February 07, 2016

Vernissage Birdsong

I am still making birdsong for my Vernissage, which'll just intensify until the actual event... (After that I'll collapse like a dead Norwegian Blue Parrot.) Now you've seen The Music in Me so many times that I point you directly to my vernissage page on Facebook instead. But the letterhead for that ad is new and perhaps a little interesting...

With the benefits of digital painting, one might copy letters that resemble each other...

...and then bind them together.

Of course one might save even more time and use some gaudy font from the giant box of fonts that we now have. But it is Not That Fun! I love the craft, the shaping and re-shaping of letters... and I suspect that I, somewhwere deep down, love the waste of time too.

While all this is going on I still animate a little -- should practice for a concert too, how much to do! -- fairly "limited animation", but still something to look at. These are my strange mechanical birds...

And yes, they blow cute little bubbles. Po-te-weet!

January 31, 2016

Gently Flaming Frames and Minds

I am still working on something mindblowing -- or mindblown, at least -- for my little music video (see previous week) making both head and tails of it -- here you get legs.

These legs will do the "bicycle" in happy twists and circles. The movement is calculated by hand (Photoshop meets stop-motion)

and we take care to add some diversity to the mechanics.

Looks promising!

As if this wasn't enough, I'm still in the pre-vernissage cutting and framing department. I also repainted a frame for "Keeping Calm Helmet", flaming dark and deep, as there wasn't any matching one to buy.

Starting out with red acrylic underpaint... (beautiful! But we have to move on)

...I most gently added a bit of sooty black.


January 24, 2016

Framing is an Art

In one month there's yet another Vernissage -- wonderful! -- but I've quite lost count. I think this is going to be exhibition no. 18. The art is piling up...

I've had The Music Remains (q.v.) nicely framed...

(Yes, you see a nail file. I use it to adjust details when I cut the matting.)

Perhaps someone would care for this simple little thing...

In the middle of all this I consider making an animated music video for Dalírium, my organica-electronica-whatever-it-is record. It is insane -- one tends always to forget what a vampire of a time-eater animation is. The Happy Machine track would get some mechanical anatomy of sorts. A sketch:

January 17, 2016

Let's Twist Again

I am drawn to drawing things that squirm and twist and bend in impossible ways. The work below is presently untitled, and I leave it to speak for itself.

We might talk a little about lines instead. A line that you work on for a long time, twist a little more, bend, brush up, change a little, while you let the happy mad sad thoughts meander through your mind without too much harm done --- this is solace of sorts, peaceful creative trance. I like the somewhat slanted Art Noveau, or whatever it is... here it is taking form on the screen -- it could've been pencil too, but what followed might demand a computer: I threw such a lot of darkness in it, enough to soak a paper to pieces had it been an aquarelle. The lines looked like this:

And we ended up with this; much more interesting from a colour point of view (I am happy that my poor squirming being is sparkling in many contradicting, uncertain hues) but I try not to kill the play of the lines entirely.

January 10, 2016

Anxious Guitar

On my way to a date -- Heaven or Hell?
-- I started to pencil for aquarel.
The meeting -- surprise! -- for her and me
Turned Heaven -- too fast! -- to a shocking degree
For some this feels natural, for others, no
And now my guitar in messy locks go
One night it was all right to meet in such heat.
The sadder day after I heard some cold feet.

There's also a fish. It is merely there.
It might ponder this beautiful, tragic affair.

January 03, 2016

The Cyclic Rise and Fall of Workfare

1. The Patient realises that the whole System is a farce, that there isn’t work enough for all no matter how you squirm and turn about and that a Great Change is needed regarding both Work and Consumption if Life on Earth is to remain.

2. Most unexpectedly the Patient is offered a Job of Work to do, meaning safer grounds and a new feeling of security. The Patient is euphorically anticipating at last being accepted as a Productive and Good Member of our Society.
Emotional Incubation Period: about 1 to 2 weeks.

3. The Patient is now preaching the Benefits of Workfare for anyone who still cares to listen: We have to Accept Things as They Are, Create New Opportunities and do Positive Thinking.

