February 19, 2017

Dear readers,
Paintstakingly is down due to malfunctioning computers, general exhaustment and suchlike. I'll do what I can about it. Eventually.

February 12, 2017

Some Birds Can't Sing

Some birds are not meant to sing. And a few of those birds will never realise that they can't, to the great concern of surrounding ears. The case inspiring this little ink-and-aqua is special: I had a certain songbird with me on a Christmas concert last December, which we, avian and pianist, sort of survived. So when she said that she could do Swedish traditional music for elderly ears this February I sort of believed her. I still believed her on the first rehearsal; she said that she was overworked, exhausted, we can all have a bad day. So I expected her to find her bearings better on the dress rehearsal, i.e. the last one before show.

She didn't. She lost them altogether. It actually got much worse.

Some of the tunes that she knew so very well she only knew well for a few bars if I played them beforehand. A few had faded even closer into atonal oblivion, and Jumping Jesse Almighty, the phrasing... all ragtag shambles, on some. Songbird has a trained voice. Songbird can reach very high tones without breaking them too much. If Songbird could find the right tones too I would be all the happier, as I wouldn't lose money -- it's too late to find a replacement now.

From the process: Pencil...

...and ink.

And next, as you saw, watercolours. And frustration, lots of.

February 05, 2017

Computer Breakdown Sketch

And so I've done it again. Or rather, my computer did, after long and faithful service (or at least long). It broke down. And now I'm excluded from studio activity for I don't know how long -- in the musical sense -- and I dare not think of the cost it would take to replace it. Bleah. (As for files, most can be resurrected, but the software might die out of planned obsolescence (q.v.) so how much for backups.

The resulting image, made on a borrowed little thing, is sort of disturbed. The lines are from a simpler little program that I found -- sort of liked the coarseness -- and then it was Photoshop again (not mine). The colours feel a little sick. The shapes too. And so does Yours Sincerly.

January 29, 2017

Chief Tinypaws (The Spirit of Trump)

I don't know where to begin, and I presume that most of my readers are already up to date. But starting with a certain Twitter account, I am constantly amazed that the writer is more than twelve years old. (The level is sort of “Evil is Bad”, “Everyone Else is Wrong” and “Now they're teasing me again!”) I've also learned that he is followed by a responsible adult at all times, which at first sounded good as this wildly twittering thing has been proclaimed President of the United States of America. The adult has a uniform, too. And is holding a football for the kid. Unfortunately it's not any American football but The Football, which is actually a leather case containing the information and means to start a nuclear war and the total eradication of life on this planet. It's not a suitable toy for such twelve year olds. It might contain loose parts.

I've also filled the landscape with factory chimneys; these little trumplings are slowly doing to the planet what a well guided nuclear attack could do more efficiently, but we spare no means... Look! Such cute little fingers!

Now, where were we. I've done some lifting to the toupee, temporarily revealing all the happy little Bluebirds of Bliss.

As for the name, finally, I found this cute little poo-tee-weet from early Trumpery:
“I think I might have more Indian blood than a lot of the so-called Indians [...]”
(See Washington Post.)
And now that he's Chief of the Nation, I thought that he would have some name that sounded more native, hence Chief Tinypaws. But what's in a name. We're all equal, as we'll All Go Together When We Go.


Update. At finishing time, the boy actually made a tweet so long that it needed two posts.

January 22, 2017

House Rules

Yes, for personal reasons I tried to make this little study as uncomfortable as possible; the feeling of being dragged back into uterus with no say at all in a world of silent, quenching rules and equally discrete punishment. I imagine that one of those signs is the law of Müh Bing, a very severe one that must not be broken. Nobody tells you, however, what Müh Bing is. Or which one.

All came from this little sketch in this low resolution (yes, this is a digitally produced nightmare), and I kept some of the thick lines where possible, only refining them slightly.

January 15, 2017

Seems That I'm Human?

And so it turns out that I'm human. And actually prone to get tired at times. And the ideas that I churn out -- there are plenty of those -- many of those are beyond realisation. So here we go, just a little sketch, a bissle later than I wanted. Take care.

January 08, 2017

Hiding Your Lack of Ideas in a Green and Purple Bag

A little bag-atelle with a bag drawn with the sweet help of Johanna the Muse.

The odd happenings in the background originated as premiere squiggles drawn by aforesaid sweet Muse on the electric pad. These non-figurative riddles I then proofed as figurative, but no less enigmatic figures -- your guess as usual what they're up to. I found that the blank slate in the foreground make a nice contrast to the "stars" in the background -- Christmas lighting of the neighbourhood tweaked and manically multiplied.

