Tuesday, June 29, 2010

screen printing book

I've had Screen printing - the complete water-based system for several years now and it is still the best book on screen printing I've come across. I highly recommend it! My Snow White colouring pages (some, not all) are to become screen prints in August, after my summer vacations. Some of the prints will be larger than I've printed before so I've ordered a new frame (70 x 100 cm)!

Monday, June 28, 2010

too much summer

This is what it looks like outside my studio; the wall were I park my bike and the entrance. It didn't get more fun than this today (I keep reminding myself that it used to be Hell Angel's clubhouse - always makes me smile). This is the last week of work in the studio before 4 weeks of vacation, but I feel already very distracted by the fantastic summer weather. If the weather is still sunny tomorrow I'll go to the park instead - with my sketchbook, of course ...

Thereza's got a brand new website
your chance to win the last pack of the card game We are a Happy Family

Saturday, June 26, 2010

midsummer eve

I've said it before: I love June!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

drawing portrait

to get a much needed break from Snow White I spent the day working on a commissioned portrait drawing.

Why do all the portrait awards seem to be rewarding realistic, kind of kitschy - and very boring portraits? Technique seems to be the main focus. See for example Brewer J.C.Jacobsen's Portrait Award for Nordic Artists (check the winners from 2009. There is an open call for 2011 for Nordic artists). Same goes for BP Award as well (just a few exceptions). It's such a pity ... Because it can't be because those are the only sort of portraits being made, can it?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

run out of passion

For two weeks I was so into my colouring pages, making drawing after drawing (not all good), having so much fun. It was like a passionate love affair. Yesterday I made the two drawings with Snow White punching ... and then pfffffff ...
It was like the air going out of a balloon.
I run out of passion.

Today I desperately tried to wake the passion to life again making 8 lousy drawings while faking intensity ... but feeling utterly bored inside. I had thought that this time it was to be love forever.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Art as Business: Evaluation III

It’s been one and a half month since I wrote “Evaluation II” and I must admit that I don’t really remember how I had planned to continue ... but it was supposed to be about teaching art …

"To be a teacher is my greatest work of art." Joseph Beuyes

When having motivated students I really enjoy teaching and find it a constant challenge to improve pedagogically. An extra plus with teaching is that you learn more by doing it.

I haven’t really focused on getting more workshops or guest teaching, but I must say that I have improved my incomes this way anyway. Teaching art has become a small income which I can more or less count on. I’m on a regularly basis giving workshops at KKV (artist-run workshops) for fellow artists and I guest teach at Formakademin in Lidköping. The workshops at KKV are arranged through KKV – but in reality administrated and marketed by myself. I have also to sell in the guest teaching every term. But lately I’ve also been asked to do some teaching/pedagogical work: the two creative school projects and the teaching at the course Art for Public Spaces.

A good decision
Half a year ago I took the decision not to take any more teaching jobs with lousy salary; so I stopped teaching classes for amateurs. Not being tied up two days a week made it possible for me to accept other projects that came along (like the mural project with school children) – so the decision paid off. I am an excellent teacher/pedagogue with a lot of experience and I should of course be paid accordingly!

This spring I taught/gave workshops 13 full days + 15 hours divided on 5 weeks. (Then of course there were preparations.) I’m aiming for something similar for autumn, but will try to double my incomes from teaching art in spring 2011. I don’t want to do too much teaching in autumn as I have two separate exhibitions coming up in October and November.

Oh, I wasn't very motivated to write this post (so it didn't become super entertaining), but felt I didn't want to leave things unfinished. The summer nights are bright and I long for a proper vacation... (just two more weeks before it will happen!)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

cake and wine

So I continue June with more leisure time and good food: today was my birthday.

I'll be back to you tomorrow with a new episode of Art as Business ...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

party party

First there was the preschool summer party in the forest with hot dogs, then I met Camilla in her studio for more refined food. June is turning out to be an excellent month!

When I was a kid I hated hot dogs - and it was served at every party, every barbecue and every excursion. I didn't like ketchup or mustard ... so I grilled the bread and ate it alone... But I always loved cheese though. Wine, that came later ...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

drawing some more ...

Last night we had a little studio get together with wine and tapas, and today in the afternoon I went with my family to see a circus - but I had such a nice time that I didn't take a single photo ...

But I've also been working in the studio of course :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

a good Monday

I cleaned the studio, got the funding for a project for equality within the Arts (I made the application, but the money isn't for me), the first tomato on my balcony is turning red - and I will not work in front of the computer tonight (I will drink wine).

Camilla is giving a workshop in August.

Friday, June 11, 2010

an apple a day

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
But what about the witches?

have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

chocolate brown vs snow white

No matter how hard I try I don't manage to stay within the lines. Who would have thought this would turn out to be so difficult, me being an artist and everything ...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

rain and Danish

Today was rainy and I had a calm day in the studio.

This clip about the Danish language has made me laugh several times.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Art as Business Interview: Rebecca Burkhalter

Rebecca Burkhalter Flicka med fågel, oil on canvas

1.How would you describe your art?

