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.
I recently finished a portrait on commission. It was delivered as a surprise in June 2010. The recipient knew nothing beforehand and was a bit startled to see me at his 60th birthday, where only close friends and family were invited. When the painting eventually was carried in and uncovered he understood. He was very happy. He said he knew exactly what he thinks when he has that look, that he recognized the careless hairdo and explained why the cushion is hanging from the steering wheel. These little details reveal the story of a man’s entire life.
Old Mr. Esters, 2010, oil on canvas, 70 x 100 cm.
The Stray Parade is the name of Niklas Hagen’s private music project, separate from other band engagements. Niklas needed a cover for his upcoming record and I needed a deadline. He had quite specific ideas, I made a sketch and Niklas thought it was spot on. Based on the sketch I started the time-consuming task of realizing this picture. Apart from numerous experiments for all the different materials represented, the square composition was perhaps the most challenging. It took several trials before understanding how I should break “the rules” to give the image its proper realism. The underpainting is in egg tempera and the overpainting in oil.
Stray parade, 2009, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm.
I made a series of oils as a child. This was at age three in 1976. Some of them I have no memories of, but this one stuck. It was a very strong image from a dream and I wanted to recreate the suggestive feel of it. It was definitely a cave opening and the place had a greenish turquoise glow. I don’t remember passing through it, or trying, it was more about it’s presence. However I do remember that I failed my representation of it. I believe this to be the second version. After this period I quit using oil until I became an adult. It was my oil crisis of the seventies.