July 15, 2018

Heart In Vitro

A picture for my little (perpetual) book project; for me it symbolises a life kept on hold for indefinite time...

What do you think it is?

It would be for the part set in Hell, i.e., a factory, where the souls of all workers are being held captive in vitro. They may have weekends, they may have vacations. But their souls are stuck back there, pickled in jars. It's not very original: Charlie Chaplin expressed this well in Modern Times, Foucault explored this thralldom with a long leash as a philosopher, and so on. The paper-filled cubicles-with-a-roof in which academics dwell (as I saw during my University days -- no room for thought in those caves!) give me something like the same feeling.

Now for something really odd: This image of captivity was painted in perfect liberty -- in my little boat, resting in the reeds (it's the best way to park it) (one has to know how to get out of this greenery, though) and it was very warm and I had to finish quickly. I think that improved the work a lot.

Let's have a closer look at the heart. The underpainting was blue (after inking and erasing pencil, as usual when I'm on a working vacation from Photoshop) then careful but quick light washes of various red hues ("God, it's hot today!") while I did my best not to boil away. Voilà!

July 08, 2018

Details from A New Work in the Age of Hypocrisy

Yours Sinc., standing dangerously near a nice little Occupational burnout, only shows you a few details from an ongoing work, made on the side, believing that Time makes perfect. The image (presently named Planned Obsolescence, for reasons that will be explained later) contains, as you see, hands...

...emerging from a hopeless mess...

...and create a great deal of mess in others.

(You also see structures from my own shots, as so often before -- I believe that it compensates for the digital lack of grain and real brushstrokes.)

I can't handle more than one mess at a time, and the past week saw me meeting one hypocrite too many in this already stressful world -- the last straw.

Now I'll go back to trying to breathe. There are days when one wonders if Oxygen is the right brew really.

July 01, 2018

An Apple and a Hand and Neither of Them is That

"This is not a pipe." This is not an apple, and a hand doesn't grow from it. Or, yes it is, and it does, but not up close. Dalí had fun with this before me; things that, up close, look like something entirely different than when viewed from medium distance or afar.

What don't we do to mess with your brains.

Up close, you can clearly see that the apple is made up of strawberry fragments, multiplied and tweaked in various ways.

The shadow of the hand is made up of fragments of Ms. Olsson, who kindly sent me the picture of the strawberries. (Among other things.)

On a serious note, we humans seem to be biologically incapable of grasping this micro and macro in the same time. For instance: I might be structurally guilty of this and that but on a personal level I might still be angelically innocent. Or: I might do seemingly evil things that are explained in the light of our unjust society, environment, What You Will. I'd like to go back to these impossible things someday, with something more pointed than apples that happen to be structurally strawberries. Or if it was the other way around. -

As for now, enjoy the fruit/berries.

June 24, 2018

Onion Tattoo

André Svensson of Salon "Ace of Spades" (Oskarshamn, Sweden) made the final and painful touch on this onion tattoo. I was asked to do the original (by someone who, obviously, doesn't hate onions) and this was the version eventually settled for:

The final result didn't stray too far away, despite the natural difficulty to satisfyingly reproduce round shapes on arms (that are somewhat but far from perfectly cylindrical -- a common issue when it comes to etchings on human bodies, or so I'm told). Well done, I'd say:

It might amuse you to see one of the other sketches -- as an alternative to fully filled versions I also proposed a more minimalistic thing, also in red and black. (These two pigments are supposed to keep better in skin than others.) But the lady that is now sporting said vegetable -- for something like forever -- found the one with the slice more interesting, and I sort of agree.

As for myself, I'm not tempted. I draw stuff. My works are to be spread wide and far like dandelion seeds (preferably without me blossoming for free, artists have needs just like flowers do) -- they are not to stay with me. Or on me.

June 17, 2018

Work in Progress

I don't know what this is yet.

It is lines, pencil lines on paper, of that I'm sure.

A closer look:

It doesn't bring me much clarity. Some sort of r.p.m. meter, some sort of dial, definitely some sort of stress. That's all that I get.

