By Miki de Goodaboom
As I said in my last post, I have decided to reconnect with Cafe Crem, our wonderful Cyber Cafe for artists, musicians, photographers and writers. I hope I won’t be the only one here, although I know, as a very wise friend of mine said:
“Don’t expect too much from people!”
Anyway I just checked and saw that the last mug painting I published was my “Mobile Mug” on the … 12th of September 2010! My God, I can’t believe it is more than 3 years ago! Shame on me! But at least I was not inactive in that time, and my love of mugs is still alive: I have painted some new mugs from our fantastic and always growing mugs collection. Also, during a quite recent painting trip to Cyprus, I started a series of sketches showing the coffee mugs we get when we have a coffee break while we are travelling around.
So, speaking of love, there is nothing more natural than starting with my “Love Mugs”, a gift from Kevin to me for Valentines 2012.
I really adored them, they are just like Kevin and me: happy, funny, intertwined and…
hearts all over and around us!
By Miki de Goodaboom
Is anybody out there?
here is Miki… not sure if anybody is still around in our lovely Cyber Cafe “Cafe Crem”… probably not… except of course Kevin, who apparently comes here from time to time and tells the world about his music and the music he loves!
Well, I personally haven’t come for ages… there is nothing more depressing than an empty Café, and I had no idea how to try to bring it to life again. At the occasion, apart from Kevin, I would like to thank Shelley with all my heart, who has been so faithful and active all the time, from the very beginning…
Shelley… are YOU there?
I have a very special reason to come back today, but I hope I will come more often again. Since my last post, I have painted many new mugs, and I will gradually publish them here, together with their little story. But for now I want to present you the “Irina Bloom” Mug.
Irina Bloom is the heroine of the new book with the same name of Brazilian author Tamara Ramos. And is as well a painting by me. If you want to know how my girl landed on the cover of Tamara’s book, please go and read the story in my main blog. You can also read l’histoire d’Irina Bloom en français if you don’t understand English or find French language sexier! 🙂
Here is my original painting
As usual: mugs are a wonderful personalised gift, and Christmas is coming… does it ring a bell? So, if you want to purchase an Irina Bloom mug, please go to
So, this is it for today. Kevin and I would love to hear again from any of our Cafe Creamers if you are around. And if you have a new mug, with an interesting mug story, or anything else interesting in your life, just come to Cafe Crem and let us know!
SEE YOU SOON I HOPE!
I’d like to present today the first in an artistic collaborative series by myself, and my partner, the French artist, Miki. My drawing style is very different from hers, and in a bid to create something a little bit unusual, I suggested that I should draw the basic character, and then turn the project over to her for completion, and indeed, the end result of this first effort looks exactly like a cross between her style and mine! We’re really happy with it, and we will be creating some more over the coming months. I picked Muddy Waters for a number of reasons, one being that Pinetop Perkins played in his band for a while – the late blues piano legend whom I met in Austin on my BLUE ODYSSEY trip a couple of years back, and also did an art work of (see link) ….and Muddy…well, I always loved the story of his first visit to England in 1958, when all these English high-brow blues purists accustomed to the more sedate acoustic blues Big Bill Broonzy and the like were shaken to the core by his loud electric guitar and stompin’ beat! Muddy’s ‘shock and awe’. I like that. So here he is, out by Lake Michigan, in a snow storm over Chicago ( which it was when we arrived there after exploring the Mississippi delta in 2010) Muddy, like so many other bluesmen, made that journey to the windy city, so it seemed a fitting backdrop. Hope you like it! If you like it a lot, then you can buy it in a variety of formats by clicking on the widget below.
I know, it’s about time that my mugs and me make a new appearance in Cafe Crem!
It has been such a long time since my last mug painting, I guess the last one was the Memphis mug about 6 months ago? Something like that. Not that I love my mugs less, or find them less ‘paintable’, I was just busy with some other motifs.. and some other people.
By the way I want to thank Shelley and Danu who joined me on Easelspace, this artist community from which I have been part of the co-hosting for some months now. I am glad to have them with me there, it makes me feel home. As well as Kevin of course, who is also a quite active member there, with his art work and with the poems he writes inspired by some Easelspace artists’ paintings.
Anyway, here comes the new mug…
be careful and keep out of his way, he is coming very fast!
