Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Ciao from Italia!

(This article was previously published in moore:music)

Coffee stop en route through France

The more ardent moore:music followers amongst you will perhaps have noticed the dearth of articles on here of late.

This is because we’re off exploring Italy in The Boomobile, our home from home on wheels. Having followed the coast from the French-Italian border, seeing the amazing Cinque-Terre, Portofino, Santa Maregherita and Pisa, we have turned inwards today, about 20 k south of the port of Livorno, and come to rest in the Medieval Tuscan town of Volterra, a wonderful collection of churches and buildings within walled defences, and views across the Tuscan countryside to die for.  The trip has been a strangely reminiscent one thus far, as we ‘ve called at many places along the French and Italian coasts that I visited when I was touring my solo show on Ocean Village. I even got to fly from Genoa again, as I nipped to the UK to fulfill a BC Sweet gig commitment!

Have bikes, will travel…now, where’s the padlock key?

At one point, I was flying into Pisa every fortnight, via Munich, and across the Dolomites, to rendezvous with the ship, and often saw the leaning tower on our approach, but this was the first opportunity I’d had to get up close. It’s open to the public again now, but at 15 euros a go, I find the prices even steeper than the staircase, and went with the ‘Karl Pilkington’ philosophy: it’s better looking from the outside in, than the other way around.

Shock discovery: Jeff’s song is Italian!

We’ll probably hang here for a day or so, then explore a number of other Tuscan towns, with plenty of motifs to keep Miki busy painting here in The Boomobile. Stay tuned for more updates!

Danger: Artist at work!

Kev Moore

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April 21, 2011 Posted by | drawing, events, fun, painting, photography, travel, writing | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spank de Plank

Almost certainly lurking in my subconscious since my days wandering around the Caribbean with my reggae show, here’s a character I’ve called “Spank de Plank”  – a very cool bass dude!  He’ll be the last character to earn a place in my forthcoming exhibition in Turre in March, though I’m sure many more will pop out of my head and onto the screen during the coming year!

If you want to buy a print of Spank online, click on the widget below:

Art Prints

Kev Moore

(Also featured in moore:music)

January 26, 2011 Posted by | Art, Cafe L'Arte, drawing, fun, humor, illustrations, Kev Moore's Cartoons, Music, painting | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Merry Christmas, one and all!

Well, Christmas 2010 comes around, and Cafe Crem still floats about in the cyberspace ether, drawing hundreds of visitors every day, so let me wish each and every one of them, vistirs and contributors alike, a Very Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2011 from Miki and myself!

Kev Moore

Miki

December 25, 2010 Posted by | Cafe L'Arte, Festivals of the World, friends, Kev Moore's Cartoons, painting, writing | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Miki’s got a brand new bag

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

Still LiFe gallery

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.

July 31, 2010 Posted by | Art, Cafe L'Arte, Miki's Paintings, news, painting, personal | 3 Comments

The Misty Mountain Hop – part the first

I know we only seem to stay in one place for a nanosecond before flitting off again, but believe it or not last year we felt we hadn’t really used the Boomobile enough, so we’ve made a point of remedying that in 2010. Our latest jaunt was up into the Sierra Nevada, mainly for Miki to sketch, but also for me to get a little distance from the album, and read some books.  Two of them were music related, of course, a wonderful biography of the legendary Who drummer Keith Moon, by Tony Fletcher, highly recommended, and Jools Holland’s Barefaced lies and Boogie Woogie boasts, a witty and informative autobiography by a great musician and presenter. I also managed to cram in the actor Robert Lindsay’s autobiography, Letting Go, which he kindly signed to Miki and I following Miki’s superb portrait of him, and perhaps the fact we’re both Derbyshire lads who support The Rams and have sang about them!

Rolling Stones on tour....

Anyway, as we journeyed away from the coast and up onto the winding mountain roads, our route appeared to quickly become ever more vertiginous. Miki was staring to get nervous (which is when I , perversely, start to enjoy myself) Added excitement was provided by: 1) The rock falls onto our carriageway, and 2) the disappearance down the mountainside of huge chunks of the opposite carriageway. We were encountering these at such frequent intervals, I can only marvel that we didn’t ever encounter both at the same time, thereby rendering passage impossible. This happy circumstance notwithstanding, I was glad to have brought copious amounts of underwear…..

"Here we go loop de loop...."

From the signs we saw everywhere, it appeared that many millions of European funds were being allocated to fixing these death traps roads. It seems to me that the money would have been better spent on teaching the Spanish how to build them properly in the first place.

