To combat my annual winter blues I try to take myself to a sunny place as often as I can. This year I travelled to Makarska, Croatia. It was a great choice, I totally enjoyed painting everyday from morning to sunset. I had been to Croatia once before when I was very young, actually it was still called Yugoslavia, it was that long ago. It’s a beautiful country, I totally recommend a visit.
Category: Plein air
Just doing it
In the beginning of the week I took the ferry on a short trip across the water to Djurgården here in Stockholm. I wheeled my art gear behind me and looked for an inspirational spot to paint from. In the end it was the weather that decided. I needed protection from the strong easterly wind which was making 7 degrees feel really unpleasant.
The day’s subject became some oil storage tanks on the other side of the water. I was more interested in the sky but I needed a point of focus for the sake of the composition.
The finished watercolour may not be a masterpiece but for me just getting out and painting was the biggest achievement of the day.
Have a nice weekend.
I just published my latest video:
Painting outdoors in the autumn Ep35
I painted the other week on Beckholmen, Stockholm. The view is of Danvikshem which is very close to where I live. Size: 26 x 36 cm.
Coping with 100% humidity.
I mentioned in my last post that I used a gas burner for 10 minutes to dry my watercolour. For the second painting I used a different approach. I left a lot of the paper white, I didn’t paint over the whole surface in other words. I thought this approach worked really well and I will doing this again for sure.
The light started to fade around 3pm so I packed up my gear and made my way home. Another fulfilling day in nature was had. Funny the positive effect it has on me being outdoors. I guess it’s the same for everyone. Anyway, I love it, whatever the conditions. 😃
Last Wednesday I visited Björnö nature reserve. It was a very damp and grey day which is totally normal for this time of year in Stockholm.
For my health’s sake, my current mission is to be outdoors as much as possible. I recently acquired a fisherman’s tent to protect myself from the elements while painting. It works really well especially the way it protected me from the wind. Even a light breeze can be very tiring while spending a whole day painting in damp, cool conditions.
I managed two watercolours, the first of which is featured here I used a lot of water so that I could mimic the misty view that was in front of me. The only problem about doing this in 100% humidity is that it never dries. Thankfully I had my trusty gas burner, it took 10 minutes to dry the cotton paper!
For the second painting I used a different approach, less water, but more about this in my next post. I had a great day, I really feel very lucky to have this this kind of lifestyle, to be more or less free to choose what to do with my day. Recommended 😃
What a contrast to the week before. Then I was in Croatia enjoying warm and sunny conditions, on this day (last Monday) I took myself out to Sandhamn by ferry. Sandhamn is a popular harbour during the summer months but now in late autumn it’s empty.
It was a grey day, 7 degrees, rained from time to time and the wind gusted to 16m/s. It was important to somehow find shelter on the harbour. Thankfully I had a stool with me so I could keep a low profile behind some seating on the pier.
The highlight of the day was to go to the local pub/restaurant and eat freshly baked cod and drink a local beer.
It’s a short working day. The light started to fade around 3pm. I took the ferry back to Stockholm at 5pm, it was dark by then.
After two days of painting in a small format I took the step up to painting on a quarter-sheet ( 36.5 x 26.5 cm ). This is not a huge size or anything but for a person who hasn’t been well it’s a very big step. It feels really good to have my energy back or my mojo as I called it in yesterday’s post. I am now able to deal with the two hours or so it takes to complete a painting of this size.
I painted two watercolours a day for the rest of my time in Makarska. Not every watercolour was a success but I was happy enough with most of them.
Yesterday, I was back painting out in the archipelago here in Stockholm. Strong winds, 7 degrees, grey skies and rain from time to time. If I had the choice, I think I’d stay in the Mediterranean for the autumn. 😉
Painting in Croatia
I just spent a lovely week in Makarska, Croatia. I was painting non stop and getting as much autumn sun as I possibly could. It was an important trip for me. I feel that I have at last rediscovered my mojo after a number of bad years which are now behind me. I feel good, so nice to be painting at a level that feels rewarding.
The first two days I painted in an *A5 format that I frequently use when out sketching. The first day I painted four and the next day I painted three watercolours. I just wandered around Makarska and found endless inspiration wherever I looked. The light was fantastic. I sat in the shade and didn´t shiver and I painted all day with just a break for lunch.
I will post more watercolours from the trip soon. I moved up to a larger quarter-sheet format, difficult in the beginning but I overcame the monster that was in my head. Poor self-confidence basically.
I would recommend Croatia in the low season to anyone who wants to sketch outdoors and avoid the cold.
*17.5 x 12.5 cm