I painted this very quickly on the way home from work yesterday. It makes me happy to achieve finishing one watercolour a day, it doesn’t matter if it’s a masterpiece or not. The most important thing is to practice, practice, practice. ( I think I am talking to myself here.)
The trek took eight days, first we flew from Stockholm to Kiruna – a mining town in the far north of Sweden. Then we travelled S.W. by train, taxi and finally a bus to Ritsem where we stayed the night in a hostel. In the morning I flew in a helicopter for the first time, for most of us it was a first, we were four – two couples. The helicopter was pretty small and one felt how we were easily buffeted by the winds as we travelled low across the grey skies though the mountain valleys to Stáloluckta, a 25 minute journey.
From there we walked north along the Padjelanta trail. It was a grey day and by late afternoon it started to rain, it didn’t stop for the next 24 hours. I was in awe of the sheer scale of the landscape around me, an urban dweller isn’t used to nature’s might.
So we got wet, very wet. We packed up our tent in the pouring rain, ate a quick breakfast and walked 15 km without a real break as the weather was so bad. Thankfully that was the only bad day we had. We had frost one night so I froze a little but no big deal.
Unfortunately I do not have time to write so much more as I have to earn a living. It was a wonderful adventure and over the next five days I painted as much as I could, it was so rewarding. We had planned to walk to Akkastugorna on the Padjelanta trail but we turned north and headed for higher ground as the mosquitoes were so impossible to cope with. We detoured at Vidjáguojkka, headed north and walked along the Nordkalotten trail until we reached Vaisaluoktastugan. The morning after we took a ferry back across the huge man-made lake to Ritsam, then began the long tedious journey back to Stockholm and reality.
A watercolour sketch I painted in my Moleskin journal 29 x 21 cm. I really want to do a sketch a day, but it is so hard when work and life get in the way. I had a tooth removed yesterday, a good example of life’s little distractions that slow my progress in becoming a master of watercolour!
I am going through a period were my time for art is limited, I have to work as a webmaster for 6 weeks during July and August. I know that in order to be a good artist I have to practice everyday which is basically not easy.
So, is painting for the sake of painting a good idea? This sketch which took 2 hours over two days is a case in point. It’s not a masterpiece but I feel at least I have painted something; I have learned a little, a small step – …on the lonely road to mastering watercolour.
This sketch was painted in a Moleskin watercolour journal 29 x 21 cm, the paper is not cotton but I like the challenge of its inferior qualities.
Click the image below for larger view.
This is not true of course, I will be painting many watercolours of Paimpol and Brittany in the Future. It saddens me that it will be a while before I return. I have taken lots of photographs so I will be painting the town and it’s surrounding area during the winter months.
It took me a while to learn that artists mostly sketch and take photos during the summer months, then they work on their studio pieces during the dark winter months.
Painted in my Saunders Waterford fine grain 300g 18 x 29 cm watercolour sketchbook.
I left France ten days ago, I miss Brittany, it’s such a beautiful place and I get to paint every day! This watercolour is from my 18 x 29 Saunders Waterford sketchbook. I completed it yesterday, I added the high contrasts and the detailing, it brought me right back to Paimpol, the restaurants, the cafés and the harbour area.