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!


End of Autumn 2016 Exhibit

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

Return from Málaga, Spain

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!

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!)

pearuvian manIMG_0590


A Swedish Graduation

This week(end) has been an exhaustingly happy mix of celebrating my oldest daughters graduation from gymnasium, my parents visiting us from the US and the end of the school year festivities for my other two younger children. I wanted to share a bit of what I have come to learn about the Swedish Gymnasium graduation.

Kaylee attended an International IB gymnasium, but they still celebrated the traditions of a Swedish gymnasium. During mösspåtagning, or first wearing of the graduation hat where they get together take pictures and have fika (fika=coffee/tea and a cake or sandwich).

Then they have a Skiva, a sort of equivalent to a prom in the USA and that was celebrated this week. This party is at a night club, this year was in Ostermalm and the theme was NEON……and I should mention it is legal to drink when you are 18 in clubs. There was a formal sit down dinner prior to the Skiva, where you had to dress up. A few days later they graduate.

The morning of graduation students meet for a champagne breakfast that is notorious for kids getting tipsy too early in the day. After breakfast, there is a ceremony and hat throwing and hat signing while the parents wait patiently outside.

All of us parents/family/friends are holding pre-made posters that typically include an embarrassing baby photo. We even have our own loud party outside waiting for the students to run out of school screaming and shouting. Tradition is that everyone wears a white cap with small black rim, embellished with personal atonements….Kaylee kept hers simple. The girls all wear white and boys wear a blue blazer.


After greeting their parents they change into grungy clothes and all hop onto large trucks with loud party music and roll through the streets of Stockholm dancing and squirting beer at passers by and generally being loud and obnoxious, but having a really really good time! Around 5pm Kaylee came home to cleanse the beer off  and celebrate a formal party with friends and family…..then they sleep for 3 days.

In the IB program students sit around 15 exams on all of the material they learned in the last 2 years, for which later amounts to around 80% of their grades. My daughter studied for 21 days…..3 full weeks of straight studying, then 3 WEEKS of testing. Her walls were plastered floor to ceiling with notes and quotes, dates and graphs, diagrams and timelines….it was insane in our house for days…..an intense amount of studying and concentration in the high school level….it is a well deserved release to party! My tear ducts were a mess this whole day!

And this is my personal gift to my daughter, whom I have gotten to know more personally than ever over her studying and testing time…..she would enjoy a 30 min break and watch the Simpsons while eating lunch or fika….so I came up with the idea that if we were a band…a dysfunctional functioning band that played our own songs and had our own tunes but a melody all together…..a special piece of artwork to remind her of her special development during this time and when were all still under one roof…when you have nothing to give but a bit of yourself.

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!

edim 3IMG_9688

Aha, Friday the 13th….

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….

Mothers Day 2016

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.

It is May…that Every Day in May

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.