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Jim Dine, American Pop Artist, born in 1935 – Art that I Like

Jim Dine’s art is displayed and highlighted by individual galleries and bloggers alike.

Recently, came across this artist under, The Period “Pop Art”. I particularly do not favor this movement, however, in my opinion his style crosses or mixes a bit with Contemporary and Humanism. Below are examples of his work that caught my eye. I like his mixture of colors and confidence.

“I don’t deal exclusively with the popular image. I’m more concerned with it as a part of my landscape. Pop Art is only one facet of my work. More than popular images, I’m interested in personal images…”. – Jim Dine, quoted in Art News, November 1963


Jean Jansem – Deux Femme, circa 1965 – Art that I Love

Sold October 2010 for: $1,500. Signed “Jansem” in the right-hand corner. Gouache wash, pen and ink on paper. This is what I call humanist expressionist.


One of the quotes I can relate to is, “The act of painting reveals who we are. We are betrayed by what we love.” – Jean Jansem


The master of contemporary art French Armenian painter Hovhannes Semerjian Jean Jansem was awarded the Medal of Honor for his great contribution to Armenian-French cultural relations, as well as in connection with his 90-year jubilee, press office of the Armenian President reported. The decree was signed by the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan. Jansem, pseudonym of John Hovanes Semerdjian, is a French painter of Armenian origin born in 1920 in Western Armenia. Fleeing persecution, his family left Turkey for Salonika when he was two years. Then he moved to Paris when he was 12 years old. He took night classes at the Academie Montparnasse before joining the National School of Decorative Arts, then the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts. Inspired by artists such as Bruegel and Goya, he paints characters overwhelmed but worthy. His early paintings were dedicated to purely national issues. His heroes were often his children and his mother. He illustrated the works of Cervantes, Franc,ois Villon, Baudelaire, Albert Camus or Federico Garci’a Lorca. In these illustrations the art Jansem unfolds in its splendor. The artist opens unusual, deeply philosophical, emotional and cordial world. Two museums after his name have been open during his life, both in Japan. To date, his works are in a number of prestigious museums in the world, as well as in private collections. Jansem visited Armenia in 1973 for the first time, and in 2001 a series of “Genocide”, consisting of 34 paintings he gifted to the Museum of the Armenian Genocide.

Cashless Society a Comparison of America and Sweden

I’m astounded, why America haven’t foregone the precious paper checks. When my husband visited the “States”, in 2001, he couldn’t understand why people were writing checks for groceries or bills. He was especially dumbfounded, when my internet banking didn’t have an electronic connection to certain payers, such as condo fees and etc, and sent paper checks (on behalf of the client). Well, the consumer definitely saves a couple of bucks on postage stamps, however, pays higher bank fees because of these paper promissary notes.

America is one of the advance countries, so why are we last in eliminating this culture norm? Just recently, I read an article on the NY Times website, that America is nearing talks about abolishing this ancient ritual around 2012. What are your thoughts? Also, do American’s know what a Bank GIRO, IBAN or Auto GIRO and etc.?

SWEDEN’S VIEW: According to Sweden’s Riksbank, Cheques have disappeared in the early 1990

QUOTE FROM Deputy Governor Lars Nyberg:

Cheques have disappeared: “As I said, card payments have begun to replace cash payments of smaller amounts. They have also replaced a large number of cheque payments in Sweden. In 1990 every seventh transaction was paid for by cheque. Cheque payments accounted for just over one-tenth of the value of non-cash payments. Today cheque payments account for just some tenths of a per cent of both the value of the payments as well as the number of transactions.

The death of the cheque in Sweden is of interest, for it was quick and unexpectedly painless. The story is as follows: Over time cheque handling became increasingly unprofitable for the banks. The costs increased, but none of the banks dared take the initiative to debit customers for these costs. There were concerns that Swedes regarded payments by cheque as an inherited right and would, therefore, vocally protest. But this was not the case. When, at the beginning of the 1990s, one of the banks decided to charge a fee of SEK 15 per cheque (and the others followed suit) the majority of cheque payments disappeared over just a few years – and moreover without political convulsions. The reason for this was that there were excellent substitutes that were free of charge and which were marketed by the banks, primarily cards and credit transfers. When consumers discovered this, their grief over the death of the cheque abated.

