This diptych happened as soon as we moved to the desert, first thing I ever painted in my new studio, now long ago painted over. I guess I needed LA to be filed away somewhere inside my head.
I found a lot of 'whitewash' in LA - The constant humming of electricity and far away voices and traffic, it is so constant that only when I first spent the night out here I realised that the California light is a lot warmer than I had experienced up to that point.
Consequently I made my entire bedroom white. There is something very comforting about the Sounds of the Living.
'Escape from LA (I + I)' - Details - Each 2' x 3'
Sound Landscape (Both 2' x 6')
This one happened without meaning to. There I was, a few years younger, writing a poem away with the fairies and I got a phone call that involved arguing ending in a spectacular shouting match. Not ideal, but I guess one taps into moments without realising. I was at my table, there was ink, there was paint, there was anger, a feeling like any other. There is nothing wrong with facing any feeling, in my experience, it helps one more than to not face them at all. In fact, anger has got me out of some pretty sticky situations in the past.
BB Nielsen (c) 2007
The two shades of white are both people involved, my voice has a hint of blue, tallking over each other, black ink fuzz works well for referencing loud spots. And underneath it all, the broken poem.
It reminds me that you live... And you (try to) learn!
A couple of Yules back I painted this 'Smallest Things are Golden' (70x58in). As we were celebrating away from home, I had to improvise a studio in the patio. One has not lived until painting at 1C/34F in high winds. It now hangs in one of my sister's hall.
I used household paints, tempera, acrylics, twigs, golden dust, and anything that flew in from the nearby flower bed. If you can't beat them, paint over them.
There are 4 generations involved in the making of this painting. The tempera, dust and acrylics came from nana's mom, it is nana's garden that attached itself to it, my sister in law owns it and my niece inspired the pink tones.
Based on Psalm 19:10 'More to be desired are they than gold, yes, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb' what kept on ringing in my ears as I twigged away was:
''And as we wind on down the road, our shadows taller than our soul, there walks a lady we all know, who shines white light and wants to show how everything still turns to gold. And if you listen very hard, the tune will come to you at last when all is one and one is all, to be a rock and not to roll.''
The solo guitar dripping from the top is Robert Plant all by himself. The acoustic, the recorders, his voice and the folk tint remained on the lower whiter part. The crescendo crosses over a little frozen branch that fell in. It may not be my favourite Led Zeppelin song (and I have painted a few of them) but it means a lot to me that it stayed in the family.
Textured Abstracts are what I enjoy painting the most. Every time, the paint teaches me something new. I apply different temperatures to a latex paint base and then I watch it do whatever it wants. It is only then that I begin working on it, sometimes I have a previously sketched piece, however most of the time, I listen and I paint accordingly. This abstracts happen when I am at my happiest.
These are my favourite pastime, it has always been.
Since I can remember, I sketched my family based on colours and textures, unknown to me that I was impersonating their voices on paper. They all thought my notebooks were a hot mess until my nan started recognising patterns (same people in different pages). I believe my synesthesia comes from that side of my family, her sister apparently had similar (chaotic) notebooks but at the beginning of the century nobody had paid much attention, nowadays they probe you through childhood to diagnose not-crazy, just funky-wired.
While everybody in preschool was having a go at stick figures, I would argue that the yellow triangular lines and scratched paper folds were clearly my mom, but a bubble head and 5 sticks had nothing to do with her. Consequently my teacher used to display my 'abstract' works as how-not-to-draw stick figures. Fun times.
I still wonder what part of a stick figure is not an abstraction.
(The original artwork is not in B&W)