Singles Awareness Day

Red hearts everywhere. Red clothing in all shades and styles everywhere you turn. Blink and you just wont miss that fire engine red lipstick. Nothing brings home the truth about being alone more than Valentine’s Day.

Other days seem to be geared towards culture, tradition and family, but Valentine’s Day? I beg to differ. The celebrations have been narrowed down from showing all types of love, to just the one between a couple, as if that’s all Saint Valentine had in mind. For someone who has enjoyed being one half of a couple for a while, the loneliness hurts, so I would rather call it “Singles Awareness Day” than “Valentine’s Day”.

I’m learning to be alone, but sometimes the loneliness hits me like a ten-tonne truck. This particular year, I got to notice the adverts all over the place, because I am trying to use this same season to promote more giving and charity in my sphere of influence.

Sisu Prime Aromatherapy sells 100% natural, phthalate-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free, body and hair care products, that boost your emotional, mental and physical well-being. Our Loodus line is our first set of natural perfumes, and we are donating a part of the proceeds towards the lunch program of Street2School Initiative, a local NGO helping to keep children off the streets in Lagos, Nigeria.

sisu-advert
Sisu Prime is @sisuprime on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

I had to actually tune into all the messages and ads around, so that I could also come up with something nice enough to increase sales and ultimately make a sizable donation to the Initiative. It seems every company and entrepreneur has one form of sales or the other for this period. I am encouraged by the high number of sales tied to charity, motherless home donations and scholarships. Boosts my heart.

If you are like me, without a significant other today, I encourage you to do what I have planned: Touch someone else’s life today – be it a random stranger, or a friend that you have not reached out to check on, for a long while. Depression is eating away at everyone in our society today, and all the hype about love will only make it worse. Let us add to the other side of the equation: show love to someone that cannot expect or even afford it, today.

Above all, celebrate your achievements. Love yourself today. Give yourself a big treat – do you know how many babies were born on your birthday that did not make it to their fifth? Do you know how many others did not get to be a teenager? So many people went through just one-tenth of what you have been through to get here, yet they are gone. Count your blessings one by one.

Be grateful. I know I am.

Voilà, le side table – only took a year!

What do you do when your chopping boards are a bit grim and need replacing? You make a side table, naturally. It all started with a vision. A vision to create something beautiful and avoid going to the recycling station. I was envisioning a win-win scenario whereby I could let flow my creative juices, make…

Powerful Red

I finished another painting, a bit similar to the Autumn Leafs painting, but with a much clearer structure and so I think, more powerful. Also, I used different materials: lime, marble powder and cold marble wax for a smooth structure and shellac ink for a warm subtle tone. This time, I really wanted to get ...

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Autumn Leafs

The last weeks were packed with lots of stuff. Currently, I am mainly working with Clara & Tobias in this old house and it’s really heavy work. We are still building the new separation wall and we already reached the first level (cave and ground floor are done!). It’s not only building this wall, it ...

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Autumn

Autumn, the season between summer and winter, a time of change. It brings beautiful colours of fallen leafs, snugly evenings in front of the fire. We start preparing for the winter time, harvest and conserve fruits and vegetables from our garden, store firewood, take out our cosy woolen cloths. Nature is preparing herself for a […]

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Who inspired me: Mark Rothko

Until a few years ago, I could not imagine that I can create art.
It changed when I took a course in 2009, to learn using traditional techniques to restore and decorate walls.
My trainer was an artist-artisan, he not only miraculously mixed colours and materials, and explained how the different materials react with each other, he also conjured beautiful examples of multi-coloured stucco, lime plaster and Tadelakt.
I was thrilled, but still far away from thinking that this might have something to do with art.
For me, it was perfect craftsmanship, but it bordered on art 😉
During this course, I discovered that I have a knack for colours and I am quite good in applying the various techniques. So I started practicing to refine my skills. Over the years I have plastered many hundreds of square meters of walls. And still I did not think that this is a kind of art.
Friends who come to visit us every year began early to tell me that I should go a bit further and also use other supports than just walls because it is art, what I was doing.
I am indeed happy they liked the results of my work, but for me, the thought of trying that on canvas, was far away.
In January this year, we visited the Pop Art exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, and because this is such a wonderful museum, we went there again the next day and had a look at the permanent exhibition. I wanted to see the paintings of Gerhard Richter, who impressed me quite a bit a few years ago at the Museum of Fine Art in Leipzig, but this is another story to tell.
The Richter paintings are wonderful, but the biggest surprise for me that day was a room in which the Seegram Murals by Mark Rothko hang.

