Monday, July 15, 2013


Untitled, 2013, oil on canvas, 150 x120 cm

What are you working on in your studio right now?
I have started working on a new series of paintings which are 150x120 cm. in size, and I continuing working on some older pieces in various sizes. I am also making crochet objects, which I call "crochet growth or crops". I just finished an installation in Gallery Merde, Copenhagen.

Can you describe your working routine?
I don’t have a very regular routine. I can work at any time, depending on whether I have a show coming up or how busy I am with other work, but preferably I come to my studio early morning having a long day to "waste time". Getting into the work, look and wait. But lately I mostly just start painting almost at the very moment I enter my studio. I work maybe one or two hours on one or more pieces. Then I sit and look. And then maybe continue on the same or other pieces. Some days I can also paint non stop for hours and others not at all. Then I look and think, write, draw or something else. But most days I paint something. I’m always having many pieces going on at the same time. Sometimes it’s a bit like every day I begin from a new zero. I don’t know at all how to do it, but of course it’s also nonsense to say, after so many years of experience and practice. I come to my studio almost every day. I also work at home, on paper and the computer.


Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?

I love my studio. It’s only about 10 minutes on bike from my home in an industrial and living area, with other studios and close both to the centre and the sea. The studio is not so big and has four south facing windows. This means the light changes a lot and the room can be like an oven, in hot weather. The light is of course very important for me as a painter. (So when it is cold and grey outside I am mostly happy.) In the beginning I found this quite challenging, like I had to work more quickly than before when I had 3 big north windows with the perfect clear stable light. But I got used to this sunshine now, (I have been here many years), and its fine. I move around, use curtains and a cap. I work mostly on the floor or wall.



Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.
I might start a painting with a vague or clearer idea. It can come from everywhere or anything. Like a collage of visual and mental observations.  Some things I see, think, or a composition, just to start. I put up something, and then kind of start a dialogue with the canvas. Things evolve through working. It can change from the first idea. I am always open and asking questions. I work intuitively, but always reflecting and changing between this. The canvas can be like a playground, where I put out different elements and opposite movements and somehow try organizing this, searching for a stage or room where it feels set, balanced or at a certain point or edge. Or it just leaves me.
I am curious and fascinated by what the colours and strokes can do, how it behaves, and how easy and quick it is to change or damage it all. Sometimes I start by putting up a difficult colour just to make some resistance to work on, or also to crash and open a painting that doesn’t really work. I can never know if it will work. But I have to continue. It is of course wonderful when the work is in a flow; I just paint certainly without thinking. It is important some times to wait and look, and also just work with the uncertainty. It’s always a balance.

If I had promised you a rose garden,
 installation Esplananden, Copenhagen, 2009

What are you having the most trouble resolving?
Stop in time. Or not stop. Some times I work too much. Sometimes I just stop because I am tired of it. It is always the balance. Being warm and cold, close and distant. Going in details and all over. I am seldom satisfied, and this drives me.

Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?

I work primarily with oil paint in my studio, but I also use aquarelle, pencil colours, print and drawings. Everything. It depends on the circumstances or place. I can also make installations with different materials and crocheted objects. The crocheted "plant-like crops" I used in installations alone or together with paintings. I always did crochet, it can be more relaxing, in a way easier to make than a painting, more slow handwork of course. Although painting is like the primary thing for me, it is in a way all the same. I am always taking many photos.

Untitled, 2013, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm

What does the future hold for this work?
I always hope and try to explore and make better works, more clearly and simple (and complex) I am curious and this makes me continue. I am just planning some interesting group exhibitions with colleagues, and this summer I will go to paint in the mountains in China, in Xu Cun international art residency. I am excited about this. I was there in 2011 and it was very fantastic.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for the invitation to this site Valerie and my good friend and colleague Rodney Dickson. It was interesting to do this answering, and to know your site.
Thank you and all the best!

Come Wait, 2013, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

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