Eggdyfying, 2014

Eggdyfying, or “egg multiples.” Ceramic eggs made from moulds from 9 different hardboiled eggs. You can read more on the “multiples” on the “insights page

 

 

Essence of France, may 2013

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The “catalogue” text:

Essence of France” is een opstapeling van verwijzingen naar haar visie over Frankrijk waardoor het en sterk symbolisch karakter krijgt. Volgens Lisbeth rust het Frankrijk van nu op de schouders van Charles de Gaulle. Charles de Gaulle is zowel de “stamvader” van de 5e Republique en een schakel naar het verleden.

De titel is een verwijzing naar de “kern” van wat Frans is en tevens een speelse verwijzing naar de geraffineerde geur van parfums, wijn en van eten. Dit wordt benadrukt met een vleugje Frans lavendelolie. De blauwe kleur symboliseert de waardigheid waarmee de Fransen zich dragen, dat soms overslaat naar arrogantie. -Eigenschappen dat juist een neus goed verbeelden. De rode binnenkleur staat voor de passie dat altijd aanwezig is. Tenslotte onderstreept een geluidscompositie nogmaals de kernwaarden van de Fransen zoals Lisbeth ze opvatten, met een kritische knipoog verzorgd door Serge Gainsbourg.

For an extended explanation: Extended explanation

Workshops

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Ik bied korte workshops op maat aan volgens uw wensen, binnen wat praktisch mogelijk is. Hieronder ziet uw een overzicht over de technieken en materialen waar ik workshops in geef.

  • Workshops met verschillende technieken in keramiek
  • Beeld in papier-klei.
  • Beeld in pur-schuim of papier macher
  • Beeld in textiel, met textielverharder. Weerbestendig.
  • Beeld in gips.
  • Eventuele verdere afwerking van de beelden met mozaïek.
  • Tevens bied ik een intensieve cursus “eigen website in WordPress bouwen en beheren.” Ook voor digibeten!

Ik heb ervaring in het lesgeven aan volwassene en aan kinderen in alle leeftijden. In de workshops besteed ik evenveel aandacht aan de technische vaardigheden als de kunstzinnige.

Algemene kenmerken van de workshops:

  • Kleine groepen van 3 tot max 6-10 deelnemers afhankelijk van materiaal / techniek.
  • voor zowel beginners als gevorderden
  • voor bijna alle leeftijden, vanaf 6 jaar

Ook organiseer ik korte activiteiten voor verjaardags-partijen en bedrijfsuitjes.

Stuur voor meer informatie een email op de adres in “contact” rechtsboven.

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I give short workshops on demand, according to your wishes and what is practically possible. Hereunder a list of the various techniques and materials I offer

  • Workshops with various ceramic techniques (no potters wheel)
  • Sculptures in paper clay
  • Sculptures in polyurethane foam or paper mache
  • Sculptures in textile using hardener
  • Sculptures in plaster
  • Enhancing a textile of plaster sculpture with mosaic
  • I also offer an intensive course on “building and maintaining your own WordPress website.” Also for “computer illiterates”

I have ample experience in teaching adults and young people of all ages. In the workshops I pay even attention to the technical and the artistic development of the participants.

General characteristics of my workshops:

  • Small groups of 3 to max. 6 to 10 persons depending upon material and technique
  • accessible to beginners and experienced alike
  • all ages, starting from 6 years

I also organize shorter, tailored sessions for birthday parties and cooperate events.

For further enquiries, please send me an email using the link at the top right of this page.
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Essence of France: extended work process explanation

I’m currently (feb-april 2013) working on a piece for the SYMBIOSE art festival in Breda in May 2013. The idea of the festival is that Dutch artists give their vision, interpretation, impression of France, of the French and/or of french culture and vice versa for french artists. I’m not Dutch nor French, I’m both something else and somewhere in between (a hybrid!).

Content of this article (links are shortcuts to the different sections)
Preliminary thinkwork: What French vision?, From an obstacle a vehicle, Making a choice
Preliminary versions: Sketches in 3D
The final version: Work in progress, Insecurity, Final steps
Here is a short(er) explanation of “Essence of France”: “Essence of France

“What French vision?”

So, I should give my impression of the French. Or should I “depersonalize” the process by asking around what people understood by “French”? I actually did that, using social media.

