I constantly create pictures in the form of paintings. These are at any time connected to what I need to manifestate. In that way they are a diary of the life I live.
Colour is a major tool in my works, together with composition . Even if the figurative element is evident in my works, they are not about figures. That means that the landscapes, although it is the scenery around my home and studio, is only a setting, a metaphore or a scenography for the real contents of the works. As in music. The content is really about emotions and human conditions. In that respect the works are within the context of North-European-Expressionist-Landscape-Painting.
The technique used is rather simple and crude. Still it is most difficult to put the right colour at the right spot and to make the painting work. I start each work with a loose feeling of the work to come. And then gradually the work emerge through a communikation with the canvas. Trees and mountains can emerge and disappear in a prosess that is as much about tearing down as building up.
The materials I use are simple and personal. I use raw pigment (colour-powder) that I mix with binder myself. I also stretch and prime my canvases. All this to control and make the closest possible contact and understanding of the means and materials.
For My Exhibitions:
In many ways, my works have always followed me like a shadow through life. They reflect at any time the focus I may have, a focus I hope has become increasingly clearer in its direction. This has probably also to do with reaching a certain age. Much can be excluded. What remains is a path I choose for my further developements.
I have been fascinated by traditional Chinese thinking over the function of art, that the art should remind people of what is precious and important in life. More and more I also want my works to appear life-affirming, not as superficial happy art, but as a positive energy expressed through color and form.
When I was asked to deliver three proposals for the diploma for the Nobel Peace Prize 2013, and one of my proposal was selected for this great honour, it felt naturally in place with the subjectmatter I already and anyway am worked on. The picture that was selected, had as its narrative, cloud formations that rose above a mountainridge. This is a narrative that I also have used in several of the paintings I will show at Galleri Langegården this autumn.
I use the narratives of the landscape from my near surroundings. There are two main groups of images in my present show in Bergen. One is found in the Fjøsanger area and often shows trees, water, mountains and skies of constant and often violent fluctuations. The other draws its imagery from coastel West Norway, as well as from the coast of South China . These images are almost entirely without objects and consists of the light of the sky and the sea. Working with such “empty” images has been a challenging exercise. There has also been a third group of narratives, with flowers. They are inspired by the impressions of apple trees in Hardanger and in my garden, as well as peach blooming in Sichuan, China.
The big challenge is to convert this “raw material”, these impressions, into pictures. I’m a painter, and my instruments are the musical energy of the colors, put into a rhythmic and coherent composition. I find great joy and numerous new challenges in this process. What I hope to achieve is to make the colors and shapes in my paintings work. And that the paintings give a positive energy and meaningfulness to the public, for each spectators on individual terms .
Jan Erik Willgohs