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Inge Thøgersen uses brushes, big arm movements and colors to translate her experiences on canvas.

September 13, 2019

What is the concept of creation of your artworks?

I think it is my way of digesting the impressions of my everyday life. I still work as a family therapist and meet many people with widely different life stories and themes. I am fascinated by people, their relations and their way of dealing with difficulties. I am full of admiration for how much people can handle and yet overcome, how they go through difficult emotions and move with their lives.

But it is not only difficult stories that I translate. When I have experienced something beautiful, exciting, met with other exciting people, heard some beautiful music or watch the lushness of my garden, I also feel the urge to translate it into colors and shapes. When I have had a longer break, such as when I'm on vacation or traveling, I long to get started painting. I usually joke that my painting took off within a period of six months when I got divorced, the youngest child moved away from home and the dog died. It gave me a lot of time and a lot of big emotions that could be sent out in brushes with big arm movements and strong colors. When I started painting 20 years ago, I tried to make a plan, some detailed sketches of what the picture should look like. More and more, it is just triggered by an idea or emotion evolves as I work my way through the many layers. Often I find that the painting takes over and lives its own life. At that stage, I am pretty unconscious what drives me forward in the process. Actually, I should not give titles to my paintings, because it might disturb some ones imagination. But for me it's often a part of the process - so my clients / viewers have to either forgetting the title or live with it.


Which medium do you use to paint the canvases?

I paint with acrylic paint most often on canvas. As a supplement, I use a little collage (only sometimes), oil pastels, soft pastels, gold and sometimes structure in the form of rustic paste. Most pictures are then given a semi-gloss varnish.
 

Your color palette looks very vibrant, what would you like to say about it?

It just works best for me. I keep trying to experiment with other shades of color - such as earth tones and delicate pastels - but I have to admit that it is the more powerful and strong colors that I am most comfortable with or that works best for me. I like colors around me. But maybe my color gamut is changing a bit anyway. I have e.g. painted really much with gold and white lately.

 

We notice textures in your paintings, How do you describe your color application process?

Most often, the texture is due to the fact that I have used many layers - both thin layers and thick layers- and that several of them have been applied with putty. Other times I have increased the bid pressure by putting a paste under or in the paint. As something new, I've also started making a bundle of collages, napkins, thin sheets of paper - which can give a fun structure. I am currently experimenting with screen printing as an underlying background. I paint with brushes, putties and really much with my fingers. In the same picture always a bit of everything, there is structure, many layers and variation in the expressions.
 

What experience do you offer to the audience through your art pieces?

As I have already mentionned, I hope, first and foremost, that my audience feels joy and curiosity - and that they want to explore each painting. As far as I know I have no paintings that provoke or offend – not even the titles. Most often they are dreamy, imaginative, or sometimes humorous.
 

What do you think about the role of paintings in commercial market?

I think it is great that art nowadays is being promoted and sold to the public on many levels and channels. Within the last six months in particular, my sales to foreign customers have grown significantly - and it also gives me a joy and amusement to know that they are hanging around the world. It also means in some way that the art has become more accessible to many more people. I can buy an art piece from an artist anywhere in the world - it is pretty amazing. There is another problem in the commercial market. There are so many who make money from aspiring artists who pay lots of money to be represented in art books, fairs and everything. You have to look really good for that. I am represented on many sites and galleries - and there are a few of them that really does a good job and help me come out with my art. The few I think of, on the other hand, are really good. But it's hard to figure out in advance - so you can easily waste time and money before getting it figured out.
 

How important it is for an artist to be established both professionally as well as commercially?

That's a balance to do... Most of all, I want to spend my time painting, improving my skills and experimenting with new things and new expressions. But the administrative in marketing also takes an incredible amount of time. And this is something you cannot avoid if you want to go out into the world with your art. There are many channels on the social media that require administration and of course accounts etc. You have to be creative also in words and photos, you have to learn to keep moving forward, you have to learn to dare to become very visible. You have to learn how to take a price for things - it's a difficult process for me. I usually claim that I paint only for my own sake. Until recently, I always said no thanks to ordering assignments. Now it happens more often that I say yes to this - for the sake of the challenge. But even though I say that I paint for my own sake. But selling my works is becoming an integrated part of the whole activity and as a matter of fact I cannot house all the paintings I produce, so many of them must move to other homes. And I have to admit that I find it very fun to send my pictures out into the world. Selling my works also gives me an opportunity to buy good materials, cources and to buy myself more and more free time to do what I love (to paint). So I think I have a slightly pragmatic attitude to the commercial. It goes hand in hand with my paintings, but is not the main purpose. I want to make paintings that I like, and I want to be free for new experimenting.

 

 

What has been your inspiration for development of your current painting style?

I takes many courses and do many experiments. When I get inspired I may be intrigued by a style, expression or new technique - but I have to work with it in my own workshop to find out if it is an inspiration that can be a good complement to my way of working. I have been most inspired by the slightly wild, raw and expressionist style of painting. And right now, I'm very inspired to put underlying things under my last layers of napkins, paper etc.
 

Have there been any artists who inspired you during the journey? Why?

There are different kinds of admiration. Some that I admire because they make something amazing, bold, provocative and totally different, and some that make some paintings and some art that I terribly would like to have hanging in my home myself. Or as I would like to paint like.

An artist like Kvium, I think, is fascinating because he is so crazy, brave and imaginative. I could never dream of trying to make pictures the way he does, but I really wantto own one. A small one.

I am quite obsessed with Per Kirkeby's paintings and sculptures.

When my youngest daughter was a teenager, she was absolutely captivated by Picasso ( after her Skagen painter period) and every single Picasso museum in Europe we have visited during that period. Not that it can be seen in my pictures - but it helps to visit museums and galleries in other countries and get inspired.

Frida Kahlo, especially her self-portraits that can be considered and interpreted endlessly. Alfonso Mucha, completely different woman portraits than my dancers, but I love the adventure, the imagination and the dreams in the pictures. I think they in their expression give a little inspiration to my pictures, even if they look a whole different way. Sergei Sviatchenko's paintings are colorful and wild and I wish I could afford to buy a huge one.


What are your upcoming projects?

I have many ideas and want to try out a lot - and so far too little time for it. I have to experiment further with developing collage images and then I have some ideas for some sculptures that I want to make in concrete-like materials. But first and foremost, I'm busy refining and improving my painting style in the genre I'm already working in. I want to develop the expressionist style of painting: I love making big pictures the most, and could think of making a series of huge big pictures soon.

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