Let’s go Green!

No, this is not a blog about me getting into environmentally friendly materials. It’s literally about colour.

I have always had a bit of a struggle working with green, so I knew from the start this was going to be challenge.

The summer of 2015 was indeed rather unusual. The hard winter left a substantial amount of snow extending the “motif hunting season” into the summer. Another curious aspect of this, was the the exchanging of the browns and beiges into different shades of green, some rather intense.

Whenever the snow pulls back exposing the soil to the sun, the ground thaws and the gras will eventually come back. Normally the process takes a few weeks and this occurs in a mixture of earthy colour up against the white snow. For 2015, the patches of snow lasted much longer and the ground was exposed to a much higher temperature. This speeding up gave us white and green! This series of paintings are all from the same location using the exact same image.

There is a lot going on, I admit. I spent months adding details that had to be covered up in the end. It just got too busy.

So, maybe not to everyone’s liking, here are some “Very late in the season-Rafdals”.

“Kvamsstølen 2015” Acrylic and oil on board.

“Kvamsstølen 2015” Acrylic and oil on board.
“Kvamsstølen 2015” Acrylic and oil on canvas. 145×140 cm.

Haugesund Billedgalleri

Fredag 14. februar opnar utstillinga “Den Store Stillheten” i Haugesund Kunstforening (lokalisert i Haugesund Billedgalleri). Denne utstillinga vil visa eit stort utvalg av større format, inkludert eit motiv frå Løkjelsvatnet i Etne. Dette er eit triptyk på 150 x 390 cm. Dette er det største enkeltverket eg har utført, og det blir interessant å sjå det presentert i den store salen på Billedgalleriet.

Mot Stillheten

“Den Store Stillheten” 150 x 390 cm.

Verket er inspirert av eit fotografi eg fekk låna av Erling Bjarte Rullestad, og er delt inn i tre individuelle lerret. Eg har behandla dei tre delene med litt ulik tilnærming, slik at dei framstår som tre individuelle sekvensar. Korte augneblikk der lyset og atmosfæren skiftar ørlite mellom kvar “ramme”.

Utstillinga skulle opprinneleg ha tittelen “Den Siste Snøen”, men i eit såpass stort utstillingsrom er det viktig å ha eit godt spenn på motivvalg og fargebruk. Om ein ikkje har fokus på dette, kan det fort bli noko monotont. Difor har eg utvida tidsramma for når motiva er tatt, og inkludert nokre verk frå midt på vinteren. Likevel er det størst fokus på snøsmeltinga i april-mai. Uansett måtte utstillinga få ein ny tittel som fanga opp heilskapen, og valget fall på “Den Store Stillheten”. Denne tittelen er inspirert av ei utstilling eg var med på i Marie Tak  van Poortvliet Museum i Holland.

Hestaskarnuten

“Inn i Stillheten” 125 x 170 cm.

Eit nytt motiv som blir presentert både som grafikk og maleri er “Hestaskarnuten”. Dette er eit fjellparti der far min tilbrakte mykje tid i sin ungdom. Fotografiet som blei brukt som utgangspunkt er tatt av Helga Markhus.

Nordstøldalen

“Nordstøldalen” 115 x 135 cm.

Det har også vore tid til å prøva ut nye måtar å henta inn motiv på. Bror min, Albert har ei drone som gir motiv i skikkelig fugleperspektiv. Snøsmeltingsperioden er ei tid der det er nesten umogleg å koma seg langt innover fjellet, så slike hjelpemiddel kan visa seg å bli svært nyttige framover. Motivet frå Nordstøldalen er resultat av eit slikt dronefoto.

Frå Olalia

“Frå Olalia” 125 x 170 cm.

Eit motiv eg lenge har hatt lyst til å gjera eit nytt forsøk på, er “Olalia”, som eg utførte for nokre år sidan. Den gongen gav dette motivet meg store utfordringar, så eg tenkte det var på tide å utfordra det komplekse terrenget ein gong til. Heldigvis vart det ein noko lettare prosess denne gongen, men dette er uansett eit motiv med mange nyanser som er viktig å treffa korrekt om det skal bli eit godt resultat.

Vinternatt

“Ei Vinternatt går mot Slutten” 125 x170 cm

Eit motiv som fekk mykje merksemd sist eg utførte det, var “Vinternatt”, ein versjon av “Mot Sørnuten” der eg gjorde stemninga om til eit nattmotiv. Dette var meint som ein homage til Harald Solberg, som hadde utstilling i Nasjonalgalleriet samstundes. Eg har no gjort ein ny versjon i litt andre fargenyanser.

Dette er kun eit lite utvalg av dei ca 30 verka som blir presentert.

Almost there, but out of reach.

Kattastølen 200x140_edited-1

This 200 x 140 cm canvas has been been kicked around in the studio for a while. Larger pieces like this take a bit more courage to manage. It’s more physical in every sense. I for the most part prefer working with the surface in about level, allowing the high viscosity paint to flow naturally. It’s also a bit more forgiving towards my back and shoulders. However, as the formats get in the execs og 140 cm across, the sentral regions of the canvas get out of reach without ending up in a rather harsh working position. The solution is to alternate between this and something a little more easy to handle.

So what about this piece? Is it finished or does it need some more mist. At the moment it’s possibly lacking a little depth.  It’s hard to say. I will be back with the final version soon.

Working on Commission

Occasionally customers approach me with the desire to have a piece made from a location of their own choice. How can I make this work for both my client and myself? What if, at the end of the line, the client decides the artwork isn’t quite like he/she imagined it? And how about taking on something that doesn’t quite go along with my style and preferences?

I have made this easy for both parts by making some rather simple requirements:

You may bring your own photo reference for the piece. However, I’m inclined to reject any image that doesn’t meet the standard for my production. The image doesn’t have to possess the atmospheric details my paintings and drawings entail. I quite often start with a rather plain image. Some level of sunlight might add some interest, as it sure gives the landscape more depth and “volume” through the casting shadows. The number one reason for rejecting an image is the amount and distribution of snow. No a dark mountain with a few reclining patches of snow at the top, please.

Inn i Stillheten

“Into the Silence” From seljestad. This is the first version of four paintings in various formats. The couple commissioning this piece has now mounted the painting in their mountain cabin, and it looks great.

Lysenuten Sandeid:Vikedal 140x80

My most recent commission for a private client. This impressive scenery is taken from Lysenuten between Sandeid and Vikedal. 140×80 cm. Acrylic on canvas.

You are merely given the option to be the first to consider the piece. I will make it according to my preferences, and you will take it or leave it as is. Sorry, I will not add your sisters dog in the foreground or give the skies a little purple tint to go along your recently purchased wall paper. It is what it is …

On the other hand, you are not obliged to take the piece. I will hopefully find another client for it. No hard feelings.

I will reserve the rights to make further version from the same motif.

So, that’s basically it.

Around Holmavatnet, The last Snow.

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Sometimes people approach me with some really interesting motifs they have captured on camera. As long as the pictures correspond with a specific set of features I want in my works, I can take on pretty much anything. It’s actually rather convenient as I don’t have to make the somewhat hard journey far into the mountains in deep and soft snow. It can be really hard to negotiate for the most.

Terje Fosse captured som really nice images from an area I remember well from my childhood. Some of my friends families had their cabins in this area, and my family went skiing there quite frequently. Terje kindly allowed me to use his images and this has so far resulted in two large pieces.

The small birch wood is just about able to survive this tough environment, and they make a really interesting touch when included in the composition.

2019-04-08 08.44.46“Mot Lysenuten” 190×130 cm. Acrylic on canvas.

 

 

Ved Holmavatnet“Ved Holmavatnet” 145×110 cm. Acrylic on canvas.

Recycling an old window into picture frames.

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Recently our house has gone through a major refurbishing in a process of taking it back to the original look from around the year 1900.

This major undertaking included replacing the windows with modern replicas of original style.

Hus før

The building prior to the transformation. My studio and show room on the ground floor.

 

Hus etter

Siv Helen doing a great job giving the house a propper coat of paint. The final touch. Note the reclaimed slate tiles and the great windows from Flygansvær Trevare (Vestlansvinduet) custom made locally on Tysnes.

Such a major refurbishing produces an abundance of materials that are mostly taken to the dump. However, I try to keep an eye open for anything the can be reused. To my surprise, the old large window in the front, was fully made from solid teak. I accidentally noticed the exclusive look of the wood whilst braking the darn thing down to manageable pieces for dispatching. It surely looked like some expensive type of wood from the rain forest.

As these types wood are considered non sustainable in our times, this was a rare opportunity to make some rather nice frames. I would hate to see such beautiful material go to waste.

Rammer

The pieces were cut on an electric table saw and then glued together. I tried to make them in formats suitable for my prints.

Rammer II

The result was very pleasing. 

I managed to produce six individual frames in various sizes from the single window.

A final note: I do not cut and mount the actual prints into the frames myself. My professional framer at Dahls Rammeservice in Haugsund was experiencing some difficulties during the mounting and kindly instructed me to make a note of this.  I used some canola oil to treat the surface. I would recommend not to soak the inside of the frame with any such treatment, as it made the mounting tape unable to adhere to the wood.

 

 

“Den Siste Snøen”- Galleri Hagalid

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29. september vil mine arbeider bli presentert på Galleri Hagalid, som ligg i vakre omgivnadar i Hjelmeland kommune. Du trur kanskje du har køyrt feil på den smale vegen som snor seg oppover, men når du kjem opp på platået der det gamle tunet ligg, finn du snart ut at denne plassen har mykje meir å by på enn ein skulle tru. Her finn du eit svært særprega galleri i autentiske eldre bygg, vakkert restaurert og respektfullt påbygd.

