Notions of aloneness

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inspiration / Nature

Found these while out walking – torn off their home in the strong winter gales – lying a little destitute on the road.

A good contrast between the rugged surface of the road and the green, pointed needles with long shadows.

A bit forlorn and lost – granted – a little peace for now lying flat on the ground, a little peace before the winds return and throw me about again…

A small embroidery, perhaps – a closer look at texture?

Sometimes life sucks…

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Thoughts to ponder

Sometimes life sucks, and sometimes life sucks big time – this is one of those sometimes…

A change of path – not voluntarily – long proces – lots of emotion, but one of the consequences is that I need to take a break from my studies and concentrate on work to make a basic living.

Relief and sadness – will try to illustrate these the coming weeks.

Matisse on process

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Artists for inspiration / Process notes / Thoughts to ponder

I always use a preliminary canvas the same size for a sketch as for a finished picture, and I always begin with color. With large canvases this is more fatiguing, but more logical. I may have the same sentiment I obtained in the first, but this lacks solidity, and decorative sense. I never retouch a sketch: I take a new canvas the same size, as I may change the composition somewhat. But I always strive to give the same feeling, while carrying it on further. A picture should, for me, always be decorative. While working I never try to think, only to feel.

Page 63 in Matisse, in search of true painting, edited by Dorthe Aagesen and Rebecca Rabinow.

While working I never try to think, only to feel

Is that what I also do?

In what way does nature inspire me?

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inspiration / Nature / Thoughts to ponder

I try to go for a walk every day. There is one road, so my choice of route is dependent on the wind. If I go towards West I have a view over fields and water, and if I turn East, I have a fjord on my left and a wood on my right. Every day is different, and every day brings a new perspective to life and art.

Today I took the eastern way. The sky was a mix of grey, blue and a little rose, the shadows long and the trees bare silhouettes. I tried to look at my view with a 2D perspective, trying in my mind to set up a canvas or cut a piece of cloth – what are the main areas, what defines a muddy field contra a grey-silvery piece of still water?

What is it about nature that inspires me and make me take lots of photos. Just not now, my phone doesn´t like the cold so the battery goes flat after a little while.

I am planning to bring a little notebook and some Neopastels with me every time I go out. I want to try to capture different impressions this way than by always taking photos.

I wonder, what am I going to do with all these photos, all this inspiration? Or do I need to use it for anything, isn´t part of natures wonder to be self consistent and omnipotent – what is it I use?

Is it the light, the texture, the colour, does it inspire feelings or am I looking for the essence – the formless behind the form?

And if that is the case, how to?

A few words from two of my favorite artists;

David Hockney in A bigger Message by Martin Gayford;

Drawing makes you see things clearer, and clearer, and clearer still. The image is passing through you in a psysiological way, into your brain, into your memory – where it stays – it is transmitted by your hands. Page 84-85.

I think I need to read this book again – love it 🙂

Matisse as cited in Matisse, in search of true painting edited by Dorthe Aagesen and Rebecca Rabinow;

Well, take that table, for example, he said, pointing to one nearby, on which stood a jar of nasturtiums. I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me… page 63

The abyss of being – 4. Sunday of Advent

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The seasons

So the fourth Sunday of Advent has arrived, and with this day also the holiday season for many.

This was not a year of happy Christmas decorating for me – but one of the few things around is a huge purple advent wreath. The candles are so large that it has managed to burn almost all of December and turning into beautiful light sculptures.

Contemplating this last year and looking at and into the individual candles has made me thing of the abyss of being –

  • how we dońt know the outcome of anything
  • how a lot of questions are never answered
  • How pain often is a lifelong companion

But still the light reflects in new and unknown ways – making small paths in the dark.

So maybe that is the thought for this dark season – there will be a small light around – keep looking…

Colour analysis of Manchu Robe

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Colour / Part one - Project 2

Just needed to see what my Pantone app would make of the beautiful robe from China as mentioned in the last blogpost.

– Wild Orchid, 16-2120 TCX

– Sweet Corn, 11-0106 TPG

– Delphinium Blue, 16-4519 TPG

– Desert Mist, 14-1127 TCX

– Quail, 17-1505 TCX

A triadic harmony between Wild Orchid, Delphinium Blue and Desert Mist?

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This scarf is also within this colour palette, sorry about the light;

A slightly different composition in the Pantone app.

Waterfall, Dusty Rose, Duffel Bag, Fir and Marron. Could be the light, but still good enough to make sense of the colour palette.

