November 11, 2018

Tenth anniversary of this blog

Bonjour aux promeneurs, Hello walkers
picture of a sculpture by Fernand Châtelain

Today, November 11, 2018, this blog exists for ten years and it meanwhile includes an inventory of over 450 art environments in a variety of countries in Europe.

As in previous years I will relate here some data (as of november 10) about numbers/origin of visitors and about most viewed art environments.

Number of visitors

On november 10, 2017 the all time number of visitors was 697.157. On november 10, 2018 it was 755.533 an increase of 58376, or on the average 160 visitors a day. Over the period 2016-2017 the average was 312

All time page views by country

As in previous years here is the all time rank of top ten countries as regards page-views:

   1. United States 259.539 (rank 2017 idem)
   2. Netherlands 75.870 (rank 2017 idem)
   3. France  68.414 (rank 2017 idem)
   4. Germany 54.874 (rank 2017 idem)
   5. United Kingdom 48.974  (rank 2017 idem)
   6. Russia 23.201 (rank 2017 was 7)
   7. Ukraine 21,718 (rank 2017 was 6)
   8. Italy 18.437 (rank 2017 was 9)
   9. Spain 14.780 (rank 2017 was 8 )
 10. Poland 6.391 (rank 2017 idem)

The top ten list includes the same countries as in 2017, almost in the same order. Once more the interest from Russia and Eastern Europe is lasting.

Most viewed sites all time

These are the sites with the most all time views (as on november 9):

    1. Bill and Elisabeth Charge, UK Shell garden 6192
    2. Robert Garcet, Belgium Tour Eben-Ezer 5300
    3. Jose Maria Garrido, Spain Shell decorated interior 4800
    4. Joseph Ferdinand Cheval, France Palais Idéal 4489
    5. Robert Tatin, France Singular architecture 4440
    6. Bodan Litnianski, France Decorated garden 4128
    7. Abbé Fouré, France Sculpted rocks 3487
    8. Chomo, France Préludian art 3877
    9. Francisco Grajera, Spain Decorated house 3594
  10. Joseph Pujiula i Vila, Spain Labyrinth 3447

The first place for Bill and Elisabeth Charge has to do with a one time event. End October 2016 the husband of a granddaughter of Bill and Elisabeth posted a message on the Watford Memories and History page on Facebook, asking -with a link to the relevant post in this blog- if anyone remembered the decorated garden. Thousands of people did remember the site and this resulted in over 5000 hits of the post in a few days time, which meanwhile has grown to over 6000.

For the rest, the top ten includes the same set of names as in previous yeas, with Robert Garcet from Belgium. Facteur Cheval, Robert Tatin, Bodan Litnianski, Abbé Fouré and Chomo from France and José  Maria Garrido, Francisco Grajera and Joseph Pujiula from Spain ¹.

On 11 - 14  the same artists as in 2017 appear: Erich Bödeker (Sculpture garden, 3366) from Germany,  Karl Junker (Decorated interior, 3359) also from Germany. Willem van Genk (Arnhem bus station, 3151) from the Netherlands and Jean-Daniel Allanche (Decorated interior, 3074) from France.

Julius Klingebiel (Decorated hospital room, 3050from Germany is now on 15, Stephen Wright  (House of dreams, 3119, England) is on 16 and Raymond Isidore, also known as Picassiette (Mosaic Picassiette, 2958, France) on 17.

The other most viewed posts in 2017 include Robert Vasseur (Mosaic decorated house, garden, 2937,France) on 18, José García Martin (Sculpture garden, 2933, Spain) on 19 and Viktor IV (=Walter Karl Glück) (Floating structures, 2763, Netherlands) on 20.

Eastern Europe and Russia

The past three to four years I have focused my attention on searching art environments in Eastern Europe and Russia west of the Urals. which until november 2018 delivered some 65 sites, including some 35 located in Russia.

