IKEA just announced these lightboxes with “art” by Ylva Skarp on a foil attached to the lightboxes. Price SEK 1295/approximately USD 145. The product is called FLOALT. Ylva Skarp and her images are popular in certain interior design circles and you often find her images in featured interiors.
Personally I don’t call this “art” or “calligraphy” which some do. Personally I would never pay SEK 1295 to IKEA for a lightbox with her images. Would you? I’ve always found her imagery overrated.
The above “art”-images are sold via Leva & Bo, a magazine from one of Swedens daily newspapers. They are posters and art-cards and even pillow-cases. They are created by Karolina Palmer. Apparently they are very popular? I fail to understand why… How can images like these be called “art”? They look like something your child (or your friends child) would have created. And mass-produced to sell via the magazine. I would never pay for them. Nor would I ever put them on my walls at home.
Of course taste differs between different people, but some things that are sold as art, really shouldn’t be called art…. In my opinion.
I actually love art and am a real image-nerd, but these ones? No, thanks.
Last Wednesday Ulla and I visited Millesgården. Both the special exhibition of Josef Franks patterns, textiles, furniture and aquarelles and the park with it sculptures and the home of the sculptor Carl MIlles which used it as his and his wifes summerhouse.
It was a perfect day for visiting. Sunny, blue skies and just the right temperature outside. This time of the year the estate and its sculpture garden is also at its nicest with all the plants and pots with Mediterranean plants.
In between the stonesteps in the garden were planted this nice little plant, called “murreva” in Swedish, or Cymbalaria Muralis in Latin. It was everywhere between the heavy stonesteps at Millesgården.
The first thing you see when you enter the sculpture park at Millesgården is the pool with the sculpture called Europa and the Bull. And then the view out over the water.
I’ve always been fascinated by sculptures. For some reason I have only visit Millesgården once when I was in school, long ago… Didn’t enjoy it then. Though who does as a school-child?
One of the most famous sculpture here is the one of Poseidon, which also can be found in Gothenburg.
Here are some more pictures from our visit. Doubleclick an image to see a larger version, reload the web-page to sort them in a different order, hover over an image to (eventually) get an explanation of it.
Man and Pegasus
Man and Pegasus
The sculpture park.
Hand of God
Jona and the Vale
The Creation, model
Floor in the Milles summerhouse
In the Milles summerhouse
In the Milles summerhouse
In the studio of Carl Milles
In the studio of Carl Milles
The Sun Singer
We also visited Anne’s house at Millesgården. There the interior had furniture and patterns of Josef Frank. Very contemporary.
And of course we also had a “fika” at the much too expensive restaurant almost at the top of the garden. The prices were ridiculous there, as in almost all places where you have no choice of other less expensive restaurants.
The birds in the surroundings also got their share when guests left their tables…
Yesterday Ulla and I visited the Josef Frank Exhibition at Millesgården. The exhibition was about his patterns, furniture and paintings (aquarelles actually). Josef Frank lived between 1885 and 1967. Read more about Josef Frank here.
The exhibition is in the building just inside the entrance to Millesgården.
I’ve always loved the patterns of Josef Frank and their colors. Now we had a chance to see them in real life, and also his aquarelles, which are less known to the public. He started painting at the age of 68.
I knew he made furniture and particularly that long sofa with the tulips pattern is famous.
The patterns are colorful and picture plants and animals with a lot of fantasy. They are very decorative.
The pattern in the middle in the picture above is called “Italian Dinner” and have pictures of all the ingredients in an italian dinner, like vegetables and sea-food among other things.
Most of the patterns I’ve seen before in various contexts. But not his carpets. The above carpet was created in the 1930-ties. Hard to believe that they did carpets like this at that time. The pattern of this carpet has been replicated in a planting outside in the park, filled with summer flowers.
The mural on this wall is an enlargement of one of Josef Franks paintings. Behind this wall is the exhibition of some of his aquarelles. The audience here was not really of the kind I normally see in the places where I go. Lots of elderly ladies of the upper classes, with a particular way to speak. Among them a few younger persons and some that very much wanted to look like artists. Interesting… There were more visitors there than we had expected for a Wednesday afternoon. Tourists? Yes. But not too many.
