Monday, March 29, 2010

Moving closer to abstraction

It is just fun to paint "Klee"-pictures, but it is something that has already been there, I guess. Kaylyn's comment is a guidance for me. It is the colorful, joyful atmosphere I like about some modern classics. I talked about trodden paths, and I am looking for a way out.
Yesterday, I followed intuition, painting a vision that kept following me.
This might be an exiting new method to create pictures!
I should do this more often. I thought of a red rock, on which the houses are built, but when I had done this, it reminded me of an image lingering on my mind.
I named this painting "Faeroer", as the group of Islands in the North Atlantic are called.
I saw when it was finished (really, I did after painting!) that the red patch is whale blood.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Eyendorf, a village south of Hamburg

Here are few pictures I took on the walk on Saturday morning. The light was dim, but the rain had ended. The night before, we had walked from our guest room to the wedding party in heavy rain and storm. It was just a few hundred yards away, but we got there all wet.

The village Eyendorf, as I mentioned, is more than 900 years old. The name may have to do with the German word for oak, Eiche.
The inscription on the house front is from 1837. It says: "Rebuilt after the raging fire. We will from now on again praise the Lord in gratitude."
On our way, I took pictures of a tree battle, a hawthorne smashed an elder tree in a long fight. To me, the elder is a magic tree -- or shrub, very often it does not reach tree size. Its wood is brittle and looks like imploded under the violence of the hawthorn. A slow war between plants. Hm.

A Rural Wedding

On Friday, my brother's youngest daughter got married. We went to the village, where they live, a half-hour drive south of Hamburg's borders, a beautiful place with old farmhouses and many oaks. The village is 934 years old.

All my brother's grown up children were there, his grandkids, too.

Here, you see the coach game. It is led by the bride's brother with the cylinder, performing the coachman.

The bride and groom are wearing crowns because they are king and queen. This is a lot of fun. The coach consists of king and queen, coachman, horses, and wheels. The story is read aloud, and the mentioned persons or parts of the coach have to jump up and run around the chair, each time they are mentioned in the text. Which makes the coach ride a real strenuous action.

In another game, everyone had to wear a paper cap, paper plate ears, and bunny teeth and sing a song. Playing silly games seems to be part of weddings in this country (I'm not so familiar with wedding customs here). We spent the night in a guest room near the place -- just a little walk home -- and on Saturday, we had breakfast in my brother's house. I took a picture of the old cobblestones in front of his house. For Wanda and all who like it!

My brother has done a lot of renovation work in this house, like clay plaster work, painting walls with natural paint, gardening and laying tiles.

This was my gift for the couple -- beside our main present.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We're Offline in China

Censorship is China's only answer to Google's attempt to escape from censorship. This refers especially to sites dealing with religion, minority rights and democratic changes.

After Google started redirecting all queries to their Hongkong server, the Chinese government have blocked a few services completely, among them Blogger, YouTube etc -- the list is here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Quo Vadis?

I'm strolling along on the edge between art and illustration. This night scene -- and it is so much fun to paint the trees, they just grow by themselves, meditatingly! -- is a children's book illustration, trying to show the atmosphere in another town I visited: Tallinn, my parents' hometown. The houses from 15th and 16th century were storehouses in this old Hanse trading place by the North Baltic Sea. I looked at this cute scene and said to myself: This is the same darn kitsch I've been stepping into, walking with my head up. Okay. Let's dive into abstraction once more. --
Mr Kandinsky, the sublime Master of abstract painting had a follower, Rudolf Bauer, who imitated him, believing he was even better and deserved to have his whole oeuvre bought by Mr Solomon Guggenheim. He was assisted by Ms Rebay, his lover, who kept getting on everybody's nerves until they praised the work of Bauer.
I feel I'm doing the same: follow a trodden path. OMG. Where am I going? Innocently playing with paints, imitating the abstract masters, never finding my own expression. (Sorry I'm bothering you with my boohoos, but I really doubt I'll ever find my style.)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another Method

There was this piece of cardboard, not larger than a postcard. I used it to place an excess of gold bronze gouache from a broken paint tube. Then I thought, why not use it as a background. I added some more paint leftovers, using a small palette knife. Then the fish came. And some sea weeds started growing.
I see the plants in all of my pictures as something that grows by its own rules more than deliberately being created.
If someone did terraforming on our planet, they must have allowed growth more than having produced something.
As for fiber art: I'm still working on the Bauhaus quilt; I'm quilting the reverse row by row. It is going slowly. But if I start another fiber project before I finish this one, I'm afraid my husband will have to wait forever.

