I sketched this at Boule & Berså, an outdoor bar close to Danvikstull bridge. The bridge is raised once an hour during the summer months at 38 minutes past the hour to allow sailing boats to pass though Stockholm. It’s very enjoyable to just sit down and have a beer and sketch especially on a Friday afternoon after work. My wife joined me later and so the sketchbook was put away and I finished it later that Sunday.
Another quick sketch while on my way home from work. I wish I had designed the clouds a bit better. It was just one long cloud in reality but it would have been better if I had broken it up. I am satisfied otherwise, actually I quite like it!
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.
I just got back from trekking in Padjelanta National Park in the north of Sweden. Snow on the ground, a zillion mosquitoes in the air and many kilometers over rough terrain. Perfect, one of my most enjoyable holidays.
I hope to write and post more watercolours soon.
Tomorrow I travel to the north of Sweden to Sarek National Park which is south west of Kiruna. We will be trekking in the wilderness for 8 days, a helicopter will drop us in the middle of the park and the challenge will be to reach civilisation again! We have to carry all our food in the rucksacks on our backs. This means I will have to take as little art equipment as possible. After much thought I settled for what you see in the picture.
There is a large risk that I will be too exhausted most days to paint anything but I just have to try, it’s a once in a lifetime experience.
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!