“I retired 20 years ago. For the first few years I just rested, but after some time I started to get bored. A year ago I started to paint, and since then ideas keep coming into my head for new paintings”, explains Alfons Edelmeyer, a.k.a. “Manox”, an artistic name that refers to the creative hand (“mano” is “hand” in Spanish) and the unknown (x).
From their living room, Margrit and Alfons Edelmeyer contem-plate the intense green of the country on the outskirts of Santa Eulalia. The sky is bright blue. This cosy apartment, where they have been living for the last 6 years, is where Manox creates his artwork. In the summer he paints on the terrace; in the winter in an office-turn-ed-workshop or in the living room. The painter sees himself immersed still in the experimental phase and practices different styles and techniques. He has even tried out the difficult tech-nique of gilt relief, which involves covering surfaces with gold leaf. In his paintings, Manox shows emotions or states of mind. He rarely represents specific objects, but knows he can transmit something and that his artwork is full of meaning.
He says that as a youngster he was interested in painting and he ex---pe-ri--mented with colours, but when he got married at 24 to Margrit and started a family with her, his hobby was displaced by work. The pensioner recalls his successful and interesting professional life with satisfaction: “They were good times, rich in experiences.”
What made Alfons Edel-meyer start to paint at the ripe old age of 80?
When he did not find the satisfaction he seeked in other activities, such as handling a computer, one day Margrit suggested that he take up painting again. Although he felt a little unsure at first, Manox liked the idea, he gathered paints and brushes and, at this moment, his life is governed by his painting work. He feels satisfied and at peace. His two children really like his paintings, as they admire his creativity, and he is also encouraged by the respect shown for his art by friends and acquaintances.
For Manox, Ibiza is the ideal place to live and paint, due to the incomparable light, the lack of harsh winters like German ones, and the openness and kindness of people. “We had been con-sidering the possibility of moving south for a long time, and were looking for the right place. When we came to Ibiza on holiday six years ago, we knew we had found it.” The holiday turned into a permanent stay. They are both impressed by the mentality of the island. When they go shopping they notice that people take the time to exchange a few words or to smile when they cross in the street.
The couple live alternating between Ibiza and Germany. Manox has opened an online art gallery for his family, friends and acquaintances (http://web.me.com/manox) where he show-cases around 70 pieces, all of them created within a single year of creative work. Manox paints without feeling tired. He enjoys the benefits of his apartment here, which requires less care than the house and garden the couple had in Germany.
At the moment he is exhibiting his work at “El Naranjo” restaurant in Santa Eulalia, and is also looking for other exhibition possibilities. If he continues at his present rate, soon they will not have any more room for his paitings in the apartment!
The message he wishes to give to older people is that it is never too late to start doing something different, to find a new hobby or revive an old one, even to start a new life. Margrit and Alfons Edelmeyer left their old life in Germany in 2003. They are very glad they did and enjoy the change. What they want to say to older people is: “Good cheer and courage!”.