Waiting for a phantasy

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

“Am I in love? — Yes, since I’m waiting.” The other never waits. Sometimes I want to play the part of the one who doesn’t wait; I try to busy myself elsewhere, to arrive late; but I always lose at this game: whatever I do, I find myself there, with nothing to do, punctual, even ahead of time. The lover’s fatal identity is precisely: I am the one who waits. (Roland Barthes, Fragments d’un discours amoureux. L’attente p. 47-50)

This artwork is about waiting. About the fatal identity of the one who waits for a promised (or hoped for) sign, waiting for a proof of feelings, hoping for silent communication, without reciprocity. Truths are confused with fantasies and wishes. The delay of the other is analyzed and at the same time the one who waits is brainstorming, having a mixture of unimportant and substantial thoughts.
The accompanying text (see below) explains the artwork – a girl waiting all day long in front of her door for someone to come – her waiting symbolizes and dramatizes more trivial scenes of waiting, eg. refreshing your inbox, waiting for someone to log in to a chat room or instant messenger, waiting for a phone call, waiting for someone in a cafe…

Ina Mar, Waiting for a phantasy, 2009-2010, mixed digital and traditional media

Ina Mar, Waiting for a phantasy, 2009-2010, mixed digital and traditional media

Her eyes are fixed on the floor. She knows that he’ll be coming any second now, so she doesn’t move. She remains seated on her knees in front of the door. Her eyes scrutinize every detail of the door:

The paint is beginning to flake off here. What’s that little scratch? I suppose it’s from that day I was hurriedly leaving for Paris and bumped against the door with the suitcase. Why was I in a hurry? Certainly the usual: I must have waited to get ready until the very last moment and almost missed the train again – how typical of me. Why isn’t he coming? What time is it now? A wall clock, that’s what I need. Hm… I think I shall have to clean the skirting boards sometime, I never bother to do it and it’s so dusty. What an occupation, cleaning skirting boards… Perhaps I’ll do it tomorrow. I have some kind of appointment tomorrow; I don’t quite remember what it is. I must have written it down in the calendar, let me check.

But she does not leave her place to check the calendar. She changes her pose and squats on her haunches.

I had planned to show him my new artwork today. Do you think he is going to read the text I placed in the background? Nobody ever reads these texts: they must all think they’re visual effects. But it’s better that way, I don’t like everybody to read my texts, they won’t understand them anyway. But I’d love HIM to read this text. And what if he doesn’t like it? What if he doesn’t realize I wrote it for him, about him? What if he realizes it’s about him and starts acting distant again? What if he doesn’t believe me? What if he says I’m exaggerating? He thinks “despair”, “anxiety”, “abandonment” are words too strong to utter – oh, he just has no idea. This tile has a broken corner, I never noticed it before. Come on, where are you? Why aren’t you coming?

Her knees are aching and her feet are cold and numb. The floor is cold and it’s getting dark, but she just doesn’t want to get up. She doesn’t want to turn on the light; she doesn’t want to stretch her legs. She denies it to herself! She doesn’t want to run the risk of missing the moment he comes in. What if the door opens while she is missing from her designated waiting place? What if he comes in and she’s not there? That kind of disaster always happens in a fraction of a second! No, she has to sit there and wait, without doing anything. So she won’t miss the moment he comes into the room, so he can see her there waiting. Anyway, she knows he’ll be coming any second now. He HAS to come. Her wish is so strong and sincere that it must come true. Perhaps the fact that she remains seated in exactly the same place for hours on end will force him to come. There must be a way to make him feel her desire and force him to come more quickly. She tries to concentrate on her thoughts, to send him the message that she is waiting for him. If at this very moment the door opens and he sees her, he is going to know that she has been waiting for him. That’s why she won’t abandon her position.

I didn’t even get to comb my hair and dress up today. I came here directly from my bed. That’s another sign of my love: I’m sure he’s going to notice and appreciate it. I didn’t even take a look at my e-mails. What if he sent me an e-mail? No, he never writes on Saturdays. What if he wrote today? Have I eaten today? I don’t remember. It’s OK, we’ll eat together. Do you think he’s going to sense I am in angry with him because of his delay? How would I show it? Am I angry? Why can’t I be angry with him? Why do I forget everything the moment he appears? Anyway, if he comes today, he will sleep here and we’ll wake up together. Maybe tomorrow I should call my brother, haven’t talked to him in a week. This CD is really awesome; I can’t understand why he gets annoyed if I play it again and again. This track, this verse, no, the next one, wait, was it this one or the next one? This is it! He left last Monday while this verse was playing. He said: “May see you this weekend”, then closed the door and went out. I listened to his footsteps on the stairs. Imagine if he came in right now, while exactly the same verse was playing – what an illusion! What if he forgot that he promised to meet me today? Didn’t he promise? Of course he did. What time could it be now? I want to think of him but somehow I can’t concentrate on thinking of him. What might HE be thinking of right now? He must be in a bar with friends, he’s sure to have gone out, it’s Saturday night.