Still, something hindered me, it kept coming up, sneaking in on me while I “researched” this idea of France and the French: if there is one thing I do disapprove of, it is the very caricatural and hollow one dimensional idea(l) everyone has of France and the French (actually including the French themselves, but that’s another story).

“Non-french” buy property in France en masse, with the idea they’ll thereby live the french way, … well, live their perception or caricature of “Frenchness.” As if it was all in the air!

Honestly, all the French people I know would not fit easily into this “Non-French Frenchness ideal”. It’s all about some “grand” idea which is nothing but horribly stereotypical. Nobody seems to acknowledge the France of Flesh and Blood, like my in-laws and extended family, the actual and real life of the multitude of everyday French people.

Make of an “obstacle” a “vehicle”

This disapproval was an obstacle I couldn’t get around so I figured I could just as well make use of it: “I’ll picture my un-ease with the non-French Frenchness ideal”. I could make a kind of pointing back to the originator of the stereotypical ideas? Like cutting a mirror in the shape of a standing person, fit this mirror with “Frenchness” attributes, and what the public would see was them-selfes fitted with “their” french attributes.

But that is all so conceptual and actually quite boring! And finger pointing! A very reluctant, slowly moving vehicle for my art. As if I was making my way in sirup.

Initial proposal for the SYMBIOSE 2013 exhibition

Initial proposal for the SYMBIOSE 2013 exhibition

 

Moreover, the disapproval of the stereotypical view of the French sits uneasily with me, after all I’m also harboring stereotypes and generalizations of the French, the Dutch, the Danes …

So? ….

Having paid all this attention to the nagging disapproval eventually made it less important and I could move on. This opened a kaleidoscope of  ideas and directions I could take and which I didn’t want to narrow down. I thought of making a kind of cabinet of curiosities in the form of various dioramas in chambers organised in a “Rubik’s Cube”. Not such a bad idea, but it had the risk of becoming a vague and weak image and it would take years to make, because it would have to “grow organically” and “associatively”. I needed to prune my “kaleidoscope!”

 

“The Nose” it is!

In a brainstorm with fellow artists from the BIB group, I centered in on an icon I had already identified at the onset of my quest: the nose of Charles de Gaulle …

The Nose distillates my vision of France: it stands for some of the finest and most refined products such as wine and perfume.

The Nose also symbolizes the singular attitude of the French, their pride and their perceived arrogance (“perceived” is important, they’re actually a jolly lot behind a misunderstood body language).

And finally, Charles de Gaulle, “standing on the shoulders of giants”, the founder of the 5th republic, is the quintessential Frenchman. Certainly any Frenchman or woman will instantly recognize his nose (I hope!). Now the “Non-French!”

So I’ve come full circle and am back at the stereotypical “grandeur” of the French. But at least traveling the “full circle” should make the result less shallow.

Upping it

The Nose” is a terribly deprecating title and I’m quite fond of the French, so for now I’ll settle on “The Essence of France” with all the references this title (can) carry.

Update on 30/03/2013 : Preparing for the big nose

Since the first posting on this work I’ve completed 3 3d “sketches” of the nose in stoneware, one bigger than the other. I’ve skimmed the internet for images of Charles de Gaulle, however most are of a poor quality considering the nose is a very small part of the photo and the left side of the nose is “underexposed”. Furthering the challenge is the fact that the nose alters with age and the images have Charles de Gaulle at different ages.

I made a wooden “mold” for the third stoneware nose so I could sculpture it using slaps instead of lumps of stoneware. The mold was based upon an enlarged photo “en profile” ensuring I got the right slope and bulge on the nose.

The real thing, work in progress

Now I’m busy with the final, bigger version. Putting considerate thoughts into the materials (paper mache, hardened textile, plaster, polyurethane foam, resins …) I’ve settled with PU foam sprayed onto a metal frame. PU foam is light and can be sculpted and new material can be added when sculpting too enthusiastically. The frame is currently being built.

Update 17 april 2013: The inevitable insecurity pays a visit

I’ve finished mounting the foot on the frame and proceeded to fill it with pu-foam. When the first filling was completed an uneasy feeling crept in and installed itself. It is a recurring feeling, visiting every time I’m in the finishing throes of an art work: is it well enough, is the standard high enough, in short will it be received as art or as “handicraft?”

It has to do with the material this time. PU-schuim is not as noble as bronze, okay? And then the stupid foot! I need to change the foot, to fabricate a proper metal foot with a proper metal rod! Right now it’s a joke … the wooden rod bends and the office chair part doesn’t help the impression. Furthermore, it’s to light to offer the desired stability.