June 13, 2018

Exhaustment Monument

Since the workload of Yours Sincerely has been rather heavy (perhaps you noticed the absence of this last week's Paintistakingly) I present you with this Exhaustment Monument -- a sketch, but nonetheless:

With a bunch of onlookers too.

The life of a freelancer is an irregular one, going from pining for assignments in one moment to pining for rest in the next. Hopefully this week is to be calmer and bloggier. (Yes, my daft spelling control accepted "bloggier". But "exhaustment" was entered under protest.)

June 03, 2018

Anarchic Chorus Girls / Ronald Searle Tribute

As the title says, inspired by the charmingly twisted souls (if yet not the gymslips) of S:t Trinian's little delinquents. (I find the contrast between school uniforms and strictly un-uniform content fascinating.)

I happened to want something as a cover for the little songbook (containing a round two dozen songs that I've written during the past years) that I've recently compiled, it's somehow Trinian in spirit; many of them wry protest ditties and the like. And a good friend and excellent singer might very well record some of these somewhat anarchic works; something that I've wanted for a long time.

I think it turned out rather well?

I hope that Searle would've approved.

May 27, 2018

Industrial Chain Dance

Quite as the title says.

As Paintstakingly isn't geared for Wide Angle, we'll have to take a closer look...

The figures, originally ink on paper, are filled à la collage with footage of the spluttery patterns that have formed on my very own (once blue) garb for heavy painting. I got it from my grandfather --- generations of splutter...

I don't like Wide Angle too much anyway -- it's merely wide horizontally, and very narrow on the other axis. And wide scopes (especially in movies) often seem to make up for narrow ideas behind them. But my memory is narrow too, so perhaps I've said this before...

As for the meaning of this little scene it's up to you, dearies.

(Speaking of narrowmindedness --- Now, if you do find my Industrial Chain Dance silly, take a look at industrial endeavours in real life: People who are threatened with their own extinction are thus forced into manufacturing stuff that most people don't need at the expense of their own health -- and the ensuing waste might lead to the extinction of everything living on this planet. It's not a merry dance at all. But to critically endanger all of nature from eight to five daily -- and yourself -- is considered natural. Sleep well.)

May 20, 2018

Shipyard Dandelions

A shipyard, especially a seasonal, temporary one, is a special place. It's an entire little town made of ticky-tacky, with rows of makeshift structures of wood and tarpaulin, shacks where the boats live if they're large enough. (My dinghy stays upside down during the winter with a modest tarp sheet covering it). Dandelions grow happily in this mess, and they inspired the hearty jumble below:

The shanty town -- its ghostly, impermanent character, with some loose tarp billowing in the breeze, some sort of mirage, etc...

And last but not least, a closer look upon those very Yellow dandelions.

May 13, 2018

Lady of the Lake

This little thing was made while I was waiting for some varnish to dry, as usual. It might be, sort of, the Kami of Lake Mälaren where we'll splash about. If we ever get done.

(From the work in progress, adding large washes before the details.)

May 06, 2018

Mean Worker Ant and a Bug and some Musings

I know that I've touched upon the subject of worker ants before, but aren't they fascinating? There were quite many of them where I was drawing, out in the finest of May (ink on paper, electric colours later). This one looks a little mean.

The insect assailed by the ant might be a Lesser Green Chequered Cogwheel Bug. (Now they exist.)

Poor thing. It is difficult to tell a Worker Ant that you have rights (or exist at all, other than in culinary terms) if you're not an ant and a worker. Ants are social, ants are good, ants care for other ants. But not for little green bugs.

April 29, 2018

Punch Clock, finished since Last Week

A bit of heavily distorted imagery from Hubble, our eye in the sky, made the universal, cosmic stupidity of punch clocks and their ilk complete. They're not that common anymore, as far as I know -- more subtle and devilish means keep the modern worker in check...

It's bleeding too! Perhaps from the souls trapped within?

The punched hand was decided on an early stage -- much of the rest (colouring, little details etc.) was a matter of improvisation. Such as the hint of numbers... (one might someday ponder the difference between tattooing numbers into people and punching holes into the workforce in effigie through cards or their present digital counterparts. But now it's late, I'm tired, and I think too much. And I don't even know what my thoughts are thinking.)

