Friday, March 30, 2012

landscape ready

close up

This glass test turned out really interesting. I'm still not sure how I'll apply it, but I keep telling myself that I'm in an exploratory phase here ... and things don't have to make sense - yet...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

process: landscape in glass

I'm continuing my glass tests. This is the landscape which I'm painting just in black and white as a contrast to the ice-cream. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

painting and balloons

I'm thinking I should do something with balloons. At least I would like to fill my studio with like 500 balloons on an ordinary Wednesday, just because it would feel great.

Monday, March 26, 2012

birthday busy

Thursday, March 22, 2012

ice cream ready

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

taking a carpentry course

Many things going on now and the day still just has 24 hours. I'm going to take a short introduction course for the wood workshops at KKV - tonight we are meeting to present our projects. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

a little preview; studio visit

Today I visited Tina Frausin's studio in the bright spring light and took photos of her working space and got some interesting answers to my questions. Coming up soon a new section for my Art as Business series; studio visits with interviews.

[Hopefully the studio visit will be posted here on Sunday, but the son is turning seven and we are planning parties on both Saturday and Sunday ... ]

Sunday, March 18, 2012

celebration; ice cream and whiskey!

This calls for a celebration:
- my little glass experiments turned out even better than hoped
- one of the artists taking my weekend workshop in screen printing (at KKV) gave me a bottle of Whiskey today because I was such a great teacher (Thank you Åsa - you made me so happy!)
- this is post no 1 000 here on my blogg!

...I'm opening my whiskey ...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pop-up shop

On my way home today I stopped by "Studion" and their pop-up shop. A lot of things to see that I hadn't seen in real life before. Like the Rym products, Cecilia's patterns that she exhibited at the furniture fair, Elisbeth's second hand finds and Fine little Day, Anna Backlund's hand tufted figures - and more. Cecilia used to have the studio next to mine, but I can see how she feels at home here ... I should get around visiting more often!

The pop-up shop is open tomorrow as well.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

preparing for glass reliefs

I'm making some still life in aluminum foil for shaping the glass. Basically these experiments are material tests; is it best with flat or do I want a border, with aluminum foil only (how much will it sink, burn and disappear?) contra with an underlying supportive structure. I would prefer if the "only aluminum foil" would work - that would make it possible to work in a much more intuitive and direct way when making shapes. I've also made a landscape, but at this state it looks horrible - which probably means it has potential.

[landscapes and still life - is this really me?]

Tomorrow I'll go to the pop-up shop in Cissi's and Elisabeth's studio (where you will also find Anna Backlund and Anna Pernilla) on my way home from my glass experiments.

Monday, March 12, 2012

further glass tests

photo from November last year, when I made another glass test.

I'm spending all this week at KKV (artist run collective workshops) doing some more glass tests for an ambitious project that I'm not ready to share yet. But I'm also working on some small fun experiments I'll definitely show you right away when I'm getting somewhere!

I'm happy Tiger likes my Snowwhite screen print. (I still have some left if anyone is interested)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Art as Business: book review

Yes - my series Art as Business is back! The content will be a bit different - less about me (already been there), more about others. I will also now and then review books relevant to the subject (If you have any book tips, I'm grateful!) and here comes the first one: 

How to make a living doing what you love
by Jackie Battenfield

I read this book (guide) over Christmas as part of my preparations for my own Art as Business class over at Camp Pikaland and was very pleased with the book. Reading it I was nodding and humming, yes, yes … I agree …that’s something I should do. Hahaha .. just like I always say …

This is a serious guidebook for Fine Art artists. Here I really make the distinction between Fine Art and other art – because these worlds function differently in many ways. Many of the things you need to know and that you are not taught in art school you will find in this book. The author Jackie Battenfield is an artist herself sharing her own experiences as a self-supportive artist for the last 20 years, but also her experiences as a former gallery director in New York before that. The book contains also example from other artists. In addition more or less every page has quotes from artists and other art professionals (like gallerist, curator, art advisor) in the margins adding more thoughts about the subjects. For example:

“You have to find a balance between getting yourself out there – networking, meeting and greeting people – and not letting that distract you too much from the work that you re doing. Your job is to be in the studio from at least 9 till 5, if not more. If you don’t want to do that, then you shouldn’t be an artist in the first place. But networking is a big part of it. When you are not in the studio, you’ve got to get out there”
- Christin Tierney, art advisor

(Not saying that I agree with this quote. I don't think Jackie Battenfield does either - it would mean no artist could have a family with children)

I must say this book keeps the promise it makes on the back cover “Finally, a comprehensive guide for visual artists that imparts the practical knowledge you need to build a flourishing life and career” (and I am always a very critical reader especially if something sound even the tiny weeny bit like success literature. This book is not at all that). Some parts though are specific for the United States.