After all this deliberation, I’ve finally started with the actually shaping of the foam. This is where the real modeling and sculpturing kicks in and I’ve realized that pu-foam is perfect. When re-worked like this, it becomes an artistic material, it’s as if it gains a kind of proudness. So that worry is gone, as are the considerations of covering it with something like textile. In the process I’ve probably removed a third of the pu-foam on the frame.

Update 20 may 2013: The final steps

The nose has been finished for a little over a week now and is since wednesday 15 may to be seen at the SYMBIOSE 2013 exhibition in Breda (website grand foulard, website “art-en-france”, facebook page). But the time between the last update and this one has been marked by several moments of insecurity and adjustments.

First of all, the initial idea of constructing the “foot” from the “undercarriage” of a wheeled office chair was tried out and then abandoned … ik looked downright ridiculous (grateful of my husbands persistence here). I had to make a proper one of a 2m long steel rod and a nice, heavy steel plate. That right away changed the appearance of the work to the better.

The absence of the context, ie the face around/behind the nose made it difficult to get the proportions right. The shear proportion was a problem in itself; close-up the nose “dissolved” into curves, bended planes and holes without a clear relation to one another and the nose seemed skewed. I had to step back (5-10 m) all the time to evaluate what I’d just done and what had to be done next. This meant actually leaving my atelier and evalutating through the doorway. I even took some pictures at similar angles as on photo’s of Charles de Gaule and laid “my” nose on top of these, just to see how the shape and proportions “added up.”

I regularly experienced renewed insecurity about my work which I tried to talk myself out of. However, it is a clear sign that I have to make changes to my work, that it does not yet meet my (intuitive) mark of quality. This is where I thoroughly miss the demanding and stimulating environment of the students and teachers of the art academy.

Intuitively I’d known it from the beginning, the material let the work down. When I chose PU-foam I thought it would eventually be covered with textile, but now the PU-foam was supposed to BE the work. This being about France, dignity, honour, grandeur, arrogance, passion, refinement, savoir-vivre .. PU-foam didn’t deliver, -regardless the beauty of the form. I mentally toyed with various coatings, which thus meant with colour as well. It would have to be blue at the outside and red at the inside as reference to the above and to the French colours. Time constraints made me decide to forget the coating and to simply spray paint the PU-foam. And this really worked wonders, everything came together.

To my husbands fellow artists credit -who pointed out that no-one besides French people would recognise the nose to be that of Charles de Gaulle- I decided to make a discrete sound track composed of several layers of speaches accompagnied by the Marseillaise by Serge Gainsbourg. And because the nose of Charles de Gaulle was meant to symbolise France and not simply be a reference to Charles de Gaulle himself, the “picture” was complete with a scent of lavendel oil.

At the end I’d used 20 cans of PU-foam and 7 cans of spray-paint! PU-foam is no cheap sculpting material!

 

Update 2014 – 2016: Getting some air, impact of the elements & major cosmetic surgeries

After the exposition in Breda, the enormous nose could not be kept at home, space was too scarce. I placed it on the outside brick wall of a big shed housing the artist community I’m a member of (Bollenstreek in Beeld, BIB). Within a year, the elements had eaten away at the nose, and it was in a sorry state. PU-foam is not for outside jobs.

The result of the operation, back on the wall. Nose is too pale.

The result of the operation, back on the wall. Nose is too pale.

I decided to coat it with a rather new synthetic product called “Acrylic One”, an easy to work polyesther thingy. I reinforced the coating with glass fiber mats. The coating had a very soft light blue color and I left it so, dramatically changing the appearance of the Nose. I also reduced the height of the nose and made the slope less steep. It lost a bit of it’s grandeur that way, but came closer to the actual nose of Charles de Gaule.

Back on the wall, the light blue color didn’t work as well as when working on it up close. After having proved it’s weather resistance over a winter, I took it down and gave it a good paint job. It’s now blue-lavendel-purple -ish, which is really beautiful, and the shapes are better sculpted due to the way I applied the colors. Finally, I’m really happy with the transformation.

(Note: The Nose will be removed from the wall in January 2017 as the BIB is leaving the shed, and I’ve terminated my membership).

