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A New Masterpiece: Silver

Silver

Gold and silver are often mentioned in the same breath, somehow belonging together, they represent about the same symbols and attributes. Admittedly, I have a slightly different feeling about silver, to me it is more clean and has more clarity, typifies modernity and technology.
Anyway, after painting Gold, it was obvious to paint the other half of that couple.

As always, I applied many layers of paint in varying thickness, by using spatulas, brushes and self-made fabric stamps.
I then sanded or abraded them and anew these layers. Instead of genuine silver, I used silver paint since it does not oxidize.
Here a series of photos documenting the painting process a bit:

Silver - steps
Silver – steps

The result is as always a little surprising also for myself, because the structures arise on the go, at random.

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Swedish Paint

Swedish Red

Few weeks ago, I wrote about a natural paint, based on flower and pigments, I created for painting a new garage door.
Last week, I wanted to paint the shelter for our firewood in the garden and again, I cooked my paint, using the same recipe but with red iron oxide pigment.
The shelter is much more exposed to weather (sometimes rain, but mostly sun and wind) than the garage door and thus a durable paint is needed to protect the wood.
Permanent exposure to the sun is a big challenge, most of the synthetic paints peel of after a few months.  So far, I used Osmo paints but even those semi-natural paints chipped of after two years.
It can become an expensive hobby to paint all the outdoor wooden pieces every two years. A durable natural paint, tested under Scandinavian weather conditions for centuries seems to be a good alternative.
It’s easy to create and it’s cheap: 5 L of paint costs about 5 €!
Thinking of the environment, I also wanted to avoid any toxic ingredients.
The paint should last approx. 4-5 years and restoration is easy as the surface needs to be brushed before repainting it.

Swedish Red  or Rouge de Falun

In the town of Falun is a copper mine which has been explored for more than thousand years. The red iron oxide is a by-product of the copper mining. The earth above the copper contains ocher, silicon and zinc. At plain air, it washes out and dries. The result is a fine red powder, the red iron oxide.
The mine closed in 1992. Today, the area is on the UNESCO list and a tourist hot spot.

Since a few years, we have Swedish family members and one of the first pictures which popped up in our heads were those of the nice red wooden houses in Sweden.

Red Swedish House
Red Swedish House
Isabell Schulz - Yellow Swedish House https://www.flickr.com/photos/isapisa/8471500192 (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Isabell Schulz – Yellow Swedish House https://www.flickr.com/photos/isapisa/8471500192 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In the 16 century the city municipalities ordered home owners to paint their house front facing the street in red to impress the royals.
Later on, it became a countrywide fashion to paint all new country houses red, urban villas in yellow and window frames and fences in red or green.  At this time, the paint did not contain any linseed oil or savon noir, but sometimes brine, beer or tar.

Either you cook your own paint, or you buy it from the two manufacturers of traditional Swedish paint, Falu Rödfärg and Moose Färg.
Nowadays, the colour palette offers also different shades of blue, yellow, grey, green and even black.

Application

The base recipe stays the same, just different pigments are added.
You can use this kind of paint also for painting wooden floors, furniture, already painted walls (plaster boards like Rigips and Fermacell) and bricks.
Ferrous sulfate protects the wood against fungus infestation and is not needed for indoor paints.
The surface needs to be rough, the best is to seal it in advance.
Even an application on paper walls is possible but you need to make the wall absorbent with a layer of acrylic.

