’re either framing art, photographing art, shipping, art, everybody’s related to it. Somehow waiters like weight tables and go art artists. You know, they make jewelry here. It’s just, the city is just like full of like amazing things. And I happen to have a lot of like native American friends that live on the pueblos. I, I actually have the opportunity to experience a lot of that here as well, which is beautiful all the feast days and all the dances. So, so diverse, you know, mm-hmm, <affirmative> the Spanish people are super cool too. You know, all their music and Flamingo. Yeah. We haven’t even hit on that subject.
Anne Kelly (00:20:44):
I was gonna say, that’s been a huge influence for you and it almost totally like maybe these, these mermaids are doing flamenco dancing
Roland van Loon (00:20:54):
Underwater, are they? Yeah. So basically this painting, I decided to paint everything. I loved like, like everything I loved. And then I had the idea when I was on the, uh, west coast. So, so there’s a little town over there that painted really cute. Well, it’s a town called cap and I go over there and have coffee on this. And I look down at these buildings. I love these colored buildings. And basically that whale was a mural on, on a story capital. And I photographed, I love that way that art like made the whale, he put barnacles on it and I said, I can just make it my own. And then seal was a sign in the parking lot. And I went, well, somebody really knew seals all way better than me. And, but octopus, I really know I eaten, I sped them. The middle mermaid is actually my son’s partner.
Roland van Loon (00:21:54):
Her name is rain and she makes shell jewelry in Hawaii. She sells the shell jewelry. So I put this crown on her, the black mermaid when these guys got killed this year by policemen and all the people that this happened to. And I thought to myself, I really need to make a statement. And so I included it her as a mermaid. Cause I don’t see that mermaids under I people and feel like this is something that I could bring a different view of this stuff that’s going on in our time. And then the other mermaid is a beautiful Hawaiian woman with her Haku Le I kinda had to mix it up. My Hawaiian mermaid is, is Ashley doing Flamingo? <laugh> cause Tahi and Flamingo have the same, like a lot of the same power, female power. Yeah. So this painting is about everything that I love related to the ocean.
Roland van Loon (00:22:57):
And now if you look closer at my painting with the lights coming down, you’ll see little stars. And so I’m connecting the light, the like from the universe that comes all the way into our ocean. And you know, there’s like really special things about the ocean. We need to protect really need take of it right now. It’s important. So this is part of like the cause that I feel with my heart is like, if somehow I can get people to open up their heart, to the ocean and mermaids. And basically then an open heart to me is really the place where, where we are gonna make some change. You know? So that’s what I’m kinda trying to do the painting without being completely Fu Fu about it. No,
Anne Kelly (00:23:47):
That’s be, you’ve even got that bird that seems to swoop down for some dinner. Maybe
Roland van Loon (00:23:54):
He’s a Pelican. He has another thing. I love pelicans. Don’t you love pelicans. How do you not there’s how do you not love these things? You know, sea turtles, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, you know, you love them dolphins. You love them, you know, just, and anyway, so this is everything that I love in this painting and yes, I actually have a clamp shell that big and I love shes and I have a bunch of them in my house, New Mexico.
Anne Kelly (00:24:23):
I love that. And, and this is pretty big painting, right?
Roland van Loon (00:24:28):
Yeah. It’s uh, it’s 54 inches by 72 inches. This painting is evolved over time. I have a buddy that’s, uh, a famous Asara as well known or however you wanna say it, but his name is Tony, a beta. I have coffee with him in the morning and he’s been, uh, prompting me. He, he says, I got a good eye, you know, make your paintings really cool, like to focus like on, on depth a little bit more. And so from his, um, influence, I’m really trying to create this depth so that you can kind of go into the painting a little bit more. And, and which is anyway, one of my favorite artists was Picasso and he used to have his apprentices paint, some of the same exact paintings that he did that he liked and he’d have like five different exact same paintings. And the reason is, is because there are departure places in paintings, you could keep going to the left with it, or you could actually shift it and go to the right.
Roland van Loon (00:25:32):
And so he’d, he’d like develop the same paintings and go all these different directions with the painting. So honestly, fortunately for me, I don’t have to do all that cuz right now with his digital photography and all the things I can look at it and I repaint my paintings and I can get ideas. I can depart them in a different directions. So like, like for instance, this, this one, right when I first saw for Minko I kinda asked like, where is this dance and where is this music come from? And then I heard it came from the mores, all this gypsies come going, living back in those days. As I learned more about Flamingo later on, I found out there are these famous Flamingo dancers, like Carmen, Maya, who was called queen in the gypsies first time that I heard the, um, music and I saw the dance, I right away got up out of my chair.
