© Bjærke Estate 2011 The painter continued It may be appropriate here to point out that Arnestad Bjærke throughout his production added “decorative” elements in many pictures, indicated eyes, hands, feet, or other details which characterize and identify the motif, and which also contribute to the picture as a whole. These elements are free additions to the basic composition. The main compositional framework  may then be partly blurred. As an example Anatomi has a number of “decorative” elements. Two faces are indicated in addition to that which is a part of the basic composition. In addition a “secondary” set of colours (colours derived from the basic colours according to a fixed procedure) are applied in a considerable part of the picture. In some pictures the figurative elements are represented by repeating contours which give the impression of movement. This is clearly seen in Opus 2 Freya and Opus 36 Patetisk dans (Pathetic dance). A formal, coherent procedure for the selection of colours and the development of the composition system was probably completed in 1943. Among Arnestad Bjærke’s papers there is a complete collection of worksheets containing all of his 82 opus-numbers. The first worksheets with colour formulaes, palette programs, are dated 1943. From this year he also starts the systematic numbering of his compositions. The palette programs may be regarded as a score for the picture. The colours are developed according to a systematic calculation of positions in the three dimensional colour space. Each colour is defined by its coordinates in this system of coordinates. Directions in the colour space are referred to the musical scale. A tone is formed by any pair of colours that relatively to each other represent its direction in the coordinate system. This further allows for the application of musical terminology. A picture has a certain “key”, the contours represent “tones”, the contrast “volume”. There are no preferred colours in Arnestad Bjærke’s system, no colour or combination of colours is as such regarded as more desireable than any other. No colour or colour combination is by nature more “harmonious” than others. No colour is given any particular psychological or emotional value. The crucial point is the relative relation between bordering colours. The aestethic effect is in any case the result of  consistency in the composition which makes each contour visually defined. This is also assumed to be the reason why Arnestad Bjærke is formalizing the selection of colours. In this connection it is worth noting the remarkable range of variation in his production. A set of secondary colours is also defined by a fixed procedure. In earlier works they were represented by spots and short strokes on the basic colours. Later they were used to create  mosaic patterns. Earliest picture demonstrating mosaic technique is Opus 1 var. 3 from 1949. The individual compositions are from now on used as basis for presentations where basic colours, secondary colours, contours, and format are varied. The design of the individual compositions was intricate. It was based on a detailed analysis of the motif’s character and morphology. The layout of the contours represents the motif and determines the light and dark areas. At the same time the number of contours, their layout and contrast are acting as means to create rest, movement, tempo, rhythm, and volume in the picture. Arnestad Bjærke begins with very ambitious projects for the application of the method. The palette program for Opus 2 Freya is dated 1943. This  is probably the first palette program and it is extremely detailed. A somewhat simplified version formed the basis for the painting. It contains 643 colour fields! A few have identical colour tones, but it is assumed that there are more than 600 different colour tones which had to be produced. To carry out this tremendeous practical work, Arnestad Bjærke developed mixing curves for each of the colour pigments which he had available. Mixing proportions were established by systematic studies, also using spinning colour wheels. With this tool at hand Arnestad Bjærke in the following years creates several of his main works, Freya, Krigsprofiler  (War profiles), Liggende nymfe (Resting nymph) (fist version lost), Bajonett, Harpespiller (Harp player), Solvogn (Sun wagon), Loke and Sigyn, Patetisk dans (Pathetic dance), Opus 63 No title (Jesus in Getsemane) etc. The striking beauty of these works arises from the drawing as well as the underlying structure of the colour composition. The pictures come forth as harmonious and complete. The viewer’s fascination is created by their apparent impermeability, the feeling that the picture hides a secret. We are now confronted with an entirely new form of art. Tor Bjærke, 2012