But what does it mean - a guide book? It could have very different content and still be a guidebook. As this is the kind of information I'm always looking for when judging if a book should be something for me, I'm of course getting into that. The artist's Guide is divided into four sections:

Taking charge is divided into two parts: planning/taking action and Tools to support your work. The first shorter part is about how to know what you really want to achieve and how to plan for it. (This is something you will and should find in any serious book about reaching your goals, no matter in what field you work) The second part is about how you should work on assembling tools to support your work (photos, artist statement, CV etc) I very much like that Battenfield initially motivates why you need good photos and text to be able to convince about your art. Jackie Battenfield then goes into how to think when for example documenting an exhibition/performance/installation, how to mark your work samples, describe your work in text and write your artist statement etc. She gives examples from several artists.

Circulating your work starts by acknowledging that there is not one simple way “for making it” and that there are different art worlds. This section describes the different fields you should know about. It goes into peer networking and creating your own opportunities, the professional community of non-profit and commercial venues. It is very good how Battenfield here actually mentions timing; that it is also important to know when you yourself as an artist is in a certain phase when you should wait to show your work (for example when you are changing material or taking any other new direction and need to mature in what you do). This section of the book is also about how to do your homework about where you want to exhibit and what should be in your “artist package”, how to build long-term professional relationships and contains an exhibition checklist.

Supporting your work is about artistic survival: how to secure material, space and time to make the artwork. Battenfield here starts by writing about the importance as an artist to have multiple sources of incomes. Further this section is a bit about pricing, knowing how much you spend and making a budget. When getting into tax reports and credit cards this part of the book - of course - gets very specific for the states. The same goes for the following chapters about fund-raising and legal stuff, but you will find some more general information about how to apply for funds for art projects and making a budget for an art projects, that I think will go for most countries.

Maintaining your practice is about day to day practice; knowing how your spend your time by tracking it (here I smiled in recognition!), organizing and record keeping of art works, getting an assistant (yes, please!) and community building. The last one is a lot about supporting each other as artists emotionally and for sharing information. In this chapter Battenfield also discusses handling rejections and remembering to relax from time to time…

I would like to underline that this book is not just text about what you should know. The artist's guide also contains suggested exercises, for example: how to research your regional non-profit art exhibition opportunities, brainstorm on new ideas to get more exposure for your upcoming exhibition and how to get about to write your artist statement. Every section has also listed resources for further reading


I would first of all recommend this book to fine artists starting out, but this book is also useful for artists at almost any stage of their career feeling a bit lost. You can always learn how to do things better or be reminded of how important some things are. I was myself reminded of the importance of saying “thank-you” and got some tips on record keeping and brain storming for an exhibition. (This book is less suited for an illustrator or someone into arts and crafts)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

spray paint + screen print

spray paint
screen print

I like the idea of things not being what they seem to be. Like this test; spray painting using a cut paper mask, then transferring that image directly to the screen printing printing frame's photo emulsion (without "passing through" the computer) - and then screen print the image on paper...

I'm not sure exactly what I'll do with this, but it will come to me. Could it become my way of doing graffiti? I'm not someone painting on walls (chicken!) unless it's a commission ... check the images in yesterday's post and you'll see that I even had a board behind the glass  - to protect the wall from my spray paint (but i thought the graffiti on the wall looked cool)

Monday, March 05, 2012

no comment

Today at 13:37

Friday, March 02, 2012

building a screen printing table

I've for some time been thinking about constructing myself a small screen printing table for the studio. I figured out how to do it myself and it was almost as easy as I had thought!

I wanted the table to be easy to store away so some parts should be removable.
Old vacuum cleaner and the Ikea side table Lack. I chose "lack" because it is hollow - and cheap.
I then draw myself a grid and drilled many holes. 
Then I turned the table around and drilled a hole for attaching the vacuum cleaner. I then discovered that Ikea had added som kind of cardboard cells to strengthen it - most had to be removed or I wouldn't get the right suction.
To attach the vacuum cleaner in a smarter way I went and bought plastic curved pipe (for plumbing). (Middle-aged men looked at me in a weird way when I walked around with the slang of the vacuum cleaner around my neck as a snake and tried to attach it to different plumbing pipes.). 

As the pipe wasn't a perfect fit for the drilled hole - which I didn't want it to be - I made it bigger with several layers of black electrical tape. It then got more flexible in the connection, which means removable, but was still tight enough. (I had first thought I would put silicone, but realized I wanted to be able to turn the pipe to be able to attach the vacuum cleaner in different angles to make the table more flexible) 

I had bought special hinges for screen printing, as a short-cut, which I then mounted on the side. As I had discovered the the table was weaker in constructions than I had thought I glued a piece of wood on the border and attached the hinges there.

(You could construct you own hinges with screws for attaching the screen printing frames, I'm sure)

As I wanted my table to be placed on other tables I bought short legs. When I found these legs I got extra happy - this ways I could secure my table to the bigger table! I plan to drill holes in my other working bench and attach the table legs' screws from in-under.
Voilà - it is ready!
I've test printed and everything works smoothly.