Chinese notes – clues to the pillow

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Part one - Project 1

I have been looking for clues to the golden pillow, and so I got this book on loan from the library,

It is the catalogue from an exibition in 1995 in Hong Kong with mainly silken textiles from the Ming and Qing dynasties in China.

I was looking for dragons but found all kinds of beautiful stuff, colours, form and details instead.

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Lovely colours and forms, lots of inspiration and snapshots to go on working with. Maybe I had a notion of Chinese art being inferior to Japanese, but any such assumption has been laid to rest now!!

I was especially intrigued by a robe made by Kesi slit tapestry weaving – wonderful colour palette and patterns.

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The text is calling it a Manchu Ladies Robe, ca. 1890 – 1905. Perhaps worn by the Empress Dowager Cixi, who according to the text above favoured pastel shades of lavendler and turquise with designs of spider chrysanthemums interspersed with shou longevity characters. (Page 250)

Ref to artikel: Coat of many colours, Stephen McGuinness in Mondial Collections vol 1, no. 1, p. 82 – need to look it up and work with the colour palette.

Lovely book – wish I could keep it…

The golden silk pillow – a part of my story

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Part one - Project 1

I have absolutely no idea where the golden pillow comes from, and why it was one of the few items that I painstakingly have been taking care of for decades.

Well, I know sort off why I have been moving it around for so long, sometimes pulling it out of its cover, carefully touching it lightly before returning it to its cover of darkness. It is one of the few things left over from my adoptive mother. She was a hard woman. Maybe the pillow represent the hope for love, affection and a place to belong in the world?

I know very little about her past before she married my adoptive father. She had no contact with her own family, hated them, never spoke of them, so…

I vaguely remember the golden pillow from my childhood. It was situated on a very beautiful chaiselong in a posh room only used once or twice a year, Christmas Eve for instance. It had a fellow on the chaiselonge, a more traditional kind of pillow.

One day all the furniture in the posh room was gone, and I have no idea how I ended up with the pillows. Perhaps I asked in a golden moment?

And so decades have gone by, they have been dead and gone for years, so no one to ask.

Until this assignment – time to look at the golden pillow and perhaps discover a bit more.

And so I have, I now know her parents name from the electronic church cronicles, and I know where she grew up – all thanks to a local archive storing that kind of information.

This has been a weird journey – from knowing next to nothing to knowing a fair bit in four days.

No clues to the pillow, though, and then again. Perhaps it can be tracked to a large farm where one of the first folk high schools in the world was established around 1860 by a French women. The area was rural and far from Copenhagen in Jutland, so I dońt think golden pillows were standard household items?

Engvang

I have been looking for similar pillows, but so far no luck – the pattern looks Asian, chinese perhaps with the dragon motive, so maybe someone brought it home to Denmark around 1900? A lot of overseas trading took place in those years.

I will continue to look into this, and have plans to contact the Danish Design Museum to see if they can help, but for now, it is fine to have discovered this part of my story 🙂

Aprons – stories of the pocket

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Part one - Project 1

Aprons are a long time stable in the western civilisation – I think we all have seen a picture of an elderly woman in an apron, being busy in the kitchen. I read that a generation or two ago, it was customary to donne an apron when you turned fifty. Somehow both a useful accessory and also a sign of aging. I think that is rapidly changing.

But aprons are also for men, the butcher with his knife, the blacksmith with his fire and perhaps the modern man in the garden tending the Weber grill.

I have used aprons for years, they are practical, but they also symbolise a long, female tradition of nourishment along with the passing of seasons. I use aprons in the kitchen but also for painting, ceramics, dyeing, you name it.

I have a thing for the pockets… I have written short stories about the contents of apron pockets, and I have been known for carrying my phone in my apron pocket, ready for process pictures or snapshots. Recently I nearly left a workshop in Italy without my phone, it was left behind in an apron pocket.

But an apron pocket also carries secrets of its own. Treasures can be hidden in a pocket – a little piece of string, a match, a hint of flour, a pair of scissors to cut fresh produce, a coin and an old recipe for tea-cake.

The apron – lots of stories, lots of history, lots of myth and lots of practicality 🙂 – and a textile project, perhaps ?

A rotten day – can nature help? – can inspiration?

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inspiration / Nature

These last November days have been rotten – rotten in numerous ways – no time, no space, no resources…

For the first day in a while the sun was a little out yesterday so I went for a walk to get some air and some perspective on all the rotten stuff.

The sky is all over the place on days like this.

Makes the heart a little lighter, the perspective a little clearer;

And provides inspiration for mark-making – pastels perhaps ?

And low sun to comfort the heart 🙂

A little less rotten day ?