April 22, 2018

Hands, from a Work In Project

A bizzle late, as this artist spent yesterday seeing friends instead of blogging. In the long run, I still presume this will make the Artist an better Artist... This is what's brewing:

I can not compete with Peter Tillberg who might've made the ultimate painting on this subject. But the time might be ripe for an addendum. It's for my perpetual book project, by the way.

April 15, 2018

Oily Details

Yours Sinc. is rather tired (there has been much to do) and won't be too wordy this week. Anyhow, here's a detail in oil:

As you see, very much remains to do... we'll see when.

April 08, 2018

Feeding Cell Phones to Fish

For my perpetual book project – I might be halfways done. You can see that I’ve been working on it for a while – the cell phone is a classic Nokia. You could text on it, with painstaking, Morse-like care. And make actual phone calls. It also had some simple games onboard that could keep a soul entertained for seconds.

The fish is a Northern Pike. And fine fish don’t have to answer phones, not at all.

My original sketch was actually intended for oil colouring (being made on paper that is specially coated for this, with quite heavy grain). I’ll never get around to that. So I went all digital above it but kept some of the texture and tinted it.

The reason why our main character is feeding phones to fishes has to do with the abundance of stupid calls that he received. (It’s not good for our seas, don’t do it. And it isn’t very healthy to the fish. All those daft calls might make them insane.) Sadly, present models do nothing to make a certain brand of calls less silly (salespeople, frauds and obnoxious souls in general) and one might expect future generations of cell phones to make certain stupid calls intelligent. That would be an improvement.

April 01, 2018

Hugging Robots – on Universal Basic Income and Why You Can't Just Sit and Wait

I am for Universal Basic Income. I wish that I could do more for this noble idea. But I must confess that some among us just seem to sit back and wait. Lo, the Robots are Coming and the End of all Work is Near... The Latter-day Believers in Tech would have it that Soon, when most of all work is automated, The Guys Above won’t have any choice but to give us a free wage to live on. Every headline in the field of automation is heard as yet another bell of freedom chiming -- “Listen! Bill Gates has proposed a Robot Tax!” -- and so on.

This is a naïve yet grave mistake. Power is
a) very unwilling to give in and accept such changes and
b) has always been...

...I’ll start with b). Why just robots? Why not personal computers, combustion engines, steam engines? All of these changes could’ve been taxed through the ages, analogous to the Gates’ Robot Act:
-- Steam tax: Young children could’ve been sent to school (with steam money) instead of toiling in factories in Manchester of the 1830’s.
-- Computer tax: All secretaries that were laid off when personal computers came (and indeed did write and spell better) could’ve been compensated. The same goes for typesetters.
-- and so on.
The pressure has always been on the humans to find new means to survive after having been declared obsolete, never on the owners of the machines. So why on Earth do some people think this would change now? I am very sure that those in Power haven’t changed the least since Anytime. They’ll remain true to themselves as long as they aren’t laid off by robots. The Upper Ten won’t care as long as only the other 90% is replaced. Which brings us to a)… And this is where I’d like to introduce you to Dr. Ludwik Fleck.

The belief in Paradigm Shifts goes back to Thomas Kuhn and Company. In its most naïve and simplified form, it goes sort of –
“First we all believed that the Earth Was Flat and then we were subjected to Overwhelming Evidence and now we all Know It’s Round” – apply this happy short story to whatever Great Change that comes to your mind. Now, Dr. Fleck was of a different opinion. Every “thought collective” (Denkkollektiv in his German) has a certain Sluggishness. It will go on thinking that the Earth is flat until it’s totally impossible, and go on claiming flatness long thereafter. Fleck (I am happy to have a copy of his major work, The Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact) gives us several examples on how the Empire of Consensus beats back on unwanted new data, the different levels being:

1. “Anything that contradicts the System [of Thought] is Unthinkable.”
Of course the Earth can’t be round! People would fall off! …Or, in our case: We’d never afford Basic Income, taxes would be too high! Funny – we do seem to afford the great number of workers that get burned out, the social expenses of keeping the unemployed in poverty, imaginary work implementations, supporting failing industries and banks with tax money and so on. It’s ridiculous. Insanity! But if you’re very set on keeping things as they are, no matter what, sane measures must thus be declared utopian and impossible.

2. “That which does not fit into this System remains unseen…”
Instances where the Earth might appear to be round may be written off as exceptions to the rule. In our case: Of course tests have been carried out. Trials with Basic Income in Canada, Finland and so on made the recipients happier, more likely to get a better education, gave them better means to take care of their lives and so on. Hard matter! You may write it all off as happy exceptions to whatever rule you prefer (especially if this rule keeps you in power). Back to Fleck, it doesn’t quite matter if the exceptions completely overshadow the rule; you may get back to the latter like an oblivious parrot. (Politicians are well trained in this.)

3. “…or stifled, even if it is known”.
You can not count on Power to bring up aforesaid ‘exceptions’ itself. All those pesky signs of Earthly roundness are rather overlooked, especially if they grow many. Now imagine the parrot shouting something irrelevant louder every time Basic Income is brought up and you get the idea. – ‘Sir Parrot, what about Basic Income?’ – ‘We must create new jobs! Polly wants a cracker!’

4. “Huge efforts are made to explain those [exceptions] as not contradictory.”
For instance, one may claim that Basic Income wouldn’t work on the Grand Scale (no matter on how large a scale it is tested) – and no matter how round the Earth may seem, it is still flat. Medieval astronomers spent some good time accounting for all those stars that seemed to orbit around the Sun in their strictly geocentric world…
It’s like loosing weight, sort of. You’re prepared to do anything, just anything to get slim but to exercise or changing your diet. And we can count on the implementations of our officials to grow increasingly weird (‘you ain’t seen nothing yet!’) trying anything but Basic Income as the economical situation grows increasingly severe.
For instance, huge efforts are already being made to explain how robots that replace humans are creating more “job opportunities”.

5. “Despite all reasons for a differing opinion, one sees, describes and visualises all facts as analogous to the theory; they, so to speak, get realized.”
Like no. 4, but worse. Here, contradictions are not merely overlooked or whitewashed – they’re cannibalized by the old delusions. Even if we were to get Basic Income, all the blissful effects that could follow would get credited to other factors until the very end. ...At which stage you may count on the Upper Ten to not only endorse it, but to claim that they were for it all along – the same dance has been done with democracy, feminism etc. (You may also count on them to silently work against progress anyway.)


The deep irony is that the Robot Believers follow the same Fleckian pattern of blind faith and selective understanding. Convinced as they are that robotics will reach a critical mass just by itself, they pose no real threat to status quo.

As for how to actually overcome the official (and inofficial) mental blocks on the road to Basic Income, I yet don’t know. But I deeply believe that it’s a psychological problem. It hasn’t got that very much with actual economy to do. Few economical problems really do. It’s all in your mind.

March 25, 2018

Paintbrush and Surreal Joys

This is a brush, the inner essence of a paintbrush.
I had fun in three ways.

Firstly, the joy of distilling a raw sketch into into intriguing lines with many surprising twists and turns, a bit of Surrealisme Art Noveau.

Secondly -- I didn't care much for authentic colours. If you just knew what odd colours traditional painters use for underpainting: Under this rosy skin there might be shades of greyish olive, subtle blues and whatnot that do the work. I've merely let the structures that could have been out.
(My Dear, why aren't you green, with cute little white freckles? You could've been green...)

Thirdly -- It never ceases to amuse me that if you have a light hue -- preferably with some little white on top -- and dark ones -- the darkest one nearing pitch black -- and smear the midtones gently together, you get the illusion of a three-dimensional, almost tangible shape... Here, too, I've put intuition to work, and now I take joy in the odd forms that were born out of the flat surface (in this case, a screen).

Last but not least -- here's a tiny Don Quixote on a ladybug. That's fun because it's fun.

March 18, 2018

Art Theory Gnomes

For my little book project: Meet the Art Theory Gnomes. They vaugely resemble something rodent with a dollop of lizard -- these vermin consume art and wish that they could do it themselves. They can't. So they squeak unintelligible sounds of learning at each others and squabble over framed food -- especially if someone finds a tasty modernist for dinner.