Monday, December 29, 2008

bending forward

one of the things I had decided to finally finish these Christmas Days was the children's book. I'm working on it...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

still Christmas

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I've not been feeling well all week (thought I had recovered, and overdid it just before Christmas) and not managed to do any of all the things I was to do... We've all been ill. I just made this little image.

No Christmas wishes were sent from me this year. I'll have to make it New Year wishes instead!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

the boy is sound asleep
the Brussels sprouts just ready
the Jansson (traditional Swedish Christmas food) in the oven
the gifts under the tree
it's after midnight
and I just recovered from two days of fever

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve!
Merry Christmas!

[I'll have Christmas vacations until the 2nd of January, but will be posting now and then anyway - how could I resist?]

Monday, December 22, 2008

and the title?

Sometimes the titles come easily, sometimes not. Here I don't know yet. Suggestions?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

mixed-up season

photos from a walk in my neighbourhood in south-east London.
Soon Christmas?

Friday, December 19, 2008

work in progress

I'll show the result on Monday. Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

an afternoon with Thereza

Today Thereza and I finally managed to get together for a coffee. It was wonderful to again be the one to get a sneak peak - in reality - of some of her work. This time: her book "the horse and the seed". Poetic and sensitive. It's just so much better to get to hold work on paper in your hand!

We had a little gift exchange - not because of the upcoming holiday (at least not in my mind) - and Thereza gave me her tache power mini zine and two of her great necklaces. I had been a bit sad not to win at her give-away ... but now I got them anyway! Thank you Thereza! You're the best!

(the chocolate Santa belonged to someone else at the Café. I do not torture gnomes or Santa)

Happy Me(al)

Happy Me(al)

(though the title is supposed to have a line crossing over "al" - but I don't know how to get that here at blogger.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

gracias, Gracia!

The other week I got a parcel all the way from Australia. Artist Gracia Haby had packed it full of her art - and some of her collaborations with Louise Jennison.

Preface: an old suitcase full of photos on my mother's attic, photos from Elisabeth Söderberg's life. She had been an artist and an acquittance of my grandmother. When she died almost 20 years ago without any close relatives we cleaned out her home and some of her things ended up in our house.

June 2008: I had to make room in my mother's attic to store my belongings. I got rid of a lot of rubbish - and looked through Elisabeth's old photos. They had something special over them - and they were someone's memories. I suddenly thought of Gracia. I only knew of her through her blog, but thought maybe these photos could be for her and her art. Just before moving to London I sent Gracia a parcel.

A new life for the photos: in Gracia Habys art - in a gallery, and in one of Gracia's zines Good evening, good evening. So nice of you to have come all this way.

I'm convinced Elisabeth Söderberg would have been pleased. Photos from her life got a new life thanks to Gracia Haby! And now I got to see how it all turned out. Gracias, Gracia!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

soon Christmas

Tonight I'm busy preparing for Christmas. I can't post any photos of what I'm making as gifts though - I don't want to spoil any surprises!

Monday, December 15, 2008

lucky move

Last week I made this screenprint/collage. I simply turned my mask over when I had finished printing and used the sticky colour as a glue. I wanted to add an extra dimension. It was not until the next day that I realized what it said on the back of the mask - made out of the yellow pages (click on the image to see it bigger). Sometimes you are just lucky.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

London lucia

Being Swedish I always celebrate Lucia - and even more so when I happen to live outside Sweden. But it is supposed to be on the morning of the 13th of December ... today I cheated and did it one day later (came back from Sweden yesterday). Luckily the main target for my "performance" (the offspring) doesn't know about dates.

[for you who don't know about the tradition of celebrating Sankta Lucia in Scandinavian countries - a short description: Lucia comes as the bringer of the light early in the morning of the darkest night of the year. She is dressed in white and wears a crown of candles, she is followed by girls with glitter in the hair and boys with white cones with stars on their heads. They are singing. Lucia comes with Lucia bread (sweet) and gingerbread. The Scandinavian tradition has its roots in Saint Lucia.]

photo by hector mora

Friday, December 12, 2008

city lights

Gothenburg is totally lit up in different ways and colours as part of the Christmas decorations. This is to attract more people to come and experience the holiday feeling (= consume).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gothenburg Thursday

Morning snow on the tram tracks. The snow disappeared soon thereafter, but I got a short moment of winter feeling.

Gothenburg is trams, but also water. I traveled both ways today.

I crossed the water to meet Eric in his studio at Eriksberg. I was totally spoiled by the best of company, good lunch and great art.

Being away from somewhere - and coming back to visit - means that all these people want to meet you. I finished today's Gothenburg tour meeting up with Eva-Carin who gave me one of her angels. A perfect Thursday!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

guest teaching

I'm back in my mother's house after three days guest teaching. I gave a workshop in screenprinting on paper at the program Pattern Design and Printing Techniques at Formakademin in Lidköping. The hardest part was actually driving back and forth (dark and slippery). Teaching was just so fun - and inspiring!

the students were totally motivated - the vacuumtables didn't get much rest.