These are the sites with all time views above 1400 (as on november 9):
Eastern Europe
   Bogdan Ziętek, Interior with sculptures, Poland, 2320 
   Václav Levý, Sculpted rocks, Czech Republic, 2250
   František RintSedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic2247
   Stanislav Sartsevich, Sculpture garden, Ukraine, 2109
   Nicolas Golovan, Decorated house, Ukraine, 2049
   Boguslawa Iwaneskiego, Sculpture garden, Poland, 1655
   Felicja Curylova, Decorated house, Poland, 1639

   Alexander Emelyanov, Architectures, sculptures, 2125
   Alexander LadoginaSingular architecture, 2002
   Pjotr ZhurilenkoSculpture garden, 1653
   Sergey KirillovDecorated house, 1651
   Yevgeny Malakhin (=Bukashkin)Frescoe decorated walls,  1512

Creating art environments is not kind of a competition of course, so above listings are just meant to give an idea of the focus of the visitors who visit this blog.


This weblog includes a number of pages (a general introduction, a time line, referrals to books, expositions and museums). In 2017 the all time most viewed pages were the index of sites by region/countries (in 2017 some 10900 views) and the index of sites by name of artist (in 2017 some 5500). Recently I have revised these two indexes, creating new pages and deleting the former ones, so the data of all time visitors got lost.  But it is obvious these pages are used a lot.

¹ In 2017 I added the number of visitors to posts about books, expos and other happenings with regard to Cheval and Fouré to the number of visitors of the main post about life and work of these artists. This year I only counted the number of visitors to the main post, which has affected the current order, but not the entry in the top ten. Info about books etc now is published on the Facebook page Outsider Art Environments Europe 

November 07, 2018

Egor Zolotarev, Мозаичный дом/Mosaic House

all photos courtesy of Natalya Zolotareva

France may have the Maison Picassiettea house in Chartres fully decorated with colorful mosaics, recently, a similar structure in terms of mosaic decorations has been completed in Russia, although this structure is completely different in shape and has been produced with contemporary materials.

Life and works

The mosaic house has been created by Egor Zolotarev, who was born June 1, 1986 in Novosibirsk, a large industrial town in the south of Siberian Russia. After his primary education he went to the Novosibirsk Art School.

After Zolotarev had graduated in Novosibirsk, he moved west and enrolled at the Moscow Institute of Architecture, where he also graduated, probably in 2008.

In 2011 on a plot of land south east of Moscow in the Voskresensky district that administratively is part of Moscow, with his own hands he began constructing a house, that in the course of the years would become known as the Mosaic house.

In October 2017 the construction work could be considered completed

The house, which has a ground floor and an upper floor, has a semi-oval shape, with an exterior plastered with concrete, that rests on a wooden frame reinforced with iron arches.

The pieces of mosaic that cover the entire exterior consist of tiles of artificial stone based on granite, all covered with polymers. This way of processing has the advantage that the mosaics become durable and frost- and water-resistant.

Three similar large round windows, slightly protruding from the wall, mark a long side, while the other long side has the entrance door and two circular windows. The short wall on one side  has a window on the first floor with an outward-reaching balcony.

The windows are decorated with curved strands of wire iron in flowing forms. These wire-iron shapes can also be seen in furniture in the interior, such as side tables.

The interior as such also has other eye-catching details such as the staircase to the first floor which does not have a handrail and for the rest is formed by a slightly winding upright of sturdy wire iron, to which cup-shaped steps are attached.

There are also beautiful lamps, with hoods in a stained glass structure with translucent colored glasses encased in compartments within a structure of iron wire

The chimney on top of the house depicts an angel.

All in all, it can be concluded that this is a beautiful creation of a young Russian artist and architect. It's a singular architecture that also shows the performance of the youngest generation in the Russian field of art environments.

* Article (October 2017) in Golos (a Russian social medium) entitled Знакомьтесь - русский Антонио Гауди! (Meet the Russian Antonio Gaudi!)\
* A series of pictures on the VK website show various phases of the building proces and details of individual parts of the house. Other pages, here and here, show details of the mosaic decorations.

* Video on Marat Nabi s timeline in Facebook (October 2018)

* A video on You Tube (2016)  in two parts shows the building proces. Here is the first part (11'42")

and here is the second part (10'57")

Egor Zolotarev
Mosaic house
Voskresensky district,  Moscow region
accurate location not available

October 15, 2018

Zenon Kosater, Ogród rzeźby/ Sculpture garden

pictures courtesy of Zenon Kosater

In the small community of Trzepowo (part of the municipality of Przywidz) in the Pomeranian area in the north of Poland, there is a garden with a variety of multicolored wooden sculptures made by self taught sculptor Zenon Kosater.

