October 04, 2015

"Between Two Lives" -- CD Jacket Illustration

I'm quite happy with this hand that had to be done in zero time (standard time for rush jobs -- it's part of the professional pride to handle these sudden dashes) for a single, "Between Two Lives". Sophie's song (below) is about a soul that looses everything even faster than that; there's a sharp divide between Before and After, and it was irresistibly obvious to paint those fields white and black -- with outlines the other way round. I'm happy there are some colours too, they repeat on both sides of the great dividend, if yet irregularly so. They're not too opaque, and look very different on each background, as things do in life after a major change.

September 27, 2015

Body Part Confusion (& Other Confusions)

Poor girl. Something's wrong. We don't feel really fit for life. We Mismatch. This one I was about to send to one of those image banks that earn a few hundred dollars for every image sold, whereas the creator is rewarded with many, many cents. Upon seeing the other requirements -- you have to prove that analogue originals like this may exist without the aid of electricity, thus photographed from different angles and two witnesses have to testify that this is my work -- no. Just no.

I've had a lot of these Just No experiences lately. For instance, trying to find a good salesperson -- but not too good. One of them instantly tried to sell a homepage to me, another demanded 5000 SEK (that's close to 600 USD) in advance, the third one... you get the point. (Perhaps I should get a purchasing manager to sell my works?) Back to art. Please, let's think of art instead ---

One odd thing is that the sketch somehow had a charm that the finished "inkquarelle" hasn't. Don't know why. Or perhaps that's just me.

September 20, 2015

Paired Horses

I was sort of inspired by seeing a couple walking -- which I did with the somewhat weary eyes of someone Too Single -- somehow they felt like a strange animal of four legs and one-and-a-half mind. Immediately, the Swedish word parhäst came to my mind: The word in itself means a paired horse as in a horse team but the idea is that of one who is jolly happy about being part of a twosomeness.

The horses in front aren't jolly happy. Perhaps those happy in the background will soon cry stylized crystal tears too, but that is more than I know. Or they might even heal, for better and worse, but how that is to happen without even more damage done is also more than I know.

Ink, watercolour, paper. And this double horse is one inch or so from nose to nose.

September 13, 2015

Ship of Despair

Made for quite personal reasons, it's an unhappy ship run by some sort of Mymbles.*
It'll do you no good to ask why.

Reactions to their wet dilemma range from blind optimism to utter despair.

Life is hard on the dissolving ship. I haven't bothered very much to give it details, perhaps adding to the uncertain dark mood.

I've deliberately kept the colour scale down to black, white and sepia plus red. Going digital, one can have any colour that one wants. There's some aesthetic point in not wanting rainbows then.

*It was Tove Jansson who invented the Mymbles; Mymlor in Finnish Swedish. Q.v.

September 06, 2015

Portrait in Fragments

In the digital diaspora that followed the breakdown of my computer -- it has to do with two anti-virus programs attacking each other virally -- it takes a bit of sophisticated artificial stupidity to come up with such a thing -- I felt a bit broken myself, and I drew this one (whoopee that I got to borrow a digital pad while we wait) while waiting to see if Life wants us both back. I use blue background, black, white and crayfishy lobstertentackleish elements of forbidden seas. There's also some inspiration drawn from the Death Star (Star Wars) but in the progress it became fragmentation in general.

September 04, 2015

Syrian Waters / Have A Heart

Here, a poster. It's yours. Well, not for free:

1) Donate something; Red Cross, Médecins sans frontières, somewhere useful.

2) Your karma is now improved. Click on the image below to get a large one. Then print as you please.

Look closer. Think.

Chorus: Red Cross, Médecins sans frontières, somewhere useful...

August 30, 2015

End of the Road

Yours Sincerely has drawn this little sketch with whatever that remains of his energy...

For years, I struggled to keep head over water, working the best that I could in a hard world. But as for today, this is how I feel.

August 23, 2015

Painful Wrapping

So while my right hand bones aren't actually broken, there are some interesting fractures (sailing accident, frequent readers know this boat is occasionally trying to kill me) that makes drawing quite painful. First it was exciting to see...