 

Insights on Grid B Lock

Grid B Lock in the "BIB Kunst-schuur" in Hillegom, Holland, january 12, 2013

Grid B Lock in the “BIB Kunst-schuur” in Hillegom, Holland, january 12, 2013

 

This is my first work made in my new atelier alias garage alias shed. Initially, I wanted to make a cube “globe” with on each side a symbol of our earth. But I had overestimated my welding skills (haha) alongside with buying too thin steel plates to weld. They simply melted away.

Having finally succeded in making a cube in the way too thin steel, it was simply to thin and fragile to be used for my “Earth”. So I set out on making a series of cubes as a way to perfect (well, improve!) my welding skills. And what do you do with a lot of cubes and an upcomming exhibition with architecture as a theme? You make something a bit architectury-like 🙂

Short note on the side:
I’m fascinated by man-made environments versus natural environments, and Grid B Lock can be seen as a lighthearted commentary on the beauty of cities against their inherent problems due to crowding of people, of facilities, of workspace, of living space (I could go on and on and on). Sustainable cities, with respect to both living conditions and to environmental impact are still utopias, a dot on the horizon of urban developers.

I really like the “skin” of every cube, the imperfections and the hue. I sat out to perfect the welding of the corners, but soon realized I would rob my cubes of life like that. The choice was easily made, the imperfections became an integral part of the work.

It was great fun to figure out how to get all the cubes at the same hight and (more or less) straight on their sticks. The grid in the pictures was used for that while it also allowed for playing with the composition. I quite enjoy imagining and making custom made tools to assist in the work process. After all, I was once an engineer 😉

Grid B Lock, work in progress, december 2012, steel

Grid B Lock, work in progress, december 2012, steel

An Introduction

January 2013 kick-off
I’m doing my best as an artist to leave a mark on the European art scene, which is going to take some time and effort. Indeed, I’ll start with one country and work my way from there. I’m located in Holland which has a rich artistic heritage and a tradition of exchange with other countries (trade!) and I figure I couldn’t be in a better place to begin with. I’m Danish and my husband is French, and I have friends in yet other countries, all helpful to fulfill my international ambitions, -in time.

Self portrait, 2006, digital art and drawing.

Self portrait, 2006, digital art and drawing.

I say “in time” because being an artist means making art and as I’ve only recently decided to dedicate myself fully to being an artist, I have only made a handful of art objects. And because my chosen materials are work intensive I’m not producing more than 3-4 / year. I do want this to increase, though.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading the following paragraphs over my motivations and way of working.

Media, materials & work process

Fundamentally I’m a 3D artist, but when I find it suitable in an artwork I’ll mix any media. I definitely like to mix both media and materials because it gives me so many more possibilities.

I’m quite “earthbound,” both in choice of material and in life “philosophy”. I mainly work in materials such as metal (mostly steel), stoneware, wool, wood and glass. I’m very “material driven” in the sense that I let the material speak whilst exploring and stretching the limits of its “vocabulary.” I really enjoy to get my “hands in the dirt” and my art is as much a product of the work process as of intellectual considerations.

The intellectual comes into play when the idea is born and when choices are made during the work process and often the end result is quite far from the seeding idea. I’ve retained an engineers instincts so my heart beats faster when I’m “constructing” and learning techniques is a joy.

What’s it all about? “Hybridization” and “expansionism” I tell you

My bagage of different European cultures makes my art hybrid in a certain way. Artist friends claim that my art has a Scandinavian touch or expression, but it is not Scandinavian as such if I’m to believe Danish friends and family. It’s definitely influenced by the various countries I’ve been living in.

I’m much too curious to be satisfied with only one material, technique or medium so I happily mix, -hybridize-, when I find it appropriate to the artwork I’m making.
Likewise I have a multitude of ideas and directions overwhelming me when working on a piece of art.  The challenge to me is to avoid weakening my artwork with my “expansionism” both in material and in idea. This involves pruning down in order to obtain a stronger image. Certainly, I have to apply “less is more” because I often have too much of “more.”

Fascinations & educational background

I’ve got a degree in fine arts (hate that term!) or visual arts (hate that as well!) from the Amsterdam Academy of Arts which doubles as a teacher academy, thus also making me a teacher in fine arts. I’ve held a teachers job for 1.5 years before dedicating myself fully to my own art (I could not do both despite enjoying the teaching enormously). I’m offering a selection of workshops thereby still being able to enjoy the teaching of this wonderful subject of making art.