The United States has always been the promised land of the cheque. By tradition, US consumers have sent cheques in the post when they pay their electricity or telephone bills, for instance. The company receiving the cheque has then forwarded it to the bank, which has then transferred the money and returned the cheque to the consumer. In this manner, tons of cheques have crossed the American continent daily. But even in the United States cheque usage has begun to fall.” TOO READ MORE, VISIT: http://www.riksbank.com/templates/Page.aspx?id=26857

Sweden’s Riksdag (National Election) Results for my Friends not Residing in Sweden.

I waited for all of the votes to be counted (forgive the the absence of the graphical view (that I promised in my earlier post, the one I’d preferred is no longer available.  There is a table below for the interested parties)).  However, I want my non Swedes to know, that some natives or their parties may not be happy with the final count and some of us ‘American’s” may tease that this could be their “hanging chad”!

My new country (Sweden), have the right to call for a new election if the government appears to be  ineffective.  This could happen in either different local(s) or nationally.  I’m wait with baited breath (before ‘moi’ blog further on the subject)  if there are discrepancies or challenges that may, could or could not creep to the surface.

From the:  http://www.riksdagen.se/templates/R_SubStartPage____21764.aspx

The election result is announced as:


The distribution of seats in the table below shows how many of the 349 members of the Riksdag will represent each of the parties:
Social Democratic Party (SocDem), 112 seats
Moderate Party (Mod), 107 seats
Green Party (Grn), 25 seats
Liberal Party (Lib), 24 seats
Centre Party (Cen), 23 seats
Sweden Democrats (SweDem), 20 seats
Christian Democrats (ChrDem), 19 seats
Left Party (Lft), 19 seats

The youngest member was born in 1988 and the eldest in 1933.

Of the 349 elected members of the Riksdag, 192 are men (55 per cent) and 157 are women (45 per cent). After the previous parliamentary election in 2006, 52.7 per cent were men and 47.3 per cent women.

106 members have been elected for the first time, 233 have been re-elected from the electoral period which is soon coming to an end and 10 have been members of the Riksdag or alternate members some time during a previous electoral period.

Stephen Conroy: 2010 “Gift Horse” Acrylic Stain: Art that I Like

This past Saturday 25-Sept 2010, I visited Kistamassan Konstnärernas, which is an event center that hosted an Art Show. I viewed beautiful works of art and sculptures as well as some ‘rather’ interesting items. From time to time, I will highlight other artist’s installation at the show that either I love, like, or perplexed me in some way.


Showcasing the first artist, Stephen Conroy, residing in Gamleby Sweden, south of Stockholm nearer the larger town called Linköping, but southeast on the shore. The cost of a piece the size of 58X58cm is 5,500 sek (approximately €550). View his website at: http://www.conroyart.com. Don’t get him confused with the well known Scotland born Stephen Conroy, (eventho the artist, I’m featuring is UK born as well), (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Conroy_(artist)) the contemporary Scottish figurative painter, whom was borned in the town of Helensburgh in 1964 and studied at the Glasgow School of Art between 1982 and 1987.

I had a chance to talk with Stephen this Saturday, to understand his technique of Acrylic stain on Linen Canvas. If you look closely (in person), you can see the pencil outline of the drawing. His method is to use an acrylic rubber to trace the sketched outline, afterwards he uses Acrylic Stain or just a regular stain (I don’t remember). The final stage is to remove the acrylic like rubber where he wants to reveal his work of art.

On his website, I prefer these types of pieces over the others, however, art speaks to people individually. My personal impression gives me the feeling of bordering on the technique of certain watercolors that bleed effectively with intricate detail. If you happen to like his style, please do not hesitate to contact at info@conroyart.com

Titled: Gift Horse, acrylic stain on Linen Canvas.


Seraut: A Sunday on La Grande Jatte: Art that I Love

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, 1884: oil on canvas – Permanent installation at Chicago Institute of Art

Georges-Pierre Seurat
(2 December 1859 – 29 March 1891) was a French Post-Impressionist painter and draftsman. This is his most famous example of oil on canvas pointillism which took two years to produced (1884–1886). This particular piece has arguably altered the direction of modern art by initiating Neo-impressionism, and is known as one of the icons of 19th century painting.



Vermeer: The Milkmaid: Art that I love

17th Century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer

On loan at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from the Rijksmusem until November 29, and a small exhibition is created around this piece.

Johannes Vermeer has been one of the most admired and influential European painter whom’s reputation for beautiful renderings of illusionistic color and light. The Milkmaid is a small oil featuring a humble woman going about her daily routine. Another familiar work of Vermeer is the Girl with the Pearl Earring. Both are set apart with the glow of optical, highly cinematic sheen, as if they were lifted out from a movie reel. This is largely the reason so many art experts believe Vermeer was greatly indebted to the images produced by the camera obscura.