Life and works

Kosater was born in september 1955. When in 1978 he was in the second year of his conscription in military service, he felt a bit bored, so with a friend he set up a project to practice manual skills such as building small wooden constructions and other creative activities.

Kosater himself focused on woodcarving, creating his first bas reliefs.

These first steps in the field of woodworking would shape his further life. Gradually he began to make larger pieces, also with parts of a tree as material, initially at times as a birthday presents or for family celebrations, but eventually it became his full time occupation.

Currently Kosater is in his mid 60 s. He lives in Trzepowo and the garden around his house has a display of a variety of his life-size sculptures,  that are mostly painted in a multicolored way and often portray saints or other religious characters. 

But he also portrays non-religious characters such as Pegasus the winged horse, a mermaid and a rider on a horse, apart from the many smaller sculptures and reliefs he also produces.

Kosater has sold a variety of sculptures to tourists and other visitors. He also shares his artwork with young people, because he wants to stimulate them to become interested in art. 

From that perspective, Kosater also enjoys receiving school classes and other interested visitors at his site. Occasionally he will teach small groups sculpting.


* Article by Arkadiusz Gancarz (dec 2004) on Naszemiasto website
* A series of pictures by Piotrek on polish photo-website Flog
* Mention of Kosater's work in website Zmysly Kasub about Kashubian folk art
* Referral to the site in a regional touristic folder

Zenon Kosater
Sculpture garden
Trzepowo 16 
83-047 Przywidz
visitors welcome

Anežka Kašpárková and Marie Jagošová, Zdobená kaple/Decorated chapel

 this picture and the next three from website Boredpanda

In recent years, photos as above with an elderly lady adding blue floral motives to a white wall, have been frequently shared on Facebook and other social media.

The elderly lady, Anežka Kašpárková, has passed away in march 2018. She was in her early 90's.

The white wall is part of an old chapel in the small Czech community of Louka in the South Moravia area of the Czech Republic, where Kašpárková lived.

Every two years in May, the walls of the chapel were whitewashed and after this Anežka Kašpárková would begin to apply the decorations, a project that would take some 11 days of work and included working on a scaffold.

Life and works

Anežka Kašpárková was born in the late 1929's  Probably all her adult life she has worked in agriculture, cultivating plants, until she retired in the late 1980's. 

In those years it was (still) a tradition in the village to decorate white walls of houses with flowery motives, in general using paint in a bright ultramarine color. Usually a small group of self-made artists, mostly women, was available for inhabitants to do the decorations.

detail of Kašpárková's artwork

Once retired Anežka Kašpárková, instructed by a woman named Maňák who had belonged to the group, became proficient in arranging decorations on houses. She would be active in this field for some thirty years, but at one time she was the only one with this specific competence.

When Anežka Kašpárková had passed away, the mayor of the village expressed the hope that someone would succeed her in taking care of decorating the chapel. And indeed, at the end of april 2018 it has been reported that Marie Jagošová, a family member, was available to take over Anežka Kašpárková's volunteer job.

The picture below shows she has already begun to re-decorate the chapel.

Marie Jagošová at work (picture by Czech TV)

Applying decorations to houses evokes the comparison with similar activities in the Polish village of Zalipi, where a tradition in this respect currently is still widely honored.

* Article (undated) with a variety of pictures on website Boredpanda
* Article (april 27, 2018) on the website of regional Czech TV

Anežka Kašpárková and Marie Jagošová
Decorated chapel
Louka, South Moravia, Czech Republic
decorations will be renewed every two years,
decorated chapel can be seen from the street

September 18, 2018

Michel Rousseau, Le jardin aux pierres perdus/The lost stones garden

pictures courtesy of Sabine Campion (Le Mille-Pattes)

Along the departmental road D 303 near Bessé-sur-Braye in the Sarthe area in France, there is a singular garden filled with a variety of meters-high cylindrical constructions with a domed top, made entirely of stacked stones.

