The weekend is over but there are still 3 days left to see our exhibition. There have been so many visitors to the gallery, at least 600 on the opening day and a few hundred yesterday. I have sold a lot of paintings for a record amount which makes me very happy. I of course have to pay for the rent of the gallery, the drinks, the snacks – not to mention the framing costs of course. So I cover my costs and make a small profit and that makes me happy.
I think the real success is that I have had time to get to know Tina Thagesson and Daniel Luther, the two other artists in the exhibition. I have sold art to people who have bought my art before which is great but also people who don’t know me personally. The latter is a big step in my development as an artist because it is a lot harder to sell to strangers, my paintings are becoming more professional maybe! So, I am happy, it’s a lot of work but it has been worth it.
Last week I was in the groove and producing some half decent art when suddenly a commission dropped into my email account. It was from the Swedish Trotting association. I was asked if I could produce a portrait of Ulf Ohlsson it was to be a prize for best Catch-Driver award. I had painted him the year previous, I guess they were happy with my effort. Well, I’m a hungry artist (That’s a lie, I’m a bit over weight.) so I accepted the challenge of painting the portrait in just a number of days, actually I had only one day as I had other commitments before the deadline which was last Saturday afternoon.
So Friday morning I start working on it, I decided to paint 2 watercolours at the same time, both identical but one being smaller (quarter sheet). This would be my test paper so that I could avoid mistakes on the larger final version which was a half sheet in size. I understand many of you have no idea what I am talking about, “What do he mean, half sheet?”, so I’ll add an *explanation at the bottom of the page. Anyway, I decided to have him sitting behind a horse this year so it wouldn’t be too similar to the previous one. After sitting up all night I was actually quite pleased with the result, it’s not perfect of course but considering the time constraint I was pretty content. Saturday, and one o’clock came along and I jumped into my car at drove to Solvalla Stadium to deliver the portrait before the deadline. The person who had ordered the painting wasn’t anywhere to be seen, turned out he was on a flight to New York. I was a little anxious but in the end I found someone to hand it to. I told them it was to be presented to Ulf after the 4th race and then I returned home. I have no idea if he liked it or if he even received it. A bit of an anti climax really. Still, the client was happy and I am sure in the future I will find out if the champion Catch-Driver liked his portrait. He has two now, poor man.
*Full Imperial 30″x22″ 76.2×55.9cm
Half Imperial 22″x15″ 55.9×38.1cm
Quarter Imperial 15″x11″ 38.1×27.9cm
I love the design of these scandinavian pearls called Nordic Folkboats.
A friend of mine owned one and I sailed it a number of times, it is a beautiful boat to sail, the only negative was that it felt cramped when camping out in the archipelago. I painted these two sketches in my Moleskin journal (29 x 21 cm). Special thanks to Erik Lähteenmäki for the inspiring reference photos of a Folkboat regatta in Finland.
I plan to paint a few large format watercolours featuring these classic boats in the coming weeks.
Djurgårdsbron is at the entrance to Djurgården which is a royal island close to the city center here in Stockholm. There are many museums, walks and even an amusement park. I definitely recommend you to visit if you are in Sweden’s capital city.
A friend of mine, Susanna Janfalk published a photo on her Instagram account and I felt very inspired to try and paint it when I saw it. I asked for permission and then set about drawing some sketches initially and then finally I did the final watercolour which you see here.
On seeing the painting my friend immediately wanted to buy the watercolour. Business is good when I sell paintings fresh off my desk!
There is no point in replicating a photograph as a watercolourist, this is why I sketch first. I want to find out – what is important and what can I take out, I am trying to make an interesting composition. A bridge between the reality of a photo and the execution of a watercolour.
Sunday fun and a little extra work Monday morning hence the date on the painting being the 5th of Februari. I enjoyed the long – one pose session at konstnärshuset last Sunday. The model (Sofie) was excellent and stayed perfectly still throughout. I am so looking forward to having her at Meldrum Kroki very soon, she is very popular with the local life drawing tribe.
I love the power of the internet, it looks as though this particular watercolour has a buyer already, always nice to make a sale.
I ordered three Da Vinci: Cosmotop-Mix B brushes similar to the ones Chien Chung-Wei uses. I also bought some Jaune Billiant 1 and Verditer by Holbien. These are also used a lot by Chien.
Okay, so I have the tools and I have been training real hard so it’s frustrating that I am a million light years away from his masterful level.
Bad day today, I have decided to paint portraits and discovered I have a lot to learn!
I painted a portrait last weekend and it wasn’t very good. I needed to practice. A friend of mine tipped me about an app for the iPhone called Sktchy. People upload there selfie portraits and artists paint them if they find them interesting. It’s a great copyright free resource for artists. I used the app for the first time yesterday. I have no idea who the dude is.
I found a lovely image on Tumblr that inspired me to paint. The original photo was taken by Russian photographer Eugenia Kirikova.
I am trying to paint more nudes and portraits on a daily basis. The more we paint the better we get!