Articles, news and reflections



20200908: A bit of exciting curiosa: I have been invited to exhibit at an art gallery in London, Brick Lane Gallery. Great fun, of course. However, rent for wall space and transport is a bit too steep at present. Maybe later.

Articles, news and reflections

I have been asked to write a couple of articles and statements:

Article ORAMA June 25, 2020, revised for Enartium Gallery in July, 2020 and for website August 25, 2020 . Published Enartium July 2020.

Elisabeth Daunelius

Born September 12, 1954 in Klockrike, Sweden. Grew up in Märsta just north of Stockholm. Been living in Uppsala for 35 years and since 10 years back now living in Gävle.

Studied at Lund University and Stockholm University, graduated in law at Uppsala University. Worked for the past 30 years in various managerial positions within universities as well as in municipal and private operations.

The interest in culture has been around since my childhood. My father was an initiated collector of mainly fine clocks and exclusive glassware. He considered painting difficult, therefore paintings were never a collecting item. Through my father I was surrounded by history and beautiful things.

The urge to express myself with my hands has been a reality since the early childhood. However, I considered myself not able to draw or paint and therefore never tried. Instead, I have enjoyed the art of others and tried to support those who can.

In connection with a managerial assignment, I spent as so often a night in a hotel and as usual I was browsing for art online. 

An artist, Peter Sköld, Artistlab, Stockholm, who offered distance education, showed up. 

I sent him an email, explaining that I never drawn, never painted, but wanted to. He thought we should give it a try. We started from the very beginning - "take a piece of paper, buy a brush and some nice colors". And so I did. I studied for him for about 1.5 years. 

After this at Malmfälten Folkhögskola for 1 year. I am a member of ALAF, Association des Les Artistes Francais and The Artist Guild (incl studies).


After my recent breast cancer treatment and entering life as retired, I am now able to devote myself to painting. 


Although my "studio" is only a few square meters, my technique improves and I become clearer for myself in what I find interesting and intruiging in painting. 

When the subject is "wrong", the substrate is "wrong", the medium is "wrong" and the technique is "wrong" - what happens then? How far can I go without falling into my own prejudices about what is "right"? When do my own limitations apply? How do these express themselves and what happens when I learn new things and get past them? These questions drive me. In ordinary life as well as in painting. Lines, shapes, color, composition and texture are important elements, but the Process, the interaction between my hands, brain and all that am me - THAT is the creation. 

I am part of the creative process but perhaps the most fascinating of all is that the viewer becomes part of the creation. This drives me in painting as well as in ordinary life. 

Like the child, I can put what is most important to me in center and reduce what I do not find interesting. I can become obsessed with calculating angles and shapes without bothering about the interaction between them. I sometimes want to abstract until it remains only for the viewer to put their meaning into the picture. I find it interesting to "ruin" an picture in order to challenge myself and see what became instead. 

The courage and the strength to dare and to get through is central to me. Not being labeled, being genuine. I want to contribute with light, energy and a positive emotional expression, even if the subject is difficult or inaccessible. 

Finding a solution and contributing to something that is difficult. It drives me forward. Influencers are of course many many. I love Diebenkorn, Rothko, Morris Louis, Kandinsky, Picasso. 

I paint in acrylic, watercolor, markers, ink, coal.I love to work in sand on canvas to make a between sculpture and picture. I also enjoy working in ink on a hard, not absorbent surface. The technique is difficult, but it makes interesting effects. In that technique I have created my changelings, my crossovers, often a butterfly with a human twist.

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Article submitted to Enartium Art Gallery, August 5, 2020

Inspiration/freedom of mind

How to stay true to yourself and how to maintain your own originality is a bit of a challenge, I think.

I like to study artists and their works. It is exciting to see how they solve their tasks and try to figure out how they have gone about it. It's highly inspiring and trigger me to try on something I hadn't thought of before.

My problem, however, is that I can be TOO impressed with others great work. To such an extent that I might suffer lack of self-esteem and hence don´t paint for days.

If this happens, the trick for me is to stop watching others great work. Not to think about colors or motif. Read a book, clear my mind, be in the moment, enjoy nature and of course family and friends. After a while I am "healed" and can start to think on how to work the canvas and the images that keeps popping up in my head.

I have noticed, that once I start painting again, I have processed in my head the impressions I got and embraced the lesson. Subconsciously, I have continued to process so when it is time to put brush to canvas, I am ready to try a new approach.

My studio

My studio is tiny. A couple of m2. It allows me to get close to the canvas, but not to take the necessary steps back for viewing. Therefore, I photograph the pictures during the process in order to better view the pictures. Also, storage is a bit of a challenge.

Material used

I try to use material of as good quality I can afford. I want my brushes to last, therefore I clean them carefully.

