Monthly Archives: March 2011

Smile, baby, smile

I have been working with a smile lately…

Radical smile, oil, spraypaint, and varnish on plywood, 24,3 x 24,3 cm

Dangerous topography, oil and collage on plywood, 24,3 x 24,3 cm

Colorful smile, oil and spraypaint on plywood, 24,3 x 24,3 cm

London by foot

I have walked around London for several days, now I have shin splints in my legs… I saw a lot of art at Tate Modern, The National Portrait Gallery, White Cube, and many galleries. Maybe the most interesting exhibition was with Stephan Balkenhol at the Stephen Friedman Gallery. Very interesting work…

I have been back in the studio for a few days, continuing the work on my small paintings. This is the first one I have finished.

Patriotic Smile, 24,2 x 24,2 cm, oil and varnish on plywood.

London by foot

I have walked around London for several days, now I have shin splints in my legs… I saw a lot of art at Tate Modern, The National Portrait Gallery, White Cube, and many galleries. Maybe the most interesting exhibition was with Stephan Balkenhol at the Stephen Friedman Gallery. Very interesting work…

I have been back in the studio for a few days, continuing the work on my small paintings. This is the first one I have finished.

Patriotic Smile, 24,2 x 24,2 cm, oil and varnish on plywood.

Some progress

I am finished with the thick piece…

It is actually a pretty cool piece. I am rather pleased with it. It is all because of Björn Jansson, who gave me this piece of plywood… I added a thin layer of burnt sienna, wiped most of it off the face and let it dry, and then added a layer of glossy varnish.

I am also making some progress with the four small pieces.

Why is it so hard to paint and WHY do I do it?

First question: what is it that makes painting so hard? I don’t really know, but every time I start on something new, I have the same helpless feeling. Painting in oil also requires patience; at times you have to wait until the paint dries. Vaclav Havel said creating is having to wait. You cannot pull a sprouting seed from the ground – you will inevitably kill it. The waiting is often painful because you want to quickly pass from the crude beginning to a more refined level, but having to wait and helplessly watch the rough beginning easily harms your self confidence. And this is just the beginning of why it is so hard to paint…

And why do I do it? Is it to earn praise and admiration from my peers? Is it to sell paintings and make money? Is it to have fancy exhibitions in the nicest galleries or museums? Is it to be remebered after my death?
I have asked myself this question countless times and I am not sure what the answer is, but lately some events have caused me to ask myself this question more earnestly, and I can honestly say that I paint because I love to do it, even if it is really hard and I repeatedly knock myself and doubt my ability and talent (if I have one?). When I look at works I have completed in the past, I am challenged by myself: I want to do it again, do it better. I can admire a single brushstroke, watch how the paint has done the job, be amazed at how I was able to catch the light or a detail, and wonder if I can ever do it again. When I want to paint it is sometimes very hard to get started, but then, when I am in the process, time just passes in a moment… I simply can’t help but paint. I am very fortunate and thankful to have the freedom to do what I love.

Right now I am working on four small paintings, each is 24 x 8 cm.

The result of two days of work, not much to brag about…

Input from a friend

A few weeks ago we had some friends over for dinner and they brought a 30 mm thick piece of birch plywood, where the sides had been cut at an angle. Pretty interesting idea.

The entire piece is 45 x 33,3 cm. The painted area is 32,5 x 21 cm. The painted area is protruding, the sides tapering off to almost nothing, which makes it the opposite of a conventional frame. I am not done yet…

The model almost done

After a week of very concentrated work I am almost finished with the house model. Only some finetuning remains.

Architectural adventures

I have taken a break from painting and I am working on a model of Villa Holsby. I am making a model of the entire lot and the house, in scale 1:50 and I am, of course, building it in plywood. Since I was a kid I have enjoyed making models, but this time I wonder if I have taken on a project that is too hard for me…!?

The beginning: