Saturday, June 30, 2012


Charlotta Hanner Nordstrand, has written an article in a local Gothenburg publication (Göteborg Förr och Nu - Göteborgs Hembygdsförbunds Skriftserie XXXIV -2012) on the subject of women artists at the end of 1800 and the beginning of 1900.

It makes for interesting reading. At one time the paintings of some women artists were removed from the main art museum and placed in other, less conspicuous places of the city. A way to put "uppity" women artists in their place so to say.

Women artists were generally from the educated classes, and one of those artists was CHARLOTTE MANNHEIMER (1866-1934) and I could not help to be fascinated by her portrait of Mrs. Fernanda Nylund. There is an immediacy here, the young woman leaning forward, looking directly into the eyes (or even the soul?) of the viewer. 

CHARLOTTE MANNHEIMER (1866-1934) of Mrs. Fernanda Nylund. Detail
CHARLOTTE MANNHEIMER (1866-1934) Fru Fernanda Nylund
Göteborgs Konstmuseum GKM 104
125,3 cm X 79,5 cm

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I liked this comment:
"So AMAZING there are no words to describe it. Just the description of an orchestral "flashmob". You could never have had that at any other time in history! I'm wondering why it brought tears to my eyes. Is it because I'm a musician, because all of those different kinds of people were joined together as one, (the way it should be!) , or just because I am a sensitive human being??? Maybe a combo of all 3??? Either way I'm grateful to have seen it! GurianNewsNetwork"

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Illustration ©Donovan O'Malley

This is the season when Swedes have absolutely no problem finding a general subject to bring up at the workplace. The subject: Vacation. People who usually say nothing to one another will happily ask the other person if they have had any vacation yet and/or when they intend to take it.

When they get the answer they don't listen. It's just a ritual. But the ritual also requires that you, who asked the question, relate your own vacation plans. Rather like when you ask how someone is. You do not expect a detailed health history.

Swedes don't think they have enough vacation and would love to have more. Those five wonderful weeks (mandatory by law) go so fast. Swedes have the right to have at least three of those five weeks consecutively during summer. Compared to Americans who get usually a total of two weeks all year if they are lucky, Swedes are fortunate indeed. But those five weeks are equally beneficial for their employer. Employees come back with their batteries charged and work better than ever.

On the radio, they discuss whether one should take the entire vacation in one go, or divide it up and what is best for you. Everyone agrees that you absolutely need your vacation or your health is sure to suffer. Swedes often get extremely surprised to hear that Americans have only two weeks vacation or none at all.

Other benefits for Swedes: The religious holidays. Swedes are not at all religious (religion would never be brought up in political situations), but they love being off work on those religious holidays. Swedes have at least 6 more days off than Americans do. And Americans are generally the more religious. No logic here?

Two friends from California, visited Sweden a few years ago and their first impression was that people seemed so relaxed and unstressed. They loved seeing fathers on paternity leave taking care of their children.

These American friends said that people in California worried about not having or losing health-insurance, losing their job, or not having one. Interesting observation. Maybe we Swedes should count our blessings and stop fretting about not having enough vacation days.

Friday, June 8, 2012


"At the Beach" by Donovan O'Malley
Buy here!

New digital technique and interesting Internet sites, enable artists to show their art  on mugs such as these. See all mugs here.

"Cranes" by Donovan O'Malley
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"The way it was " by Donovan O'Malley
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"California Beach" by Donovan O'Malley
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"A Lady in the Jungle" by Donovan O'Malley
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"Lady Bird" by Donovan O'Malley
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Monday, June 4, 2012


My American grandmother Olga in the winter garden of her villa Lysholmen  (outside Gothenburg) many years ago.

She was born 1890 in New Mexico, grew up in Florida and married my Swedish grandfather when only 18. They met in Paris where he romantically proposed on the Eiffel tower. She was most innocent and had no idea how children were conceived, she had 9. She had many artistic talents, too, as shown below.
She loved to paint flowers. These are some of her many oil paintings.

She also learned to do Chinese Lacquer work in London, probably when there with her husband Folke on one of his many business trips. She decorated this chest, but she also had a carpenter make lamps that she decorated with Chinese lacquer work. She found some of her work in antique shops in Gothenburg years later, sold as genuine.

She proudly told me that she could do the pattern free hand.
This mirror goes with the chest

This is one of many bridge tables she made and decorated.The square in the middle is black silk where the cards are placed.
Grandmother Olga was the head of the Red Cross at Saro, and here she is with king Gustav V to whom she gave two Chinese lacquer work bridge tables.
She painted these birds on several layers of glass, obtaining a three-dimensional effect
She was also interested in Swedish Folk Art and made this bridal chest.
She gave it to the Red Cross Lottery sometime in the 1950s, filled with linen. 
My mother was lucky to win it, so it stayed in the family.
The insides of the bridal chest.

Detail of the inside of the bridal chest.
This is a handmade Swedish wooden basket decorated by grandmother.
More of her Swedish Folk Art decorations.
I loved to spend time with my super-interesting grandmother and she was pleased to see later in life, that I had taken up the tradition of painting Swedish folk Art also.
This was originally a thin wooden ladle, used to put bread into big  wood fired ovens.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


So you have had problems hearing the words in Carmina Burana.
Well, we all have. But here is some help!