Galleristen Hanne Sundbø var svært ivrig på å få til nokre lokale motiv, og eg har no arbeida med tre ulike arbeider utført i akryl og olje i små format, tilpassa galleriet sine intime rom. Eg har også utarbeida ei trykkplate i mezzotint der Reinarknuten er tema. Dette er eit motiv som har mykje kraft og tyngde. Ein nut, men også ein kolossal knytneve i stein. Ein tenkjer at kanskje berre snøen på toppen kan gjera den balansert nok for ei trykkplate. Eg lot meg riva med i prosessen med det vesle maleriet, og vegen vidare var lett å velga. Dette måtte bli eit grafisk blad. Eg vonar desse to uttrykka kan utfylla kvarandre.

Det blir eit variert utval av Maleri, kullteikningar og mezzotint. Skal tru om galleristen diskar opp med noko også? Eg trur opninga kan by på inspirerande overraskingar.

Utstillinga står til 21. oktober. Her har du ein perfekt sjanse til å kombinera ei flott utflukt eller ein fottur med ei kulturoppleving.

Ta gjerne ein kikk på heimesida til galleriet: http://www.hagalid.net

Reineknuten

Reinarknuten. Akryl på plate.

 

 

Reineknuten

Reinarknuten. Mezzotint.

 

 

 

Hagalid

“Den siste snøen på Hagalid”. Akryl på plate.

 

 

Austmannaskaret

“Austmannaskardet” . Akryl på plate.

A commission for Etne Omsorgssenter.

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Over the last months I have been working on my largest canvas ever. It sure has been an extraordinary process, scaling up to 280 x 180 cm.

 

Mot Flokatveitnuten 280x180“Mot Flokatveitnuten” Acrylic on canvas. 280×180 cm.

 

Although this format is to be regarded as rather insignificant compared to many great works of art up through the ages, it proved a bit of a stretch (pun not intended) for my modus operandi. How could I ever reach the centre section, considered the canvas always has to be flat on the floor during some of my operations?

I soon managed to adopt some clever tricks in order to reach the “hard to get to” areas. I attached an extension to some of my tools and brushes.

Then came the issues with the weather. What if it would start to rain whilst the canvas was on the ground outside my studio? In order to keep within a minimum of the recommended health and safety practices I do make en effort to conduct all applications of hazardous art materials such as turpentine and most varnishes outdoors. However, some of these are applied in generous amounts floating on the surface. If a rain shower would appear, I would be rushed to bring the canvas inside, and considered my studio door does not accommodate a 280×180 cm format unless it’s raised up standing, you may imagine the disastrous impact.

However, the weather gods were on my side for a change, and the forecasts proved to be correct. I will probably arrange for some sort of roofing over my out door work area next time, but all in all I would have to say this was a process that proved less problematic than anticipated. Next time I might even try to stretch it a little further.

 

Velcome to Balestrand.

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From May 4th to June 26th my works will be on display at the Galleri Holmen in Balestrand, kicking off the Jazz Festival “Balejazz” on the first weekend of the exhibition period.

I will present some new work selected for this show in particular. The modestly sized 120 x 80 painting titled “Over Vikafjellet” has a rather strange “out of the car window” feel to it, and I was very ambivalent as to how well this photo (taken by the eager photographer Siv Helen during our journey across the country last summer) would work as painting. The horizon line is rally out of level, and this kept bothering me during the process. In the end it turned out rather interesting, and with a slightly different palette it makes  a nice expansion of the range.

In order to connect with the local audience, I found a nice subject for a small 23 x 23 mezzotint and made an edition for this show. The dramatic contrasts in this print is playing very well with the black and white. I hope my attempt to portray the “Keipen” will be well received with the locals.

I also had time for a tiny 17 x 9 mezzotint. This little “baby print” has a dusk or perhaps  dawn-feel, taken from our drive mentioned above. The area of Vikafjellet is located at the border between Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane, and forms the perimeter of the specific type of terrain I pursue to capture in my work.  In our region you find the rounded mountaintops, worn down by the Ice Age. On the other side, the dramatic peaks rising from the fjords.

 

Haukeli in two different sizes.

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As a professional artist, I do need to sell the odd piece for bread and butter. In order to reach a broader audience I try to vary the formats a lot, as some art buyers have limited space available for display, or simply their budget is a little tight.

My most recent session included two very different versions of Haukeli. A full version at 170×125 cm, and a tiny baby at a mere 58×38 cm. The smaller piece being at section from the center features of the large version.

It’s interesting to experience how different the landscape appears after selecting just a small portion rather than scaling it down to size.

2018-03-13 08.37.30

“Haukeli” 170×125 cm. Acrylic on canvas.

2018-03-13 08.38.04

“Haukeli” 58×38 cm. Acrylic on board.