I took the time to print some simple siluettes on my lunch break - and after work. Great fun!

last night I went to a restaurant in Lidköping and had dinner on my own. I actually really like that - dine all alone in a restaurant.

I now have some days in Gothenburg before returning to London on Saturday.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Gothenburg Sunday

The day started by being served breakfast in bed by my mother. And getting to read the local newspaper. Ah - to be spoiled!

I went to KKV to pick up some papers and materials for my screenprinting workshop. (Tomorrow I will guest teach at Formakademin in Lidköping.) The big house was quiet and empty. Everything was calm, even the view. I've been missing this place.

Then I went to Studio Violet and spent some lovely hours in Camilla's company.

So nice to finally get to see the studio in real life! It sure looked visitable.

Perfect ending to a wonderful day: with my sister at Liseberg enjoying the Christmas feeling.

Tomorrow I will have to get up at 05:00 to drive to Lidköping. Better go to bed now!

Friday, December 05, 2008

the story

I think it is more common that you start with a story - and then make the illustrations. I on the other hand start with the characters, think about who they are, see them in a context - and then make the story! To develop the scenes and the story I print the figures really small on a paper. I cut them out and glue them in my little moleskin. this. I then continue on the figures. Sometimes I just test some visual ideas, sometimes I try to develop the characters or a relationship between them.

I use my yellow book (A4) for sketching the story I discover along the way.

Then I might go from the story back to the moleskin to test a scene. By now I'm more or less halfway through the story and I think I know where it is heading. I can revel this much: it's about a blue boy called Felix.

Tomorrow I'm going to Sweden for a week. (But I will still be here) Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

making characters

My son (now 3,5 years) has for some times now been producing a lot of paintings/drawings. There is this special thing over them - he really experiments with mixing colours and different ways of making marks and combining materials. I felt it would be such a waste throwing them away and invented a little game - basically to make children's book figures out of them. I look and turn the papers and try to see something already there. I cut it out and add something little extra to make the figure stronger or easier to read... this - a few lines.

I have two books where I glue the figures. So far I have many more figures than I need for one book. But it has been my little fun escape from reality - so I can not stop!

All in all I have four books for my children's book project. In the yellow one and the small moleskin I explore the characters, test some possible scenes - and outline the story. But more about that tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

my starting point

As I base most of my work on advertising and mass media imagery I find most of my starting points in magazines like Elle and Vogue. Lately I've been working on a series of drawings accompanied by quotations. These drawings have been appearing now and then here on my blog. To me it is a world so far from the one I live in. It is also an ideal that the mags are selling and many people are striving for. I find it both amusing and somehow sad.

I do not only find the women I draw in the mags, but also their quotations. (yes - it is true!) Only one of the quotations has been slightly altered - can you guess which one?

Tomorrow I'll let you in on how I work with my children's book project.

me in mankind mag

Design for Mankind's latest issue of Mankind Mag is out. The theme is consumption and the mag is featuring my works. Go and check it out!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

photoshop: testing ideas

Sometimes I just know directly how to continue, other times I have to test different ideas. I have two methods: testing additions on loose papers - or in Photoshop. The last method has been really good for me especially when I've wanted to try some ideas late at night and my studio wasn't next door. And it's fast. In the beginning I felt like I was kind of cheating, but I'm over that now!

The camels didn't work at all. They were supposed to form a crown. The original idea was actually to have something on her nose, something that really upset or irritated her. Didn't work! I liked the monocle though.

Monday, December 01, 2008

those who disappeared

one of my secrets - or something you can not see in the finished paintings: those who disappeared... This is a way I create an extra tension or an odd and awkward feeling. It also affects the composition. I know what feeling I am after, but I don't know what the final result will be. I work by intuition and don't do any preparatory sketches.

she is listening. Smiling/laughing or about to say something. Aware of being watched.

she is on her own: "I'm lovin' it"

they are posing - a typical group photo where one person is lost in her thoughts. You would take that photo again and ask her to look at the camera.

The middle figure is gone. The two very different expressions are set against each other and there is a void between them. "she sells seashells by the seashore ..."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

learning my secrets

Starting tomorrow I'm planning a week of revealing how I work with my different projects. I've shown some work in process before, but this is going to be a bit different. I will show you my methods, where I get my inspiration - and my secrets.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

take a dive ...

... into the unknown.

OK - that was the last one for now.

Now over to some product information - or should I call it consumer information? Lulu again; I ordered 10 books of my portfolio - and of course the images (same files as before) looked totally different. Especially the red that got brownish. Though this is print on demand so you can not expect too much. BUT two of the books had smudges and black spots in them. I complained - of course - so they'll send me 2 new ones. I just thought you should know (this is that kind of information I was looking for before starting to order from lulu). Though otherwise it is OK - I am kind of picky. I mean what other options do you have - blurb probably has the same problems? Or?

Anyone wonder about Saatchi online? No - I didn't have enough friends to win. I'm not submitting more works for the other showdowns. This is not my way.