I am a painter. I started painting rather young. I have also been using other techniques, like installation, photo and sculpture. The technique in itself has never been essential to me; to change material has rather been a way for me to trick myself when I’ve gotten stuck and not been able to move on. Now I have been painting for some years as it is a slow process. I had a longer break from painting when studying at Valand School of Fine Art . I was mostly into photography, then I missed the sluggishness of painting too much. When eventually restarting painting I used only black and white for many years, then one colour after the other slowly returned. I’ve just been hanging along.

figurines in Rebecca Burkhalter's studio

I’m always basing my work on something existing (figurines, stuffed animals etc), staying more or less faithful to it. Nature was my starting point for many years; I tried to surpass the traditional way of relating to the landscape, I tried to attain what exist in the grey zone of our attention, what you pass without noticing. Then I painted flowers, which often has been a symbol for the beautiful, the erotic and the exotic. I wished to give them some dignity by subtracting the colour, the traces of the paintbrush in the depicting and the contrast. They just existed. My present world of imagery has the same core as before, figurines, stuffed animals, book marks, fairy tales, photography. They are restrained, but demanding attention at the same time as they are turning away from the spectator. Restrained with a glimpse in their eye.

2. Do you make a living out of your art and related practices – or do you combine it with another job?

I can’t live from my art practice alone; incomes tend to be rather irregular and occurring in connection with exhibitions or when getting grants/scholarships. Most of the time I have been complementing my incomes with something else. I’ve been teaching at Art Schools, worked as projects leaders within Public Art Projects etc. Nowadays me and my husband Thomas Zornat (also an artist) run a framing workshop where we each work two days per week. It’s rather fun as it is related to our profession; I meet interesting people and get to see a lot of art. We have three children, a house, dog, cat and a guinea pig – which obliges.

Rebecca Burkhalter Bo, oil on board

3. How long have you been working professionally as an artist?

Since 1997 when I graduated from Valand School of Fine Art.

4. Have you had a big break? If not; any turning point?

I have not had any “big break”. I’ve been exhibiting a lot, but can’t really say that one exhibition has given more than the other. I am very persistent and determined in my work. But you can say that I’ve had big breaks when it comes to myself; afterwards I have come to terms with what I work with - which is an amazing discovery. Otherwise I would say that I’m rather focused in my artistic work and I receive respect from my surroundings and at my exhibitions.

5. What is your primary client base?

That’s differing: private customers, municipals, the Region, the Art Council

6. Describe your work environment. Do you work alone or with others? In a studio or at home? Does this arrangement work for you, and if not, what would your ideal work environment look like?

I have an excellent studio in my house. At first, before moving here, I was a bit worried if it would work, but it’s been much better than expected and I feel very comfortable with the arrangement.

Rebecca Burkhalter's studio

7. Do you have a typical workday? How much time do you spend creating and how much on business related activities?

A typical workday: the dog and me walk the kids to school, and then we go for a not too short or too long dog walk. On returning home I go to my studio and work there until the afternoon. The day has a fixed schedule, as a normal job. Normally I don’t work at night, but I might go and pay my figures (or whatever I am working on) a visit, to check how they are doing. I definitely spend more time in the studio than networking.

8. Which marketing strategies have/have not been successful in advancing your career?

I might have to pass on that question, because I don’t know. I have a website, I’ve printed a little catalogue and I stay in touch with different galleries.

Rebecca Burkhalter Katt vid brunn, oil on board

9. Can you share any tips on business organization or financial planning that have worked well for you?

No, that’s a difficult question to answer. As we are two artists in the family you might think it could have gotten difficult, but we have always managed to be good at timing: when we’ve almost run out of money everything has suddenly been solved thanks to a good sale or a grant or something else. We have always worked hard, so it has worked out so far.

10. Do you have any advice on how to rebound emotionally from rejection or difficult client situations?

I have not had any difficult client as far as I can recall. Some gallery might have been slow with paying me my part of the money from sales. But it could also be that I have a selective memory; being good at forgetting the bad experiences. Of course I’ve gotten my fair part of rejections when applying for exhibitions, but that was more common in the beginning of my career when I applied in a more active way. I rather consider it to be part of the job; handling rejection. Nowadays it’s probably more me turning down offers.

Rebecca Burkhalter Dummerjöns, oil on canvas

11. Based on your experience, what suggestions or lessons learned would you give to someone starting out as an artist?

Try to get to the core, find the essential, of what you work with – after that it’s just about hanging along on the ride and not forcing it. Listen to yourself.

12. What would you like to accomplish in 2010?

I have a whole bunch of paintings waiting on line to be painted. It’s a gang of figurines who I will very much enjoy meeting once they have been painted. And then I have a large amount of clay in my studio calling for attention; maybe now is the time for it. We will see.

13. What are your long-term career goals as an artist?

Persistence will pay off

Rebecca Burkhalter Pojke och snigel, oil on board

14. Finally: Can you share something inspiring?

Some books; The gravedigger's daughter and Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates. Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis. All books by Roald Dahl; they have been absolutely wonderful to read with the children – they are just as fun, scary and good for grown-ups as for children.

Tradera is for me a well of inspiration that never runs dry.

Last but not least, to make life even a bit more fun, buy a Golden Retriever of good breeding and give it a proper upbringing. An unexpected tip from me who doesn’t really like dog. But you can always change …

Rebecca Burkhalter Räv, oil on canvas

Thursday, June 03, 2010

colouring pages

With the pedagogical mural project finished, the screen prints for the Fishes and Birds project sent to the Netherlands and my exhibition over - I will now spend all June in my studio working on whatever I feel like.

Aris sent me a Snow White coloured by her son (top left one), because it made her think of my art. It was so inspiring that I started making my own colouring pages. Unfortunately I didn't realize how hard it was to stay within the lines when colouring....

Thank you Aris!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

pedagogical mural project III

It has been a long day, the kids were absolutely great and now it is done.
Tomorrow I will rest.