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!
Summer is over and Autumn is now grinding to a wet and grey transition to bitter winter. My days of sketching outside I think are numbered…single digits even. I am having an exhibit in a kommun not too far, Spånga, hosted by the Spånga Arts Society. I will be displaying prints of my Giraffes on Wheels, a few new giraffes, and a handful of my colorful Autumn House pieces that have kept me upbeat for the past few weeks. As I feel the heaviness of the lack of sun, recreating the few gorgeous days of blue skies and magnificent color that Sweden provided this early Autumn has proven beneficial to my happiness. Below is a slight progression from urban sketching to playing with color and simple swedish architecture.
Come join me in Spånga, vernissage on Sunday, October 30th at Spånga Församlingshus, Värsta Alle 1, from kl. 17:00
Also open Weekdays from 9:00 -12:00 and 13:00-16:00 until November 12, 16:00
Sincerest apologies for not posting more often….after a very quiet summer, working on portrait art and a personal project that involved sneakers and cursing…..I was enlightened with a very memorable trip to Málaga, Spain. It was a workshop titled Pushing your Sketchbook Boundaries, hosted by 3 different artists, Isabel Carmona, Miguel Herranz and Luis Ruis Padrón
Another Urban Sketcher from Stockholm and I traveled and bunked together and on top of visiting Málaga, learning from talented artists, and meeting a whole bunch of new artists, I had the pleasure to get to know a beautiful person better! So here I share a few of my photos and experiences. It was about the art, but also the culture and the food. Spaniards are loud compared to Swedes and maybe an octave louder than Americans too…it was nice to experience this. But they don’t sleep at night…that was a problem!
The start of a new sketchbook
early early flight Wednesday morning, sitting in Arlanda airport waiting for my traveling friend
One of the many “airplane” sketches I have done
Dinner the first night….ensalada and paella
I painted the mountains in Málaga from the beach.
After sketching on the beach we earned a cool drink…I had sangria, later I would learn to love tinto de verano, lemonade with a splash of red wine
Little salad, lots of fish, tasty but lots of it
Enjoying cool drinks and conversation the first night of the workshop
Getting to know each other the first night of the workshop
First day and we are off! Isabel is our first teacher….light and shade using watercolor
Isabel giving instruction.
Me and my traveling friend together.
Sweating it out…we are the pink group.
collection of our works with Isabel Carmona
Light and shade demonstrated…I wasn’t supposed to add the windows. I was reprimanded
While taking a little fika, or coffee break Isabel uses this chance to demonstrate light and shade with my face, haha
and the beautiful portrait that came from the demo
Afternoon session with Miguel Herranz, telling stories using mystery and different sizes.
Our collection from Miguel’s lesson
Dinner the first night…
Drawing moving targets with Luis Ruiz
Coffee break and sketching moving targets with Luis Ruiz after a tormented morning of failure, speaking personally.
Cool down session with Luis Ruiz, where he dissolves the mysteries of TREES! Very helpful, now to put it into action.
Day 2, afternoon session with Isabel. More light and shade, bigger building. That smile is an exhausted smile of imperfection, by 8:30 at night….that is all I could do.
Enjoyed some local culture at a Bodega, where Isabel showed us local Malaga wine…more like a sherry or port but interesting and tasty.
The wines come in sweet and dry varieties.
Luis Ruiz signing his book, and Joe enjoying a Malaga treat.
Dinner Isabel puts finishing touches on my portrait. That is not gazpacho, is it similar but with ham and egg….can’t remember the name.
Day 3, Miguel brings us to a cafe to sketch a story, using different angles, elements and mystery
So happy to have met this woman….I sketched her too!
The “pinkies” enjoying a pick me up….coffee and shade.
Luis Ruiz demonstrating how to draw. Well more than that but still…by now I am a bit punchy with the program…
Our final entries into our sketchbooks…well, from class lessons anyway…still plenty of room left for more sketches.
For me this was a farewell dinner to everyone, since I was leaving the next day early…El Pimpi
A memorable place for a farewell dinner.
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!)
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!
May 19. Free draw.
May 18. Paint in tubes, cans or bottles.
May 23. Pet
May 15. Jewelry
May 14. Sandwich
May 20. Instrument
May 17. Latch or draw pull.
May 16. Cutlery
May 22. Bowls
May 21. Streetlight
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!
Had no idea what to title this post…it was gonna be a boring title until I realized that is Friday…so TGIF crossed my mind and then the date….and it brought it all together.
Well this post is pretty cut and dry….just sharing my last bunch of Every Day in May paintings….
May 6 A Timepiece.
May 7 Cleaning gadgets.
May 8 Boots.
May 9 Someone you love/admire. My Dad.
May 10 Candy.
May 11 Bucket or Pail.
May 12 Leaves.
May 13 Suitcase.
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
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.