Friday, March 19, 2010

More news from the bottom of the Seas

From paradise to submerged paradises. Sea life just won't let me go, although I never dived. My ideal is abstract painting like Paul Klee and Vassily Kandinsky, but I just can't go abstract.
The upper one lacks composition, it is as chaotic as life itself. The general theme in my underwater worlds is fertility and how the species are a danger or a source of food for one another.
After this one, I tried to give it more composition.
I grouped the details in order to reach more rhythm. Peculiarly I fell back into a more realistic kind of painting.
I'm afraid I keep circulating around my adored favourite, my all-time masterpiece "Goldfish" by Klee.
See the Ocean Life series here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Can you stand something romantic?

I just had to do this one. Excuse me. It is decorative and naive, I know. Adam & Eve in paradise. See what they are sitting on.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Night taxi in Adana

When I arrived in Adana, South Turkey, it was 4 or 5 a.m. and the temperature was 30° C/86°F. I stepped into a cushion of warm air. It was a full moon. A friend of my fiance had a car and picked us up. The car was lacking a few of the window panes, and through a hole in the floor, you could see the street pavement rush by. The streets were visible in dim yellow light. There were building sites everywhere; large parts of the town were "night foundings", means, illegal buildings. I saw the site of a huge musk.
This was how I first saw Turkey.

8,5x6", gouache painting on black cardboard.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Can't go up from my dive

Ocean Life No 5, gouache on black cardboard, 8,5x11,7"
Have to tell you something. When I was a very young child of 3 or 4, I loved painting on black paper, preferring yellow and lime green. How typical is this for a kid of that age? I also imagined angels to be black. Kind and loving, but black.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ocean Life No 4

This is the latest piece in the Ocean Life series, gouache on black paper. Is it going too far in the direction of kitsch? It has a kind of woodcut touch which I quite like. I could do it as a lino cut, using printing ink instead of lino cut ink, because if it is resistant to water, I can color the print afterwards.

Woman's Day

Best wishes for Woman's Day! Be firm as a rock and dressed in bright color! Courage, creativity, joy and prosperity to all of you, girls!

Illustration Challenge -- Art Spark Theatre

The quote was taken from a wiki description of Wassily Kandinsky's theoretical essay on the basic elements of painting -- "Point and Line to Plane".

Sunday, March 7, 2010

And now something completely different

Quilting can be so boring sometimes. I guess I'll continue my work on the Bauhaus quilt while watching TV. -- In the meantime, my favourite painting technique -- watercolour -- keeps me from going to bed. I'm a night painter. My surprised remark "oups! Four in the morning!" wasn't heard by anyone. Fortunately.

What got me into this painting mood to finish no II and paint the complete no III? It was the wonderful narrative language of Adalbert Stifter in his short novel "Bergkristall". Listening to audio books like this and painting without the breaks the day brings, gets me into a trance that replaces sleep.
The result was this series of 3 submarine scenes. Here they are. And I'm working on no 4, but not more shall be said.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Avoiding Tsunamis

I fixed the layers with large basting stitches, and after two rows of quilting, I found that the fabric creates waves -- no, tsunamis! I felt desperate about doing a regular quilting. As I mentioned, this is my first batted quilt. My first proper quilt, so to say. This rayon I chose for the reverse seems to be rather stubborn. Now my strategy is as follows: I started with 1"-stitches in the middle and let them proceed from inside out in squares. Then I remove the basting step by step. It is not at all regular, but you know, regularity is my most difficult task. I guess, most of you will cry tears of pity.  -- Blackbird sings again, the master of improvisation. It is Jazz!  And these birds are innovative, they sometimes pick up sounds of alarm or cellphone rings. I took him with a flash from my balcony; he did not bother to fly away. These birds are not afraid of man at all. And he doesn't mind the cold; it will be freezing again tonight. The sky is full of colors.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sunshine at last and the Sandwich

Today I made the sandwich and cut the backing material and the batting. I rolled it up to do the basting at daylight. Have to do the basting on my knees/on  all fours. The backing fabric is a material that I wanted to use for clothing more than 20 years ago. Then, I dyed my hair with henna. Now this color doesn't suit me any more. -- Saw sunshine and snowfall at the same time. The snow is gone completely. How glad we are to be walking freely without taking care of each step on that nasty ice crust. Like zoo animals that can run outdoors again.  -- J caught cold, and after fighting it bravely for two days, he gave in and stayed at home. Now I can cook for my loved companion who pulls away the bread basket from my hand, saying that zoo bears have to be kept busy. Ha. Ha.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Offline and back

The melting of the ground and the frost before have caused some damage on our phone cables. The whole block was offline and without telephone from Monday morning until noon today. How dependent we are from technics!