 

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Our summer in the ARTFabrik

Vernissage
Vernissage

We still have summer temperatures, but the holiday season is over. In Fitou things get quieter again, now only insiders spend their holidays here, people who value peace and the good location between sea and mountains.
The ARTFabrik adapts to the season and is open until the end of October, only Friday to Sunday from 18:00 to 20:00.

opening hours at ARTFabrik
opening hours at ARTFabrik

Our experiment with the ARTFabrik was quite successful, we had many visitors, received good feedback for our exhibition and also sold some of our art.
Of course, we would have liked more of everything: more visitors, more sales, but for a spontaneously created art gallery the start was not bad!
We got many requests from artists, wishing to exhibit with us and now we have to think about whether and, if so, how we want to move on.
In any case, we need more publicity and thus a good plan when, how and whom we want to address. In addition, we have to network more,  to cooperate with other artists, galleries, art associations and share ideas and resources.
Just these two points require a lot of time and efforts, and as already written, we – the organizers must discuss how we can and want to integrate these tasks in our everyday life
We are very receptive for suggestions and support 😉

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Should the room fit to the art or the art fit to the room?

bathroom above commode

As an artist, I prefer that everyone buy the art they love, and thus they will find a place for it in their home. Selecting and placing art is an art in itself.
It might be difficult to find the right place in your home, fitting to your style. In such a case it could be helpful to hang it in different places, maybe re-arrange some furniture, re-paint a wall, improve lightning, all these changes will be worth in order to enjoy the art you love.
Abstract art could also be helpful to create a colour palette for your room by repeating one or two main colours of the painting in your home accessories. The same applies for lines and forms in abstract paintings.

Gold

I hung my painting Gold in different rooms, with different coloured walls. Just have a look and decide yourself the setting you would prefer.

In a bathroom

bath01

bathroom above bathtub

In a kitchen

kitchen02

In a living room

sejour02

Many people believe abstract art is just suitable for modern homes, but it can also complement nicely a more traditional setting. It can really refresh your home and modernize it a bit. Abstract art bridges between traditional and modern styles as you can easily pair up antique furniture with modern design pieces.

So if you do it the other way round, doing your home/room first, you might chose art which just complements your decoration. Quite often, the colors in an abstract painting can partially be found in the rest of the room by reuniting all the the colors around.  Sometimes, an abstract painting is the focal point in a room. However, rooms overcrowded with textures, materials and colours make you feel overwhelmed and take the focus away from your art.

The pictures above were taken in an old village house which is sparsely furnished with antique and modern pieces. Modern art fits very well into it 😉

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Hanging Art

hanging art

Last week, I delivered two paintings and on place, the new owner and me were discussing how to hang the paintings, its colours, the influence of light and how they fit into the room.
The art one chose reflects its personality and it is often influenced by unconscious thoughts and feelings.
Abstract paintings stay longer interesting because, depending on moods and life circumstances, you can always find something new in it.
However, art paintings enrich your home, given that they hang in the right place.
Of course, on can live with naked walls, but art can give a room a special atmosphere, influence moods and inspire the owners.

Less is more

That goes for furniture as well as for paintings, overcrowded spaces often seem cramped and make you nervous as you can not find a resting point in such a place.
I think the best is when you are just living a while before heading out to furnish and decorate, to get a sense how it feels in your new home.

The right height

The center of the painting should be about 1.50 meters above the ground, or in about 5/8 of the general height of the wall (golden ratio).
If the painting is placed above a sofa or chair, then the lower edge of the painting should be about 15 cm over the furniture.
The larger the picture, the more individually it should hang or the more of a wall should be visible.
If you hang several pictures of different seizes to one wall, you should have one center piece and arrange the others around it.
Think of a rectangle and begin with the positioning in the corners. Darker pictures hanging above brighter ones, bigger above smaller, thus avoiding an optical sagging of the room.

The light

Images should never be spotlighted, but enlightened indirectly. Pictures need a lot of brightness, best of alternating directions, then you can always rediscover new details;-)

Suspension

There are countless types of suspension, from simple picture hooks to complex systems. Personally, I prefer the old-fashioned version: attach two hooks on the left and right of the frame at the same height, stretch a cord long enough that it ends somewhat below the upper frame.
Or you just fix two hooks on the frame in same distance from the edge which can be easily adjusted a few millimeters.
Sometimes, paintings are uneven, are different in thickness (f.e. collages), so that the suspension is a little bit tricky.
If you want to change pictures often, then the use of picture rails are certainly better than to drill new holes again.