Artist Statement Helle Kjærulf/ Helle Kjaerulf – Denmark
I work from coincidences. My artwork rises from my inner life. Emotions, feelings, thoughts build up on the canvas. Past and future merge in an abstract universe where colors rule. The flow in the process is important and there’s a great deal of unconsciousness and intuition involved. I never know what I’ll end up with – I don’t want to know.
When my work is going well, I’m filled with a sense of peacefulness and energy. I’m working in the present moment, being right there, right now. I know the piece is done when I feel the harmony in my cells. Not harmony meaning something perfectly balanced but a kind of harmony that gives peace to my mind.
My inspiration is emotions, feelings, thoughts – off course I’m also fascinated by the organic shapes in nature, but my fantasy controls more than reality does.
I’m influenced by the organic forms and the power of nature, but my creation is purely abstract. I don’t have a favorite color, more a favorite pallet with especially white, blue, turquoise, orange, but there are no rules. The result is a mirror of my state of mind in that present moment. It has to be a random expression in a controlled form.
Often I begin covering the whole surface with bright colors following the random flow. One color calls for the next and so on. Then I start to shape form and more colors, now more dusty. The tone of the colors is lower, the vibes are more obvious. Using light and shadow, contrasts. When I feel a standstill in the piece I use bigger gestures and play with the colors to break it. I react constantly to the new expression that occurs.
I work in acrylics because the material suits my methods. I use a lot of layers and I like to use water, thin layers and transparent colors. The beauty in using water is that the expression becomes random and organic. I can use what appears, keep some, erase some.
I also use a kind of thin carbon pastel chalk to expose shape and movement. It creates depth, perspective and energy. There’s always a little glimpse of something more beneath the many layers.
When people see my work, I want them to feel their spirit talking through the abstraction, like listening to a song that goes straight to your heart.
To me my paintings are a state of mind, a thought, a dream – and experiencing them you should not be ruled by the concrete and reality but by the experience and impression of colors and forms. I like allusions – something people can explore and dig into, that keeps changing. None of my works look alike. Every piece stands on its own.
The title of each work develops in the end of the process.
I have been an artist for seven years, had some education at Aarhus Art Academy, but are mostly self-taught – are also a journalist and writer.
Og om mine billeder på dansk:
Når jeg maler, føles det, som om farver og former smelter sammen i en intens dans. En stor del er ubevidst. Jeg har det i alle fald, som om jeg ikke tænker. Jeg kan godt have en forventning eller lyst til, at nu skal et billede se ud på en bestemt måde, men sådan fungerer det ikke. Det er i flowet, billedet får liv. Indimellem træder bevidstheden selvfølgelig til og styrer en anelse. Farverne lever deres eget kraftfulde liv, lag på lag på lag. På et tidspunkt er vejen tilbagelagt, formen står skarpt.Når et billede er færdigt, siger det selv stop. Så føles det helt rigtigt.
Et sanseligt, abstrakt univers er skabt.«
Musik betyder meget for mig. Og jeg hører næsten altid musik, når jeg maler. Det er med til at intensivere følelsen af at være i en anden verden. Jeg giver mine billeder titler, måske fordi jeg også er journalist, kommer ordene ind her. Titlerne er på engelsk.
Sangene inspirerer, når jeg finder titlerne til mine billeder. Så derfor tak til især David Gray, Ray Lamontagne, Eric Clapton, Teitur og Jeff Buckley.
Spørg endelig, hvis du vil høre mere om for eksempel selve min maleproces.
Alle mine billeder er malet med akrylfarver og efterfølgende lakeret – blandt andet fordi jeg også bruger grafit og oliekridt…