Monday, January 16, 2012

the farfar project

I've started a little project that I am enjoying immensely.

I stumbled across a cash of old portraits taken of Swedish men in the early 1900's. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I have become fascinated by these men and the lives they lived.  I love the character etched into their faces. I love the lines and creases and angles of their cheeks.

All these men were laborers of varying sorts.  They must have worked hard during their life. I stole them from their dark back drop and have given them joyful surroundings. I think it changes how you see them.  I think it allows their countenance to transcend their position.

As I have worked on each portrait, I have created a sort of one-sided relationship with each man. They may not be the people I imagine them to be at all, but I will never know. It's neither here nor there.

I am currently half way through this project. There are twelve portraits. I have finished the first six that are below. I have given their name and occupation.

 I'm not sure what I will do with them once the project is complete. I'm not even sure why I feel so driven to complete it. It's been a little like escaping into a really good book. The characters follow you throughout your day and you can't wait to find time to pick up the book again to see what will happen next.

In Sweden there are two words for grandfather: Your mothers father is called "Morfar" Your father's father is called "Farfar".

Lars Erik Pettersson: Miner


Anders Wedin: Postman


Carl Bohlin: Carpenter


Karl Oskar Lööw: Crofter


Ollas Per Persson: Yeoman


Oskar Almgren: Blacksmith

21 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Brilliant. I'm speechless at your art! I am very partial dear Lars Pettersson and wonder if he's married or perhaps lost his beloved wife? :)

TracyMB @ Crow's Feet Chic said...

These are fabulous!! Love them and although Ollas does rock my favourite colours, Carl's peeking possum makes me giggle. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the crew! :)

Elena said...

I love this! ❤ i saw it at your instagram and go straight here to find the result

ASebert said...

My favorite part of this post other than the great art is the first line. How often do you hear "I've stumbled across some portraits of Swedish men." Just struck me as funny :)

Hi Octane Jewelry said...

Being of Swedish heritage I connect with these guys as well. Love your touches.

Janel said...

How about turning your portraits into a calendar for 2013 since there are 12 photos?? it's quirky but cute!

Just a thought!

Erin said...

Oh my goodness--these are amazing! I absolutely love what you have done with these fabulous old men! To die for!

kelly barton said...

awesome!

Anna M said...

I thought I liked you before, but I think after these I like you a whole lot more.

It was great chatting with you today. You gave me a lot of inspiration and ideas--so THANKS!

Lulu the Baker said...

These portraits are amazing and beautiful! I can't stop looking at them!

Naushin said...

AMAZING! Please, please make these into posters or available for download and print. I would love to have a series of these in my house!

Sara said...

Well done! I love these. I want to buy them in individual cards. Then I'll frame them separately and hang them on my wall in a collection. Please make them available!

kolleen said...

I love this art! I have very old pictures of my different ancestors. What a great different approach to display. I have some pics from early 1890's and so forth. Love them.

Jenny P said...

Love these. I especially love Ollas's kind eyes.

Shannon Baker said...

These are wonderful!
Love your blog and your art.

Rebecca said...

Being Swedish and all I think you've done an amazing job featuring the character of those men! Keep up the good work. (and the idea of making a calender of the twelve sounds great!)

Sara Sophia said...

All I know is I need one of these fellas in my house --- prints please!!

---Sara Sophia

Kate The Great said...

I think you ought to make affordable prints of these. I would buy a copy of either Anders or Carl if each were, say, $20 or so.

And, lucky you, you've been featured on Design Mom. Helllllo, gorgeous design.

Jane said...

I agree with everyone about the prints. I would like to see these on my walls. Love!

Megan said...

Oh I love them. My ancestors are Swedish. I would love to buy prints of these dudes. They are so fantastic!! Love.

AshleyA said...

I like Rebacca's calender idea!! I'm obsessed with all things swedish and i know my farmor would love a calender of these