Everything I fear

– Siri Gindesgaard

A development and a process that seems to be infinite…

I open the large double door on one floor of my studio, where the view is clear and ice blue to Roskilde fjord. The cold wind hits me, like a hard blow to the face, quickly filling the space among empty canvases – each stands on the border between dialogue and disruption, embraced by the tunes of Leonard Cohen’s ‘You want it darker’

The coffee is ready and I have finally found tranquillity to sit down and write about my pictures. It sounds trite and a simple task, but before I know it, I am standing with the brush in hand and starting to work.

Later that day I am expecting a visit from a journalist, who wants to interview me about my pictures and the creative process. It will never work, I cannot even write anything coherent, and especially meaningful for others to read. Maybe I should just cancel…

The palette in the dark end of the scale and many of my purchased oils in all sorts of shades are stuffed at the rear of the drawer at the moment. There are a few exceptions. There are only the selected colours lying out I ‘can’ work with right now. Not that they are so few but they move within a certain grayscale with a touch of Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umbra, Van Dyke Brown and Hookers Green. The oils lie exactly where I left it, so I would have no problem mixing the desired nuance with my eyes closed. Sometimes I find myself closing my eyes, moving the brush to the three colours, I think, I will get the desired hue. A good test that strengthens my work!

 The demands for me become greater and require a new workflow and approach to painting. Previous goals are assessed and buried – new ones evolve. When I think about it, it’s probably more underestimated than actually determined.

I mean of course myself as an artist and self-critic, who else is capable of doing it.

 “Why are you always so hard on yourself?” I often hear people say!

“My boundaries are moving and sometimes faster than I can keep up with” It’s not to be hard on myself.

I’ve certainly made some rather difficult demands on my way to work with a painting, a need for speed in the first part of the process. If the actual composition of the image does not satisfy, I cannot just paint over it. Allowing a minimum of colours; just keeping it barely feasible. This is due to the excessive amount of paint I use. If I try to change too early, then everything is ruined, blotches occur where the colours overlap. This does not mean that I paint a picture finished in a day – it can take weeks sometimes. I guess it’s basically all about timing. Timing in relation to when the colour is dry.

I want to maintain the structure of the canvas and the transparency of the colour layers.

 I paint with a certain serenity, and let the mood and emotion control, as I find myself in the here and now, but I also work with imagery that reflects everything I fear. It is the feared that is the pulse of the images and the driving force of it all.

It must hurt a little. It should be both the viewer and me. If we succeed in this then the painting is a success.

That which creates the image, gets it to work; is when it gives me a feeling of togetherness here and now. The feeling that I have been there myself; or maybe at some time in the future if nothing else.

But it must also capture me and hold me for a while, and then slip again, so the image lives on in me. Images have more stories to tell, depending on how you look at them, just like we humans have.

So why only tell one particular story, if they change each time you tell them and they get a new tone and agenda. Maybe a voice suited to the company you’re in. Can images contain several stories and with a new interpretation, it is my goal to pursue this. It should also be able to touch those who view it. This is where we share history, joy and fear together without knowing each other. Most often it is melancholy in the pictures that touches me the most. When it becomes vulnerable and the dark sides emerge, I feel that it succeeds. It succeeds for me.

Music plays a central role here, because what would we be without it. The notes and the sound of classical music can bring the whole process to a higher level; it can feel like riding a wave. High up, and then dipping down as it gets dark and deep. I love this mood. It accentuates my message and the feeling of being in the moment.

It is not as sad as it may be seem, but there needs a certain sorting and tidying to create calmness in the images. Tranquillity is a word I value highly both in my work and in my private life. Chaos and noise, we have more than enough already, so why not choose a quieter path if you can. It can only be beneficial to oneself and others.

Dark films also help my pictures without me being particularly aware of it. I can basically not bear to see them, but my imagination stretches far enough to make the story meaningful, and the more I squint and try to avoid finishing the thought, the better it will be staged and the characters become whole and real.

For all that scares cannot reach you anyway, but it can live within you if you allow it. I do. It can only make me stronger and a better artist.


Artist, Siri Gindesgaard

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