...if I could draw at all...

...and well, there was some likeness. Ow! Hurt. Used my left as much as possible for parts of less precision. Could do.

Sparing no pain and sprain, I went on to do this pencil two days later...

...and digital colouring I could do with my left to a great extent. Still, I'll probably receive some comments from the plastered depths regarding this cruel and unusual art. Well, tomorrow, mañana, mañana... come what may.

August 16, 2015

Ballpoint Beauty and Beast

This week has seen me dragging the piano around, crossing the beautiful Stockholm archipelago with the Ocean Orchestra. We had a fine concerto on the outermost island of Arholma, halfway to Åland as the sun went down and the Baltic Sea stretched wide open into eternity. It was also dragged, during intense rehearsal days, through our somewhat less beautiful subway system. The result (before I go back to Swedish Work Ethics) is two drawings made with loving crosshatch: This lady was started as a sneak drawing on the sub -- little did she know that I was to send her out among the isles and sails. Nor did I. I've worked a lot with negative space, as you see; drawing by not drawing, drawing energy from the nothing and everything that some would call Tao.

From beauty to beast. This thing was born while rehearsing and with a few final strokes it (cross)hatched on another sub, somewhere around midnight when such creatures are born. You decide what it is. The piano shivered in its casing.

A closer look, with the abysmal thing looking back -- as all true abysses do if you stare down long enough, according to Nietzsche.
"I see you..."

August 09, 2015

The Luminaries of Workfare Unflattered (from a Work in Progress)

Swedish politics is fascinating. One party which claims to be Old Labour and isn't anymore, one party which claims to be New Labour and is not (these friends of the Little Man are somewhere between conservative and neoliberals) and lastly and most mean (among the large ones) there's the party that claims it's not outright Nazi but very much is. Voilà. And as they all endorse another Potemkin Village, the façade known as Workfare (Arbetslinjen in Swedish) they are about to tower in my Swedish Work Ethics -- cogwheels and all -- in progress...

I still haven't made the Nazi sinister enough.

And His Excellency is but an outline yet. I rather fancy black and white on neutral, and shall have to see more of what one can do with this some other time...

Work goes on. Real work.

August 02, 2015

Wheel of Misfortune

And now you're over 10.000 readers since the start :) many Swedes and Americans but also Russians, Ukrainans, Chinese, English, French, German, Tunisians (Hello Dear) and many others... I wish there were more from Africa and América Latína/do Sul, you're all so very welcome ^_^ This is post no. 135...

...thus far I am fortunate. This poor fellow is not...

...we're stuck in our chores of real or fake productivity (that's a cogwheel, isn't it? Must be!)...

...and cog by cog become, inescapably, "one with the ship"...

...certain overidentification with your slavery might occur at this point. (And a certain rationalisation of increasingly unnecessary production.) If you think that this is a little raw, just wait 'til you see the final work. And yes, this is a nail in the eye for those who think that only cogwheels are work, especially theirs...

So see me work. I had to calculate the 3D of the wheel in the classic way, albeit on a screen (less smudgy, with a little help from my friends -- the computer circuits -- in squeezing the circle with tangents to a perfect oval form.

There'll be a movie coming up that shows the lot, with some adequately eerie music too, but here you get the idea...

And with this pattern x 2 I could soon make wheels and different painful combinations, all to the Greater Glory of Cogs. -- To be continued.

July 26, 2015

With Greece in Mind
(a Sketch from the Economical Bestiary)

The last thing that I saw on the Greek tragedy was that the country -- amidst huge protests -- is hurtling further down the loans spiral. If they cut back enough on the public good or even the public necessary, they may borrow enough to pay banks for what they borrow in order to pay banks, or so I got it. A vicious circle, might lead to chaos -- we owe the Greek for the word χάος and haven't paid for it yet. Another unpaid word is Economy: Oikos nomia once had to do with the art of tending to an oikos, a household. With the Euro, Greece should be part of the European oikos, for better and worse, but no. -- This isn't how to run a happy farm, Madame Merkel...