Life and works

This art environment was created by Michel Rousseau, who was born in 1936 in Savigny-sur-Braye.

After his primary education he for some time was employed as a farm hand until he was called for military service. After this he trained and worked as a mason with the Compagnons du devoir, to finally settle in Bessé-sur-Braye in 1978, where he had job in a factory and where he met his wife.

Retired in 1996 Rousseau increasingly felt the need to fill his days with activities where he could use his manual skills and where he could feel united wit the earth under his feet.

In 2004 he bought a piece of land along the D303 not far from the house where he lives. A pile of building material left on that land inspired him to use this material to build these typical cylindrical dome topped structures.

Such buildings do not have their own name in French and may be referred to as cabanes or maisonettes. The site as such does not have its own name either.

When Rousseau was asked about this, he said that the site can be regarded as le reposoir Sarthois (the Sarthois repository). A reposoir is a place where one can rest or make a stop and the term can also indicate a place to temporarily shelter the religious icon which is carried around during a procession.

Since Rousseau decorated one of his constructions with a found street sign with the designation Rue de la pierre perdue (Street of the lost stone), the site is also named after lost stones.

The connotation of Rousseau's art environment is indeed that of stones that, after having been used elsewhere, now have a place where they can stay quietly and from an ecological point of view are not wasted.

This also goes for the various other items Rousseau uses to decorate the structures, such as pots and pans (as in above picture), but also items that have been found or bought in flea markets such as figurines, flower pots, car wheel covers or bottles.

Very characteristic of Rousseau's working method is that he simply stacks the bricks, and so does not use cement or grout to achieve the strength of the structures, the highest of which measure about 4 meters. 

In the field of art environments such a method is rather rare. In France Auguste Bourgoin's towers have been constructed in this way and in Italy Manfred Flucke makes structures by stacking stones.

Rousseau who currently (2018) is in his early eighties, is still active in adding new items to the site which meanwhile includes some thirty built structures.

The site can be seen from the street and when he is present Rousseau will be happy to meet visitors

* Article (april 2013) on Jean-Michel Chesné's weblog (includes a series of pictures)
* Article (september 2015) on website Actu France
* Article (december 2016) on website Le Mille-Pattes
* Article (august 2017) in regional newspaper La Nouvelle Republique
* Video by TV France 3 on Facebook (2018, 2'33")

Michel Rousseau
Jardin aux pierres perdus
along the D303
Bessé-sur-Braye, dept Sarthe, région Pays de la Loire, France
can be seen from the road

September 14, 2018

Emilan Grgurić, Eden, Park i kipovi / Eden, park and statues

all pictures except the last one
courtesy of Pavel Konečný

Above picture shows part of a sculpture garden in Kukljica, a small community on the Isle of Ugljan in Croatia. Although an extensive series of photographs was published in 2016 (see documentation), this art environment remained undocumented on the internet until in September 2018 Pavel Konečný for the first time reported about it.

a picture of the artist

Life and works

Currently there is no biographic information available about Emilan Grgurić, who created this site, except that he was born in 1919 and passed away in 1997.

Pavel Konečný has reported that Grgurić for some thirty years has been active in transforming house and garden into an art environment, so it might be that Grgurić began in the 1960's when he was in his forties.

Konečný has also reported that the garden of some 2000 m² includes some 35 statues made from concrete and that the interior walls have been decorated with some 20 large-scale concrete high reliefs.

Grgurić's sculptures from concrete (left above a self-portrait), which in general demonstrate a high-quality way of working in a rather classic and realistic style.  

The sculpture below with five people (a couple with children?) on an elaborately worked pedestal, shows what performance Grgurić was capable of. The garden has a number of such large constructions provided with sculptures.

The living house

The house on the property, named Villa Katarina after Grgurić's mother, has a ground plan of a four-leaf clover and was designed and built by the artist himself.

The facade of the house, as in above picture, has a rather striking design. On its top there is a sculpture that represents Grgurić's mother.

One can assume that this house can be classified as a singular architecture.

A large number of wall decorations in the interior

The interior of the Villa includes another part of this art environment, which  consists of some 20 scenes added to the interior walls.

These scenes include for the most part small-scale two- or three-dimensional items of cement, which are placed on walls of a specific deep red, green or blue color.