Vermeer - The Milkmaid

The Milkmaid

In most of his paintings there is an altering of light and dark, nearness and depth to create the illusion of heft. He adds the minutia details such as the chip glass in the window. Artfully composed with photograph-like quality. Remember, don’t confuse or put him in the same category with today’s Photo realism.

Politics in Sweden from an American Perspective – 2010

I must admit, understanding Swedish politics is quite a difficult task. With over 240 different local, municipal and country wide parties, its hard to keep it straight (http://www.val.se/det_svenska_valsystemet/partier/lista_registrerade_partibeteckningar/index.html).  Hopefully I have a handle on what I understand after this historical election year and learn more of the details and intricacies by the time I’m eligible to vote at the next election (two more years until dual citizenship).


In this post I will not discuss the local parties, and will begin with the State/Country-wide parties which are either part of a coalition or represented individually, in which they try to obtain the majority of vote for their individual Party Leader for the position of Prime Minister of Sweden or a larger representation in the Parliament.

Before going in depth defining the individual major parties, it is imperative to understand the background on coalitions and which individual parties are working together (e.g., Red-Green Coalition and The Alliance Coalition).

The Alliance consists of four centre-right parties in which their individual leaders created a declaration to work toward a viable center-right government which would be an alternative to the long standing center-left ‘Social Democrats’, whom had power for the 23 of the previous 26 years. The Alliance won the majority in 2006 for the first time and just this past Sunday (yes imagine on a Sunday for voting, 19-Sept 2010), has won the most seats overall and re-elected Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. However, the alliance did not obtain the required minimal of 175 seats (just short of three) needed to obtain the majority of the parliment to push through their policies, so they must collaborate.

NOTE: The Alliance consist of the following:

  • Moderates
  • Liberals (Folkpartiet)
  • Centre,
  • Christian Democrats

What’s confusing for an American, we would never combine the concept of ‘Christian’ Democrats with the ‘Liberals’. Yes, (I know) there are Moderates in the America that have Liberal social views and conservative fiscal policies. If I had to personally compare this coalition to the USA landscape, I would use the metaphor of a receipe; (2) Cups of Independents, (1) Cup of Moderate Republicans and a half of a cup each Liberals & Moderate Democrats and at the end throw in a couple of dashes of ideology of privatizing Government public agencies/assets such as the Apotek for taste. Try not to get confused, it’s hard to compare apples and oranges. Note, these Swedes are not thinking to completely dismantle the Welfare system (we Americans say, don’t throw out the ‘Baby with the bath water”). But enough of my rambling on this oxymoron.

NOTE: The Red-Green Coalition consists of three parties and their Party leaders are Mona Sahlin, Peter Eriksson/Maria Wetterstrand and Lars Ohly:

  • Social Democrats
  • Green Party
  • Left Party

The centre-left Red-Green coalition was formally announced on December 7th 2008 after the parties had managed to reach agreement on basic principles of their economic policy. The Red-Green parties are going to the polls on a platform of welfare investment over tax cuts. While the coalition has promised tax cuts of up to 17 billion kronor for pensioners, it rejects further tax cuts for wage earners and proposes the reintroduction of some form of wealth tax.


They are not listed in any particular order

  1. Social Democrats: The Social Democrats were founded in 1889 and are thus the eldest party in Swedish politics. Mona Sahlin is the party leader and and bid to become Sweden’s first female prime minister in this latest election. She has failed to bring the party back after two failed election and they may decide to shake things up. The party is the most successful in Swedish political history (overall for longevity), dominating post-war government and credited with being responsible for the massive expansion of Sweden’s welfare state. She was roundly criticised by Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) for launching a two party coalition with the Green Party, and excluding the Left Party, in October 2008. The Left Party later joined what became the Red-Green coalition.

  2. Left Party: The Left are currently the third largest party within the centre-left Red-Green coalition that is fighting to wrestle back power after four years in opposition. Lars Ohly is the party leader, a former Train Conductor. The Swedish Left Party (Vänsterpartiet) has its roots in a movement which split from the Social Democratic party in 1917. The party discarded the word Communist from its name in 1990. While the party has never served in government, the Left acted as a support party, together with the Greens, to the Social Democrats between 1998 to 2006. The Left has rebranded itself as the ”Welfare Party” for the 2010 election and is campaigning on a platform of high public spending and tax rises. Lars Ohly’s difficulty in clarifying his relationship to Communism remains a complicated issue for the image of the Left Party.

