Monday, February 18, 2019

Opening a dream

When I was in my early twenties and was awakening to my artistical self I sometimes saw strange inner images before me which I believe represented what I wanted to accomplish as an artist. They were a waking dream of sorts and even while the imagery wasn't very clear I found them very attractive in a mysterious sort of way. I wanted to see them. I yearned to create them. The following painting is probably the first piece I've made that has some of the quality of those dream paintings of the past. Watching this painting brings back those memories. I believe I may be getting closer to the essense of my work.

'Opening a Dream' - Acrylics on canvas - 50x65 cm

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Rivers of lava and rivers of life

From the great mountains comes rivers of water, which makes life possible in the lands below, but fire too, comes from the mountains, bringing death and renewal if we take a positive approach. Water too can kill, flooding populated areas and producing land-slides. I find it interesting and a bit humbling to consider these double-edged gifts of the powerful and mysterious heights. This piece is called 'Fire and Water From the Heights'

'Fire and Water From the Heights' - Acrylics on canvas - 54x65 cm

Creating a moment

As I watched this painting take form I considered a primordial world where fires roared and forged, if you will, the landscapes later able to support the many forms of life we know today. Creation it seems happens through explosions, eruptions, and in great furnaces. I also like thinking about Creation as something which is still happening - the so called 'Big Bang' never stopped - that same energy is still moving through the Universe, but now in the many movements and forms we know as every day life. What does the creation of this very moment look like. What is required to happen behind the scenes for THIS moment to be real-ized?

'In the Making of a Moment' - Acrylics on canvas - 65x50 cm

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Remembering the ancient past

Looking at this, I see stories. I often do when I behold my work. Many things are happening in there, which made me ponder the idea of transgenerational memories. It may not be the kind of memories easily seen or recalled, but a deeper, inherited kind, which becomes integrated in the bones and marrow, influencing who you are (perhaps a result of all generations before you). I also thought about the 'Now' as a place where all times exist, but only one is registered or revealed. Just thoughts.

'Transgenerational Memories - Acrylics on canvas - 51 x 60 cm'

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Climbing Olympus

Let's continue the theme of mountains from the previous post. Olympus is a famous mountain of mythology. It is where the Gods live, according to the ancient Greek mind-set. This was actually, and still is, a fairly common notion in many parts of the world - that the mountains are home to divine powers. Is there any truth in such ideas and images? Can they be helpful at all? Perhaps shed some light on the structure or experience of our inner selves, or maybe on our relationship to the vertical dimension of experience? In any case mountains are powerful, and I love being in and among them, even when they scare me.

'On the Slopes of Olympus' - Acrylics on canvas - 65x81 cm

To discover your mountain

New work.

This is my first acrylic piece from 2019. It took a while to make it come together in a satisfying manner.
Are there mountains on the inside too?
Can they be scaled?
Can you build a home on them?

'To Discover Your Mountain' - Acrylics on canvas - 81x65 cm

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The moonlight world

A piece from 2018 which has remained unposted until now. While colorful and fairly bright I have a feeling that this "scene" is taking place at night. Hence the title.

'The Moonlight Powers' - Acrylics on canvas - 81x65 cm - Niklas J Brandow

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The enigma of artmaking

This one took a while before it fell into place. I really had to rub it out of the canvas. Yet when it started to yield I could feel it come together. When that happens, that a painting "arrives" in a way which you could never have foreseen, it feels really weird and magical.

'Birds Flapping - Tune of Change' - Acrylics on canvas - 55x46 cm - Niklas J Brandow

The Rule of Red

I was happy to see another red painting take shape in my studio. Since I work in a very intuitive fashion I don't really get to decide these things. Red is a very sensitive colour which can easily become too much and break up the balance of a piece. In this case I think we're okay. I'm not sure what this image means, if it has a meaning at all, but the shapes and colours made me go for a pretty title.

'Love Ascend' - Acrylics on canvas - 50x61 cm - Niklas J Brandow

Monday, March 19, 2018

A very nice feeling

In the beginning of February something happened when I was working in my studio. I sensed an inner shift of sorts which I believe changed my approach to painting. As an artist I would say that I am now more fearless, not as easily charmed, and my darlings now drop dead in deep mass graves of paint. ; )

I guess I have come to a point where painting is so every day that I no longer need to protect the results of my work, and that freedom (to destroy) enables me to take my creations further. That's what it feels like anyway. It somehow makes the work of painting richer and more enjoyable. I feel as if I'm able to work myself deeper into the canvas, making it give up another level of its secrets.

This is the first piece made since whatever happened. I call it Awakened Lands.

'Awakened Lands' - Acrylics on canvas - 81x65 cm - Niklas J Brandow

New Constructions

I've been negligent when it comes to updating this blog. It's time to change that, especially since I paint a lot more now than ever. Here is a piece that's a bit different from most of my work. It was made especially for the office of a construction company so I decided to go with harder and more geometrical forms, which I think worked well in this case, and it was very well received. I made it the spring of 2017.

'Hills to Houses' - Acrylics on wood panel - 150 60 cm - Niklas J Brandow

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Make for thyself another Kingdom

A new piece worthy of display, made in the strange autumn of 2015.

'Make for thyself another Kingdom' - Acrylics on Canvas - 92x73 cm - Niklas J Brandow


'Mountainspark I' - Acrylics on wood panel - 60 x 150 cm - N Brandow

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Chaos which we can handle

Chaos which we can handle we call order... or is it the other way around?
This is a new piece. Of course there is harmony.

