2017, Happy New Year

2016 ended quietly, without any big occurrences or incidences. I can be happy about that. I think the world is changing very rapidly all around us, politically, physically, technologically, and if for a moment I can be lucky to have my close family near, everybody safe, content, happy even, I am grateful. For those of you who know me, I can inform you we are still in Sweden and will be here through this year. Artistically, I don’t know where my path is taking me at the moment and I have not made any concrete resolutions. I don’t like resolutions, or the New Years Eve kind….I think they are short lived, destined to fail and just make you feel bad in the end.

At the last moment…actually on Jan 1 of 2017 I took a leap and started a cycling giraffe meme. In the past few months I have given it a lot of thought to a theme, or goal or continuous process of artistic direction that could transpire over the year. I came up short. But my last minute decision is still in an amorphous state. Drawing cycling giraffes is the common denominator, in which I hope this discipline evokes more creative giraffes and more ease at drawing both bicycles and giraffes. And at the end of the…proverbial…..day, I hope something else comes of this altogether. So here I  go, for now the weaving of the thread includes winter holiday activities, day to day simplicities….I am not sure if this will take a year, 365, or week days only, or total out at 50 or 100….but so far this is what we got. They are 7.25″ sq watercolor and ink paintings.

Like I said I don’t like resolutions, but I have made some mental promises with myself to practice more portrait drawings and work on anatomy understanding more as well. And of course, I want to keep the urban sketching very active in my daily life….I can’t express how much more an impact a sketch is than a photograph. I have included some of my portrait sketches that I make with the help from an app for your phone called sktchy…check it out if you haven’t heard of it….it is a wonderful tool for artists of ALL levels, very supportive and very fun. www.sktchy.com

and a few urban sketches….

To everyone, I wish you all a wonderful journey through 2017. Good cheer and good health, patience and good virtue. Keep your passions thriving and help to lift others up. Hugs and well wishes for 2017!

November is half over? How did that happen?

Last I blogged I spoke of end of autumn, but we have fully transitioned into winter. Last Wednesday, November 9th Stockholm was struck with a Snökanon, literally translated to Snow Cannon. I included a link to a video of the day https://weather.com/news/weather/news/stockholm-sweden-snowiest-day-in-111-years

Anyway, it is raining as I type, so most of the snow has actually gone and so have all the leaves on the trees. The winter ground covering may have cleared for the moment but I feel like we are in for a bumpy season.

I closed up my latest art exhibit in Spånga this past Saturday. I was pleasantly surprised and super grateful at how many works have gone to new homes. I find it a bit overwhelming to chat about my own work, my process, my inspirations, my medium, my background, but something that seems to get a bit easier as I do it more.  I am so so so thankful to have my family and friends to stand beside me during this (and help me carry everything)!! and fortunate to make new friends and meet more artists!

 

PEARuvian Man-a discovery

One night, recently, I was up late, frantically scribbling, sketching, measuring and calculating. Working out formulas and dimensions for Giraffe. Measuring from knee cap to belly button – left earlobe to right elbow and after many many more obscure and unnecessary calculations that will never amount to anything….because like any given recipe, something I never follow…..I never draw the same Giraffe twice. I never draw Giraffe the same way twice.

But what I truly discovered….and a bolt of lightening and thunder may have occurred….a mere happenstance but what is undeniable, is the direct correlation of The Painted Pear and Giraffe. The link. And the stem and horns are so shockingly apparent! Can you see it? My inner Leonardo was released and what we have known as Vitruvian Man for the human species, can now be brought to light for the  Giraffa Camelopardalis, and here we have PEARuvian Man. I applaud (myself!)

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Roslagsvåren 2016 check

Every day in May is coming along….well, of course, time doesn’t stand still….but by keeping the drawing simple I have been able to be consistent. Lots of other things going on…..for one thing,  training for this fun event! Training and riding with my good friend,  we were able to get this done (Roslagsvaren) 135k biking in good time with lots of smiles on our faces!! win win!

There was a new meme going on in instagram land called #artvsartist. I thought I would give it a try….I was curious how I would present next to my dog and giraffe works. I can’t figure out here if the theory that your dog looks like you or you look like your dog  really works with me……now be be nice everybody!

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Cyklistens Dagar

Translated Cyclists Day, is coming up this Friday and Saturday, April 22 and 23 under the beautiful cherry blossoms in Kungsträdgården, Stockholm. I am so honored to be asked to be a part of this event by Sthlm Bike…..so if you are in the neighborhood and want to come down to support Sthlm Bike please come by my tent and say hello!!!

Happy Valentines Day

Enjoyed another weekend opening the gallery. A steady stream of passerby’s that meander in while taking their afternoon stroll. There is a blanket of snow on the ground here in Stockholm and the temps keep at about minus 4, so seasonable but on the chilly side. The weekend was abundant with blue skies and sun. Many comments about needing sunglasses.

It is such a pleasure to spend the day(s) sharing my work and getting such happy responses. The art will stay on display until this thursday, February 18.  Valentines Day in Sweden is getting very popular, so I worked on a little page(s) of love in my moleskine last night and this morning….Happy Valentines to all!

Happy Thanksgiving

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Clearly European stove makers did not account for Thanksgiving size turkeys. pppffffff! Happy Turkey Day to everyone, no matter where you are celebrating!!! Gobble gobble!

My Little Red Giraffe Book

So artist and blogger Ruth Bailey asked what I might be up to in the red book that I originally learned how to book bind from…..very sweet, inquisitive and thoughtful artist!

I gave it a lot of thought….I really wanted something special and a subject that would hold my interest for the duration. Little snag is that the paper is a writing paper, not good with water, or markers, so that is why it will be colored pencil and ink. I might do some skeletal giraffe pages, maybe throw in some hooves too…..all in all, I just wanted to focus on drawing the giraffe more….and there are lots more pages to fill….so it will take some time.

Throwing the kitchen sink at Giraffe

Every once in a while I like to study an actual giraffe….years ago I studied giraffe to create “my giraffe”, and I took some liberties…not to go unnoticed, walking on the hind legs, big one, but also I like a giraffe with a bigger snout…I don’t generally include a mane and the eyes don’t bulge off the side of the head as much….my giraffe might resemble more of a camel style face. But none the less, he is my giraffe. After a month of human portraits this was fun!

I also experimented with gouache….cause I had to….I painted the mouth area too dark. Jury is STILL out with that medium…not sure I really like the chalky texture. It is such a different animal than watercolor…and then the fountain pen scratched off the gouache so had to turn to color pencils…there is a hierarchy to these mediums….gouache being the last one to use! And I did use some Dr. Ph Martin’s watercolors and Winsor & Newton in there too….I basically threw the kitchen sink at this!