Suddenly she realizes that if she concentrates on her thoughts, the message should travel to his ears, he will then sense her despair, feel that she needs him and come. The sound of his keys opening the door, his scent suddenly overwhelming the air, the image of him walking into the room and telling her “I sensed that you needed me, so I came” – she would give everything to experience this. The image passes vividly through her mind, rewind, replay, repeat. Now she lets her eyes play over several objects lying on the floor around her: a pair of shoes, a small piece of paper with a phone number, an umbrella. Her eyes fix on every object and mechanically scan it:

I bought this umbrella six years ago, in Salzburg, that day when the rain just wouldn’t stop, they only had this green one, now I’m left with an ugly, green umbrella. Is there a way I can think “strongly”, so he can hear me? Let me try right now. I won’t let any other unimportant thoughts confuse me, I will think strongly of his eyes, no I will visualize that I am talking to him – now I am talking to him: hey love, listen, I need you, please come, it’s very important, because I really missed you and I can’t stand your absence any more. What else could I say? What if he doesn’t hear me? What if he’s working today and he cannot come? Someone’s on the stairs, I can hear steps. That’s him, oh god that’s him! I recognize him! Is that him? No those are women’s steps. Damn! She is talking on the phone. Oh well, some people are having fun today. They have the right to have fun. I hope someone finally got the light bulb changed in the stairwell. He told me I should call him if I wanted to see him. I could just have picked up the phone and invited him. He’d come as always, wouldn’t he? But I don’t want it that way. That’s not enough. I want him to sense that I am thinking of him and to come on his own. I need you, please come. Isn’t that a good enough reason: what do I have to do to convince you?

Text: Ina Mar

Adam, Eve and the Forbidden Strawberry

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

A modern version of the Genesis story with Adam, Eve and the forbidden fruit: Adam tempts Eve to eat the strawberry. She succumbs. Here is a short “make of” video (Music: test/sample by S. Ash). To restart the video, just refresh the post (Video+audio created+recorded on the fly so please excuse the quality…)

Created June 2010.
Technique: Mixed digital and traditional media (photo, photomanipulation, paper collage, scanning of found or discarded material, pencil drawing, digital drawing).

Credits: The male figure is based on a self photo taken by justmeina (model and photographer).

You can buy this artwork on Redbubble or Imagekind – for signed prints, contact me…

New artwork (surREALITIES)

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

So here it is. I don’t know exactly what it means, I just got this idea and wanted to draw it.

Untitled by Ina Mar
Untitled by Ina Mar, June 2010, square 70x70cm (27.5×27.5in)
mixed media (drawing, photomanipulation, digital painting)

Credits: figure from “Exlibris” by Franz von Bayros; head and body texture taken from Schiele’s self-portrait


Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

I have a new Etsy shop since a couple of days, I offer some fine art prints (signed if you wish). And I already got my first two sales! The prices are intentionally very low, I just feel like sharing my art and need some motivation to keep on going… Please share and retweet – I need more views, I need more feedback. Thank you!

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Old Darkness Fills Me With Unbelievable Sadness

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Old Darkness Fills Me With Unbelievable Sadness by Ina Mar
Old Darkness Fills Me With Unbelievable Sadness by Ina Mar

Girl haunted by the pain and fear of memories that are not letting her go on. It’s a small step to take, but her feet seem to have grown roots into the ground.

Inspired by a verse by Paul Lobo Portugés:

old darkness
fills me
with unbelievable

Dimensions: 70×70 cm (27.5×27.5 inches)

Technique: mixed media (pencil drawing, digital painting and photomanipulation using multiple textures from my own stock)

Creative procedure:
1. Pencil sketch (see below)
2. Research for drawings by old masters, fitting my idea and lines
3. Mixing my sketch with 6 sketches by old masters (see below, “Sources/Credits”)
4. Digitally repainting / redrawing some parts
5. Adding the text (font taken from book illustration, ca. 1450)
6. Adding structures, colour highlights, refining

– Verse by Paul Lobo Portugés
– Tree drawing by Cesare da Sesto (ca. 1500)
– Arm sketch by Albrecht Dürer (1504)
– Shield holder drawing by Hans Baldung Grien (ca. 1520)
– “Nude squatting man” (self-portrait) by Egon Schiele (1917)
– Skull head taken from “Death and Life” by Gustav Klimt (1911)
– Bird drawing taken from wall mural, Grand Palace, Bangkok

Here is my original pencil sketch (I know I can’t draw!):

Pour les enfants d’Haiti

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

This project was initiated by writer and filmmaker Paul Lobo Portugés, as a donation to the organization Haiti Soleil, to save a demolished non-profit library in Port au Prince, building literacy amongst Haiti’s impoverished children who’ve suffered from the earthquake. The poster is a collaboration between photographer Dave Craige (picture of the child), Paul Lobo Portugés (poem) and me (artwork).