Here we see one of the squiggles transformed into... a merry game of Something.

According to Johanna the Muse, the Butterflies have windows because...

...well, she doesn't know really. Perhaps their etherical fluttering is a window to another world, one of Beauty?

January 01, 2017

Balancing the Weight of Inspiration

Dear Readers,

Happy New Year!

A new spin of our strange little globe around the closest star; a new and fresh little drawing is taking shape.

It might have an entirely different character with colours on, perhaps soiling the purity of the lines, but we'll see -- just a little further down 2017. I might even, just might, give you some clue as to what's going on. But that's not a resolution.

December 18, 2016

On Vacation!

Yes, an actual vacation! My first enjoyable trip since... well, it's about years. But here we are. Going south soon (albeit not as far as the picture says).

I'm usually very methodical when I do digitals, making use of every shortcut that isn't too digital and cheap in its looks. Now I wasn't. I've made this (mostly) as I would do an oil, smearing electric paint about.

I hope to be back on Xmas Day, having had a fine rest and with plenty of new nice oddities in my bag. Ho-ho-ho.

December 11, 2016

His Master's Voice

This is what I've distilled from a tired pencil sketch from this summer, when I travelled a fearful lot with my half-portable piano. Sometimes I felt like some kind of pianola, churning out music without much soul left in it...

I've been gentle, only adding a few shadows and highlights and colour values to the scanned sheet, which came in various sad hues of grey.

-- I think it is playing old and scratchy Jazz, but you decide.

December 04, 2016

Towering Chess Problem of Separation

Being very tired but happy after my Vernissage (Larry's Corner, Stockholm, Sweden. Open two weeks from now) I made this little study in sepia. Enjoy!

November 27, 2016

Ballpoint Pen Jumble

Just some sort of sketch, rambling visually.

I made this one visiting a place in Stockholm name of Cosmopolitan something like a year ago (it isn't, but what's in a name...) and returning yesterday I thought that I might bring it up again. Up close we see that the thing is crosshatch and all, and everything that we thought made a clear figure is but lines, marks, blots. Life is the same.

November 20, 2016

Swedish Work Ethics (finished)

As I was preparing lines of extra peppery sulphur, my flaming speech, I was beginning to feel a little sorry for the participants. Alas, it's too late now. One should feel sad for the soul on the wheel too.

Once upon a time we had a Church to weigh people down with, lest we'd become Vikings again. You had to know thine catechesis, honour thy King and other things like that. After scaring an ample supply away to "Amerikat" in the late 19:th C. tactics were changed and the church was slowly drippling and melting anyway. But fear not. Just like the Lutheran Evangelism once turned from a teaching of liberty to something terribly grave and clad in black that forced everything that could breathe to church on Sundays, repent and fear hell, the Workers' movement turned from the International that would set us all free into something that gave the Swedish workers "liberties" provided that they stay chained to the oars. And all stern sentiments had already poisoned the True Workers down to their very roots. They began to worship their chains, confusing being chained with being safe.

True Work is nine-to-five. True Work has fixed salaries. Being quite pointless is also a sure sign of True Work. --- Art is not True Work. The True Worker may come to my exhibition, admire this, take a good look at that, have some snacks and wine, add a compliment to a third work and all is sugar and spice. Then the True Worker has to ask, with fusel oil distaste lurching beneath the Cognac of Compliments, can you make a Living out of that?

As in any good interrogation, the True Worker already knows the answer. T.W. simply has to feel at an advantage again, perhaps ward off some feeling of inferiority or pointlessness. That the chains are not true gold, or brass even. Then the Good Worker marches off without giving me a penny. If you don't perform True Work they don't have to pay you, not here or anywhere, and then you can't make a living and then it is not True Work, so they don't have to pay you...etc. I have a not-so-vague feeling that it is fear of loosing one's increasingly uncertain position that has True Workers bullying those who are outside the square. It won't help a bit.

(As a matter of fact, if a job of work is pointless enough, chances are that it is not too fun and thus made for money alone, proving it to be True Work. I am by no means immune to such looming feelings. Somewhere deep down the drain I feel unable to accept my efforts if they don't result in perfect self-sufficiency -- it's a terrible thing to demand of an artist, but that's how it is. Friends tell me that I am too harsh on myself. I blame my inner Swede.)

I started on this work 2015 and left it for quite a while, perhaps it depressed me. "Resistance is pointless!" -- and now I finish it mostly out of principle. (And my favourite printer has retired, so it'll take a while before it can adorn the walls of Good Workers and Bad ones alike). But here goes.