Roland van Loon (00:26:23):
You know, I wanted to give them money, but person I was with said, no, no, no don’t get, but so then I started clapping and I started saying Bravo and all, and actually seeing the Flamingo show. I had been in Santa Fe for a couple years already, but I never saw a flamenco show. I was actually ready to go home back to Hawaii. I decided to stay because I wanted to paint this thing that I saw. Mm. And, um, part of what I realized was is there was an invisible thing that I wanted to paint, but I didn’t know how, when I realized that Flamingo was really old music, like super old, like of years old that these gypsies sang and they danced to, and that people continued this tradition into the nowadays. I thought to myself, whoever wrote all this music must be rolling over in their grave since they’re still dancing this.
Roland van Loon (00:27:20):
So I thought about how would I, the person that wrote the music and the original people. And so I decided that I was gonna make a ma skeleton, the spirit, right? The, it was an ancestor that had written the music little did I know that Mexican people had been doing something similar and their art and the have a celebration, you know, celebrating the day of the dead once a year. But I kind of heard it from a different angle and I listened to the music, but then I was in Santa Fe. And so I didn’t want anybody that was looking at my painting to confuse it for being a Flamingo scene in maybe Mexico or anywhere else. So I put a curtain around the scene, which has Indian blanket designs mm-hmm and I, so nobody could mistake that this was a Santa Fe scene. And so, so place became important then place where it was happening was El farro.
Roland van Loon (00:28:29):
You know, a lot of these flamenco shows. So what does El farro mean in Spanish? You know, it’s like, it means the light, the lantern. So, so I made the owner that guy there, that’s holding the Lanter and his name is David. So name is holding this lantern. So then, so then I thought, so what’s the heart of these people. And I realized that both the Indians or native Americans and the Spanish people had an affinity for this lady, Guadalupe from Indian guy in Mexico side had the, his name was Diego. And he had this first visitation of lady Guadalupe. He saw it first across the board, the Spanish people and the native people kind of were able to connect through this being Saint. So I thought, gee, you know, how do I put her in the painting? And so basically I call this R lady at <inaudible> because the reference to lady Guadalupe is our lady and I, and then people like do things like, like wanna Guadalupe and a bikini it’s SACS. There’s like almost respect to this, this divinity, this thing really Reve is special, but that’s, I, you know, presence, the skeleton and the lantern and this umbrella to kind of give my audience an idea and have a memory of this place because it’s special and it’s not a blind optimist. I see all kinds of stuff out in the world that doesn’t work for me. I tend to focus on, um, the more positive things like celebration. And I definitely love to dance myself. So it’s just part of what comes out in the expression.
Anne Kelly (00:30:30):
And you’re into salsa dancing too. Is that, is that right?
Roland van Loon (00:30:34):
I’m, I’m a salsa dancer,
Anne Kelly (00:30:40):
Roland van Loon (00:30:42):
It changes over the years. I have a buddy, his name is Carlos Maura, and I never knew he was a dance teacher for instance. And so no, all the different dance places one night or maybe two nights a week hosts like salsa music, but not all the time. There was a time in Santa Fe. I’ll tell you it was so awesome. But you could go on a Thursday night to alpha, you would have the <inaudible> brothers and then you could go on Friday night to alpha and they would have the all DEA and then on you’d you’d have no Soros. You know, it seemed like life was, could’ve be more perfect over time. The places changed. So to nowadays you have some dancing at Lafa, the hotel things have been changing and there are just not quite as much dancing going, especially now pandemic. I have
Anne Kelly (00:31:44):
A feeling that when this is over the pandemic stuff, there is gonna be so much dancing. We’ll be dancing everywhere.
Roland van Loon (00:31:55):
Really hope. Um, dancers are like surfers. We just sit around waiting for surf or big. Well, we come in salsa. Dancing is to surfers like waves are, you know, we’re just waiting for the time that we can do it. And we’re all biting at the bit. I think I know I am, I can’t speak for everybody, but mm-hmm okay. So I have a TAUs moon. I’m kinda into a strong, I like it. So I’m a Gemini with, uh, Leo rising and a Taurus moon. And for some reason I started painting bulls. I always told people that the bull is really the disguise I put on when I go out, you know, but I was into the bull for a while. The bull is a powerful animal. A lot of people depict the bull in the way where they’re trying to conquer the bull, kill the bull with bull fighting and all that.