The most disturbing thing is that ordinary people get to pay for the mistakes of bankers and rulers. I understand that Her Excellency was one of the loudest voices for Greek appeasements (and I have a feeling that somehow ordinary Germans might get to pay for her lack of solidarity) so here goes...

I think that my Merkelmonster became a silly rather than a strictly evil bird. I haven't got that personal anger in me. I am pleased with beau Athena too. Pencil on one notebook page for each, electric stitching, a little Photoshop paint (not too much; I also played a bit with exposure to make the sketch rich in contrasts).

Fight on, Greece, fight on. I hope that Athena wins.

July 19, 2015

“My Hoovercraft is Full of Eels” -- visual ramblings

Digital sketch done in the manner of Exquisite Corpses, the surreal method of adding words to each other without thinking; if you say one word I add the first another without any prefrontal cortex censorship. (As sentences form around a festive table in the middle of the night, round and round from mouth to mouth -- do try! -- they tend to get more and more, hum, Freudian...)

This was drawn in the solo manner of this game, start with a line, add something else, see what it wants to become even if abhors you. (Something more or less like the Paranoiac-critical method, q.v.) A line and half an eyebrow wanted to be fish, inkdrops hint old school telephones and their shadows are sailing away, perhaps to find a Hungarian phrasebook.

Normally (warning, Photoshop geekery ahead) I have one layer for the outlines and one for colours behind and below a backdrop in progress, quite a stage. Here I had a background and a layer of pure improvisation. (Doing this in oil, adding and subtracting all the time, would be quite sticky, and you'd end up no less colourful than the painting.) It would be interesting to know if the background colour subconsciously affects the foreground (as we're taking this dream machine out for an airing with no leash or even dog goodies to bribe it with) -- we know that different wallpapers do. I once had to sleep in a room with stark red ones. The company wasn't very good either, but that's not the point, and the only thing that helped was a change of walls and roof and, sadly, company; merely tapestry didn't help a bit. And now I am babbling, for free drawing liberates the mind.

As for the title of the post, it is perfect. It has nothing to do with the subject; at least not consciously...

July 12, 2015

The Nurse of Death, finished

The lady had been going for a while and had but minutes left, when at last, in an eerie moment sudden of consciousness, she asked Susanne, the nurse --

"Are you the angel who will take me to the garden of death?"

And then she left this world.

The garden of death holds marigolds [tagetes]. They are glowing somewhat to cheer us up. And here we see sweet Ms. S. a little closer... (In the background we saw her beloved Lapponia, and the beautiful highlands may very well do as a hint of Paradise in the end of ends.)

I had a little fun miscolouring the feet. The cover and the medical staff sandals are in a traditional Hospital Green...

"Come dear, hold my hand. It won't take very long..."

July 05, 2015

The Nurse of Death, Work in Progress

This one will be dedicated to sweet Susanne, friendly soul and nurse with a lot of experience, some of it eerie. I might get back to this particular instance, and how she became an Angel of Death. I am still making the outlines. (We're a little tired. Being a nurse, or so I'm told, is a hard job of work.)

The Greek believed that Charon ferried the souls over to Hades on River Styx; in Voodoo tradition this honour befalls Baron Samedi (who prefers to be drunk during the process) and so forth. I think I'd prefer Susanne, actually...

The “paper” or background whilst “inking” (my wholly digital process calls for quotation marks) is my favourite nuance of tan; the colour of natural paper that has yellowed way past yellow.

To be continued...

June 28, 2015

Pencils from the Notebook

-- Pencil drawings are underrated.

This is where important work happens, where you whilst doodling get to know what you think or feel -- or at least get a hint. This is Mette Edvardsen as a cat...

...who read I am a Cat by Soseki Natsume by heart in a project concerning narration and memory at the Moderna Museet -- I am to report on this later for good old slynglar.com, cultural fanzine. When all knowledge is in your modern palm, albeit just as long as batteries allow, remembering how to remember becomes important.

Another leaf in the notebook is a human pyramid. We might learn why they cling like this later, if ever.

And as for this one, no idea. Feel free to guess. Helmet, sort of?

Now pick up a pencil and some paper :)