There are scenes in which various people can be seen in all kinds of poses, many in a certain way active mostly without any connection between these activities. These scenes may relate to biblical stories, Croatian history and Greek mythology.

Some walls have inscriptions, such as the one in the picture below, entitled Emilanovih Istina (Emilian's truth). Just to give an impression of Grgurić's thoughts, here is a (provisional) translation of the text, produced with Google Translate:

Emilian's truth
the spirit created the body 
the body overcomes the spirit
 it is true and lazy
 it is difficult to have a lucite of truth
 there is only a lie or not
 the sweetness of happiness blurs the spirit 
 the slack is sweet
 the real truth rarely when it is direct
 I learned from the truth that you have freed the spirit

this picture by Darko Grundler, 
from the series mentioned in the documentation

Other walls as well as a number of statues in the garden also are equipped with inscriptions.

It is be hoped that a documentation and description will be made of the various elements of this art environment, which can be considered as one of the important sites in Europe. Knowing Pavel Konečný he will certainly take action to that end.

* as said above with regard to this art environment, the internet until recently had no textual documentation
* however there is a public photo series available, made in 2016 by Darko Grundler
* and in september 2018 Konečný reported about his discovery on SPACES website
* in september 2018 Konečný also published two videos on Facebook, 2018. the first one presenting the reliefs on the interior walls.

And a second one presents the sculptures in the garden

Emilan Grgurić
Eden, Park i kipovi
Kukljica, Isle of Ugljan, Croatia
this art environment is not open to the public

August 21, 2018

Alexander Fateev, Скульптор из Долгопрудный/Sculptor from Dolgoprudny

 pictures from the site on VK of the community
 "Alexander Fateev, sculptor from Dolgoprudny"

In Dolgoprudny, a town in the northern part of the agglomeration of Moscow, Alexander Fateev has created an art environment amidst a lively urban area.

Life and work

Born probably in the late 1950's Alexander Fateev was trained as a cook, a profession he also practiced during his years in military service. In 1981 he started a shoe repair shop in Dolgoprudny along the Ulitsa Sportivnaya. The workshop is located on a square surrounded by trees near the municipal theater (theater Gorod).

In 2005 Fateev started a project to beautify the environment of the workshop. The beginning was that he cut colored plastic bottles into pieces which he added together into colorful flowers that were hung in the trees around the shop. 

Fateev also made colored translucent bulbs with lamps. 

Hung in the trees these creations produce an attractive illumination, which in wintertime -especially around Christmas- is an atmospheric attraction that receives a lot of interest of passersby.

However, Fateev's art environment is characterized in particular by his sculptures made of metal. Using empty gas bottles and pieces of sheet metal, he has created a variety of characters that are set up around the shop or on its roof. 

One of his first creations in metal was a tough woodcutter and then he made a woman with a youngster, as in above picture. 

And there are wizards, aliens, fantasy and cartoon characters, a variety of animals such as the cat Masha and the dog Zuzha (well known toy and fairytale characters in Russia), but also a life-size crocodile in a small pond.

Fateev also made a number of wooden structures, such as some unusual birdhouses hung in the trees. And located on the site around the shop, a small wooden building that mimics Baba Yaga's hut  can be entered by young visitors.

To counter vandalism, the sculptures on the site around the store are firmly anchored in the ground with a fastening of up to one and a half meters.

But it has happened that someone damaged a metal stork on the roof and Fateev had to work on recovery for hours.

In spite of such a happening, Fateev remains faithful to the goal he had in mind when he started his project, namely to contribute to embellishing the city. 

The local authorities appreciate his activity, as evidenced by a diploma that the city awarded to him in 2014.

* Site on VK of the community "Alexander Fateev, sculptor from Dolgoprudny"
* Interview (march 2016) with a regional newspaper on website mosregtoday
* A collection of three articles in local newspapers (May 2010, May 2012 and September 2013) on the website of the library of  Dolgoprudny
* Video (March 2016, You Tube, 0'.57")

Alexander Fateev
Sculptor from Dolgoprudny
Ulitsa Sportivnaya  (near theater Gorod), 
Dolgoprudny, Moscow Region, Russia
visitors welcome