Mixed media: pencil drawing, photo (child, textures), photomanipulation and digital drawing

Stones from Heaven by Paul Lobo Portugés

“What crime what sin had those young hearts conceived
That lie bleeding torn on a mother’s breast…
The human race demands a word from God.”—Voltaire, ” Poem on the Lisbon Earthquake” (1775)

the flesh of the city blends its blood with the dust of earth’s grave
the devil quake broke the bones of their beds with its terrorist bomb
they could see the day light of death in the beaten air
feel it in their prayerful souls as the some time glad day sun fell
into forever’s darkness and all the all reeked with the ashes of fear
where is the loving God of married hallelujahs?

all the poor man’s houses falling falling “amid the deepening gloom”
into a tomb for sons of promise and green daughters
their pleasure and pain drowned in a ghost of tears
lost like raindrops on the grey face of the bottomless ocean
vanished like the passing shadows of stories in the imagination of clouds
why oh darkened God of stones God of the Word God of Heaven?

in the once bright light of a schoolyard’s promise silence now bleeds
where young eyes yesterday shouted from their books a belief in tomorrows
now the living dead carry their bodies with loving worms
on the gallows of their bent backs wander the veins of the beaten streets
chanting horror’s verbs black angels mourning the flesh of graves
where is the open hands of God the prodigal Father?

they lie down forever in the weather of their sorrow with the innocent dead
weep for the seed of their breathless children in the blood lit city of gospel sorrow
no glad to be home families no wined friends with hope’s holiday songs
no loving child’s prayers or whispered shut eye no sweet good nights
no these good soldiers of Jesus’ hosannas are the inspired blind no more
to the womb of endless night no to the forsaken God of their brambled loins

NOTE: If you are located in California (CA), don’t miss “A poetry reading for Haiti Soleil“, Sunday, April 18, 2010, at 7 p.m. in Hieronymus Lounge, Westmont College, Santa Barbara. The reading will include readings by Paul Lobo Portugés, as well as Chryss Yost, Sojourner Kinkade Rolle, Galicia and Starkey, Alice M. Scharper, Perie Longo and Barry Spacks. A suggested donation of $5 or more will raise funds for Haiti Soleil.

New artwork: Routine Heartbreak

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Ina Mar, Routine Heartbreaks, 2010, Mixed Media

The girl offers her heart to the black jaguar.
The black jaguar replies: “Use that emotion for something useful – create some art!”
The girl has collected each one of her previously broken hearts in its own jar of formalin. Under the shelf where the jars are placed, the viewer can read the girl’s thoughts: “How many more heartbreaks on the shelf of my life? When will I ever learn?”

Colour palette: dark red, crimson, salmon, gold, yellow, black
Size of the original (digital file): 35.4 in x 27.6 in (90×70cm)
Technique: paper collage, photomanipulation and digital painting, using multiple textures from my own photo stock

Making of “Routine Heartbreak”

Here are some preliminary sketches of the artwork, as well as a short description of my procedure, for those who are interested to see how I create those effects.


Picture 1 of 6

  • A normal photo is taken after a particular pose. The background is not completely neutral, but I use some of the elements and shadings for the final image, instead of a supplementary texture. The panther is added later. Both figures are progressively improved.
  • Several elements are provisorily placed on the photo, namely the 8 jars of formalin containing the hearts (taken from a vintage drawing) as well as  textures from 6 Egon Schiele’s paintings and drawings (skin, dress, hair etc, see below in the chapter “Textures and Material”).
  • Textures and shades are added in the background to give the yellow tones and that Pompei wall effect. I later added a pink gradient behind the girl, to highlight the hair and body contours.
  • The girl’s dress is painted red. The Egon Schiele fragments are adjusted in a way to fit together: same skin tones everywhere, even though the skin comes from 3 different paintings; the passage from one fragment to another must be invisible. The hands have rather red tones, because they are holding the heart. I removed the Egon Schiele mouth and eyes, because they expressed arrogance rather than pain.
  • I made some slight changes to the jars of formalin and hearts so they don’t all seem alike (regularity is not always a virtue).
  • The outlines are improved, for example the neck part, the face. I added a black contour to the girl and a red contour to the panther. Later I put a red “halo” both to the panther and the girl.
  • The text of the girl is handwritten and scanned, then integrated into the image. The panther’s text is a collage of letters from an old note (I like that handwritting).
  • I improve / paint / highlight many details. I make slight changes to the textures, namely removing the dark parts from the face, hands and legs, so that the skin is clearer and brighter.
  • At the end, I made the girl’s left foot visible, so that a self-evident sexual interpretation of the encounter is excluded (the panther is not between her legs).