Following an unfortunate right hand turn that almost resulted in me inadvertently making off with an entire village’s supply of fiesta bunting, not to mention a couple of old ladies wrapped round the wing mirrors, we finally entered the village of Tevelez in a more appropriate manner. The sign at the entrance proclaimed that the village ‘touched the sky’ and as we looked up from the valley road at the white buildings disappearing into the mountain mists, I felt inclined to believe them.  By sheer good fortune, we ended up beautifully parked within the village, adjacent to a waterfall and mountain stream.

The artist at work. I was making the coffee......

We spent a lovely couple of days there exploring the steep village streets and houses, and embarking on one of the mountain walks that circumnavigated the area. Miki of course, began sketching the sights around her. You can read about her thoughts and see some sketches from our trip HERE.

Working up an appetite on the slopes

....and a raging thirst

Perhaps the most staggering sight for me was that of the great swathes of pristine white snow still stubbornly clinging to the higher peaks, even in mid-July! Hiking around shirtless in the summer heat and gazing up at the snow was distinctly surreal.

Nature boy

Just having fun

One interesting event was when we heard some strange crackling sounds, and looked out of the window to find that a mist had descended all around the Motorhome – Except we soon discovered it was smoke, and where there’s smoke, there is inevitably fire. Jumping out of the Boomobile we could just about make out two figures trying to control a blaze of their own making. Health and Safety. Two words completely anonymous with each other in Spain.

"I told you not to smoke on the job, Manuel..."

"Aaahh! The cool, crisp, clean mountain air....."

The village also seemed to be famous for its Jamon, though we saw hide nor hair of a single pig on our whole trip. I could only conclude from this that the entire population had been slaughtered and now hung unceremoniously in the shops.

Nice legs, shame about the face.

Having enjoyed a wonderful few days in Tevelez, we filled our bottles from the fresh mountain water and headed off to find some more of these fairy tale villages, tucked away beneath the Spanish peaks.

Kev Moore

July 29, 2010 Posted by | Art, life, nature, painting, photo, travel, writing | , , , , | 3 Comments

Travelscapers: Around The World in Arty Days…

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

miki@goodaboom.com

or simply go to travelscapers and register!

by Miki

June 22, 2010 Posted by | Art, Cafe L'Arte, drawing, Miki's Paintings, painting, travel | 9 Comments

Great wisdom! and very old too…

It’s too beautiful to let it unnoticed!

I know lots of people are kind of suspicious about self improvement and such… And, it is true that, like in any other field of activity, lots of  self improvment stuff is repetitive etc.  But this aphorisme cited by Deepak Chopra (one of my prefered authors in the field of, let’s say, self improvment – a label, no more ) is too beautiful and too important (and surprisingly old!) to let it pass unnoticed:

The Vedic sear says:

«I do not worry about the past and I’m not fearful of the future because my life is supremely concentrated in the present and the right response comes to me to every situation as it occurs.»

Wow! If you understand (with your heart & brain, in that order) only this in your life and still you can have a happy life!

(The watercolor sketch is just for the color… no big deal…)  DAnu

May 22, 2010 Posted by | Art, Danu's Paintings, drawing, God in our life, life, nature, painting | , , , | 3 Comments

Over the Hills and Far Away -4- Beautiful Biarritz

Just part of the lovely coastline in Biarritz

The weather worked its charms for us in Biarritz, and we also dropped on a fabulous parking area provided by the local council. It promised all the motorhome facilities, including electricity, for 10 euros a night. Looking for somewhere to pay, we discovered a sign that informed us that a police representative would come round to collect the fee.

Rocker amongst the rocks.....

Getting settled in, we took the bikes off and headed into Biarritz itself.  The coastline there is simply beautiful, with rock formations that have weathered over the millennia to create islands and archways that give it a truly unique appearance. The harbour is another amazing creation, it has been built in and around these formations in such a way that it is difficult to tell which parts are man-made and which are naturally occurring. Miki’s head was on permanent swivel as she identified motif after motif that would suit her artistic needs!  Seeing that she’d be otherwise engaged for some time, I left her to it and headed into the town in search of  a WiFi spot.  This involved stopping the bike every now and then, getting the laptop out and scanning the available networks. As luck would have it, I found one fairly quickly in the center of town.

If you don't code protect your wifi, someone like me will piggy-back it!

