I actually finished this years ago. The figure is an unfinished underpainting with the plan to do an experiment in Caravaggio chiaroscuro. But the grisaille against the rose madder lake background made me hesitate, I liked it too much. I had longed to make a chiaroscuro portrait so there was some resistance choosing not to continue. Then other work came in the way, the decision was postponed and nothing happened.
One day an artist friend came by. Her reaction was wow! I have a profound trust in her artistic intuition, so when telling her my plans, she said: No, it is finished! You do see that!
One of several times she has helped me with aesthetic dilemmas. I now do consider it finished and I can—tail between legs—finally varnish it and deliver it to my brother.
For logistic reasons I had to temporarily settle for an atelier in Västberga. Much gratitude to Inspira and Screentec. High ceilings, rough enough for not having to care, daylight from west (and south). The room makes me efficient. Things are falling in place. Always a good exercise to move your tools in the sense of getting to know what is really necessary for work.
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 …
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.
During the summer and fall of 2014 I was commissioned 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. There were Swedes on one side – led by Admiral Jakob Bagge under King Erik XIV – and on the other 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 75 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. Being professional divers and wreck hunters this was the peak of a 20-year search. They soon decided on a documentary about the ship and her history. But it wasn’t only to be a story about life at sea during the 1560’s, but also the great adventure of finding her. I was contacted to be part of the production team and oversee historic correctness for the dramatized scenes, in terms of scenography and costume and as far as budget allowed.
A “colorful abstract” was commissioned by a family for their son’s fortieth birthday. Based on an idea of visual interpretation I’d had some years earlier, and inspired by the full color schemes of the Futurist and Fauvist movements, I composed this lanscape with a road.
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.