Textures and material of “Routine Heartbreak”

The black jaguar is a photo from my stock, taken in the Mexico City Zoo. The girl’s skin, hair and clothing are a mixture of fragments from 6 different Egon Schiele paintings and drawings I discovered during my latest travel to Vienna, complemented with some digitally painted parts:

  • The girl’s dress  was taken from the sheets in “Embrace” (1917), Österreichische Galerie, Vienna. The  texture of the girl’s hair was taken from the same painting.
  • Parts of the face were taken from Egon Schiele’s nude self-portrait (1911), Leopold Museum, Vienna
  • The girl’s neck and the upper part of her dress were taken from Schiele’s “Devotion” (1913), Leopold Museum, Vienna
  • The girl’s legs and arms were taken from Egon Schiele’s “Blind Mother” (1914), Leopold Museum, Vienna
  • The girl’s right hand was taken from Egon Schiele’s “Erwin von Graff” portrait (1910), private collection.
  • The girl’s left hand was taken from the baby in Egon Schiele’s “Dead Mother” (1910), Leopold Museum, Vienna.

Left to right, top to bottom: “Blind Mother”, “Devotion”, “Dead Mother”, “Erwin von Graff”, “Embrace”, “Nude Self-Portrait” by Egon Schiele

New artwork: Don’t let your emotions spread out!

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Dont let your emotions spread out! by Ina Mar
Dont let your emotions spread out! by Ina Mar, mixed media, 2009

The peacock and the businessman, a one-sided love affair.

The peacock attempts to impress the businessman and says: I could name 100 things you are to me. I’d like to spread out my feathers if you’d like me to. The businessman replies: I think you are 100 times more in touch with your own feelings than I am.

The peacock’s reflected black and white feather patterns on the businessman’s shirt refer to empathy. Empathy means understanding and being sensitive to the feelings and thoughts of another – here the businessman is sensitive to the peacock’s feelings, despite his verbal reaction.
The red cheaks and red highlights on the businessman’s face and shirt, as well as on the leaves, refer to projection, or more specifically the imaginative projection of the peacock’s subjective state (he is in love and emotionally wounded) into the object of his love (the man), so that the man appears to be infused with it.

The businessman is a mixture of:

  • Egon Schiele’s self-portrait with lowered head, 1912 (see below)
  • bits of the shirt of Albert Paris von Gütersloh by Egon Schiele, 1918 (see below)
  • the horrible graduation tie of a friend, in blue variation (better than the original)
  • many digitally painted or repainted / highlighted details

egon-shiele-portrait-with-lowered-head schiele-albert-paris-von-gütersloh

I took the picture of the peacock (used for this artwork) on Lokrum Island in Croatia, in the Adriatic Sea. Peacocks wander everywhere on this island – they are actually the only inhabitants, as Lokrum is a Nature Reserve!


The artwork texture is mainly a mixture of (1) Valcamonica prehistoric rock drawings, (2) Nepal paper, (3 dirty knife and (4) Cuban sea colours, with (5) some hand-painted details, shades and lights.

Colour palette: The palette is this time quite “realistic”, blues, greens, white, black and some pomegranate red
Size of the original (digital file): 39.4 in x 27.5 in (100×70cm)
Technique: photomanipulation and digital drawing

empathy. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary. Retrieved December 28, 2009, from Dictionary.com website:

Seasons of emotions

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

This is a new little series of surrealities. The atypical encounters of two characters, an ugly young boy and his zoomorph friend or companion (male or female, the viewer may decide). The palette is rather “shouting“, as an allusion to a dream or hallucinatory world.

Through zoomorphism, colour contrasts and textual contrasts, the images allude to the lack of communication or non reciprocity in an emotional level between human beings.

