Portrait of my brother

I actually finished this years ago, in 2010. The figure in grisaille – my brother – is only underpainting and the plan was an experiment in Caravaggio chiaroscuro. But when seeing it against the rose madder lake background it made me hesitate, I liked it too much. I had longed to make a chiaroscuro portrait so it was difficult to choose not to continue. Other work came in the way, the decision was postponed and nothing happened.

Then an artist friend of mine came by. Her reaction was wow! I have a profound trust in her artistic intuition, so when telling her my plans for it, she said: No, it is finished! You do see that!

One of many times she has helped me with aesthetic dilemmas. I now consider it finished and—tail between legs—I can finally varnish it and deliver it to my beloved brother.

Portrait of my brother

Temporary studio in France

Sometimes what would seem like the most ideal place for inspiration can be distracting. This time, luckily, that was not the case. After a stressful period of many changes I suddenly found myself in an ancient space with a relatively cool breeze (43°C outside). Finally just me and the inner world. And a glass of whine …

Temporary studio in France

Off you go …

Decades of living, feeling, longing and thinking. Ideas and images spurring from a child’s heart up into adulthood. Three years of writing and three years of rewriting. Then one day it was ready enough to be let go of.

I’m referring to my novel that is being sent off to two dozen publishers and literary agents. The story takes place in a vagely defined 20th century vision of the Stockholm archipelago with its thirty thousand islands. I call it a witnessed tale about the borderland between saga and reality and the young Ivan’s confrontation with the dreams and horrors of childhood. Adventure, auto-fiction, Socratic dialogue and mythic realism.

I wish you luck, dear book!

svenska trollkarlar

Documentary about a 16th century warship

Mars Makalös mosaik

During the summer and fall of 2014 I was commissioned to assist as historic consultant for the shooting of a documentary about the Swedish warship Mars Makalös that sank in 1564. The powder house caught fire and exploded during the heated battle between the Swedes on one side – led by Admiral Jakob Bagge under King Erik XIV – and Danish as well as Hanseatic forces from Lübeck. Mars rapidly sank and took with her up to 800 Swedish and German soldiers to a depth of 70 meters. It was just outside the northern coast of Öland in the Baltic Sea.

In 2011 the wreck was discovered by Richard Lundgren, his brother Ingemar and their colleague Fredrik Skogh – professional divers and wreck hunters – peaking a 20-year search. It was decided a documentary should be made about the ship, her history and life at sea during 1560’s, but not the least about the adventure of finding her. I was contacted to be part of the production and oversee historic correctness for the dramatized scenes, in terms of scenography and costume and as far as budget allowed.

SR P4 intervju härlägret

Here is an interview by Swedish Radio that visited us during the shooting of a camp scene (in Swedish) in Visby.

The film is shot and produced by Deep Sea Productions AB, financed by ZDF, German public service, and Swedish Television. It will be released for German and Swedish audiences at the earliest in the spring of 2015.

Here is more about the project from National Geographic.

Study of Mondrian

For fun and as a warmup exercise I made a study of Piet Mondrian’s Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow from 1930. The work is an example of the Dutch artistic movement De Stijl or neoplasticism. They advocated pure abstraction by a reduction to the vertical and horizontal directions, and used only primary colors along with black and white.

By Piet Mondrian, 1930.