Joes Frank started painting at the age of 68. He said he didn’t have the techniques required but he enjoyed painting. I love his pictures and think they are really good.
The above pictures look like they are illuminated from the back of the pictures, but they are not. The effect is there because they are placed against a black background and because of the colors in the pictures.
The landscapes he painted… Just love them. Particularly the last one above. That, and the light, is exactly how it looks just about everywhere around the Mediterranean.
The above is a timeline about the life and works of Josef Frank.
We then had a look at what was on offer in the gift shop. As usual with these kind of places the prices are high. No. I didn’t buy anything. The guy in the picture was noted though. Trying very much to look like an artist?
The small glass vases below was also for sale at the gift shop. I don’t remember if they had anything to do with the Josef Frank exhibition or not. I noticed them as they look so very alike to some other small glass vases I’ve seen elsewhere for a fraction of the price asked here.
We then went out into the sculpture park at Millesgården and to the sun and blue skies.I will publish those pictures at a later occasion.
There is this round building in the middle of the traffic system at Slussen, Stockholm, called Kolingsborg. Kolingsborg was built 1953–54, from drawings by architect Arthur von Schmalensee. The building had to begin with offices for the port authorities of Stockholm. The building has also been housing a nightclub, architect offices, and the Bobbadilla club.
I grew up in the neighborhood and have seen this building most of my life. Passed it the other day on my way from the Southern parts of Stockholm to the City. The following are my own pictures of Kolingsborg from September 21st 2015.
The graffiti paintings are connected one to the other, but the painters have otherwise been free to paint what they wanted.
The building will be taken down in October 2015 in connection with the building of the new Slussen (whenever that starts, it was decided on only this week).
The murals inside will not be saved. They will be documented though for posterity.
Below Slussen as seen from the street on the way down to the Old Town from Kolingsborg and the Slussen area. This is the only way to pass Stockholm by boat from Mälaren to the East Sea.
I’ve spent the last weekend at my neighbors (where the cat Gustav and Alice live) helping her to re-arrange her existing furniture, a quick trip to Ikea to get new shelves, assembling the shelves and putting them in place, and creating a new picture wall above her sofa in its new location.
It is a very long livingroom where she also has her working space. It needed some division. Open plan towards the kitchen and dining area.
The dark picture on the wall mirrors me and my neighbor instead of showing the content of the picture. Has to do with how the light falls I suppose.
The solution was two new Kallax shelves from Ikea. This way she got a corner for the sofa and TV-watching, the computer corner partly hidden behind the shelves, and a new reading corner.
When at Ikea, my neighbors friend Pia also found a cover for the old darkblue officechair. That cover, created for diningroom chairs, fit the office-chair perfectly.
All that lacks in the reading corner now is a reading lamp and a carpet. The lamp to the left of the sofa in the pictures above is supposed to move to this corner. She already has a carpet that she plans to place here.
The livingroom became all new. The ceiling lamps need fixing, but that will come later.
The funny thing with the re-arranged furniture was the reaction of the cats. Alice, who slept during the entire re-arranging and appeared only when it was ready, and took to it with great curiosity and accepted it immediately. Gustav at first didn’t accept it at all. He hardly wanted to enter the livingroom… He got over it later in the evening though and accepted the new placement of the sofa.
The entire room became so much nicer with the picture wall, the re-arrangement of the furniture and the new shelves dividing the long room.
Got that fun topic “Plants & Art” from Urban Jungle Bloggers for September. I use to participate in the monthly topics as it is fun to see what you can do for a certain topic. This one was hard though.
Art above are a combination of five aquarelles I’ve done and some prints.
Why was it hard? Because I normally do not combine plants with art. I simply do not have the space for it or the right light for the plants where the art is. The above two pictures are from my livingroom. Having a plant in that location above would be risky. Could easily be run into and fall to the floor… (or into the sofa).
Aquarelle in the background by me.