Method

I want to change the way I see and the way I paint as much as I can. It's not my ambition (today) to be as good as I can on one specific technique or one type of motif. For me, there is so much that I want to test and experience.

I often photograph the pictures during process. I find it easier to look at the photos and see what to do next. The photos gives me the perspective that is lost in my little studio.

Discipline, routine or not?

I paint pretty much every day. The routine is due to the family daily routine.

Is it good for creativity to have a routine and discipline? I don't know.

It would have been a great experience, yet to come, to just be in the painting process. Paint, look, ponder at any time of the day. Sleep and eat in between, when you like. Devote 24 hours to painting. A dream? Absolutely!

Titles

To get your titles right can be tricky.

I always have been interested in words. Titles so far, just comes to mind. Often to many. I like to play around with words and try to get as close as I can to what I want to deliver. Preferably with one word. One fantasy trigger.

How to talk about art and to whom

Perhaps artists have always worked and been alone in their creativity process. Will the new online art market help artists to interact more, or will artists continue to be alone in their creativity?

I have a need to talk about what I've done and my thoughts during the process. To hear someone else's view on the work is almost the best part of the creativity process. The ability to watch, verbalize and interact is for me the way to go forward, I think. However, the most common remark may be "nice" or "very nice" or "ah, making progress, I see".

Praise or criticism

It´s a good feeling to get praise for your picture. It´s hard to value and it doesn´t stay long, I think. A kind, constructive feedback lasts longer, I feel. Though, do I change anything? That´s not all certain.

The best praise is when someone tells me a picture is "theirs". "It´s MY picture". That´s a really good feeling!

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Article submitted for Enartium Art Gallery, August 20, 2020, revised for website, August 25, 2020

From a rockies viewpoint

Inspiration

It is probably inevitably so, that the culture you have grown up is stored in your "roots" and therefore builds the base for your vision.

I grew up in a home with many beautiful things and books with pictures from all over the world. But - also - with sculptures, that I as child, perceived to be coarse and ugly.

I remember a discussion I had with my father about two sculptures. One was in glass - a large beautiful plain glass block, the other piece - a large, rough, clumsy bird in terracotta.

I had a hard time understand how he could choose the bird when he at the same time thought the glass block to be beautiful. Could one do that? I rant over the bird. My father listened and when I stopped, he asked calmly: which one of the two pieces are we talking about?

Aha, yes, I see - the bird - and suddenly I saw them together and individually at the same time, each one in its own charm.

When I started to paint, I was, in a way virgin. This, since I started painting very late in life and with no prior experience. At the same time, life itseIf had made me rational.

Therefore, I think, I am rational in my search. I look for light, darkness, form, solutions regardless of artist and culture.

Somehow, I think, I had a notion of the typical expression of the European, Russian and Asian cultures, but knew nothing about what would be regarded as American, for example.

I found it extremely exciting to experience such elegant expression as Diebenkorns (and thus Matisse, a little backwards perhaps). I fell in love with Rothko (and thus in that kind of art). The colors of Morris Louis left me in awe.

Of course, I cannot analyze these painters from any other perspective than how they hit my eye and affect my feeling and intellect.

Diebenkorn

Sublime, the extremely simplistic. In each sublime passage yet so expressive and emotional with color variations and shifts.

But it also teaches that every passage is not carved in stone that it is possible to change.

Rothko

Large pieces of color assembled with other large pieces of color. Biiig pieces. The feeling of going into the painting, being surrounded by it, is a great feeling and one you want not to lose.

Morris Louis

Colors, form. Playful, serious and simply gorgeous.

Besides these Americans there are so many many incredible artists to be inspired by. Writing this right now a favourite is Pierre Soulages. My goodness, what an artist!

Other types of inspiration

The Nordic light

The Nordic light conveys simplicity and light and is always inspiring and a good for the soul.

Elie Saab

Elie Saab's creations are deeply inspiring to me. With a superb color treatment andcolor compositions. Delicious!

Interaction

Inspiration drawn from images, nature, art, in all glory.

I am perhaps most inspired by the conversation ABOUT the expressions. I learn and inspire a lot from it.

Support

Not to forget the support! Which is deeply inspiring. Somehow, I could understand that family and friends were supportive and kind to me, in my trials to paint. They encouraged me to proceed as long as I found it fun.

I am extremely grateful for the help and support I got from established art connoisseurs like Pierre Saintbeat, Georges Siahamis, Lady Katy, Enartium Art Gallery.

I had a hard time understanding their kindness. No wonder, perhaps, since I spent a life maintaining the feeling that I could see and encourage the creative expressions of others. Not to create anything by myself. Once I realized they were sincere and interested, I became relaxed in my painting.

In reality, their heartfelt encouragement laid the foundation for me to continue to dare, seek and challenge.

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Article from Pierre Saintbeat, founder ALAF
Article from Pierre Saintbeat, founder ALAF

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