Roland van Loon (00:32:57):
There’s a about a bowl. That’s actually a really nice, he happens to be blue. I forgot his name, but Spanish people tell the story, but the like smells flowers is a happy is actually a nice, my depict is really the, the part of the likes to dance. And, but still powerful. He’s a nice bull, but he’s a fluid bull, right? When you dance, there’s a nice component to dancing. There’s someone that’s leading and there’s someone that’s following this. I, I call it a nice component because it’s kind of can be a metaphor for life. So the way that I like to dance is, um, basically the way I got taught my conditioning is men lead. If the, if the mu, if you like mess up on the dance, it’s the guy’s fault. Cause he couldn’t lead. There’s this a little bit of a pride that take into the dance floor.
Roland van Loon (00:33:58):
Like, and there’s so many people, a dance here, the girls can be kind of snobby sometimes and go, do you know how to solve dance? Can you lead? And then you have, I used to lie and say, oh yeah, I could do it. But, but then you maybe only dance in one time and then next time you, Hey, you wanna dance? Nobody wants to dance with you. So yeah, invested in, um, the dance world, I’ve taken dance lessons and I’ve had like a dance teacher live with me. And I got to learn how I get the privilege of having most beautiful dancers. I get to dance with theuse, you know, I love her, brings a lot to the art. It’s that at? Uh, race car drivers. They say it like the agony and the ecstasy, you know, it’s all of it together as one. You can’t just have one without the other, the good and the bad, the light and the dark, the contrast. Well
Anne Kelly (00:34:56):
That’s life, right. Everything I
Roland van Loon (00:34:58):
Love it’s. What else do you want? Exactly. I don’t know. I guess, I guess you could want money and all of that, but you know, there’s prosperity and then there’s abundance. And um, I have a lot of abundance at, you know, my world is abundant. I have lots of great friends. I have gr great conversations. I get to dance, get to shred.
Anne Kelly (00:35:22):
What more do we want? Few weeks ago, I interviewed my friend Daniel and he’s been photographing bull fights for a few years now. Wow. And he’s Portuguese Canadian. He lives in California now. So he is been photographing all the bloodless bulls, but HES also traveled to photograph, but more traditional bulls. OK. And one of the things I thought was interesting when I was talking to him in regards to the bloodless fights. Okay. So they do that because it’s, um, friendlier to the bull, but the Matador, I mean the bulls don’t know it’s a bloodless bull fight. I mean, I think just what struck me about it was just the level of that these Matador had for the bull fighting. I don’t know how to explain it other than just next level of just, you know, why does anybody do anything? Um, why, why do you paint? Why do these guys fight these bowls?
Roland van Loon (00:36:26):
Anne Kelly (00:36:28):
Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And I had, I had showed him your old dancing painting, but he was really inspired by it. But I think kind of on a, from a different perspective,
Roland van Loon (00:36:39):
What was his twist?
Anne Kelly (00:36:40):
He kinda perceived it as, as the dance between the bull and, and the bull. And
Roland van Loon (00:36:48):
Interesting, it’s kinda a similar thing that I feel like about the, I feel a similar thing. I, I call it and <affirmative>, mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, and so the desire is the woman. And then the, and the bull has this passion and the tube make a dance, passion and desire, constantly phasing each other, create this movement in a dance. So especially if they’re not killing the bull, when they’re killing the bull, it’s almost like intelligence can come, uh, the beast. But when you’d say that they’re not killing the bull, and then they’re doing it, then, then what’s going on. Then it’s about a dance with this powerful thing that, that we maybe like misunderstand and we kill, but not out with a higher level of understanding. We have compassion. And so we don’t kill it, but we dance with it instead, you know, on the Matador of all these guys, male, they’re totally gracious and they have such control and they trust their techniques and it takes a lot of training. So I, I, I could see the interpretation of this, this friend of yours with my painting, for sure.