Biarritz was fairly buzzing, it seemed we’d arrived during a special market week, when the main stores of the town set up tents outside their shops and offered huge discounts, between 50 and 70%. This sounds fabulous, but of course, Biarritz is a mecca for the bold and the beautiful, to paraphrase an awful American soap, and consequently, you are expected to pay top dollar for everything. Therefore a pair of jeans ridiculously priced at 200 euros and ‘massively reduced’ to 125 euros is still, well, ridiculous frankly. I began to wonder if rich people are inherently stupid, or simply feel that they have to pay these sort of amounts because it’s ‘the thing to do’.

Tents for rich people

The weather might have been warm and sunny, but I’m sure the Atlantic ocean, cheerfully washing up on Biarritz’s beaches still had a wintery cast to it.  Nevertheless, this didn’t seem to deter a number of mentally unhinged surfers and swimmers from risking heart attacks by immersing themselves in its waters. Mad dogs and Englishmen may go out in the midday sun, but I can confirm that the French bathe in subzero temperatures.

"Are you OK Pierre?" - "I can't feel my legs and I've got an Ice-Cream headache, Jacques.....IT'S GREAT!"

Heading back to the harbour, I played our very own version of “Where’s Wally” entitled “Ou est Miki?”  Eventually, I found her, perched precariously on a crumbling harbour wall in order to get the best view of her subject. I decided against calling out to her, in case she was startled and fell in, preferring instead to sneak up unawares and shout loudly in her ear to see what would happen, camera at the ready. Unfortunately, these Pyrennean women are made of stern stuff, and she remained unmoved, and disappointingly dry.

Miki: Art on the edge......

We were so happy with what we’d seen of Biarritz, we were resolved to hang around for some days, and decided to cycle back into the town tomorrow….

Kev Moore

May 17, 2010 Posted by | Art, fun, internet, life, nature, painting, photography, travel, writing | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Over the Hills and Far Away -2-

After spending a few wonderful days in Tarbes we turned westwards and headed at a leisurely pace towards Peyrehorade, which was to be our overnight stop on the way to Biarritz. Before we got there though, we stopped for lunch along the way at another little village whose name escapes me. We put ‘Dino’ out to graze – a new mug Miki had bought on our bike ride out to Ibos.

Today, I shall mostly be eating Daisys..........

Peyrehorade, or Gatorade as I preferred to call it, was a nice little town on the banks of a river, with a great tree lined area for motorhomes. Upon scouting the area, I noticed a covered electrical outlet attached to the trunk of one of the trees, about 12 feet off the ground. It’s always fun to play the game of “let’s get some free electricity”, so after a period of to-ing and fro-ing with the Boomobile, we were positioned directly under the tree. I still struggled to reach the socket, and then remembered we had a small ladder that we used to get up to the bedroom. Success!!  Balanced precariously upon it, with Miki holding on for dear life at the bottom, I triumphantly thrust the plug into the socket after deftly lifting the cover.

Tree-mendous parking

Handy power supply….installed by giraffe

Scrambling to the ground and running into the Boomobile to look at the panel, I hoped to see a nice green light informing me that we were juiced up. Nothing. Abject failure. It’s the hope that kills you….

Down by the Riverside

Electrical shortcomings notwithstanding, we spent a nice afternoon and evening there, Miki sketching outside, and me, be-headphoned, at one with the rock and deep inside a Dean Koontz novel. Bliss

Nothing like a good book

.

The Artist at work -it's tough down at the Office....

Kev Moore

May 8, 2010 Posted by | Art, drawing, fun, life, painting, personal, photography, travel, writing | , , , , | 9 Comments

Never been to London

Not recently, anyway…

So I was NOT mugged and , of course, I send no money demands to my friends. Myself, I do not need money. If gas and vegetables and colors and watercolor paper and brushes would be for free I wouldn’t have any use for the bloody money…

So, I’m very sorry, folks, if any of you got that scam email from iondanu@yahoo.ca. It wasn’t me, just my email which got hacked.

Anyway, after a lot of tribulations and avatars, I have again the INTERNET and some more time. And I’m very glad to be back at the Cafe Crem.  I have plenty to read and to look at but, boy! it’s so good to be back…

As for me, I did a lot of portraits (some are visible on my blog at http://ivdanu.wordpress.com/) and also some sketches and landscapes… Not as good as miki’s, of course…

Here it is a rememberance from my native Transylvania and a recent portrait:

Village church Transylvania

Souhaila, the little Marocco girl

Have a nice day and, to cite Meher Baba & Bobby McFerrin, Don’t Worry, Be Happy

May 4, 2010 Posted by | Art, Danu's Paintings, drawing, friends, painting | , , , | 5 Comments