Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cissi and mice in my studio

Today I had Cissi - the pattern queen - working with me in my studio all day. We were both wearing yellow shoes (Cissi's shoes above) and she gave me a short pattern making class ... and then we worked side by side making patterns. Me just playing around to get the concept, Cissi working to meet an important deadline.

After the mice I also started making a pattern based on laughters. I just couldn't help myself. I do love my laughters, even though I whine about them sometimes (they are very tiresome to make as I have to smile all the time to get the right feeling ...It's like the deep love you have for your kids, but sometimes you get irritated and need a break)

[the text poster sketch in my last post wasn't any sign of despair with my own art. I was just taking a break and having a laugh referring to the current trend in interior design; posters with text on the walls - instead of art]

Check out this amazing doll house

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I've been spending far too much time on my own in the studio just painting laughters (I'm so sick of laughters) - today I actually thought screen printing an edition of this text would be a great idea. Seriously.

I really should, shouldn't I?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

the mirror trick

so simple, but it gives me more ideas. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

carpenter's rule

carpenter's rule:
Measure twice
Cut once

everything you learn might come in handy one day. Like the carpenter's rule - even when it is about paper. (But of course I was only reminded of the rule after cutting something I had measured just once and not right). 

brown paper bag (an art blog emphasizing work on paper) has got a series of studio visits

Friday, May 25, 2012

exhibition: Roger Metto

Feeling frustrated over my own art yesterday I went and saw Roger Metto's exhibition Oilstove Country at Galleri Thomassen. I think Metto is a truly original artist and I love his humor and color palette (made me miss oil painting ...). The exhibition lasts until June 10.

small paintings - approx 15 cm broad.
close up of the middle little painting
"Bus" - this painting is a much bigger; 50 x 200 cm.

detailed from the above

Thursday, May 24, 2012

why is it so hard?

Why is it so hard for me to make art almost all the time? 
Almost never flow - or calmly working on. 
Sometimes; almost there, almost there  - yes this might be something! ... but - No, nothing
Not good enough.

Am I asking for too much?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

laughters in my studio

Time flies. Now it's almost end of May. I have to pull myself together and finish at least the first part of my latest project within three weeks. This is of course just a deadline I've set myself. But the plan is that I'll be able to have all the material ready for my book in August/September ... and I have in total five weeks until September when I can work on my own stuff (teaching summer course + vacation will take little more than 2 months away from working on my art). 

Check out Fideli's amazing still lives made out of paper (first under 3D paper cut)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

book review: Sanctuary

Britain’s Artists and their Studios
Editor and interviewer Hossein Amirsadeghi 
Photographer Robin Friend 
(600 pages)

I love to visit other artists’ studios and to hear what they think about their artistic practice and their working process. I’ve now and then been searching Amazon for serious books on the subject and not fond much. Surprisingly little has been written about the importance of the studio for artists in the Western art - especially in modern and contemporary practice, which is also pointed out in “Sanctaury”. So immediately when I learnt that this book was published I ordered it without a second thought. I was very excited when I got my huge package - it is a big book – and I still am excited after three weeks of reading a bit every day. It is a great book!

Sanctuary presents interviews with 120 of Britain’s most renowned artists (counting living in Britain or being originally from Britain) and in most cases visits to their studios – or at least talks about what the studio represents to these artists, if they work without a studio or didn’t want a visit there. For many the studio - or just the idea about it - is a safe place. For others it is just a production place. Then there are artists like for example Liam Gillick, who are not working in a studio at all. Gillick’s works are created in the exhibition spaces. Earlier he did it right there – on the spot – nowadays in three-dimensional computer generated plans.

David Batchelor: I usually do an hour or two of emailing in the morning. I’m in the studio at 9.00 or 10.00 and usually leave around 6.00 or 7.00. 
A regular working day. 

All the interviews are different, even though there might be some questions that reoccur now and then. I feel like the artist shine trough in all their diversity. There is a praiseworthy lack of bullshitting in the interviews - something Amirsadeghi expresses in his foreword as important for this book “There was, I determined from the outset, to be no art-speak in the book”. Yes, I get the impression of sincerity in most artists’ answers.

Cecily Brown on how she can’t help being a painter;
“It is when people want to go on holiday and you have absolutely no interest. It’s an affliction in the sense that I’d rather be here than anywhere else”

 Richard Deacon on the studio;
 “ … It’s a place where you cannot do anything at all. It is not necessary to be always working. I think certain amount of boredom is something quite productive when you are an artist. Your brain is slightly free of obligations, but you have enough time to play, as it were. It can be playing with materials; it can be playing with things. It’s not necessarily just a thinking process, it’s also a physical process attached to materials. Creativity comes out of idleness. One of the things I think an artist does is to pursue those funny thoughts that bubble up”

Phoebe Unwin

Phoebe Unwin: 
 “There aren’t that many rules in my work, but sometimes you need a few rules to not feel inhibited by total freedom. In order to have a rule, I always work in one size of sketchbook. My sketchbook is somewhere I can be very gentle with my ideas”