The technique is a mixture of paper collage, pencil drawing, digital photo, photomanipulation and digital painting. The final artworks are in digital form.
Tiger Dream by Ina Mar
Tiger Dream by Ina Mar, mixed media, 2009

Description: The young boy and his companion experience their first encounter and first metamorphosis of this series. The zoomorph male/female companion (tiger) wakes up and sees the boy lying on his/her bed, his head slightly leaned to the back, showing his uncovered neck. The tiger carefully takes his neck into his mouth. The tiger’s spoken words are written over his head while the boy’s intime thoughts are written inside his head. The tiger does not bite or hurt the boy, even though the boy expesses the wish to be aggressed. A sleeping child inside the boy’s head (reference to Egon Schiele) and the words “still a kid deep in his soul” allude to innocence. The image is contrasting innocence and gentleness to erotism and agressivity.
Colour palette
: The palette contains “agressive” colours: mostly blood red, deep orange, black and saturated yellow.
ize of the original: 19.7 in x 15.7 in (50x40cm)
Season of emotions: Summer,
passion/energy and something at it’s peak

Sweet Unreciprocity by Ina Mar
Sweet Unreciprocity by Ina Mar, mixed media, 2009

Description: The kitty – the only “warm” element in a cold, blue palette – is in love with the boy and delves itself into emotionalities, saying: “I brought you a blue rose. I am laying it at your feet”. The young boy (reference to Egon Schiele’s “Self-Portrait with Chinese Lantern and Fruits”, 1912) is arrogantly smoking, turning his back to the kitty and uttering: “Cool down kitty. It’s december. Love is in its winter rest”. There’s a contrast between emotionality (kitty) and cool rationality (boy).
Colour palette: dark blue, teal blue, turquoise, indigo, deep red, black
Size of the original: 29.5 in x 19.7 in (75x50cm).
Season of emotions: Winter, coldness and
a time of rest from the cycle of growth and bloom

Chameleon Dream by Ina Mar
Chameleon Dream by Ina Mar, mixed media, 2009

Description: The male figure is a reference to Egon Schiele’s “Levitation” (1915). It’s the moment just after he wakes up and he is still in his bed, telling his zoomorph companion about one of his dreams, where he was obliged to redecorate his chameleons’ tanks again and again, because the chameleons kept changing colours. In order to show understanding, the companion transforms itself into a red iguana (and not a chameleon – because iguanas don’t have a color-changing ability to blend in with their surroundings – which is what frustrated the man).
Colour palette:  deep greens, deep reds and black
Size of the original: 35.4 in x 27.6 in (90x70cm)
Season of emotions: Spring, change (and the fear of change)

Unintentionally Is My Specialty by Ina Mar
Unintentionally Is My Specialty by Ina Mar, mixed media, 2009

Description: “Unintentionally is my specialty” is an allegory of the artist (depicted as butterfly) and his companion (reference to an Egon Schiele figure). The boy touches slightly the butterfly’s delicate wings and they tear accidentally. He says “Unintentionally is my specialty”. The butterfly consoles the boy and takes comfort in saying “Suffering is my muse”.
The delicate wings represent the emotional sensibility of the artist: a capacity to respond to aesthetic and emotional stimuli and use them as “material” to create, but at the same time a liability to be affected by external influences and to feel hurt.
Colour palette: golden yellow, rust orange and brown tones. I used a mixture of byzantine icon colours and roman frescoe texture.
Size of the original: 35.4 in x 27.6 in (90x70cm)
Season of emotions: Autumn, maturation and approaching death

Work in project: Waiting for a phantasy

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Waiting for a Phantasy (sketch) by Ina Mar, mixed media (photo, objet trouvé, collage, photomanipulation, digital painting, writing), 2009, Series surREALITIES

This one’s about waiting. About the fatal identity of the one who waits for a promised (or hoped for) sign, waiting for a proof of feelings, hoping for silent communication, without reciprocity. Sense of time, sense of proportions, sense of reality are lost. There is a scenography of waiting: the one who waits defines the place of the waiting, manipulates facts, makes suppositions, provokes their own thoughts, defines their own ways of acting and reacting, that escalate to anxiety and abandonment. Truths are confused with fantasies and wishes. The delay of the other is analyzed and at the same time the one who waits is brainstorming, having a mixture of unimportant and substantial thoughts, which are described in a detailed way in the background text (written by me).
In fact what I am publishing here is just a sketch, I’m still struggling with improving some details, refining some contours, hand-writing/scanning/integrating the text. I tried to give this work an abstract and an African-wall-hanging look.



For the texture, I used:

  • a crincled, irregularly scissor-cut photocopy of a woman’s abstract body by Picasso (see image)
  • a scanned knife (see image). I had just cut cheese with the knife, so it was a bit dirty and had fingerprints. That created a nice structure on the image. (It was French cheese – I hope you’ll still buy my artwork when it’s finished)