Anne Kelly (00:38:05):
The more I do these shows, I keep finding all of these, these connections and I kind of can’t help but share them. So I’ll,
Roland van Loon (00:38:13):
I’ll definitely, it’s interesting. That’s part of the
Anne Kelly (00:38:15):
Story. Exactly. It’s becoming this, this larger story art
Roland van Loon (00:38:19):
For me in some way is kinda like this word, evolution really means that things are live and they keep growing, expanding until we’re at the point to maybe interpret them and get the real meaning and the messages from these things on a level that is universal. And so that’s kind of what my plight as an artist is, is to kind of discover what that is. And I inch by inch plug along and get these things. When I was really young, I thought I was about to talent and all of that. Well, it has a lot less to do with talent. It still has a lot to do with talent. Don’t get me wrong, but it has a lot less to do with talent than it has to do with lifestyle. This create creative thing that we’re trying to be part of is actually the thing we have to be. And it’s in everything that we do. It’s in, it’s in the way that we, we cook. It’s the way we raise our kids. It’s the way we socialize. It’s the way we interpret the world, the way
Anne Kelly (00:39:20):
You make countertops, when
Roland van Loon (00:39:23):
The way you make countertops and get all turned on about a, a new discovery. And like, you mean this could happen. You know, there’s all kinds of information out there about how the mine were like Ted talks on the mine words. Mouth is incredible, like stuff, you know, but yeah, if you’re, if you listen to all that, you constantly just keep growing with more information. And then, you know, a lot of people are traumatized and a lot of people have issues from the past and all that. And then creativity and a change of perspective has a way to like, address all that as Well’s just amazing. So that’s, I think I’m really in it for my own mental health <laugh>
Anne Kelly (00:40:08):
Well, no, I, I think, I think art is great therapy in, in not just for the making of it, but sometimes the viewer. And I mean, it, it’s also just really transformative as well.
Roland van Loon (00:40:22):
The more I take close to my creative side, the more I feel like I’m connected to the universe and that the universe takes care of me. A thing that try to do as much as I possibly can, as I use this word called Kokua, that is a Hawaiian word, which means to help out without any like ulterior motives for, for my own self gain, where you help out, because the land does better, you know, you help clean up the garden because the garden out more fruit, we all like co cool help out. It, it can be kinda a funny thing to say as well, but it’s like, Hey, cool, cool. You go, no, that’s not co cool. You have to pay now.
Anne Kelly (00:41:13):
Roland van Loon (00:41:15):
Not this time, but I like, I like, I like the principles of Coco to just do it because it’s the right thing to do. I definitely don’t paint to make money. I don’t look around and go, if I paint that I could sell this for so much money, because everybody wants this cetera. So I do not paint that way. I paint because I really feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my time. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and this paintings really important. And, and the things that are really important to me is this really the things I love, I love dancing. And so I paint about that. I love Flamingo and I love I’ll paint that it’s a subject matter. I love to paint. And I got to know the people. And I, I think some of that energy, you go into the painting with sort of gets translated. Or
Anne Kelly (00:42:13):
If you’re painting, if you’re depicting something in your artwork that you’re passionate about, people are gonna see it. They’re gonna feel it. Not
Roland van Loon (00:42:19):
Everybody will, but a lot of people feel it. They
Anne Kelly (00:42:23):
Actually, yeah. One of the things that really fascinates me about art making is most so many artists. I mean, you’re, you’re making it literally because you basically, you can’t help it. So when you start painting something, you’re not painting it because Mr. Black said, he’d give you 5,000 bucks. You just woke up and you were just ready to paint.
Roland van Loon (00:42:45):
That’s right. That’s exactly how it goes. It’s like a crap shoot. So wherever the dice lamb, that’s where the dice lamb and in it, as I know it can be feast or famine, but when it’s feast, oh my goodness, it’s a feast. You know, it’s really, really amazing for instance, um, the, uh, Spanish colonial part of the folk art museum did, um, exhibit called Flamingo from Spain to New Mexico. I was actually asked if I wanted a couple of walls in the show for a couple of paintings, went to the opening and I met all the townspeople and all their tuxedos. And I met all the musicians that played flame Minko guitar. And I met some of the dancer Nicola, she’s the curator of the Spanish colonial section. And she’s a Flamingo dancer. And anyway, she saw my mural at ELAU and, and, and I asked her like, oh, why, why you telling me that?
