Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and expect nothing! A year ago I had no idea what impact Covid-19 would have around the globe and how it would affect my daily life. Today I know a lot more. I’m glad I didn’t know everything forehand. Sometimes it’s best to accept the situation and don’t push the river, so to speak.
Cancelled and closed
I admit it has been a bit tricky to stay optimistic the past year. I mean, most of my plans are on hold and the corona situation will probably make sure it stays like that for quite some time. Like many other artists, the only thing I can do is work, work, work alone in my studio and hope for better times to come. Sometimes it feels like my painting sessions continue long into my sleep, like a neverending story.
All shows are cancelled. All workshops are cancelled. Even art supply shops are closed. I have run out of several mediums and therefore have to improvise. Most likely I’ll have to order something from an online store just to get things going.
No man is an island – or?
They say “no man is an island” meaning that most people need to be part of a community in order to thrive. This capital city has been more or less closed down for five months and we are all pretty isolated. Maybe it’s time to rethink how we downsize our health care systems, organize our work and communities and how we live our lives?
As some of you have read and commented on earlier, an art school is not particularly suitable for online schooling while working on your graduate project. Last year Covid-19 forced all supervision to take place in a virtual classroom and in such moments it’s hard to keep the motivation going. In times like this you have to trust the process and seek inspiration elsewhere.
My global collage village
A year ago, as Oslo closed down, I quickly understood that I needed to get myself a hobby and a creative online community to hang out with. Luckily I came across a fantastic group of international collage artists. I have learned so much from making collage, taking online classes, discussing with morning birds and night owls and hanging out with these wonderful people. My art collection has grown along with my hope! So thank you Canaries, you really inspire me to grow my wings!
April 1. 2020 I made my very first 5 minute intuitive collage. One year later I have taken on a few challenges and made some progress. I do not compare myself to artists with 10 plus years of experience – they do amazing works! And I’m still a beginner. But as long as I’m happy, I carry on. Doing it my way. I find making collage to be both relaxing and challenging and very suitable in my ongoing process of abstractifying my work.
This April (2021) I focused on making a series of 36 collages and I’m actually quite happy with some of them. A few even found their way overseas. I will definitely dedicate more time to working with collage. But first I will try to add collage into my paintings.
Coming in from the cold with fresh eyes
We had a really cold winter this year. Since I have moved my studio home, opening windows was not a preferred thing to do, so I had to come up with less smelly ways of working. Making collage is one of them. Working small and journaling is another. Rethinking and retextualisation is part of the process. So I’m not looking for “new landscapes”, I use “fresh eyes” to see what is already there.
It’s not always what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. So, I’m kind of looking for traces, searching for myself…or rather; new ways of “inventing” my art.
When time is abundant and money is scarce, when your studio is smaller than your big dreams, when you run out of your favourite art supplies – what do you do? You either freak out or you try new things! I wonder what happens if I do this or that? Or try another way? My next project might be using my grandmother’s sewing machine on my canvases. The sewing machine that only runs backwards. Wohoo, that might be a lot of fun!
Never give up, keep trying and practise every day! Success comes in many different shapes and forms. Have faith and have fun!