Monsters for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

A bit of madness, an inch of kindness, 2 grams of compassion, a squeeze of foresight, a millimeter of imagination … if you want peace for Europe you need to strive for peace outside Europe. Integrating newcomers to Europe, keeping refugee children from drowning and securing them safe passage instead ( as agreed to in the UN convention on the rights of the Child), offering them education and safety as the convention requires us to, is not charity but a powerful instrument for global stability within a generation.
   

  

Alice at Night or the long way since Chauvet

The longer I “make art”, the more I am intrigued by the uniquely human need to conjure up coherent images that are  no direct translations of the visual environment as our eyes and brain perceive it.  We know that this … Continue reading

ART – creativity from down the rabbit hole …

the white rabbit's cardTo be creative is a basic desire of humans, all humans. It is a genuine expression of who we are even before we are defined by our social and economic circumstances. To teach a child to be creative therefore seems to me an elusive act. I look at children with a sense of awe, they are still there, right at the origin, and all I do as an art teacher is to take them on the same kind of  long walk that I had been privileged to undertake with my grandparents and I simply allow them to discover their world and to collect at will what responds to their own desire of creating this world new. If we’d allow our children more freedom and time to explore their own world and provide them with materials that are not dedicated to specific purposes, we could cut back on many extracurricular activities. Let them venture out there and the artist that lives in every one of us but is acutely alive in our children is ready to meet all the great challenges of art right in our neighborhood.

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IMG_3109When did we forget to spin the dream, when did our world cease to hold small promises of meaning and adventure, a life time of stories still to be told? How did we grow up to forget the sensual richness of the world, the intense pleasure we can find only in simple things and moments? When did we cease to live today in order to reach for a tomorrow that we never truly know will exist – and if it does, it comes only to be given up and traded in for yet another tomorrow until there is no tomorrow left? When did we start squandering our present moments for squalid projections of who we could be if only? When did we tire of that what we have , right here and right now, the word, the discovery of nothing and everything, the breath of boredom and adventure alike?

Children’s books and art

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In my work I feel inspired by artists like Jim Henson, Maurice Sendak, Edvard Gorey, Tatjana Hauptmann, William Steig and Uri Shulevitz who are often underrated in their artistic merit due to the fact that they have published work for children. The archetypical quality of a simple story or image can be very powerful. More recently I have come to greatly admiring the work of German artists Albert Schindehütte (Hamburg) and Einar Turkowski (Kiel). Both of these artists also chose to illustrate what one could see as children’s books but I suspect their work is being  cherished by children as well as by artists and people who love art. Their illustrations hold an inexhaustible, dependable pleasure for me.

the nice king breathes the world into existence

the nice king breathes the world into existence

i don’t count the times when people ask me whether i could draw something nice for a change people ask me that a lot can’t you draw something nice for a change don’t think it offends me, it doesn’t but … Continue reading

MONSTER Nr. 23

One wild thing: on closer inspection of these canvases you'd find bits and pieces of found objects enclosed such as children cherish. Pieces of beach glass substitute for teeth, small beads, glitter, all children I know love glitter!, keys and bottle caps and lost and found buttons. When did we forget to spin the dream, when did our world cease to hold small promises of meaning and adventure, a life time of stories still to be told? How did we grow up to forget the sensual richness of the world, the intense pleasure we can find only in  simple things and moments. When did we cease to live today in order to reach for a tomorrow that we never truly know will exist - and if it does it comes only to be given up and traded in for yet another tomorrow until there is none anymore? When did we start squandering our present moments for squalid projections? When did we tire of that what we have , right here and right now, the word, the discovery of nothing and everything, the breath of boredom and adventure alike? Ask an expert what life could be like, go hunt for chestnuts and bottle caps and pieces of this and that lost and found. Talk to a stranger and as for their story, smile every once in a while even if convention doesn't require you to, lift your eyes up and look at the disorderly lines of roofs and antennas and imagine Karlsson living up there somewhere or go to your knees and pick up something that glitters without whisking out a disinfectant afterwards. Be a MONSTER. Breathe. There is still some life to be had. Laugh without any particular reason. MONSTER Nr. 23

One wild thing: on closer inspection of these canvases you’d find bits and pieces of found objects enclosed such as children cherish. Pieces of beach glass substitute for teeth, small beads, glitter, all children I know love glitter!, keys and bottle caps and lost and found buttons.

When did we forget to spin the dream, when did our world cease to hold small promises of meaning and adventure, a life time of stories still to be told? How did we grow up to forget the sensual richness of the world, the intense pleasure we can find only in simple things and moments? When did we cease to live today in order to reach for a tomorrow that we never truly know will exist – and if it does, it comes only to be given up and traded in for yet another tomorrow until there is no tomorrow left? When did we start squandering our present moments for squalid projections of who we could be if only? When did we tire of that what we have , right here and right now, the word, the discovery of nothing and everything, the breath of boredom and adventure alike?

Ask an expert, a child no older than six, what life could be like if you’d find it again, go hunt for chestnuts and bottle caps and pieces of this and that, lost and found. Talk to a stranger and ask for their story, smile every once in a while even if convention doesn’t require it, lift your eyes up and look at the disorderly lines of roof shingles, chimneys and antennas and in your mind create a stage for a play that involves precarious acts of balance and skill. Think “Karlsson” by Astrid Lindgren.

Go down to your knees, seeking the perspective of a five year old,  and pick something from the ground that glitters just because it catches your eye – without whisking out a disinfectant afterwards. Be a MONSTER. Breathe. Laugh without any particular reason. Be the absolutely unremarkable, remarkable YOU you were born to be. Nothing more, nothing less. MONSTER Nr. 23

Portfolio of an amazing photographer and friend, Kristina Steiner, presenting CIRCUS UTOPIA PAINTINGS

Circua_Utopia_Kristina_Steiner-1

Photos were taken during the 2012 exhibition of my work in an old barn … Enjoy! A great WOW and thank you to Kristina Steiner who recreated the Circus in these pictures perfectly!

Plinius, the cat

 

IMG_5564She had been busy herself lately, working on an oversized, unstretched canvas that was spread over the floor in the room that in other houses would have been the living room but in our house was an art space and a library. Right now you couldn’t even enter it without risking to step into wet paint. Plinius had learned to avoid the canvas, just like everybody else he balanced around it on the outer edges.

IMG_0341When he was a kitten still he had managed to get his fur and his paws coated with oil paint a couple of times, some of the paintings dating back to his childhood show his then tiny paw prints (the adult Plinius left raccoon-foot sized prints in the garden). He had been thoroughly disgusted by the experience, furiously licking the Tyrian Purple and Cadmium Red spots on his ginger tabby fur. Strangely enough, as a grown cat he enjoyed finding a place as close to the wet paint as possible.

English: pigment red 108 cadmium

English: pigment red 108 cadmium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There he sat down, often on the stretch of canvas that wasn’t actually part of the painting, but that my mother uses to clean brushes and that she calls the “annotative margin”. He purred his fat Plinius purr while he was watching the loaded brushes rush over the canvas. Cats like to live their lives in the margins and on the edges, I guess.

 

a galaxy of marbles

a galaxy of marbles

Marbles are wonderful and mysterious. They are simple, fit in any pocket. You can take them with you wherever you go and start dreaming. You see, in this marble I hand to you today, there is a whole world. If … Continue reading