'Floods Return' - Acrylics on Canvas - 65 x 54 cm - Niklas J Brandow

Friday, May 8, 2015

Sacrificing paint


No, I'm not giving up painting, as the title of this blogpost might suggest. Rather, I'm spending more time with it again. Having made a lot of digital illustration lately I'm pleased to be pushing physical paint about again.

So, this is the first of a few new paintings which I'm sincerely happy about. There is something in this one that I've been waiting for. I can't put it into words, but it has to do with how the gaze is moved around by the forms and colours; How I can't find real rest in there, and yet is captured enough to keep looking. In short; I find this painting interesting to behold. It challenges me, while keeping me sufficiently entertained. There is a balance in the mess which stimulating to watch. Don't ask me why.

'Sacrificing Paint' - Acrylics on Canvas - 65 x 54 cm - Niklas J Brandow

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A more rewarding perspective on Life (Livet - ett fruktsammare perspektiv)

About 12 years ago, something silent but transformative happened to me as I walked across a busy square in Gothenburg city. It immediately changed my outlook on life, and clarified so many things for me. I can't really describe what happened, but I have made a few attempts at describing how my perspective on life looks from that moment. This is probably the best one:

The book - Livet: Ett fuktsammare perspektiv - is in Swedish, and I received it from the printer's today. The text itself was written in 2009 but has remained in digital form until I was given a grant from Stiftelsen Mäster Eckehart-sällskapet, to print the thing. It is a 112 pages philosophical book with a spiritual tone, written in an accessible language which should agree with the rational spirit of our time.

If you're interested in a copy you can order it from Bokus, or you can write me an email with your name and address. If you live in Sweden you will then (shortly) receive a book and an invoice in the mail. The price is 130 SEK including shipping. If you live elsewhere I will send you an invoice with a corresponding price in US dollars, but add a sum for the shipping.

The first 19 pages of the book can be previewed HERE

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Journey of Color

'Play of the Fields' - Acrylics on board (Ikea table tops) - 186 x 90 cm - Niklas J Brandow

On display at Värrmlands Museum (Karlstad, Sweden) October 4 - November 2, as part of 'Höstsalongen' (Autumn Salon)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Doors and Fates

Every stroke of the brush influence the outcome of the rest. Someone producing an exhibition sees your paintings and wants you to join the show. Someone arranges an art camp, and new motions are energized. I tend to look upon art as the natural expression of human beings. Trees, receiving the impressions of sunlight and water, express leaves. We are thrown into life and express art. We have always done so. It is our foot prints as a species. It is all very beautiful and simple, like most things are, if we dare let them be.

Art opens doorways to new impressions. Just like leaves can nourish animals of many kinds, art can nourish us. It becomes part of the great wheel, producing new dreams, and crushing others. This is a new piece of mine. I call it Doors and Fates. I see many beautiful paths, but the body is limited to one at a time.  

'Doors and Fates' - Acrylics on Canvas - 81 x 64 cm - Niklas J Brandow

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Grand Adventure

The idea of having a picture before me (or in my head) and forcing the painting to look like it has never really been my cup of tea. Though that struggle may be very rewarding in many ways, I have always preferred the adventure of not knowing where the journey ends, at all. When I paint, I'd like the paintings to surprise me, and they often do – occasionally even in a positive way.

The most adventurous thing I know is to walk a forest path without knowing where it ends. Those who did that in a time when we knew less about the world must have found it fantastic. The possible imaginary outcome of following a trail today is somewhat limited compared to what it was like in the middle ages, or even earlier. Just the notion of being in the woods, not knowing for sure, which kinds of beasts (or trolls?) lives there, is thrilling. I'm typically very satisfied with beholding the variation of plants wherever my steps take me, but the element of surprise is certainly a nice bonus.

Generally though, I think adventure is a state of mind, much more than exotic events and locations. It is an openness, I feel – an excitement of experience which comes when one is able to not take things for granted, and dare let go of control. Adventure is about being present and not constantly anticipating the next moment. When there is no plan, all moments look fresh. Well, something like that, anyway.

This one may be a little saturated on information, but I enjoy it anyway. It is 'The Grand Aventure'.

'The Grand Adventure' - Acrylics on Canvas - 100 x 81 cm - Niklas J Brandow
'The Grand Adventure' - Acrylics on Canvas - 100 x 81 cm - Niklas J Brandow (Sold)

Clicking the image for a closer encounter is highly recommended.

Friday, September 7, 2012

I spy, with my little eye...

I never really decided to do abstract art. It was just something that happened as I opened up the doors and welcomed what I found there. For that reason, I don't mind when people see things in my work, and it is no problem when obvious figures appear, among the otherwise nameless forms. I try to be as honest and simple as I possibly can, and if that means saturated pinks and kittens, then so be it.

This piece has one such element, which several viewers have spotted. I'm not sure if it is coincidental, or in line with my sub- or unconscious will of expression. Can you also see it in there? ...and if you can, do you find it disturbing or helpful?

I call this piece 'Sounded his Trumpet'.

'Sounded his Trumpet' - Acrlics on Canvas - 54 x 65 cm - Niklas J Brandow
'Sounded his Trumpet' - Acrlics on Canvas - 54 x 65 cm - Niklas J Brandow (Sold)