By the way: “Mobile Mug” was a gift from Kevin… I was sad that day, he went out and came back with Mobile Mug for me… that mug was really full of love – even though it’s expression might not convey it! 🙂
Eventually I found the bag of my dreams!
When I go sketching outside -which is something I do very often-, I always take the minimum amount of stuff: a sketching book and a pen. But there is a problem: I like my big sketching book. Well, not that big, 40 x 40 cm, plus the spring along the top, but just big enough so as not to fit in any bag. Well, I bought one once in a German art shop, but it was all black, so serious. It makes me sad just to look at it, no way I can use it to go and sketch, where I do need to feel in a positive state of mind!
I couldn’t believe my eyes as I saw this one in a Cafe-Shop in Bubion, a little village from the Sierra Nevada some days ago. Not only does my sketch book fit in it exactly, but the bag is soooo cool, so artistic. More or less like in this painting I did of it. Lovely, crazy bag, isn’t it?
Well, I will use the occasion to introduce you to our new Easelspace gallery. In the last 3 weeks, I presented here
Travelscapers (landscapes from all around the word)
Easelfaces (portraits and figures from around the world)
Now we have just launched our
All sorts of still life from international painters will be presented here. if you want to join one of these galleries, we must charge 10 dollars the year for one (15 for 2, 20 for 3). We have a lot of costs and work with all these sites, hence the fees. But we are doing a great deal to gradually increase the value of and the visits to, these galleries, and aiming to be one day, as soon as possible, among the most visited online galleries for people searching for landscapes, portraits or still lifes.
But if you can’t afford the membership to our special galleries you can still join us at Easelspaces, the “mother” gallery. Mother is generous and doesn’t cost anything 🙂 .
We are a nice community of international artists (amateurs, semi-professionals and professionals) gathered on that great site created by artists for artists, and offering many possibilities for presenting your art and developing a nice relationship with other artists from the world.
I don’t know how it is with you, but me, I have so many travel plans and dreams in my head that 10 lives would not be enough to fulfil them! My dreams have always been for example, to go to Siberia, China, India, Peru, The Moon… I will certainly do what I can to realise some of them, but for many obvious reasons, not all will be possible. But when one can’t really travel, there is a way to visit places without spending too much money or time, and it is ART. I do love to look at beautiful photos from far away countries, and of course, even more than photos, I adore paintings featuring the beauty of all the places and people in our world.
This is why, Adrian Durham and me have started a new project, called Travelscapers. Our aim is to exhibit on our platform as many paintings from around the world (scapes, towns, nature, people, folklore) as possible, the challenge being to gradually cover the globe with paintings, according to the motto:
“”Around the world in Arty days”
Travelscapers.com is a site for artists and art lovers, run by artists. I would love to invite painters from around the world to join us. Well, when I say “invite”, it is not quite true.Unfortunately to run such a site costs money, and much time. We can offer our time, but for the rest we will have to charge a fee of 10 $ per year to be a member of travelscapers,
But think about it: together we are much stronger. The chance that our works get found and purchased on the net is much higher on big artists community sites than on private artists sites. We will do all the necessary work to get as much traffic as possible there. And anyway, I know from my own experience that there is an incredible amount of people around the world who search for paintings from the places where they live, where they have been on holiday, or from where they dream of. Travelscapers will become THE place where they will go, as soon as we have a very representative amount of paintings from around the world.
If you want to join us in travelscapers.com, exhibiting your paintings and travel sketches of places there, leave a comment here, or contact me at
Next step in my travel diary in mugs… Memphis!
We got this mug at the Information centre about 20 miles away from Memphis, coming from Nashville along the Music Highway. It was the first time that we had entered such an Information centre, and I must say that You Americans make a great job of these places. Later on on the trip we would always go to these centres before we arrived to our destination, mainly to ask for city and road maps, which are provided for free and with a big welcoming smile… some of these places offer the visitors some free coffee too… simply amazing! One really feels welcome and cared for… what a difference to the treatment we are used to in our modern touristic Spain!!!