So I faked it. Placed the plants near to the art where the art is. In locations where I would never normally put plants. The above picture and the following are shot in the bedroom. Unfortunately a day with very little light outside so the light for shooting pictures were not as good as I would have wished.
It was fun though to experiment and see how different combinations turned out. This location is way too dark though for any plant to survive there.
Pictures on the wall are one aquarelle by my father to the right, and a large print to the left that I bought at Ikea decades ago. So far the print has seen three different bedrooms. I want to be able to see it from the bed. The small thing on the wall is a souvenir from Greece, as are the greek ceramic houses and the figure on the shelf.
Some things were better looking than others. The cactus definitely looks better in its regular location in the bedroom window. The small olive tree – just moved inside from the patio – looks OK here though. But too dark for it to survive here. It goes back to the bedroom window.
It was a fun exercise though. Plants are now back in their regular locations, and so are the various details used in the exercise. I guess this is how professional interior designers work when setting up different looks for a photo shoot.
Since the exhibition started, and photos of this sculpture started to appear, I intended to go visit to see the sculpture in place. It is such an interesting form. Fascinating.
I didn’t go into the Moderna Museet. I stayed outside in the park to take pictures of the Maman sculpture. I’ve actually not visited a museum in Stockholm since the entrance stopped being free, which it was for a while. Entrance fees might become free again if the politicians will decide so. Until then, no museum visits. Too expensive.
So, I visited Friday as the exhibition ended on Sunday May 17th. Yesterday the Maman sculpture was taken down for transfer to Museo Picasso Málaga where the exhibition will reside June 15 – September 27 2015.
So now she is gone.
I also looked at the other sculptures in the park outside Moderna Museet. Something I’ve also planned to do for a long time. I will show you what in a later post about it.
This is my dalecarlian wooden horse, or the “dalahäst”, and its sibling, the small one, plus the wooden cock. They are all older than me. I have had that big horse all my life, and I love it.
Nowadays they are usually not handmade (as far as I know). Very usual tourist souvenir. They come in all kinds of looks nowadays too. They can even be collectors items and sold dearly at various auctions. A very Swedish decorative item.
Above is a close-up of the small wooden horse. Very naïve painting. It is 4.5 cms high.
The above is an Ikea-version of the wooden horse. It is black and has a grey fur… Ikea did a series of wooden horses at some time, in different colors and looks. I love this black one. Just as decorative as the old red one and about the same size. But the red one is the original. Makes you happy looking at it, right?
Last week Bengt Elde, Swedish picture painter, passed away after some time with prostata cancer. No, I didn’t know him, but I’ve always loved his pictures (see gallery below).
His pictures are detailed, colorful, imaginative, full of fantasy and fun. Often flowers, views of Stockholm or the archipelago, summer or winter, and those recurring little critters…
I can watch his pictures over and over and over again and still find details in them that I didn’t see before. (As a child this was the kind of pictures that most awoke my imagination). His art is folksy and easy to love. His pictures have been made into table mats, coasters, trays, calendars, postcards… and pictures of course. Not all that expensive to buy. There is a shop at Drottninggatan in Stockholm that sells a lot of his pictures and items. He also had a studio centrally in the southern part of Stockholm.
He was very creative.
His “critters” that appear in several pictures and on his glasses above and as ceramic horse-like objects, I haven’t seen sold anywhere. I have seen pictures of them done in ceramics though.
Below are some examples of his pictures that I found on the internet. Personally I only have saved pages from some of his yearly wall calendars. I guess the calendar for 2015 will be the last one unless his publisher continue to publish them.
If you click on an image, you will see them larger. If you reload the page the images will re-sort. The images are from various places on the internet and I’ve had no way to ask for permissions to publish them here. Just hoping that it is OK to do so.
The Adobe Illustrator WOW! Book is out again. This time for CS6 and CC. I’m one of the testers of the chapters of the book. And this time it is a printed version, on paper. We had a digital pdf version before this one covering the previous CC version. Highly recommended (though I am biased). All updated with techniques and examples for the latest version of Adobe Illustrator.
