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HISTORY

 

A HISTORY OF MY ART

 

It all started  in 1969 with …

I was working at Wilson Library at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and a friend asked if I wanted to take an evening class in drawing at the art school with her. I continued with courses in color and painting with Herman Somberg as teacher.  After working with abstract forms and a series of painted wood cutouts I started a series of figurative mystical paintings “From the garden of alchemy”. One of these paintings and one of the wood cutouts are still hanging at Wilson Library.

In 1974 Jean and I moved to Sweden to Munkfors, a small town surrounded by forests and mountains. I started working in oils on canvas with a series of figurative images dealing with the environment. During the next few years I exhibited around Sweden and moved to Stockholm in 1977.

 

 

Space study  1969 acrylic on canvas 41x20 cm

Earth Sonnet 1970 acrylic on particle board 180x120 cm, St. Paul student center, U of M

 

A Winter Star 1973 acrylic on canvas 90x75 cm (collection R & G Berglund)

 

 

La Mer Solaire 1975 oil on canvas 44x39 cm

The Infinity of Darkness 1975 oil on canvas 44x40 cm

The Necessities Of Art 1978 oil on canvas 27x41 cm

 

1978 I was painting symbolic paintings.

In 1979 I did a long series of ink washes, both figurative and imaginary.

Self Portrait 1979 ink/watercolor 31x39 cm

Tomato Farm, California 1979 ink 49x35 cm

Next came a two year period of humorous figurative paintings sometimes with political bite, sometimes just funny.

Smash 1980 oil 50x65 cm

Woman Eating Chips 1981 acrylic 44x56 cm

 

Bath Tub 1981 acrylic 100x80 cm

 

 

At the same time I started doing wood cuts with figurative images.

The Tree 1980 wood cut 26x19 cm

Girl In The Grass 1981 wood cut 36x26 cm

“We are millions around the world who demand disarmament and peace” 1981 wood cut 18x27 cm

In May of 1982 I had tired of doing art with a message, particularly since people tend to put their own interpretation on the image and that could be far from what I had in mind. I had been teaching art history for a few years and started getting interested in the open air painters of the 1800’s. So I decided to try painting what I saw outdoors. I happened to take a class in art and the teacher showed me how to see colors in nature. I took my acrylic paints and prepared paper panels to the coast of southern Sweden and tried to paint. Right away I saw that I could see the colors and record them in paint. That summer I did 50 paintings and had an exhibit of them in Karlstad, Sweden. The show included a few still lifes.

Stone With Sea Marker 1982 acrylic 41x25 cm

 

 

Rock Island, Åland 1982 acrylic 41x25 cm

 

 

 

Still life with brown pot 1982 acrylic 50x40 cm

 

 

I continued to work with wood prints and did four prints of still lifes.

S-L With Paper Roll 1982  wood print

Three Shadows 1982 wood print

 

That winter I did a series of still lifes in oil similar to what I had done in acrylics – concentrating on light and shadow.

Still Life (Breakwater) 1983 oil 55x46 cm

 

 

In the spring of 1983 I started painting outdoor with oils. During the winter I had built a portable easel box with room to store a couple of wet canvases. My friend Stig Gustavsson and I took many trips into the countryside around Stockholm to paint.

Rocky Shore In The Rain 1983 oil 55x38 cm

 

 

 

Trees By A Pasture 1983 oil 55x33 cm

 

 

My friend Hans Ekvall showed me how to make a box the will safely carry larger canvases on painting outings so I started with large canvases. The summer of 1983 I did 34 paintings outdoors.

Stream In The Forest 1983 oil 73x55 cm

 

 

 

Pine Forest And Heather 1983 oil 73x50 cm

 

 

I continued 1984 – 86 to paint landscapes when weather permitted.

In the fall of 1985 I had an exhibit at Galleri Greven, Stockholm where I showed both landscapes and still lifes.

Sunny Winter Day 1984 oil 55x73 cm

Road Through Field 1984 oil 55x73 cm

 

Baltic Panorama 1984 oil 65x22 cm

 

 

Self Portrait 1985 oil 56x64 cm

Strandvägen, Stockholm 1985 oil 73x50 cm

 

 

In the summer of 1985 I spent a week painting near my father’s home in the forest country of western Sweden where the family tree goes back to 1650.

Dam On Ransberg 1985 oil 73x55 cm

 

Stream In Forest 1985 oil 38x50 cm

 

During the winter of 1985-86 I concentrated on still life painting. I began painting each nuance as a separate color field.

Lemons And Clay Pot 1986 oil 58x50 cm

 

 

 

Onions And White Bowl 1986 oil 58x50 cm

 

 

In 1987 I started painting the color areas as geometric shapes with sharp edges and started using a new palette. Up until the fall of -87, I had used a traditional assortment of colors on my palette but now I switched to the Fragonard system of three colors -phtalocyanine blue, magenta (quinacridone) violet and lemon yellow. The paint was new on the market and I soon found I could achieve all the nuances I needed. I mixed white with the paint achieving flat opaque surfaces.

In May of 1988 I had an exhibit of still lifes at Gallery Greven in Stockholm. The response was poor and I didn’t think it was worth putting all that effort into paintings that no one would buy.

I tried some landscapes without success. I used some earlier landscapes as the basis for geometricised landscapes.

Onions And Red Pitcher On Round Table 1987 oil 61x50 cm

 

 

Stream 1988 oil 73x50 cm

 

Stream 1983 oil 40x25 cm

 

 

The summer of 1989 I went back outside to do a series of city views.

Stockholm 1989 oil 35x24 cm

 

1990 I painted six still lifes, trying various approaches to get away from the illusionistic feeling of the image.

Cruet With Onions 1990 oil 55x65 cm

 

 

I thought these paintings were good but I couldn’t find a gallery in Stockholm who would exhibit them so I quit painting a few years.

Blue Mosaic 1990 oil 65x58 cm

 

 

When I started up again in 1995, I thought I would try abstracted figurative paintings based on photographs. This was not very successful.

Sergel Street 1995 oil 55x38 cm

 

 

After some more thought, I decided I would try painting flowers and to get intense colors I quit using white in mixing and thinned the paint with medium to get the range of intensity. I used the same approach I had had with my earlier still lifes but now the paint surface showed the brush strokes.

Anemones 1995 oil 41x50 cm

Tulips 1996 oil 46x61 cm

 

After a year of painting flowers I started working with still lifes again and had a successful exhibit at Galerie Alex Wiberg.

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Pears, green bowl and red clothe 1998 oil 50x65 cm

 

I tried my hand at a couple of landscapes. The results weren’t so bad but I haven’t followed up on them.

Field 1999 oil 63x42 cm

 

I’ve continued to work on still lifes in the same manner which can be seen on the other pages of my web site.

I tried doing a self portrait which happened to be the 500th painting I’ve ever done.

I feel that I still have several avenues to explore as long as I can lift a brush.

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Self Portrait 2004 oil 38x46 cm

 

August  2014

Ten years have gone since I last did a self portrait and my painting has developed, though not as much as might be thought on the basis of this painting.

 

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Self Portrait 2014 oil 54x54 cm.

 

 

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View June 2005 oil 38x50 cm.

 

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Still Life By Window II 2004 oil 44x61 cm.

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Spilt Apples 2005 oil 61x50 cm.