  3. Green Party: The Greens are bidding to become the second largest party within the centre-left Red-Green coalition that is fighting to wrestle back power after four years in opposition. Maria Wetterstrand and Peter Eriksson are the party spokespersons. The Swedish Green Party (Miljöpartiet de Gröna) was founded in 1981 and is thus the youngest parliamentary party. The party emerged out of the movement opposing nuclear power and first gained parliamentary seats in 1988. The party’s appeal has extended from its original environmentalist hardcore to attract most of its support among the young, female, urban middle-classes. In the mid-1990s the party took a stand against Sweden’s membership of the European Union, although the policy demanding a new referendum was finally discarded in September 2008. While acting as a support party for the Social Democrats from 1998-2006, the Greens pushed their green tax agenda advocating a general shift in taxation policy towards higher taxes on unsustainable and environmentally unfriendly practices and products. The party was the first to raise the issue of climate change in Sweden and is credited with pushing the issue into the political mainstream. The party has long campaigned as a party that looks forward and not to the left, or the right on the political scale. The 2010 election campaign is no exception with the party pledging to ”Modernise Sweden”. 

    The Swedes are definitely more environmentally friendly than the Americans. It’s instill in mostly everyone from birth, culture, irregardless of what party you identify with. It’s just a matter of how much does it weigh on your collective political views.

  4. Moderates: The Moderates are a centre-right, liberal conservative political party founded on October 17th 1904. By the early 1970s, and under the stewardship of Gösta Bohman, the party shifted from traditionalist conservatism to a more liberal approach to the economy and the party governed in various coalition constellations from 1976 until 1982. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is the current party leader. Reinfeldt relaunched the party in Blairite fashion as ”the New Moderates” and worked to form a viable political alternative to the Social Democrats as part of the four-party Alliance for Sweden. The Moderates have also pushed through the end of national service and the abolition of wealth tax. The party is pushing its line on jobs and crime, and argues that it is the party to trust with the public purse.

  5. Liberals (Folkpartiet): The Liberals are one of the three smaller parties which make up the centre-right Alliance coalition that has been in government since 2006, having polled 7.5 percent in the 2006 general election. Education minister Jan Björklund is the party leader. The Liberal Party (Folkpartiet liberalerna – fp) is a social liberal political party with roots dating back to the end of royal autocracy in 1809. The party’s base is mostly among the middle-class and is known for its positive stance toward the euro, EU, nuclear power, and Nato, and for its no-nonsense profile on education issues. The Liberals enjoyed a successful 2002 election, in an otherwise disappointing year the centre-right, but was criticised for adopting populist right-wing rhetoric when proposing a language test requirement for obtaining Swedish citizenship. Jan Björklund is a former army major and school-teacher, known for his tough stance on order in schools. Björklund recently aired his view on the re-nationalisation of the public schools system and supports more open immigration, especially for economic migrants. 

    I would love to hear comments from Americans regarding the glaring oxymoronic name, the “Liberals” with the near opposite definition of what we would identify as Liberals. You probably need to read more to understand my confusion.

  6. Centre Party: The Centre Party is one of the three smaller parties which make up the centre-right Alliance coalition that has been in government since 2006, having polled 7.9 percent in the 2006 general election. Enterprise minister and vice-prime minister Maud Olofsson is the party leader. The Centre Party (Centerpartiet) describes itself as social liberal and maintains close ties to rural Sweden and environmental issues. The party was founded in 1913 as the Farmers’ League (Bondeförbundet) and spent its early years as the closest ally of the Social Democrats, forming a government coalition in 1951-57 as well as in the war years. The party is now established as a classically liberal party and has since 2006 governed as part of the centre-right Alliance coalition. The party’s focus has shifted from rural areas to the cities, and from farming to small business, and during the last election year in 2006 was the fastest growing party in Stockholm. Maud Olofsson dominates the Centre Party’s election campaign which is focused on jobs, business, and the environment, and is being fought under the slogan ”The Alliance’s green choice.

