Tag Archives: painting

Jens Funder-Nielsen: The H.C. Andersen Artist

Jens Funder-Nielsen has through a life-time been an author and artist of many media. Having grown up in Egernsund he moved to Copenhagen and Esbjerg to study and work, before returning to Sonderborg. We found out about him via a tip off from a friend who has bought some of his works of art to decorate her house. We wanted to learn more, so a quick phone call resulted in an appointment made to visit him in his house a couple of days later.


On arriving at his house you can immediately see that the fairytales of H.C. Andersen are some of the things that inspire him the most. The items that had originally caught my eyes were the gold-plated HC Andersen fairytale ornaments. But that is not the only H.C. Andersen-inspired items he makes. There are also paper mobiles and paper cuttings, some of which you can buy and others which you can buy books with patterns to make your own.

Besides books about paper clippings inspired by H.C. Andersen, the 14 books he has published also include decorations for Christmas, table decorations for parties, and mobiles on other themes. Looking through the books the patterns are really detailed and intricate. A work of art in themselves!

His paintings are very colourful, covering many whimsical subjects in a childlike manner. You can see a few of his paintings here and as is to be expected, the local events and landscape are also an inspiration. If you have ideas he might also be open for making some on commission.

If you are interested in his work, do think about going to visit him. Jens and his wife are very friendly people. For many years they have been producing and selling art and books out of their house in Dybbøl. At an age of 81 years Jens is getting on in years so there are no regular opening times. But make a call like we did and you can sort a visit out very easily.

Jens also mentioned that every Christmas they have an open week, so you can also keep your eyes peeled on the local newspapers for more information about that when we get closer to December. His smaller items are perfect for giving as gifts, especially if you have foreign family and friends.

Oh! And just so you don’t say we didn’t warn you! If you visit I can promise you that you won’t allow yourself to leave empty-handed! We left with a small collection of items: some for us, and some to give as gifts.

See Jens Funder-Nielsen’s website for more information.

Sønderborg in a Different Light

Sometimes photographs can make things you see every day look new and interesting. That’s how I felt when I came across Anne-Kathrin Pries‘ pictures where she paints with light in Sønderborg.


I asked Anne-Kathrin a couple of questions about these photos:

How did you get the idea for these light photos?

I get inspired by other photographers. I saw some night pictures where they used a torch to paint/lighten up the foreground, and I tried that and was hooked. On Flickr.com I found other people from around the world who take lightpainting pictures.

The light photos you take have a very magical feel to them. How do you create them?

I take these pictures in a completely dark environment, preferably where there are no city lights.
I take a longetime exposure (keeping the camera lense open for a long time) which can take up to 10 minutes if it is dark enough and I walk into the picture with a light source while my camera stands on the tripod and captures the movement of my light.
First I started to paint with common torches but you can use everything that lights up. I found some toys like a Star Wars sword, which is very useful. I got some good results with steel wool too. It burns very brightly and can illuminate a big area.

Do you get these photos in one take or do you spend whole nights running around with saber swords and sparklers?

The most exciting part is that you never know how the picture will look like in the end. It depends on how much light is around or if it’s full moon, then you won’t have so much time for painting and when it is really dark you can often sit for hours and wait until the camera has collected enough light. The hardest part is to focus when it is dark, you can’t really do it … sometimes I spend hours and afterwards I find out that my picture isn’t sharp :-/. Another thing is you can’t really see what you paint or where in the photo you place your light… but after some time you get a feeling for it.

Which is your favourite photo and why?

It is this one. I used a bicycle light for that and this was my second try in painting people. It is really difficult cause you need to turn off the light, after drawing one arm, to go back and draw the head, and so on. It can easily turn into a big squiggle. For this couple I just needed only one try and it was perfect … I didn’t think I would get this.

One last thing, what’s you favorite place in Sonderborg and why?

My favorite place is this one. I love the water and the beach, I take most of my pictures there:-)

See more photos by Anne-Kathrin on her website or her flickr account.