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!
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!
Happy Mothers Day!!!!….the U.S. “Mothers Day”…..Sweden celebrates Mother’s Day at the end of this month…so maybe I can get in two celebrations 😉
Today I enjoyed a 5 hour class of learning the traditional painting technique Kurbits, from a very talented Swedish artist from Dalarna, well Mora, Sweden, Britt-Marie Nilsson aka, Britta. This technique focuses on the brush stroke, creating tear drop like shapes. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t impossible. Translates to gourd, or pumpkin, but kurbits is the decorated painting of leafy or floral depictions. By the end I was taking my own liberties and allowances…..overall, a really special experience and met some really wonderful other artists and creatives. The kurbits technique is also used on the famous Dala Horses, that are also made and painted in the Dalarna region of Sweden.
Spring has sprung in Stockholm!!! You can feel the happiness in every footstep, sunglasses are gleaming, that sweet smell of earth and grass are all around! We will celebrate our oldest graduating gymnasium, my parents visiting us from across the pond and biking is in full swing….training for the Roslagsvåren. May is always a fun month because it celebrates my daughters’ birthday! I have a friend that believes that birthdays should be celebrated for the whole month…it took 9 months(or more 😉 to make you…one day a year doesn’t seem a proper duration to truly appreciate the beauty and celebration of “you”! and I agree!!!
I have started the Every Day in May project again….so here goes.
May 1 Toy.
May 1 Toy
May 2 Something with Folds
May 3 A hammer.
May 4 A game.
May 4 A game.
May 5 Something seen in a park.
I really enjoyed sitting outside and finishing this to the end….brought out the paints and all!
May 5 Park scene complete
I never gravitated to landscape painting. I took a pastel class about 6 years ago…and the beautiful landscapes my teacher could depict was mind blowing. I don’t know what it is but I am never able to get the perspective perfect or perfect enough to set the place correctly. Urban sketching, which in my way of thinking is more about being in a city, places with straight lines, buildings, people, movement, activity is another genre of landscape. Landscape painting encompasses more of the fields, vast horizons, open areas, which could be labelled as more sub urban…suburban. Not trying to get all technical at all….but I am in awe of an urban sketcher that can capture a moving scenario, with people and buildings that have presence….as I am in awe of landscape artists in general!
Yesterday (sunday) I met with the Urban Sketchers of Stockholm. We were meeting at Stortorget, in Gamla Stan….one of my favorite places (and anybody that has been to Stockholm probably also feels the same way). After having spent Friday and Saturday outside in the “weather” I was really hoping for a nice relaxing day of painting with friends. Well….just like my experience in Kungsträdgården for 2 days, mother nature is still throwing bits of winter at us. It was cold, windy, with rain, hail and snow. Oh and there was a fire incident and the trucks came and the trucks went….all very exciting. We enjoyed a warm fika after and then visited two different artists that were having exhibitions.
Finished with color
This is where I ended up sitting to finish the sketch
Where we enjoyed warm fika
This was as far as I got working outside.
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!!!
On monday I took the train out to the printer to pick up thank you cards I made for the lovely people that purchased my art…..and there was this really well dressed man across from me on the train….I started nonchalantly sketching him while he was in deep conversation with his female companion. What caught my eye to begin with was his shoes and red socks. Unfortunately I didn’t size the sketch right to fit the socks and shoes….so sad! He was sporting a red striped button down shirt and a wool plaid red toned scarf….nothing short of dapper!
If you happen to be in the neighborhood and have a little time on your hands, I have put together all of my cycling giraffe paintings and prints. Come by and say hello, I would love to meet you!! I will be there this Saturday and Sunday, February 6 and 7th from noon to 3pm. The gallery will be open Monday thru Thursday for viewing as well and next weekend February 13 and 14th. ooooh Valentines Day…..
giraffes on wheels announcement
Alvikstorpet Galleraget is located a short walk off the Alvik t-bana. Ekstigen 1, Bromma.
I was brave last night and brought out the sketchbook when I was early for meeting my husband for dinner in the city….happy with the fact this bridge resembles a bridge…I added ink and color today and wasn’t able to paint the evening darks….it wasn’t as dark as my photo appears anyway, the sun was just setting very quickly….