Perfect Blue

I was searching for a long time for the perfect blue, played around with different pigments, lost my track a bit through the dead of my mother and finally felt that I need another colour in this painting. My perfect blue has got a dash of green, a green I created by adding some terre […]

The post Perfect Blue appeared first on Christine Graf.

Silver Grey

It is often said that grey is not a colour, but a statement, if you want to hide or remain invisible (the grey mouse). Sometimes, instead of positioning oneself for one side or another, we are looking for a way in the middle between two opposites, between white and black. But grey can also be […]

The post Silver Grey appeared first on Christine Graf.

Exploratory Painting

I am always experimenting with different natural materials, such as lime, marble powder, fine sand, ash, to create depth and structure. The challenge lies in bonding these materials and adhere them to a flexible canvas. Sometimes, they just crumble away after drying. Using a mix of pure lime with marble powder, which is used for […]

The post Exploratory Painting appeared first on Christine Graf.

Yellow

In the middle of the winter, when it became really cold, grey and windy, when the sun did not shine for a few days, I was longing for the blue sky and bright light. I thought of using yellow, the colour of the sun, to create a painting which could brighten up this time of […]

The post Yellow appeared first on Christine Graf.

Traces

While tidying up my sentimental stuff a few weeks ago, I found some special editions from German newspapers to celebrate the German unification on October 3, 1990. This event was crucial for my life, but that’s another story. When reading through these newspapers again, my ideas about creating paper collages took shape. It’s been a […]

The post Traces appeared first on Christine Graf.

The Signature of my Art

Signing my paintings is always the last part of my work, when signed, the painting is ready. To me, it’s the sign of completion, like an approval of the result of a creative process. I have talked to artists and did a little research, and I also always paid attention to the signatures in galleries […]

The post The Signature of my Art appeared first on Christine Graf.

A New Masterpiece: Silver

Gold and silver are often mentioned in the same breath, somehow belonging together, they represent about the same symbols and attributes. Admittedly, I have a slightly different feeling about silver, to me it is more clean and has more clarity, typifies modernity and technology.
Anyway, after painting Gold, it was obvious to paint the other half of that couple.

As always, I applied many layers of paint in varying thickness, by using spatulas, brushes and self-made fabric stamps.
I then sanded or abraded them and anew these layers. Instead of genuine silver, I used silver paint since it does not oxidize.
Here a series of photos documenting the painting process a bit:

Silver - steps
Silver – steps

The result is as always a little surprising also for myself, because the structures arise on the go, at random.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The post A New Masterpiece: Silver appeared first on Christine Graf.

Swedish Paint

Few weeks ago, I wrote about a natural paint, based on flower and pigments, I created for painting a new garage door.
Last week, I wanted to paint the shelter for our firewood in the garden and again, I cooked my paint, using the same recipe but with red iron oxide pigment.
The shelter is much more exposed to weather (sometimes rain, but mostly sun and wind) than the garage door and thus a durable paint is needed to protect the wood.
Permanent exposure to the sun is a big challenge, most of the synthetic paints peel of after a few months.  So far, I used Osmo paints but even those semi-natural paints chipped of after two years.
It can become an expensive hobby to paint all the outdoor wooden pieces every two years. A durable natural paint, tested under Scandinavian weather conditions for centuries seems to be a good alternative.
It’s easy to create and it’s cheap: 5 L of paint costs about 5 €!
Thinking of the environment, I also wanted to avoid any toxic ingredients.
The paint should last approx. 4-5 years and restoration is easy as the surface needs to be brushed before repainting it.

Swedish Red  or Rouge de Falun

In the town of Falun is a copper mine which has been explored for more than thousand years. The red iron oxide is a by-product of the copper mining. The earth above the copper contains ocher, silicon and zinc. At plain air, it washes out and dries. The result is a fine red powder, the red iron oxide.
The mine closed in 1992. Today, the area is on the UNESCO list and a tourist hot spot.

Since a few years, we have Swedish family members and one of the first pictures which popped up in our heads were those of the nice red wooden houses in Sweden.

Red Swedish House
Red Swedish House
Isabell Schulz - Yellow Swedish House https://www.flickr.com/photos/isapisa/8471500192 (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Isabell Schulz – Yellow Swedish House https://www.flickr.com/photos/isapisa/8471500192 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In the 16 century the city municipalities ordered home owners to paint their house front facing the street in red to impress the royals.
Later on, it became a countrywide fashion to paint all new country houses red, urban villas in yellow and window frames and fences in red or green.  At this time, the paint did not contain any linseed oil or savon noir, but sometimes brine, beer or tar.

Either you cook your own paint, or you buy it from the two manufacturers of traditional Swedish paint, Falu Rödfärg and Moose Färg.
Nowadays, the colour palette offers also different shades of blue, yellow, grey, green and even black.

Application

The base recipe stays the same, just different pigments are added.
You can use this kind of paint also for painting wooden floors, furniture, already painted walls (plaster boards like Rigips and Fermacell) and bricks.
Ferrous sulfate protects the wood against fungus infestation and is not needed for indoor paints.
The surface needs to be rough, the best is to seal it in advance.
Even an application on paper walls is possible but you need to make the wall absorbent with a layer of acrylic.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The post Swedish Paint appeared first on Christine Graf.

Hanging Art

Last week, I delivered two paintings and on place, the new owner and me were discussing how to hang the paintings, its colours, the influence of light and how they fit into the room.
The art one chose reflects its personality and it is often influenced by unconscious thoughts and feelings.
Abstract paintings stay longer interesting because, depending on moods and life circumstances, you can always find something new in it.
However, art paintings enrich your home, given that they hang in the right place.
Of course, on can live with naked walls, but art can give a room a special atmosphere, influence moods and inspire the owners.

Less is more

That goes for furniture as well as for paintings, overcrowded spaces often seem cramped and make you nervous as you can not find a resting point in such a place.
I think the best is when you are just living a while before heading out to furnish and decorate, to get a sense how it feels in your new home.

The right height

The center of the painting should be about 1.50 meters above the ground, or in about 5/8 of the general height of the wall (golden ratio).
If the painting is placed above a sofa or chair, then the lower edge of the painting should be about 15 cm over the furniture.
The larger the picture, the more individually it should hang or the more of a wall should be visible.
If you hang several pictures of different seizes to one wall, you should have one center piece and arrange the others around it.
Think of a rectangle and begin with the positioning in the corners. Darker pictures hanging above brighter ones, bigger above smaller, thus avoiding an optical sagging of the room.

The light

Images should never be spotlighted, but enlightened indirectly. Pictures need a lot of brightness, best of alternating directions, then you can always rediscover new details;-)

Suspension

There are countless types of suspension, from simple picture hooks to complex systems. Personally, I prefer the old-fashioned version: attach two hooks on the left and right of the frame at the same height, stretch a cord long enough that it ends somewhat below the upper frame.
Or you just fix two hooks on the frame in same distance from the edge which can be easily adjusted a few millimeters.
Sometimes, paintings are uneven, are different in thickness (f.e. collages), so that the suspension is a little bit tricky.
If you want to change pictures often, then the use of picture rails are certainly better than to drill new holes again.

The post Hanging Art appeared first on Christine Graf.