At press time, this is our dear Prime Minister.

His Excellency Mr. Löfven.

...The steadfast champion of workfare, who bravely sends us out to find work quite regardless if there is any or not, is clad in / made up of / infested by / you choose / merrily ticking little cogwheels. Merrily merrily down the stream. Mr. Löfven is the leader of whatever remains of the Social Democrats. Their total dominance of Swedish politics is but a memory. As one begun to cut down on (next to) free health care, social security and dozens of other things from cradle to grave that the Swedes had got used to taking for granted, they rapidly lost power. The chains began to itch. The Liberal Conservatives (the 2:nd greatest party) soon got into their heads of declaring themselves "the New Worker's Party". The old one seemed to have resigned.

They are currently, as I write this, led by

Mrs. Kinberg Batra of the Neo-Liberal Conservatives.

You know a bit better where you stand with them, for worse. So now we had to choose between a party that had lost its ideals and one that didn't really have any (other than: Give the Market free reins and it'll sure canter somewhere nice). They need not uphold the illusion of the True Worker. If you don't work, you'll get homeless and die. (And you mustn't get very ill either.) This is called blackmail. It is also called normal.

Anyhow, this downslide in politics has us to introduce the meanest part of the machine, that Åkesson.

Mr. Åkesson fuming.

There's not much to say about this band of ill-concealed Nazis known as "Swedish Democrats". It is simply a movement that learned that nice shoes and suits and gibberish looks and sounds better than marching around screaming Heil, and you can get many votes by changing your wardrobe into something less Third Reich. To march around screaming is, alas, such an un-Swedish thing to do. We prefer nice and quiet. The most devilish things can be accepted as long as they are nice and quiet. Those old chains never rattled.

They don't work by words and sense, but they're good at picking up general anger and resentment. It might suffice to say that they are beginning to learn the Trump Game very well.

I hoped, by writing this, to understand my weird country a little bit better. But I don't. I still don't get any feeling that explains it, the riddles remain cold and bloodless. And I still don't know how to cope, as a soul or as someone trying to run a business uphill.

November 13, 2016

Remembering a Nightmare

I had fun doing this one. The background is some heavily tweaked footage of a thicket that I twisted into near-grey, and then I found out that it was funny to let the structure do some work on other parts too. From a distance, it looks like blood on the blade -- perfect pattern. The same matrix gives the bedclothes a bit of pattering too. The flooring was originally boards on a little bridge near home. And so on... 

I actually really don't remember the nightmare now. I woke up to face daymares.   

November 06, 2016

A Cure for November

...which I, sweetly put, abhor. 

It does some utterly interesting things to the psyche of Yours Sinc., who had to fight for days to get any Will to Paint back at all. 

Now you might sit with a sweet Australian November or a New Zeeland or Hawaiian one and wonder what the !"#¤%&/(yyy)=? I mean. Do stay where you are. Swedish November is Death in the shape of a month, no sun, all wet and sad, and it can't but affect you -- It would give Eeyore a sore throat. Amidst this gloom I decided to go a bit silly and psychedelic so that I wouldn't have to think

I thought that white contours would be nice. 

The butterflies have some features in common with that old Microsoft logo, I don't know why. Perhaps I felt that some colour would be fun. The trees are throwing their last yellows now, and if we want to see colours we have to make them up ourselves.  

October 30, 2016

Yellow Leaves

I might be done with outdoors painting for this season. I have a sort of mentor, name of Lennart Forsling (do check him up) who does this all year round -- in some of his aquarelles one may see the effect of frost cracking in the paint -- but this is as far as I go. 

A closer look as usual... The trick is to finish before you go entirely numb, if possible.

October 23, 2016

Psychedelic Swedish Coat of Arms

This one I made from a small badge that was printed in black and white on an envelope that I found the other day. I got it a while ago as I've chanced upon some dangerous people throughout this year.

First, the uniforms ask you questions. (One of my interviewers took most interest in the race of the offender, sad but true, and I did note some disappointment when I couldn't give him a pitch-black villain. -- I couldn't care less. I don't wish robbers who beat me next to unconscious to be in any particular colour. I'd like them burned at the stake, well done please, or shot or nicely hanged, but I have no say.)

Next, one can always trust our Protectors to write and inform you afterwards that you've taken a beating. (Deary me, you don't say?)

They also write yet a little bit later, usually telling you that they don't see very much that they can do about it. However;

I scanned and resized the little badge and then I took to smearing things about, adding free interpretations of the forms. This looks like a fish... and this... Next, I threw in some light collage (my own footage, no cheating) and colours.