Roland van Loon (00:43:51):
And she says, oh, I had so many cultural references. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And, and then she brought up the bowl in Spain and the, the skeleton was really kinda Mexican. And there was like an eclectic, uh, presentation of the culture here in a Flamingo world. I’m not a history teacher, but the way that it, it really goes is gypsies migrated. Then the Spanish took on because cause Spain is really warm. And so the gypsies liked it, where it was warm and they dance in the street. And then there was a, a fusion Spanish people started dancing and kind of claiming as their own dance. But you know, it really is a dance from the gypsies and not all Spanish people were gypsies Aus. I dunno, man, Y Japanese good. And they have this sushi, but now they have like red chili and sushi just trying new herbs and, well, I
Anne Kelly (00:44:47):
Love sushi and I’ve lived in New Mexico long enough. I’ve definitely had sushi with New Mexico Blair. I kinda thought that was just cause I lived here. <laugh> <laugh>
Roland van Loon (00:44:57):
I dunno that just mix people are just mixing different things and putting them together, you know? And uh, I think this idea of a melting pot, you know, becoming more so with the internet and Google and all these things and Facebook, you can’t help, but have a fusion. You can’t just go, I am this kinda a person and this the way I am, and you’re being influenced all time with everything. How you gonna just stay rigid, you gotta be flexible. And then yeah. You know, this flexibility brings us happiness. And so when we, that fusion, then that’s cool. So it’s easy to like all different kinds of food now. I mean, you can eat African food at jambos or you can eat like the Spanish cuisine, you know, high end that LACA. And you can like, you know, have barbecue things at the cowgirl. You can have Thai food, you can have all kinds of things. So you have to just say, I only eat fish. Come on, man. Try it, try it. You might like it boring.
Anne Kelly (00:46:02):
<laugh> do you have a favorite kinda food?
Roland van Loon (00:46:05):
My favorite food is always gonna be raw fish and boy sines. And boy is probably my favorite. If I go pick two foods to eat, I would eat a and raw fish. That’s like my favorite thing to eat. And then if my second would be PO and fried fish, and then the next thing I, I would say, I really like, you know, my green chili and I love, you know, I love green, but I really like red a lot. And so I love my red the most. Well,
Anne Kelly (00:46:36):
And it depends on which restaurant you’re at too in Santa
Roland van Loon (00:46:39):
Let’s that one on the corner. Fifth street ands, um, uh, the pantry whole
Anne Kelly (00:46:45):
Pantry. Yes. I like their red
Roland van Loon (00:46:47):
To me. That is like, like local style food. After that, to me, the it be Maria’s and then LA to May 4th,
Anne Kelly (00:46:59):
If I met Tia, Sophias definitely the green chili.
Roland van Loon (00:47:03):
Tia Sophias is like my favorite low breakfast thing on Sundays. It’s a must. And I like to go to Fonda and go eat over there. Just be because I like look at the stain glass windows and uh, at, at the Lafon hotel, you know, all those, the, the painted windows, not stain glass hand painted windows that are all around. I mean, this is little things, no
Anne Kelly (00:47:29):
Little details. And you can go up to the bell tower and watch the sunset. You can watch the,
Roland van Loon (00:47:35):
I like tuneup. And I really like the, his name is Jesus Paqua I mean, on and on
Anne Kelly (00:47:46):
Santa Santa Fe is definitely a, not just an art town. It’s a food town too.
Roland van Loon (00:47:50):
Well, see, this is where art and food kind of meet food, art and dance meet here in Santa Fe. It becomes a little triangle. There’s all kinds of dance. So you have all the native guys doing their dances, Spanish people with their Flamingo and the salsa. Then you got your two step <laugh>.
Anne Kelly (00:48:16):
So I’m curious, you you’ve mentioned flamenco, being a big influence and being into salsa. What other types of music are, are you into? Do you listen to music?
Roland van Loon (00:48:27):
Painting? Actually, I, the complete I’m one of those people that I go into the you’re a
Anne Kelly (00:48:36):
Roland van Loon (00:48:36):
Yeah. I, and kinda when it, to my creative I’m I have is like the stealth bomber. I’m kind of out in the forest. The, I don’t really come out in the open. Yeah. But when it comes to music, I definitely come out. I come out and the other side of the Leo, uh, rising thing comes out the personality. Look at me, I’m here. It’s a whole public persona. And in my creative world, I like, I like to just be in this like total quiet spot.