4. The Patient surprisingly loses his job, very quickly too, and thereby also all rights to Joy, Love and Life including the right of being a Patient. Everything was a Lie. Emotional Incubation Period for this insight: about 5 to 10 seconds.

5. The Patient realises that the whole System is a farce, that there isn’t… etc. The whole treatment may be repeated ad libitum et ad infinitum until we Finally Understand or cease to breathe.


Being quite annoyed with a certain kind of people who preach unconditional welfare when they need it and unconditional workfare when they themselves do have work, I drew this little satire. I know a few. It is aimed at the short-sightedness of people in general rather than at some specific political colour, most of which have faded into Obsolete Grey anyway (and this is to no little degree due to the same eternal propensity for egoism in the shallow, fickle mind).

Materials: Ink on paper; electric hues.

December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

For my Dear Readers. This year's Resolution is to try -- you can't but try -- to worry less, to care less about those who preach Life in Culture impossible. I've received the very good advice not to listen to people who do not help anyway. Happy New Year!

December 27, 2015

Grainy Finished Surreality, w. Physalis

Dear readers,

...thank you for following these artsy follies through 2015. Now there is an entire, weird year in the Archives; most popular, if Stats may be trusted, were "For Charlie Hebdo" (a poem in memoriam) and "My Hoovercraft is Full of Eels"... February and March were exceptional months too, full of odd twists and turns and surprises. I was surprised too. And now, anchors aweigh! New adventures ahead.

We're finished with the six-cornered thing. There's a Vernissage in February -- it has to be dry by then. And I have to lament my oils -- they might look good in real life, but as for photos, they are charming as passports. Something with the small details on coarse grain is making the eye of the camera bleed, especially if we have to shoot them in this lustreless, grey December. (I complained last winter, I will complain again...) Albeit grainy, for the record and hopefully still inspiring:

I've added some Japanese lanterns in the final hextangle (heptangle? they're seven fields) and all seven are sure to go in their own style. The lanterns don't have much patience to stay in Physalis shape for very long.

As for the meaning of the blue drop, I'm open for suggestions (as always). It might be a blue drop.

December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

The musician/painter wishes you a Merry Christmas -- I had fun designing the letters for this one.

Everything is built on the letter "O"...

Some were surprisingly difficult (I had to move everything about for "R") while others just knocked on the door and started to sing carols. Enjoy :)

December 20, 2015

Keeping-Calm-Helmet for Worried Times

We need a break before we finish that oil (see previous weeks) and to get calmer in general. For these are worried times -- economy, ecology and last but not least madmen of all colours exploding now and then, sort of everywhere. This sometimes leads to panicky decisions, and Panic is not a fine mood to make decisions in. So behold: The Keeping Calm Helmet, protecting us against ourselves.

It's in my standard ink'n'aqua, letter size. Now we go close to see the Greek helmet that inspired it in part

which I know by heart. And the frankly ugly modern helmet that I saw on a poster

with the one camera that prompted the Keeping Calm Helmet, regrettably not worn by them. The KC Helmet Mk.1 sports just any number of cameras and antennae and whatnot for taking in many views, which has a sobering effect. It also seems to give the poor head other chemistry (perhaps for saving it from fatal over-sobriety, balance is the thing) and I envision calming flowery music in the headphones. (Merely a suggestion. Interpret it ad. lib. Your own imagination is the helmet that fits you best.)

An old friend suggested that I shouldn't make so detailed little works in the winter, for then people will go so close and smear the glass with their runny noses... but I sort of like the mayhem of colours and lines that one sees upon resizing: Here you have the flowers...

And here is the visor.

Now keep calm :)

December 13, 2015

Impolite Desires and The Edvard Munch Choir

Desires are interesting, irksome but interesting. They are like babies. They refuse to behave, do not care for the socially acceptable or even excusable, they mess things up and trying to hush or put them to sleep invariably makes matters worse. It is impossible to reason with them:

"Come, now little body, there are other things in life; friendship, birdsong, sports and the music of J.S. Bach... Don't be silly. Let's go and have a cold bath, these things help, get your mind off it..."