Dexter Dalwood reflecting on how artists nowadays make art 
“Each work has its own life. Obviously when you are working towards a show it’s different because it takes its own momentum. Historically artists never thought about that. Chardin never painted for a show; he painted paintings. A lot of pre-nineteenth-century artists painted for the Salons and for private collectors. The whole thing of doing a body of work is different, how one painting relates to another painting and how when you go into a room, you are surrounded by them”

Except for the more obvious reoccurring themes in the interviews - the importance of the studio, the artists’ work process etc – Amirsadeghi is returning many times in his interviews to the changed art market and the celebrity status of artists in contemporary Britain. In most other countries this doesn’t exist.  Many older artists refers to the change that started in the British art world in the late 80s with the YBA, like for example Susan Hiller (originally American): 

 “I’d been working with young artists … ([teaching) … so I wasn’t surprised that there was a lot of talent around. What did surprise me was how the government leapt on it as a way to advertise the country. It was fascinating to observe that this old, old, old country tried to present itself as new, new, new and young, young, young! The branding, in other words, that went on between Satchii and the government promoted a group of artists who were very talented indeed but possibly no more so than a lot of other young artists. Art was suddenly hot”

The photographs in Sanctuary really grow on you. The photographer Robin Friend, a young fine art photographer, is normally a landscape artist. I feel like the studios and the artists have been leading Friend when he has been taking the photos - like he has been very open to impression. Many photos are straightforward and “ordinary” in the best of senses (honest) but sometimes Friend couldn’t resist some obvious opportunities - like the photo on the cover - which isn’t wrong either.

Tony Cragg’s studio 
The studios range in size from Tony Cragg’s huge studios in Germany with twenty full time employed workers to John Stezaker’s downstairs studio where he only works at night with his photo collages and Katy Moran’s studio with an outside sink to wash her paint brushes (cold in the winter!). I found it interesting to see that many of the artists have recreated corners in their studios that are like the white cube (galleries/museums).
As an artist myself I’m getting very much out of the artists thoughts on their working process and how they formulate what their art is about. It is interesting to read about their hard work and sometimes doubts and struggles. And I love getting that peek into their studios. This is a book I will return to many times!

Monday, May 14, 2012

hard working girl

I've been a bit quiet here lately, because I've been very busy. Today I've worked for 15 days in a row - and I have two more days to go before I take a little break ... So why so busy? Many reasons. I have this so very exciting "new experiments" going on plus a new toy for my art (I'll share soon), had a very important grant application to put together, a screen printing workshops to teach - and more. Today I'm meeting a gallerist to show my recent work - to keep her informed for my exhibition next year (spring) - so I've also put together some materials showing sketches, art works and my process. I'm still in a developing phase with my new work, but now I feel like I know where I'm heading ... so I think I'll be able to give her an idea. (It will be interesting to see what she thinks.)

interesting link for artists How's my dealing - artists on dealers, galleries, curators etc (mostly in the US) [hint: it's the comments you should read]

Monday, May 07, 2012

Just for Camilla

This image is just for Camilla Engman to look at. A secret message; what I talked about today.

... are you still reading, you who are not Camilla? Curious? I'll let you in eventually.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Art as Business: research and investment phase

The other years when I've been writing about Art and Business I've been mostly concentrating on how to get structured, how to manage time and how to finance my art through my art. Now I'm in a different phase concentrating on moving up to the next level with my art (not my "art as business" - there I've already advanced). I couldn't really do that before when juggling too many projects. Basically I didn't have the time to go deep into my art, to experiment and achieve more. Also: having too many exhibitions coming up forced me in some way to be consistent ...

So I needed to save up some money to get the time - and take a break from exhibiting and doing different art projects. After finishing my commission in August last year that's been what I'm doing: having the time for playing around and no pressure (but from myself). You could say I gave myself a working grant. Now I've soon run out of the saved money, but luckily I have some few incomes from teaching art occasionally so I'll do my best to stretch this period until winter. I've so far succeeded in holding back on getting involved in art projects in order to concentrate on just my "own" art (here I make a distinction between my own art and commissions for example). Luckily I haven't either gotten any more public commission (yes, I think it is good. A commission would have been a big distraction).

So lately I haven't tried to "market or sell" my art really, because I haven't felt able to define it. This has been kind of scary and weird for me ...but at the same time I know it is necessary to take this break.

As I see it I'm investing in my art...

Thursday, May 03, 2012

connecting the dots?

I'm in the middle of choosing what material to use for my annual application for the Swedish Arts Grants Committee (for a working grant).

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


Today was a nice and sunny day, not too windy. So finally I could continue spray painting this glass test outdoors. Very kitsch (on purpose). But not finished yet. Most of the time I'm working on something totally different (that I'm not showing here), but I think I will be able to connect the dots to a bigger picture in the end. As somehow, it is about the same thing anyway. You know: same same, but different.

Jag fick just en ledig plats på min kortkurs i screentryck på papper 11-13 maj. (jag tar anmälan ända fram till söndag.) Mer info om kursen här.