Updated: Jun 9, 2021
11.04.2019: A few days ago, while exploring the internet, I came across the British artist Hester Berry, who was unknown to me, and whose landscape paintings impressed me so much that I spontaneously bought one of her paintings online. In the meantime, I have read a lot about her and the secret for the strong effect of her light-filled and partly strongly abstracted landscape paintings is probably based on the fact that she works very precisely in terms of colour and adjusts the colour tones very precisely to nature - almost photographically. The outlines, forms and contours, however, are of secondary importance to her and she simplifies and abstracts them consciously but very skilfully when painting. She often works with strong light contrasts, which gives her paintings an additional tension, often even drama.
So far I have followed a completely opposite concept: In terms of colour, I work completely intuitively and from the imagination, as I always use a black and white template. However, I try to reproduce the shapes and contours as precisely as possible, although I also try to break through contours. This also seems important to me, especially with portraits, so that the facial expression is preserved.
What I take from this realisation into this new work is that I want to paint a backlit subject to heighten this tension of light and shadow. I choose a very intimate painting by one of my favourite musicians: Leif Vollebekk. I paint it in the format 100x100 cm on raw canvas, which I have primed in advance with black gesso. Compared to my last paintings, I would like to dare another attempt in terms of colour: Instead of Prussian blue, as in my earlier paintings, I use a lighter ultramarine blue this time and instead of off-white I choose titanium white for this painting. Let's see if I can mix enough dark shades with the ultramarine blue. I choose the cropping of the picture so that the musician's face is exceptionally horizontally centred. I'll generously leave out the floor lamp on the template and spontaneously come up with something for the areas outside the template.
I start with the paint roller and colour the light areas of the motif in a light orange and the darker tones in various shades of purple and violet, the darkest I can manage from the ultramarine blue together with red and yellow. This time I don't use colour spray and continue with the wide brush after the first layer has dried. However, I wet the base generously with water again.
12.04.2019: After I have gradually lightened the window panes and also added the important colour accents to the figure with a coarse brush, the mood of the painting is almost set. In the meantime, however, the generous strokes with the broad brush have done quite a lot of damage to the figure. For the rest of the day I am now busy with corrections. For these I now use a finer brush. At the very end, I decide to colour the darkest parts with a mixture of Prussian blue and red to increase the contrast a little. By using two shades of blue for this painting, I have for the first time been unfaithful to my concept of using only one shade of red, yellow, blue and white.