Mark Rothko Red on Maroon
Mark Rothko Red on Maroon

I had never heard of this artist and was deeply fascinated. What was hanging there, were paintings for decorating the walls of the Four Seasons restaurants in New York. These paintings reminded me very much of how I decorate walls. I spent about one hour in this dark room, I went back and forth, repeatedly looked at all pictures and was deeply touched. This subtle effect of how colours can influence a room (and moods) was overwhelming.
Now I understood what our friends thought when they looked at my walls and rooms. I decided to transfer techniques for the design of walls on canvas and adapt them to this flexible material.
At a first glance, it might look easy to paint with only one color, but it is quite complicated to bring in texture and depth and trigger emotions.

My two paintings Red and Blue are my first examples of just applying different hues of one colour.
Currently I’m experimenting with the color white, but it still takes a little until I like to show the result to the public.

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The post Who inspired me: Mark Rothko appeared first on Christine Graf.

Who inspired me: Mark Rothko

Until a few years ago, I could not imagine that I can create art.
It changed when I took a course in 2009, to learn using traditional techniques to restore and decorate walls.
My trainer was an artist-artisan, he not only miraculously mixed colours and materials, and explained how the different materials react with each other, he also conjured beautiful examples of multi-coloured stucco, lime plaster and Tadelakt.
I was thrilled, but still far away from thinking that this might have something to do with art.
For me, it was perfect craftsmanship, but it bordered on art 😉
During this course, I discovered that I have a knack for colours and I am quite good in applying the various techniques. So I started practicing to refine my skills. Over the years I have plastered many hundreds of square meters of walls. And still I did not think that this is a kind of art.
Friends who come to visit us every year began early to tell me that I should go a bit further and also use other supports than just walls because it is art, what I was doing.
I am indeed happy they liked the results of my work, but for me, the thought of trying that on canvas, was far away.
In January this year, we visited the Pop Art exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, and because this is such a wonderful museum, we went there again the next day and had a look at the permanent exhibition. I wanted to see the paintings of Gerhard Richter, who impressed me quite a bit a few years ago at the Museum of Fine Art in Leipzig, but this is another story to tell.
The Richter paintings are wonderful, but the biggest surprise for me that day was a room in which the Seegram Murals by Mark Rothko hang.

Mark Rothko Red on Maroon
Mark Rothko Red on Maroon

I had never heard of this artist and was deeply fascinated. What was hanging there, were paintings for decorating the walls of the Four Seasons restaurants in New York. These paintings reminded me very much of how I decorate walls. I spent about one hour in this dark room, I went back and forth, repeatedly looked at all pictures and was deeply touched. This subtle effect of how colours can influence a room (and moods) was overwhelming.
Now I understood what our friends thought when they looked at my walls and rooms. I decided to transfer techniques for the design of walls on canvas and adapt them to this flexible material.
At a first glance, it might look easy to paint with only one color, but it is quite complicated to bring in texture and depth and trigger emotions.

My two paintings Red and Blue are my first examples of just applying different hues of one colour.
Currently I’m experimenting with the color white, but it still takes a little until I like to show the result to the public.

Save

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Red

So far, I have always worked with several colours, with Red I limited myself to one colour, but in different shades: ochre rouge, Rouge de Venise, vermilion. Again, I have worked with different layers and binders, such as marble powder, linseed oil and acrylic.
Ocre Rouge or iron oxide, is a pigment obtained by calcination of yellow ochre. The Venetian red is also based on iron oxide and has been used since antiquity for painting. Vermilion has been derived from mercury sulfide but here I used a synthetic pigment, which reacts a bit differently than the other two mineral pigments.

There are a lot of theories about the meaning of colours and the related personality types, and although some are very controversial, there are quite coincident assignments.
Roughly speaking, personality types differ according to their type of temperament (extrovert, introvert) and further regarding sensory perception, intuition, thinking and feeling.
The colour red is associated with extroverted, analytical thinking people. Allocated to red are such attributes like decisive, strong-willed, demanding, task & goal focused, powerful and positive thinking. “Red people” are full of energy and take immediately chances and challenges, tackle problems, and think later, maybe.
It could be that they do not pay much attention on the feelings of others.
No person is only red, just as the picture that I painted. It has different shades of red, which will be probably not perceived by many as red in the traditional sense. The middle part consists of several layers of ochre rouge, which is mixed with various binders and thus the layers are fairly discolored. The lower part consists of Venetian red, a deep, warm shade of red. The upper part is painted in several layers of vermilion on Venetian red. Depending on the source and intensity of light, the colours change.

When thinking about painting with one colour tone, red and blue came into my mind first. Seems, that I am not one hundred percent red 😉

Everyday life

Rush, hurry up to get the subway, the bus, the plane, be on time at the office.
Countless phone calls, talking to employees and customers, power struggles.
In between eating a bit, little fresh air, always under time pressure.
Fast organizing a few personal things.  Shopping food online, something healthy, if possible.
Even more quickly, make a little sport.
Getting back home, tired.
Hardly time to breathe, few highlights.

This is how I painted the Everyday Life