Anne Kelly (00:49:19):
I that’s just something I often ask. If I
Roland van Loon (00:49:22):
Turn on music, I actually wanna start dancing and like stop painting. And I don’t feel like painting. I mean, why would you paint when all this great music song you wanna go dance
Anne Kelly (00:49:33):
When your brush strokes are a little different
Roland van Loon (00:49:35):
You’re yeah. Or be like being in someone’s kitchen and you smell them cooking. Who cares about this painting? You wanna go see what they’re cooking? It’s like a distraction for me. Otherwise, the time that I have painting is kind important to me because I have so many other responsibilities as a parent, you know, there’s other things, but so the painting time ends up being like really special. And so I kinda, almost treated like, uh, maybe like going to church, I don’t go to church. Sounds like that is church. It’s kinda like the place where, um, feel like I connect with the creative spirit. It <laugh> cause where does all the creativity really come from? I mean, it kinda comes in my head and you think about things, but then this dexterity and the connection and the way you’re able to do it, it’s like, wow, this actually kind of amazing is, is developed over time.
Roland van Loon (00:50:30):
I, I couldn’t always paint the way that I do. Sure. I, you know, by sticking with it over time, just gotten more control, more, more understanding about what the process is. You know, I’ve got some good people about ideas off, like my buddy, Tony, you know, he’s really cool. Yeah. And have a different twist on like what, what the importance of it is and why, like, for instance, he was saying, man, I’ve just done all these landscapes. He goes, but what if one day there wasn’t a landscape to pain? What if the world was changed? Wouldn’t this Ashley, he have been more meaningful and here he’s doing it. I go, never thought of it like that. But now in this pandemic, I never understood why my paintings of all these scenes that I did, all these people, having joy and having all this fun and all that.
Roland van Loon (00:51:22):
What’s the importance to, well, guess what? As, as you can’t do it, right. You go, wow. That was really important. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, I’m so glad I did it after all, you know, you can’t really try to think overthink, like why you’re doing what you’re doing. You just gotta, you just gotta be true to yourself, you know? And, and then I think if you’re true to yourself and you can, you know, just accept certain things about yourself, like all gay, uh, I don’t like listening to music. I don’t have to listen to music and you go, Hey, that’s just cause just cause all my other friends do
Anne Kelly (00:51:58):
Roland van Loon (00:52:01):
But I, so I’m so I don’t people coming, I can sit there and I have conversations and I can engage with other people in pain, but I, you know, but I just go, I love having you here, but I’m just gonna keep painting if that’s cool with you. I do. I like, I like my meditation time working with your breath and being able to meditate is a, is a powerful tool to start your day with. And so I roll out bed and every morning I, I sit and then I just focus on my breathing and I meditate for 20 to 30 minutes every morning, I guess, take this principles of, uh, meditation into my painting. Just kinda let it come from somewhere else. That’s a literal sort of from your gut, your
Anne Kelly (00:52:51):
Yeah. Your inspiration, your own intuition, just
Roland van Loon (00:52:54):
Yeah. Your own intuition.
Anne Kelly (00:52:56):
So I’m curious. Do you, do you collect art by other artists?
Roland van Loon (00:53:02):
I, I, I like to be like a treasure hunter. I like looking for things and I like the unusual way that I might discover them or find them biggest art collection has to do with Polynesian tops collect like woodbar pounded fabric with paintings done with stencils and this kind of thing, Hawaiian style stuff, you know, the Asian style, someone, I like all the taps. And like, I collect that. I like collecting, you know, I guess weird like artifacts. I really like old fish books. And I really love having, uh, little things. I don’t like a big painting, but my friend, Erin, the artist here in town, she gave me a little drawing. I, I treasure it. It’s less about like how important the artist, but my connection to the people that I get the art from, I, I would love to have a cool etching Picasso.
Roland van Loon (00:54:06):
That is something I would really like to have one of the silk screens by Andy Warhol. I’d like to have that I don’t have yet, but I can see myself having those, those particular things. The problem is you can like load up your all kinds of, you know, and right now I only really have for the stuff that I’m making myself right now, we don’t have all the room to put everybody else’s things in. I’m more of a producer mm-hmm <affirmative> so it doesn’t make too much sense to be a producer and a collector all at the time. Like all people make
Anne Kelly (00:54:45):
Gotta selective about what those things are. I’m wondering if you have any advice for, for young artists,
Roland van Loon (00:54:55):
From all the research that I’ve done about the way the mind works is is that if there’s something you wanna do and you really wanna do, it’s possible, you want, you should do things for the right. Put your priorities together because there’s other levels that are, have more value than the money that you might make and you, and you can still make money. So people with the focus on that, I think changing the order and finding an actual purpose or like a connection to your, your life and it to be ans having you like that’s knowing that.
Roland van Loon (00:55:47):
And then I would say that the myth of everybody being a starving artist is just a myth. It’s not, it’s not true. I might not have had paintings that sold for high digit numbers. But what I have had the experience of is lots of people buying painting for me and people loving it. Man. I meet the most amazing people. If I didn’t pursue this gift of art that was presented to me, I would never have discovered that I didn’t have to do things like the way I was told I had to do them. I was told and do this every day. And, and I do, I do lots of things, but, but when I actually comes with the quality in my life, it really comes from this other stuff. You know, people that I’m around. That’s really where my abundance is. My abundance is. And the friendships that I have, right. You wouldn’t have
Anne Kelly (00:56:58):
Been involved in that mural if you hadn’t just
Roland van Loon (00:57:05):
Yeah. <laugh> yeah. You know, my mother was an artist. I saw this, I saw this old man. Uh, I really loved my grandfather growing up. I really admired him. I think because I admired my grandfather so much, you know, I mean, I was taught to get up off my chair and the older person got on the bus, let them sit down the same thing with the ladies. You know, that’s the way I was taught, you know, meeting him this older man. It was my job. Uh, my job was to respect my elder. It really wasn’t selfer it was like, I wanna help you. I wasn’t anything for me. I was like, what can I do to help you? Right. You know, I’ll clean your brushes. I’ll sweep your floor. I just wanna be around <laugh>. This is the, so I was a volunteer for about weeks or three weeks went and volunteer, started to cry and they looked at me and they goes, oh no, that’s not what we meant.
Roland van Loon (00:58:10):
We’re gonna put you on the payroll. <laugh> I was like, oh, ain’t gonna put me on the, oh cool. It says, yeah, tomorrow the newspaper’s gonna come photograph us, painting on a mur. I go, well, I says, don’t worry. We got you covered. We’re gonna give you a couple water and a paint. You just paint water on the wall. <laugh> and they’re all painting. And I painting water on the wall. This is like, that’s so awesome. So that’s really how I started painting on the wall. Cause I didn’t know, some start somewhere. So I painting on the wall. And so that’s how life has been for me because I work for this artist. What I know for dark on short is, um, me staying close to my art is I’m gonna be at the right place at the end of my life because I’m never gonna live forever. And I am gonna go, but when I’m gonna go, I’m gonna be able to go.
Roland van Loon (00:59:06):
I did what I wanted to do. And this is where it’s taken me, see where the journey goes and I’m, uh, Gemini and I love adventure and I love traveling. And I think part of my travel, isn’t just places like a sagitarians places far away, this and that. But my places in my community, I travel in my community. I know the waiter. I know the chef, I know the dishwasher, you know, as I’m walking through the restaurant and I like to go into the back door, I don’t need to be like a Scorpio where I dive off a plane and land on the ground, you know, off my parachute, a concert for everybody to see, you know, I like the back. I like to the back. I like to know all, everybody like all, you know, and I really love people. Would you see a lot of my paintings of people as people doing things and the things that you’re doing are the things that things would make you happy.
Roland van Loon (01:00:07):
If you were doing them too, being there with your kids, being outta nature, dancing, being part of your community for anybody wants to be an artist like you asked earlier, I would say, do it, you’ll have, you’ll be able to experience this thing that I’m talking about. This change of perspective and seeing things in a different way, man, it’s worth this weighting gold. This is like to be able to see things differently. It’s amazing. It’s amazing thing. I have a lot of stories in regard to that, you know, aside from art, but um, you know, a painting, you know, painting is not just a painting. A painting is some that’s actually. And, and once you get into a painting, kinda opened your mind in a way that, that you would never expect one day, you might be sitting there looking at a painting and then one day you might just go, I that’s what?
Roland van Loon (01:01:16):
And then you moment, you get it and go time this, like, you look at a sculpture and you go, oh, and then you go, I get it. He’s interested in these textures, this thing. And there’s this, there’s this dialogue between a rough surfaces. And, and this is like a, and you know, you walk by this thing times and never notice that you go looks like a, a Buffalo looks like a Buffalo. And then all of a sudden you see the way he does the hair. And then you see the way he does the eyes and then you get it. He’s, it’s not a Buffalo. It’s really this intrigue with textures and surfaces and volume and all these other things that I dunno, they just, we don’t pay enough attention. You know, we don’t pay enough attention. We’re just like, and then the rest of us go, geez, that what I wanna do, it’s like my whole life,
Anne Kelly (01:02:25):
You know, I think that’s a service that artists provide,
Roland van Loon (01:02:29):
Can provide, yeah.