Way back in my young years I took a degree in Electrical Engineering with specialization in computer technology and software engineering. I’ve had some marvelous years traveling the world as a software engineer, I’ve lived in three countries and visited even more. It’s a time I’ll never forget nor regret, because it’s given me an open mind, stimulating work, exciting encounters and enduring friendships. It has proved to be a fruitful background for my new live as an artist.

I’m an artist equipped with an engineering viewpoint, which means that I’m very interested in the way manmade constructions influence humans. That’s why I’m fascinated about the impact of our manmade surroundings upon our lives. How livable is our habitat actually? And how do we react thereupon? What does it do to us?

The engineering background also shows when I have to construct tools or support structures specific to an artwork in making. It is a welcome challenge solving a technical problem to achieve an artistic result.

Another fascination is travel, or rather exploration, of places, cultures and nature. I feel like a sponge sucking up all these impressions as a kind of fuel that keeps me warm and up and going. Basically, I’m overwhelmed and completely in love with our world and its inhabitants, hahaha!

Insights on Experiments (I)

One of my great pleasures is to experiment with materials and techniques. Usually I’m wrestling with the realization of a work, wondering about what materials I should use, like what texture, feel and expressiveness would it have. I then regularly set out with something I’ve never used or tried before and end up with something totally useless for the initial purpose but highly interesting for some future project. I really would like to spend a year just experimenting and see where it would lead me.

Steel bars

I’d started working in the metal workplace and was falling in love with steel. Exploring dynamic open and closed forms while learning to weld led me to the two different results shown hereunder.

No title, experiment, 2009, steel and two component super glue

No title, experiment, 2009, steel and two component super glue

A closed form of steel bars with the size I envisioned would be too heavy so I wanted to make two smaller “plugs” of  steel bars to be encircled with just one or two layers of longer iron bars. The plugs I made with a very strong two component glue which, when hardened, looks like soft yoghurt. It’s stone hard to the touch. I love the resulting coolness of the “plugs” and imagine building a strange landscape with this combination. It will be forbiddingly heavy and expensive to realize, but because it’s modular I can make it in small steps.

 

 

No title, experiment, 2009, steel

No title, experiment, 2009, steel

The open object consists of the same steel bars as the closed object but here I’ve placed a distance between the bars with the melting welding electrode. I tried to create an open “organic” spiraling organization of the bars loosely inspired by the tower of Vladimir Tatlin. I believe this work process can yield a really esthetically beautiful sculpture.

 

 

Layers, “cool” wool & steel

No title, experiment, 2009. Felt, steel

No title, experiment, 2009. Felt, steel

I was exploring layers as a concept and felted wool is wonderful for this. But felt is felt is felt, if you feel what I mean! Felt imposes it’s cosy, warm, soft, fluffy, handy-crafty expression on anything it’s part of. I look to explore and expand the limits of the expressiveness of materials, so I set out to change the felt feeling of felt.

No title, experiment, 2009. Felt, steel

No title, experiment, 2009. Felt, steel

I created a sturdy frame of steel profiles and spanned my felt on this, allowing for the frame to show through whilst imposing a strict form on the wool. The exposure of the layering was important as this was the “origin” of the work. Visibly, I haven’t entirely succeeded in the “cooling” down of the wool. I would love to one day surprise the public with non-felt felt works. It’s not the material I’m missing, I’ve got plenty of wool in my garage obtained for free from friendly sheep farmers.

The “Coat Rack”

"Bubbles", experiment, 2008, two component resin, balloons, stockings

“Bubbles”, experiment, 2008, two component resin, balloons, stockings

One assignment in the Fine Art Academy was a coat rack. Obviously not the ordinary run of the mill coat rack but a totally rethought concept. I have a background in the European Space Agency and a fascination for space exploration. André Kuipers was often in the news and I wondered what would be a handy storage for clothes and other, small items. Everything floats, and I wanted to take advantage of that. My clothes rack would be floating too. It would have to resist the occasional bumping into, so a round form would be ideal. Thus the idea of transparent space “bubbles”. I needed a “mold” and a forming material strong enough to hold the bubble form. The molds were balloons of various sizes, the forming material a transparent two component resin and stockings were used as reinforcement. I ended up with a series of really crazy, interesting objects, which I’d love to put to use in a work of art. I have several ideas to explore in the future.

Grid B Lock, 2012

Want to know more? Go to “Insights on Grid B Lock
(Sold)

Community, 2011-2012

Habitat, 2010