Before I went to Memphis, I did know something about the town, and not only that I had heard the name before ( not like with Nashville, see my last post “Starbucks Mug Nashville”). As far as I remember I had heard it for the first time in a Spanish bar in Benidorm, many years ago, where an English singer was singing for the tourists, one of the songs being “Walking in Memphis”. I loved the song and since then, I had always dreamt to go to Memphis… the power of music! Also, I knew that the Mississippi runs through the town… the Mississippi, such a wonderful name to my French ears, enough to feed another romantic dream: to see the Mississippi! But this is about the sum of my own Memphis knowledge! As we had planned the trip, Kevin had told me that Memphis is deeply connected to Elvis Presley, to B.B. King and to Martin Luther King. But frankly, I had no idea how!
Anyway, as I saw that lovely mug there in the centre, I could not resist, I had to get it. Kevin was not that happy about my choice, he thought it was quite kitschy, and he might be right, but I love it! And today I can say, that I drink my milk coffee out of it with a big pleasure… kitsch or not, the mug has its place in my heart! One can’t really see it on my painting, but it has some relief on it, and some musical instruments are flying through the sky… on the other side of the mug! If you want to see them, I guess you will have to buy the mug… by the way cheaper in downtown Memphis than in the centre 🙂 (I ‘m glad I bought it there though, the lady was so nice!)
As I wrote in my last post, “A suitcase full of mugs”, we have brought 15 new mugs from the USA, and I have the intention to show them all here in Cafe Crem… a kind of belated travel diary in mugs!
After some painful hours spent in JFK New York, our first real stay in the USA was in Nashville, where we stayed from the 9th until the 16th of January 2010. I will be honest with you: before we planned the trip some months ago, I had no idea where Nashville was, neither had I heard about it! And I guess I am not the only one in Europe. As we first went to a Spanish travel agency to book the flights, the woman, who had been recommended to us as a specialist in organising trips to the USA and from city to city there, had never heard of Nashville either. And in Madrid, at the airport, by the passport control, the guy asked me which was our destination, and when I said “Nashville”, he looked at me very suspiciously. He asked again, and his eyes turned black. Then he asked to see my boarding pass, saw “New York”, and said to me:
“You mean New York?”
with an ironic smile, meaning: you are not even able to say New York well! Not wanting to create more problems then we already had, I said yes, of course, New York… I also think then, within my generally well- and world-educated family nobody knew what or where Nashville was, but well, it is well known that French are bad in geography, supposedly believing that they are La Grande Nation in the centre of the Universe and there is nothing else for miles around…
Except the fact that the word Nashville was the first time I heard it, Nashville itself was for me a first time for many things. It was my first town in the USA (New York does not count, we were just in the airport). It was also the first time that I saw some skyscrapers which I really found beautiful. Until that moment, skyscrapers were for me awful boring cold buildings lacking any aesthetics. But the AT&T building in the painting was a real beauty to my eyes.
It was also the first time that I went to a Hard Rock Cafe. Kevin has at home a proud collection of Hard Rock Cafe memorabilia, especially T’Shirts, and he always told me about them. He also spoke passionately about the food there, and he could not wait to go there. The first day in Nashville, an awfully cold day, so cold that the water pipes had fractured downtown, we accidently stood in front of the Rock Cafe, and we were both very excited. No doubt that we had to enter it at once. Well… I was quite disappointed, I must say. It was a very modern design, and I was expecting a place with a lot of atmosphere. Then, the coffee we ordered was cold, and we had to get it replaced. Kevin got some cookie if I remember well, it was nice he said, but all together I found it very expensive for what it was and not really exciting. Honestly, it was not at all what I was expecting… so much so that it would be much later on the trip that I was ready to again enter a Hard Rock Cafe!
Nashville was also the first time that I heard Country Music live, and although I generally don’t like country music, I must say that it is quite a difference to hear it live. I simply enjoyed it
Nashville was the first town I saw with so many churches… amazing! They are everywhere, and have such incredible names!
I guess there were many other ‘firsts’ in Nashville -certainly some of the fast food chains Kevin was dreaming about when we were in Spain… Ihop, for example… Taco Bell…
And more important than anything, Nashville was the first time I met American people. And I can say only one thing: you guys are great, so naturally welcoming… I loved that!
And concerning Starbucks Nashville: we just entered one of the places to buy the mug, we didn’t have any coffee there, and today I can say that I am glad about it. Starbucks coffee is not made for my tummy, as the following weeks will gradually show! But at least I love their mugs.