And like all infants in need, the body answers by screaming louder.

With this in mind, work goes on. It is time for a sharp corner on the hexagonal canvas.

I have to shoot this a little from the sides, straight on the paint is glittering like this, mad and wet...

I immediately had to christen this band The Edvard Munch Choir, for reasons obvious. While you have the final say as usual, I have a feeling that they somehow represent some unfulfilled desires, as mentioned above.

Ps. Speaking of odd existences I found this Twinklebox, an invention by one Aaron Bradbury. The thingamajig is "...a music box caught in an infinite world, set to his own melody" and obviously has no other desire than to roll about and play its tune, quite uncaring about anything else.

I sort of envy it a little.

December 06, 2015

Calm Corners (before the Oily Storm?)

The miniaturesque work with my six cornered oil goes on, filling the mauve field with a desolate Northern landscape/seascape/icescape -- with a cabin or hut of sorts -- and the yellow field with a slightly careless interior.

Everything is improvised. The little cabin (which didn't want to be a pine grove or cliff) reminds me of a song by Swedish poet Dan Andersson about a charcoal burner who is waiting for his one true love that, rest assured, should show up some night here in the middle of nowhere just any year now, this dearest lady with eyes of blue. Whoever she is. (The subtext is rather saddening, dark as charcoal soot.)

Onwards. I didn't care much for straight angles in the yellow field. I sort of wanted to get done. With these two fields of relative harmony done after the lively green and blue and the quizzical (and inquisitive) grey centre we might now be ready for something really insane.

November 29, 2015

Surreal Oil with Six Corners (work in progress).

Every field on the canvas with six corners will bring a surprise, for the artist as well as the observer. (Now it reminds me a little of an advent calendar, coming to think of it, but not necessarily with a relieving Christmas in the bottom. It has no bottom. It has six.) The bird-plus-whatever is still glittering with wet oil.

The central shape -- central deformation -- is an eye of sorts. It bears various fishy, hairy amoeba connotations... what do you think?

The only set idea for this painting is that every field, underpainted and now dry, should have its own theme, speaking for itself... in a language that I do not know, the language that 90 percent of our brains speak. I don't even know if the seven parts of the painting understand each other. Or if the different parts of the brain do -- if not, that would explain much...

"When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained."
- Mark Twain, Notebook, 1898

November 22, 2015

Green Chili Nonsense

This one I made mostly to tease my dear friends a little. My head was no good place to be (I've spent ages looking for another, for rent if not for sale) and I complained that I didn't want to go too autobiographical; I mostly draw inspiration from rubbish stored in my subconscious, but for a long while the rubbish had been a sour kind of rubbish and not the happy, sprightly rubbish that one might want.

Why don't you draw Green Chili?, one said.

And it was true; we had just been enjoying some Thai, and I had a Red Chili Stew with a few melodic syllables in the name; it was somewhat less flammable than the Green Chili that I had on the session before (and was duly teased for having anyway) and as a good little surrealist I now had to draw it. You may hint that I didn't concentrate very much on the spice in question. As usual, I am sure that among the arbitrarily functioning junctions of the synapses there's a perfect explanation why green hot chili peppers turn into this:

And here's the face; very serene, considering. Half the chap it used to be but perhaps we let go of a lot of pressure that way.

November 15, 2015

The Music Remains

This little study, I realized during the progress, is heavily inspired by The Music in Me, a digital painting by fellow surrealist Ruth Sinden (the work is heavily copyrighted by her).

This one I call The Music Remains:

Whether you write poetry, music or paint, the aching reason for doing so shall one day disappear, leaving art alone. So we have to make good art.

You may note that the guitar decorations around the hole (obviously called a rosette in English) are reflected in the garland. (You hint a little of the keys chorusing too.) The heart looks rather torn, but Music is on her mind.

(Ink and aqua on letter-size paper.)