Anne Kelly (01:02:31):
Can provide it, can provide, they maybe look at the world in a different way and share that with other people by means of their artwork. It’s just a matter of tapping into that and paying
Roland van Loon (01:02:42):
Attention. You know, something about the ocean. Sometimes you go to the ocean, there’s really big waves, right? If you don’t know what you’re, you see a really big wave, what do you do? You run from it. Once you get familiar with the waves of the ocean, you learn not to run away from wave. People, tell you, don’t turn you back to wave. What you do instead is you see a wave, you turn face it and you run right into it. And you, you kinda meet that wave at about the same exact speed or the impact that the wave is coming at you. And then you dive right into the face of the wave, which looks like, is gonna completely gobble you up. <laugh>. But what happens is this weird phenomena happens, boom, you bust right through the back of the wave and the wave like buses on the rock or on the sand.
Roland van Loon (01:03:35):
And you come out the back of the wave and you’re on you just on the other side, you’re actually safe. You know, the ocean is, um, taught me a lot about life instead of running away from your problems or problems in art, or, you know, you just go right into, and then next thing you know, you’re on the other side and you go, what do I worry about? Dang, I gotta order like 10 of these prints on the same thing. Or these prints come from no place and you get orders, you know, mm-hmm <affirmative> and, um, it’s just like this amazing thing. And the more you, um, play with it, the more mace you get, you know, <laugh> its like crazy. There’s Japanese word called Boni. There’s a surfing spot called the Boni pipeline. The way that I was told the meaning of the word was the real meaning of the word times.
Roland van Loon (01:04:41):
So that’s what they’re times, 10,000 times is because this culture knew that to get good at anything. You had to do it at least 10,000 times to really be good at it. So they call it thei pipeline because for anybody to be able to ride that way, they’d had to have rid that least of, to be able to even try to surf that pipeline and master it and get in the tube, you know? Yeah. And, uh, anyway, so this, this, this thing about bonds, I doing it 10,000 times, it, it kind of means like doing your best, but it also infers that to be your best. You have to do it a lot. Michael Jordan says, oh, everybody talks about all the basket balls I made, but does anybody talk about all the ones I missed? And, and when you take the combin of the ones that he missed, plus the ones that he made. And so in order to be good at anything to be anywhere, yeah. You can have talent, you can have all that, but it’s really in the, the numbers, like what you actually do, except for ER, you know, father light. I think he only did, like he had 20 kids and like did 12 paintings in his life. There is the fluke.
Anne Kelly (01:06:02):
How many paintings do you think you’ve painted?
Roland van Loon (01:06:05):
Okay. So let’s get clear about this as an artist. I, I I’ve done paintings that’s but when you put the drawing sketches, painting, sewing, all, all these things have to do with images, tile, work, putting things together a lot. I won’t go as far as to say I did thousand, but how about, uh, I did 900.
Anne Kelly (01:06:35):
Roland van Loon (01:06:38):
It’s still working on it. It’s probably less than now.
Anne Kelly (01:06:41):
You just gotta, yeah, we just gotta keep, keep at it. And you sell not just original paintings, but you also sell prints as well. So that’s right for people out there that maybe wish they could afford the giant original oil painting, but maybe can’t do that right now. You could get a print for a few.
Roland van Loon (01:07:08):
You can get a small print for a few.
Anne Kelly (01:07:11):
Yeah. But if somebody really, really loves your work, they can do that.
Roland van Loon (01:07:16):
Mm-hmm <affirmative> there are there reproductions of work and I do them in the GLA format. I actually like people to have
Anne Kelly (01:07:23):
The work. And I’ve gotta say, just going back to that picture of everybody dancing on the Plaza, I think we need to manifest that, that that’s coming back. Cause I can’t wait to, to do that again.
Roland van Loon (01:07:36):
Let’s dance girl. Yes.
Anne Kelly (01:07:38):
Let’s dance. Before I let you go. OK. I’m always curious about people’s favorite
Roland van Loon (01:07:48):
Movies an all time. Favorite was a Fellini movie called swept away. Same guided, like did heroin mod and like a lot of the old like Sam movies. I like martial art movies a lot.
Anne Kelly (01:08:06):
I enjoyed talking to you really appreciate it. Thank you too. We’ll definitely in. Yeah, for sure. A good.
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