Have participated in the WOW Team for a couple of versions by now. I always learn new techniques by testing the chapters about how to do certain things.
I wasn’t always an Adobe Illustrator user. I started out in then Macromedia Freehand – and as most previous Freehand users still miss some of the features it had. But Illustrator is, though slowly, getting there.
Go get your own book either at Amazon or at PeachPit. Available both as e-book and printed book in full color. If you are in Sweden you can get it from Adlibris or Bokus.
Every time I get off the bus from Tumba at Albyvägen to go to ICA MAXI for my weekly grocery shopping, I see this concrete sculpture in the grass, not far from the bus station. Love it. I’ve always been fascinated by this kind of sculpture with simple forms and expression. Have been intending to take a photo of it all summer and the other day I finally did. It looks like an extra little village beside the regular houses.
Looked for a plaque or something about it but couldn’t find any. So googled and found that the artist is Egyptian Tarek Zaki. Tarek Zaki was born in 1975 and lives and works in Cairo. The sculpture was inaugurated at the beginning of June 2014. It just sits there in the grass and is very anonymous. Will bring my regular camera and take more photos one of these days. Interestingly enough there is no graffiti on it, yet. I hope it will stay like that.
A doodle, done on two occasions, long ago. I always did those when sitting somewhere, listening. It was my trick to concentrate and really hear what was said. I still do if I am in a situation where I have to listen and not to participate and say something. Provided there is paper and pen available of course. Do people do doodles on their iPads or smartphones I wonder? Do they?
What is a doodle? This is how wikipedia explains it:
“A doodle is an unfocused or unconscious drawing made while a person’s attention is otherwise occupied. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be abstract shapes.
Stereotypical examples of doodling are found in school notebooks, often in the margins, drawn by students daydreaming or losing interest during class. Other common examples of doodling are produced during long telephone conversations if a pen and paper are available.
Popular kinds of doodles include cartoon versions of teachers or companions in a school, famous TV or comic characters, invented fictional beings, landscapes, geometric shapes, patterns and textures. “
My father, Oskar Edvard Tjäder, was born on July 28th, 1906 and died on January 3rd, 1984. My father created signboards that still today can be seen on some places around Stockholm. He was a sign-designer and a commercial artist.
He also painted in oil and aquarelles when he had the time and was also a quite good photographer.
Below are the pictures I have in my possession. Sometimes they are on the walls, sometimes in storage.
This one lives on the wall above the TV. Oil, 45 x 64 cms, 1929. When I grew up it belonged to my grandmother and hung in her room. I got it after she passed away in 1960. I have always loved this painting. It could need some cleaning though…
The cat “Pirre” is above my be in the bedroom. Done on black scrape-paper (white hard carton overdrawn with black) where every line is scraped out in white with a special pencil. 21 x 17 cms, 1940. My father taught me how to do this technique but I don’t really have the patience for it. I still have some of that particular scratch-paper though.
The two pictures above are pencil drawings from 1944 of me as a child. 19 x 24 cms and 13 x 19 cms.
Flowers. Oil, 60 x 45 cms, 1932. This one could need some cleaning too and some repairs on the backside of the frame.
Aquarelle of Stigbergsgatan, Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden in 1940, 28 x 37 cms..
Aquarelle of “Spring at Stigbergsgatan”, 1928, 30 x 39 cms.
I have some more of my fathers drawings stored somewhere, and at least one more scratch-drawing… Time has marked the materials, especially the paper in the drawings and the aquarelles. Thanks to Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Photoshop CC , some of the yellowness of the pictures could be removed, but in reality they are much more yellow than above. I also used Adobe Photoshop perspective crop to straighten some of the pictures after taking the pictures. It is always hard to get photos of bigger pictures straight when shooting. I have changed the frame of two of the pictures because they broke but the rest are the original wooden frames, some gilded.
The above is a statue called The Thinker. It is placed at Valdemarsudde in Stockholm, Sweden. I wonder how many different “thinker” statues there are around the world. The two below are small figurines bought in Greece. One in heavy iron, the second in marble. Same idea as the statue by Rhodin… or? Or just a universal thinker pose…