Details that I am happy with: The wildlife in the crown. The matrix-like nonsense in the Swedish Blue. The typewriters that protect us... Odd subversive little things and stuff.

The peaceful Swedes are not allowed to defend themselves by any material means. So if you don't happen to wear a black belt or -- even better -- a Sumo wrestler's body you're sort of screwed. We all have to make the choice whether we prefer to be legal or alive.


By the way, here's the original badge. 

October 16, 2016

Don Quixote Sketch

'Look! I'm tired today after heavy rowing in rough seas, but I've just made a sketch of the greatest hero of all times, Don Quixote de la Mancha.'
'Don Quixote? Wasn't he the madman who attacked windmills, believing they were giants? Absurd! Quixotic!'
'Precisely! And that's what is so heroic. It wouldn't be heroic at all if they really were giants. Then they would've called for the Don at once. How many other active giantfighters did they have in la Mancha? Not very many.'
'But he lost! He got hurt! He could not win!'
'See what I mean. And he did it anyway. -- Mind, It would be equally heroic to claim that giants are windmills if everyone else believed windmills to be giants. Such an obnoxious person would get in trouble with Society, and in one way or another they'd hurt our hero just as much.'
'But how did that stupid action make Don Q. a hero? I don't understand!'
'And you never will. You're a safe nine-to-fiver. If you live in a democracy, you go to work. If you live in a Soviet state or in the Third Reich, you go to work. You hold brave little speeches of accepting reality and growing up and being normal. You are not brave.'
'But we make society work! We sacrify our days, our freedom!'
'You sacrify nothing. You are windmills, you were made for this and really can't think of anything else than producing very standard flour. Is there any love in your work? Or do you just grind sad wheat for cheap white bread without soul? -- No, it takes a hero to question you, to endure the constant beating of your wings. One definitely has to be mad if one is to question reality. You need quixotic madness if the world is to change for something better. You need madness if any world is to remain. This includes windmills.'

October 09, 2016

Meeting in Wonderland

For Susanne, who requested owls --

This is the kind of meeting that could end just any way. Owls turn into something else. Those other Somethings do look a bit shady, but one never knows...

There are rabbits too. And they happen to be blue. It's a very normal Wonderland Rabbit colour.

October 02, 2016

Post no. 200 of Paintstakingly

Dear readers,

With heartfelt thanks for following these serious follies I give you post no. 200, a movie with flashbacks and a little piano by Yours Sincerely; you might recognize the song sometimes after a while... And sometimes not. It is sort of surreal music, thus, to go with sort of surreal imagery.


September 25, 2016

Autumn Alla Prima

This quick little experiment was made with a lot more water than usual, just to see what would happen. (Normally, I'm quite a coward.) I found that the rough splashes contrasted nicely with the even Art Noveau lines of the stems. And there really were two cute children there to make the little thing more interesting.

The trick, of course, is to add the reds to the greens precisely in time. Too late, and it goes dry and boring. Too early, and it goes smudgy and boring. On the top of that, I was a bit worried about whether the paper would accept this much water. But it did. It was very well glued around the edges, so it didn't go accordion despite being a little too thin really. Some soak and stretch the paper before starting. But they usually use larger sheets -- and more patience. I was born without patience.

September 18, 2016

Electric Beetles

Dear readers,
This week gives us Electric Beetles...

The speckled background I made quite a while ago without having a clue what to do with it. It came in handy now. I use it straight, inverted and so on, saving the image from being too flat.

Ah, the electric beetles! I met some sort of beetle the other day. It took a break from whatever beetles do to crawl on my arm. Hello, Mr. Beetle. A fine day, isn't it? Warm for being September, I'd say...
It had an odd square on its back; a pattern of pointed little orange strands resembling the nodes (wossname?) of a microchip or so. It didn't look much like my beetles do now, but an idea was born and newborn ideas have to be nursed carefully. What do you think of the result? (You're very welcome to write a comment below.) I wish that Mr. Beetle knew about it.

September 11, 2016

Hummingbirds, Colouring Experiment

Having done digital smudge for quite a while (see, for instance, my Rucksack of Life) I decided that I wanted to try some vastly different means of colouring. So here I used different kinds of lines.

I like the blend of cute (hummingbirds) and not cute (sipping and sapping the strength out of our poor fellow). I am also happy that we don't do this in any kind of realistic manner (not to mention photorealistic) as if reality had any kind of inherent appeal. One might as well try to be a little decorative instead. Let's look closer, almost by the pixel: