Tuesday, January 22, 2013

L'Enfant Terrible

So there I am... Puddling about in the palette of water color. Incredibly easy to mix and work with. I had no idea, the pigments would as well be so easy to move around. Nor that it would be so easy to pick up color. I must admit, even though I won't give it up at this point, that acrylics are not as easy to fool around with. They tend to linger even after you've washed them away. 

Yesterday, I told my friend who gave me the watercolor-kit that I was considering acquiring a black color, as there was none in the palette. She replied without hesitation, that pure black is sort of a no-no in the world of water color artists, she personally would never work with a black. Fair enough on the personal preference, but who decided that it's not eloquent enough to use a black water color? I was very open towards her statement, but quickly added that I perhaps had different plans from what is acceptable. 

I am not setting out to break rules just for the sake of breaking them. Don't get me wrong. I am merely wondering - why not? Why not try out a black/white water color painting? 

Muddy waters
I was in a meeting with my boss and that same friend last week. At the end of the meeting we were discussing our daily lives with our children. I may have sounded a bit dis-satisfied, when I stated that I had difficulties tackling the wandering mind of my son, who's very good at dis-connecting from his surroundings (which is a supreme gift these days) and sometimes he can even even change the topic of conversation from Mine Craft to something completely different. 

The good side to being alone with two kids is that you get all the love, you don't have to share it with anyone. But you are also alone with every single little thing. Every decision, every clean-up, every meal, every bill, every bit of bringing-up. I try to install a bit of self-awareness in my kids, some ability to do things on their own and help out a bit in the house. All this is really okay - but it was the comment from my boss and my friend after that, that made me flinch: "You have to accept that these are the conditions for living here, being divorced with kids!"

I have to what? Says who? And why?

I don't have a lot of fancy quotes to throw at you, dear reader, but I remember having read and heard hundreds of them, where this is the particular subject. Not accepting the norm. Not accepting the way things are, but in stead try to change them. Yes, there are reasons for why I don't just pack up and travel around the world, but perhaps I don't have to go to that extent. Perhaps it's merely a really small change, I need.

I'm asking myself these days, if I am happy enough to stay here, in provincial Denmark. Is this all I want? Is this all I can get? Should I just accept it and follow the rules? Would you?

Remarkable, how the color black made its impact on today's post. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Something amazing has happened - a very good friend and colleague at my school gave me a belated Christmas present yesterday. She is a positive thinker with a very motivational spirit and often catches people on their way down. Before Christmas we had a conversation about water colors and how I'd like to start experimenting with those, as I'd never tried the real stuff. Yesterday she presented me with a self-composed beginner's kit containing several sizes of paper, non-acidic and cold pressed, some of the handmade paper she bought many years ago in the Netherlands, brushes and a lovely starter-set of colors from Winsor & Newton. She herself paints and is a very creative person. 
I must admit, I love it - it's a great pick-me-up in this utter wet and cold winter darkness. 

Thank you, Josefine!

  • Surround yourself with people who have a positive think pattern and can give you something good to thrive on.
  • Don't expect others to give, but be willing and prepared to give your self. Then you wil receive.
  • Be thankful for what you have got, and don't get upset over the things in life that are not yet within your reach. 
You never know, where life is going to take you...

The darkness gets thicker, even though the days grow longer.

Dogs of Lust

The piece I'm working on at the moment has changed appearances many times, again with a bit of the old left to live on in the new. This one used to be called 'The Meat District', but rather soon changed to 'Power of Love'. 

It's now very different - at one point I was about to discard it like so many others, but have come to enjoy the simplicity of its wild base tuning in with the new surfaces. No matter what the old working titles were, it was always a question of developing its true purpose. I've used quite a bit of charcoal with this, which I've missed working with after the Zoology-pieces of 8. In the piece you'll find two ancient Native American dogs, which have been added with glue.

The background was inspired by a mix of a certain pre-WW2 flag and the colors of the ads and commercials of the 70'ies and 80'ies. I added quite a few layers of acrylics mixed with water, after which came the pasting of neon-acrylics. You have to wait between each pasting before the true effect of each layer comes out after having dried. And each wait makes it even more fun to continue. 

This town is shrinking by the minute... Darkness is all around - color explosions are perhaps what we need.