  7. Christian Democrats: The Christian Democrats (Kristdemokraterrna – KD) are one of the three smaller parties which make up the centre-right Alliance coalition that has been in government since 2006, having polled 6.6 percent in the 2006 general election. Social minister Göran Hägglund is the party leader. The Christian Democratic party was founded in 1964 but did not enter parliament of its own accord until 1991. The party has its roots in the decision to end religious education in elementary schools and it retains strong ties with religious and evangelical groups. Now this is definitely opposite to our Christian groups in America. Since the mid-1980s the party has remained firmly on the centre-right of Swedish politics and espouses a brand of conservative neo-liberalism. While the party’s profile is based on Christian conservative values, Göran Hägglund has sought to modernise the party somewhat, having for example adopted a pro-choice stance on abortion. The party’s support of legislation enforcing the right of gay couples to marry is further indication of ideological shift during the 2000s.Göran Hägglund dominates the Christian Democrats’ election campaign which is being fouight under the slogan of ”A more humane Sweden”. The party’s focus is on the family, care for the elderly, improving conditions for small business and lowering taxes. Now Americans, can we do the same thing! Pro-Choice, and Gay Marriage! You can believe in these policies and still believe in God.
  8. Sweden Democrats: The Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna – SD) polled 2.6 percent of the votes in the 2006 parliamentary elections. Jimmie Åkesson is the party leader. The Sweden Democrats were founded in 1988 and in contrast to other far-right parties across the EU, has roots in the neo-Nazi movement, specifically the Keep Sweden Swedish (Bevara Sverige Svenskt) group. The party under Mikael Jansson, and now Jimmie Åkesson, has worked hard to tone down its more extremist elements in recent years in an attempt to attract a broader base of support outside of its core of young working class males. The party’s ideology is based on nationalism and social conservativism. Immigration underpins all of the Sweden Democrats’ policy positions, with immigrants and Sweden’s culturally mixed society argued to be the source of all of the country’s perceived ills. The party campaigns against immigration and multicuralism and argues for the construction of a culturally homogenous Sweden.

    The party has a stated aim of being the kingmaker in the Swedish parliament. To do so it would need to poll above 4 percent of the votes in which they actually recevied approx 5.6%. If Alliance coalition and one of the parties in the red-green coalition do not work together to form a bigger alliance, this party could indeed be a deciding factors on votes or (a stalemate) to make the government ineffective altogether.
  9. Feminist Initiative: The Feminist Initiative (Feministiskt Initiative – Fi) polled 0.68 percent of the national vote in the 2006 parliamentary elections. Former Left Party leader Gudrun Schyman is the official spokesperson. The Feminist Initiative is a feminist political party founded in 2005 and first stood in the 2006 general election. Fi had generated a great deal of media hype by the time the party announced its official launch in September 2005. Gudrun Schyman was at that time an independent member of parliament. According to surveys undertaken in 2005 (and again in 2010) up to ten percent of Swedes stated that they could consider voting for the party but come election time active voter support had declined to 0.68 percent.

  10. Pirate Party: The Pirate Party competed in the 2006 general election, polling 0.63 percent of the votes but became the the third largest party in terms of membership by May 2009. The party continues to lobby against copyright and patent legislation. The party announced in August that it would be hosting some of the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks’ servers. This party also aimed to become kingmaker in the Swedish parliament, however,they did not received the required 4% of the votes.

Enough for now. I will post the election results in graphic form in another post.

Ramblings from an American in Sweden.

NOTE:  Some of my research and quotes came from http://TheLocal.se, which is a Swedish newspaper in English.  They provide great translation when my understanding of Swedish is elementary.

Robert Henri: “Eva Green”, 1907: Art That I Love.

Robert Henri (1865-1929), Eva Green, 1907.

I like how Robert Henri, uses broad strokes and each one has a purposes. He is also more known as a teacher than a painter. He was the Leader of the Eight and their work was greatly admired.

Robert Henri: “Eva Green”, 1907:

Robert Henri: “Eva Green”, 1907:

Did you know:
The Ashcan School was a small group of artists who sought to document everyday life in turn-of-the-century New York City, capturing it in realistic and unglamorized paintings and etchings of urban street scenes. It largely consisted of Robert Henri and his circle. Henri, an influential teacher, was an admirer of the unpretentious and masculine realism of Thomas Eakins and Thomas Anshutz. In addition to Henri, the Ashcan School consisted of George Wesley Bellows, William J. Glackens, Everett Shinn, George Luks and John Sloan. The spirit of the Ashcan School was continued in the American Scene Painting of the 1920′s and 1930′s.(1)

Picasso: Portrait of an Angel: Art That I love

The blue period – Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto, 1903: Estimated at $40 – $60 million (£22 – 33 million).

Oil on canvas.