Finishing up a commission for a client who really wanted a painting in “my style” of a smurf. This particular client has the wonderful hobby of collecting smurfs, and lately, collecting artworks of smurfs. At first I wasn´t sure what to think of this request, but after very brief consideration I thought to my self; OF COURSE I´ll do it. Who doesn´t love smurfs !?
As you may know I like to work in the alla prima method and like to work from life. So I went looking for the perfect smurf for the job. I completely fell for this one and thought it would work nicely, being quite comical. The little figure isn´t much more than 2 inches tall while the painting measures 27 x 20 inches so it was a little tricky scaling it up. All in all I am happy with the results, as is the client 🙂
These paintings were part of a series on ravens in my show in november in Gallerí Fold. I selected two themes I wanted to study for this exhibition, which were the horse and the raven. I had a wonderful time working for this exhibition as I allowed my self quite a lot of freedom in interpreting these subjects. I wanted to render the main subject very accurately while keeping the background almost completely abstract. Click here to see the full series in this exhibition.
This painting was the first in a series of paintings on Icelandic horses. I wanted to show of this beautiful animal in a captivating way. As always I am interested in capturing the “correct” drawing, color, edges and values of what I am painting, but I wanted to take these works a little further. I decided that the background would be as minimal as possible, giving the main subject complete focus. Click here to see the full series. This particular painting was in my show “The horse and Raven” in november this year.
I have often been asked if, and why I don´t paint horses. My answer up until now has been that I simply have not gotten around to it. There is so much that captures my interest in terms of subject matter and I only have so much time in this life. But, now I have no more excuses. Here is my first painting where my main subject is the Icelandic Horse. I have always been fascinated by these creatures. They are beautiful, strong and their endurance for bad weather is simply mind boggling. We have pretty harsh winters here in Iceland and I am always amazed when I see them huddled together in a blizzard with their backs to the wind, seemingly unfazed by the weather.
I wanted to capture the features of this particular horse in terms of drawing and color without it being to detailed and photographic. I was going for “just the right” amount of detail while keeping the rest very painterly and fresh. I am happy with the outcome.
It can be hard to explain why a certain subjects inspires me. Some times I see something out of the corner of my eye and just feel the urge to capture it in paint. In this particular case I was down at the harbor in Hafnarfjörður gathering reference material for a commission. I saw these two red boats sitting side by side and instantly felt the need to see it on my canvas. Why, i´m not quite sure. I felt like I was watching two old friends that have seen a lot together and were now resting before their next expedition. In reality, these boats were probably docked side by side out of convenience and had nothing to do with each other. I think my version sounds better though.
Visually, I wanted to focus on combining realism with abstraction. I wanted the center of interest to be accurately rendered in terms of drawing and color temperature especially, while keeping everything else loose and abstract. My plan was to indicate the adjacent colors and values until I felt I had enough paint on my canvas to indicate the surrounding landscape. This meant being very deliberate and thoughtful with my brushwork. Towards the end I took frequent breaks to be able to see the painting with fresh eyes. When I felt I had enough, I stopped.
I was absolutely fascinated by this subject. This ship was sitting at a lesser known dock in Reykjavík at Skarfagarðar. The weather was beautiful and as you can see the water was almost completely still, which is not very common. The reflection was a bonus to the scene because what drew me towards it first and foremost was the drawing in the ship. All those shapes and lines interconnecting in a fascinating way. Also the light was perfect to describe the play of light and shadow.
I was going for looseness and realism. I wanted to have the ship correctly drawn while taking quite a bit of artistic license concerning edges and texture. Also the scene had a very interesting color harmony. The ocean was reflecting a lot of green back up at the ship and I wanted to try and capture that.
Recently I was teaching a workshop in Vestmannaeyjar, a group of islands in the south of Iceland. I had a great time with the group and made some new friends. I last visited those islands when I was a kid, and didn’t remember much of them, but i was absolutely blown away the landscape there. So dramatic and beautiful. I did not have much time to sketch or take photos, but when I did the sky opened and gave me some great light. This particular ship was at the harbor and I just knew I had to paint it. I was so interested in the color, the rust, the contrast and all those little shapes that make up the whole.
I was inspired by some of the boat paintings of Richard Schmid in this one. I love how he manages to combine very loose and abstract brushwork with highly detailed and accurately drawn shapes.
Painterliness is a funny word. But it describes my intentions exactly while doing this little painting. I always strive for authentic color and accurate drawing when I paint, while also trying to make the subject even more interesting than it really is. Although that certainly is not always necessary.