Desert – In memoriam of the red clay elephant ART EXPLOSION 57

in art •  last month

Desert – In memoriam of the red clay elephant
Acrylic on canvas
80 x 60 cm


I cannot comprehend what I see, but I understand.
I cannot explain the white noise in my ears, are there words?
I cannot move my feet, I am gliding.
Colours caress my hair. Tears are crawling slowly in my eyes.

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I never experienced a desert. The farthest south I went was Sicily. The barest landscape I visited was in Sardinia. Burned earth with dead remnants of bushes and grass. But I never saw planes of sand or rock without visible plants. I do not know how the wind moves in the desert, which sounds you hear and how it smells.
But I know, this landscape on my painting is a desert. Perhaps on an alien plane in another universe where Euclid does not apply, and lines need space and a ball not. I know that all these colours are waves of sand and heat. And can sense the burning heat of a sun whose rays billow through a thick atmosphere. I am sure, but I do not know why.

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Backstory and process
As many of my latest works, this painting started with a random mix of paint which was left on my palette from another now finished artwork. I started by distributing what was left and then added more and more new paint to formulate a diffuse, unstable and surreal landscape. A landscape which could be interpreted as water, sand, as undulating hills, or discoloured grass. I added a hint of sun-yellow and used lighter colours to create the possibilities of a sky.
Being finished with this step, I reflected the painting and there it was. The elephant. Half visible inside the swirling colours. And this Elephant is a friend I made some weeks ago in an exhibition of ‘museum global. Microhistories of an Ex-centric Modernism’. I found him on the painting ‘The red clay elephant’ of Amrita Sher-Gil. This painting, being a unique mixture of glazed paint and flatness reminiscent of Mughal miniature painting combined with a style which was modern in Paris at this time, deeply speak to me. I also am impressed by Amrita Sher-Gil who reflected the European colonialism and achieved to leave the role of muse behind to become the author.

Her red clay elephant now walks the plains of my swirling and colourful desert.

As mostly I used acrylic paint on canvas, a small palette knife and a wooden stick for the details.

Thank you @juliakponsford and @vachemorte for organizing and keeping this wonderful contest up <3
And thank you @erh.germany for inspiring me to reflect about inner landscapes <3

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This is so beautiful @neumannsalva. I love how you mixed all the colours together to create the illusion of a hot desert. But the red elephant looks lonely. Hope she finds her family.

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Thank you so much for the compliment 🙏🏻😍 And my mother who saw the painting very early, also wanted friends for the Elephant. As I am a bit animistic (I cry if someone hurts a stuffed animal) I can reassure you: the other Elephants will materialize out of the swirling mist - he is not alone 💕💕💕

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I love your work, your words.
I was looking back at some of my own doodlings and remembered I used to frequently post verse with my drawings and paintings.
This is lovely.
Your description is beautiful too. It definitely takes you on a trip into an inner landscape. A whimsical melancholic trip which is appropriate for you and your work at this time. There is a great beauty and bravery in showing vulnerability.
I imagine your words safely carrying me over the alien landscape, the unknowns, hostile or inhabitable, not important, when cradled in your prose.


This would be great, reading your verse which complement your painting, as your comments are already so beautiful. The words you found in the comment for the 'desert' painting are amazing <3 <3 Thank you so much for your words, they brought tears into my eyes <3 <3

Great art work neumannsalva! I think I like your way of using neon pink in your paintings. And about this piece I like the elephant. It reminds me my days in India. Good old days that made me come to Germany :)


This is so cool (that you like the neon pink) I am a bit obsessed with the neon hues 😍 And it is so amazing how many countries you know, I am a bit envious 😊 perhaps someday you have to write your story down how India brought you to Germany.

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Cool painting, you do a nice job of implying movement and landscape with all the colors!


Thaaaank youuuu 😍 And I am happy you could see the movement. I am not always too sure that I can transfer my thoughts/feelings into an understandable artwork 😂

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Thank you so much for including me in your magazine. I really appreciate your work and already read the post: you feature amazing artists 🌈

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Ich liebe die Art und Weise, wie du die Farben verwendet hast und den Effekt den sie erzeugen. Der Elefant ist auch spektakulär.

Herzlichen Glückwunsch und vielen Dank für das Teilen!!!


Wow, was ein tolles Kompliment. Danke schön! Ich freue mich, dass dir das Bild mit seinen wilden Farben gefällt <3

bu kadar çok renkliliğin içinde, yalnız kalmış küçük fili görmem hüzünlendirdi; keşke bir arkadaşı olsaydı🙇‍♀️

looks great👌


Thank you so much for the compliments <3 I tried to translate and I understood that you hoped that the elephant is not alone. I can reassure you, there are more hidden in the swirling mists :-)

Thank you for joining the contest once more, love this piece <3


Thank you for keeping it up, it is a constant motivation to try out new topics <3 And I am very happy you like the painting :-)