Kolonistugor, comparing seasons

I have talked before about the community gardens and the small houses that sit on the plots of the gardens here in Sweden. See Kolonihuset. This past winter, 2017-2018 I strolled these gardens to help navigate through the winter blues. These houses, all boarded up are so much more visible than in the summer and it is a real treat to see the structure that barely peaks out of the greens in the warmer months. Of course the summer gardens, the flowers, the plants, the trees are all beautiful, that is definite, insurmountably obvious. But a house, bright red, yellow, green and some even blue are little gems of wonder, all boarded up, keeping the secrets of the garden safe and giving me a refuge for my winter blues.

As I was taking out my paintings and photographing a woman walked past and we chatted. I explained that these were painted in the winter. These were paintings of the houses and the gardens were not meant be front and center. Although she left me with some nice compliments, she may have missed the point.  It is very obvious that the gardens are beautiful. The gardens are not beautiful in the winter. These houses are here for the gardens when the gardens are both beautiful and not beautiful. These houses have character, have color, shape and shadow and that is what I wanted to show. It reminded me of a saying, and that maybe she “couldn’t see the forest through the trees.”


Each one was a real surprise. In the winter the city buildings are very visible, and hedges grow so tall that I had a hard time finding a few. When you paint something vs. just taking a photograph you look into the picture. It creates a bond, a knowing, a map, an imprint that is so different and really profound compared to a photograph. And I just want to say, ANYONE can draw, paint, sketch their photograph. It is about creating the memory, creating the lasting bond of that picture for YOU. Letting go of any insecurities of “it being good enough”. Once you can do that, your new “photographs” will bring you so much happiness. Anyway……