Hi.. it’s me, Miki… you remember? 🙂
Well,” mieux vaut tard que jamais”, we say in my country, better late than never! I haven’t been around here in Cafe Crem for ages (there were many reasons for that), but I am today very thankful to all the people who, despite of the low activity, have kept the site alive: Kevin, of course, who never stopped to share with you the great moments of our life, Shelley & “Jr”, Michael, Sitting Pugs… to be honest I have no idea who else is really still around, so, whoever you are, thanks for still getting your cup of coffee from us..
I haven’t read them all, but I know that Kevin has regularly written posts about our stay in the USA. For my part, I haven’t written anything, neither here nor anywhere else, my whole writing activity in these 2 last months having been reduced to 4 postcards I sent to my parents, with more or less the words : “Tout va tres bien. Bises. Miki&Kevin”. and to a few obligatory mails… never have I been so far from getting the Nobel Price for Literature, I guess…
Anyway, I am back now, although I can’t say for how long. But my intention is to exhibit in Cafe Crem the 15 mugs we brought from the States. Yes, 15 mugs, from many of the places we have been! We even had to buy a new suitcase to bring them back.
As Kevin told in his first post, our flight to Nashville turned into a nightmare, and instead of flying via Dallas, we flew via New York. In spite of the long queues there and the endless security checks, we had some time left to look around and search for some comfort (we were exhausted!). Kevin found at once a Starbucks Cafe, and the first thing I saw there was a beautiful mug featuring New York. What a great memory of this forced stay in JFK, we thought, and without a second of hesitation we bought it! This was the beginning of our USA collection… at that point we wondered if other big towns we would visit would have their own Starbucks mug, and one of our first tasks each time we arrived in a city, was to look for them. You’ll see if we found some.. at least if the blues does not catch me and I give up my project to show you the whole USA collection!
Anyway, here it is. As always with my mugs, it looks a little bit wild and untamed… and the colours are different… I really could not use my usual warm colours for this painting as it was awfully cold as we landed in New York, it did not feel right!
Last spring I was suddenly involved in a poetry book illustration project… and here is the result:I am proud to announce today the publication of this book, called
“The Unreasonable Man”
and written by the Australian poet
In his own words
“Well… I’m thrilled to announce, the release of my book, my thoughts about life, through the years that this took.
Glad that it’s finished, and glad that I spent, time penning my thoughts, letting emotions vent…”
The book is designed as a coffee table poetry book. It contains 60 of Tariq’s favourite poems with each poem accompanied by either an illustration or photograph.
“.. I think the artwork alone is worth owning a copy, and being able to review my thoughts as well can only but confirm your own sanity…”
Well I must confess, most of these illustrations, about 50 I guess, are my paintings. 🙂
And here is what I have written in the preface of the book:
“Having myself been an „unreasonable“ person from the very beginning of my life, my encounter with The Unreasonable Man could not fail. As I started reading his poetry, I felt at once a deep connection to his wild world of thoughts, passion and revolt, and agreed at once to become with my art, a part of it.
I was amazed to see how many of my paintings seemed to have been created exactly for his poems, illustrating in vibrant colours, lines, forms and structures what the poet is saying in words and the empty spaces in between.
But not each of his poems found its rightful painting.. We both collaborated in a weird process of re-creation, by which the characters featured in some of my paintings started to assume a life of their own, moving and wandering around, invading Tariq’s universe of poetry, in search of their own particular place among his words. Sometimes they even ended up taking possession of other paintings, either chasing the original occupants away or, more peacefully, finding their place at their side. You will understand what I mean when you look at the original works through my websites!
Anyway, to work on the illustration of „The Unreasonable Man“ was a totally new and very exciting experience in dealing with my own art, seeing me naturally „forcing“ them to interact and fit to the words.
I want to thank Tariq for this wonderful experience and his wise and creative advice in the choice of the paintings.“
For those of you interested in the musings of this troubled mind the book can be purchased online from the US at:
1. Amazon.com : http://www.amazon.com/dp/098052380X
2. Createspace.com : https://www.createspace.com/3354416
The books are also available through Tariq Segal himself, above all for those of you who are in Australia. If you are interested please contact Tariq at