Background / Philosophy

‘You can make the colours sing Siv Moa,’ my mother said to me when I was a child. Being inspired by her studies of the mysteries of color and being surrounded with colour circles and colour squares, I arrived at the moment when I started my own journey of colour towards becoming a painter.

I became the pupil of the Norwegian painter Finn Moe, who guided me from 1983, for nine years, until 1992, through the experiences that gave me the needed confidence and led me towards my own freedom of expression - I learnt to listen to the chromatic metamorphic wonders of colours and I was most fortunate to be able to do this under the guidance and support of Moe. Thus through painting my way towards their many chords and different intervals, I eventually created my own symphonies of colour by exploring my own perception of rhythm and tones.

From 1998 I dedicated myself to a new artistic medium which I had long sought to explore. Mosaics are another kind of expression whose medium requires another touch than painting. 

Until 2009, I explored colour compositions of tiles. In Casa Color (Colour House), a five-story house in the village of Arguineguín, mosaics of colour can be found from the entrance, all the way through to the fifth-floor roof terrace. Casa Blanca (White House), represents another mosaic venture, though this time, with a more detailed eye to round shapes and the hidden secrets of geometric compositions which multiply and unfold within themselves. 

Throughout my artistic development and expression through painting, writing, drawing and making mosaics, colour play and the philosophy behind it has been central.

The Italien painter Beppe (Rosario Giuseppe) Assenza (1905-1985, Modica, Sicily), spoken of as the great master of the new dynamics of color, was the teacher of Finn Moe, from whom I inherited Assenza's tradition. As noted by Luciano Balduino, a former student of Assenza:‘the essential grasping [of] colours as living and freely fluctuating in the soul,’is vital for any artist’s true expression. Thus it is only when colour is taken into the artist's consciousness, in their own nature and essence that the soul acquires the capacity to elaborate colour in line with its intrinsic qualities and properties. As such, the artist may come to see its lines and forms emerge from its natural development, with its source from the awareness brought forth by Goethe, of the metamorphic wonders the chromatic compositions hold, which are alive and touching, therefore allowing themes to arise out of forms created by colour and tonal space.

Assenza was obviously touched and inspired by painters within this philosophical tradition where practicing these truths were nourished and where such ideas flourished. In search for new impulses Assenza moved from his native island to mainland Italy (where he as a young man had produced noteworthy works in churches and public buildings), to France and then to Germany, before he again settled in Italy, working as a highly esteemed portrait painter, before finally moving to Switzerland in 1957, where he dedicated himself to what was to become his true path as a painter of chromatic compositions.

It is well known that Assenza, whose artistic tradition was to become strongly anchoredwith roots to Goethe's philosophy of colour which had similarly inspired painters before him,gave a new direction to the conception of the artistic composition and figuration of his time.                            

In this way, my own path has been influenced by great philosophers and painters, and I would here like to mention Franz Marc, August Macke and Wassily Kandinsky. And by doing so, including the other great artists and philosophers who influenced them, and who painted and lived with a similar command of artistic mastery, and who in their time and mode of expression shared a similar understanding of colour, which was to become the foundation for my own path of becoming the painter I have become.

Wassily Kandinsky talks about how to create a ‘pure painting’ that would provide the same emotional power as a musical composition. As founders of Der Blaue Reiter their underlying goal as artists was their search for an understanding of the spiritual essence of all things, promoting spiritual matters over materialism. With his words, Franz Marc clearly asserts this tradition; ‘I seek to heighten my sensitivity to the organic rhythm in all things.’ Both the artists of Der Blaue Reiter and of the Bauhaus and of course also other painters of their time, created these groups for the search for community and creation of a better world, expressionist aims that are also truly alive today.

Painting is a continuous search of surprising oneself. In my own work the seeking and finding of new challenges is always present. I thus search in order to bring forth the interweaving of the living musical elements of colour, always dancing inbetween the light and the darkness, with the possibility of reflecting the aliveness of nature, both from around us and from within us, simultanously.

My aim as a painter is listening for the music of colour, composing chromatic compositions where the colours sing. I paint with the wish of bridging the figurations of musicality that the poetry of colour and form may evoke in man’s eternal image of himself, with the understanding of how the transparency of chromatic intensity awakens and play on the deep vibrating emotions of our souls.