Urban Sketching is so much fun

Gröna lund, Djurgården, Stockholm

I am currently editing my latest video, Meldrum Art – Watercolour Journeys (Hiroshima). It was therefore lovely to get a break at the weekend and meet my Urban Sketching friends on Djurgården to sketch a little.

Saunders Waterford sketchbook, 28 x 19 cm

Gröna lund, Stockholm
Gröna lund, Stockholm

Watercolour sketches from the archipelago

All sketches on Saunders Waterford fine grain sketchbook 300g 28 x 19 cm

I think I may paint today

I am currently in Kallskärskärgård, a group of islands in the outer archipelago of Stockholm. It’s so beautiful and peaceful out here. I definitely feel a painting coming on.

Studio version

Which is best? I think the sketch is that I did earlier in the week. It’s more free. I like the studio piece too but it hasn’t the same energy. What do you think?
The Studio art is 36 x 26 and the sketch is 28 x 19 cm

Have a nice weekend!

Gustav Adolf's torg
Gustav Adolf’s torg

Sometimes life is simple

I got bored at home in the studio yesterday so I jumped on my bike and took myself to Gustav Adolf’s square here in Stockholm. After a quick sketch I was content again and cycled home.

An Urban Sketching memory

Ragtime Band

I don’t remember if the band were playing ragtime, I don’t think so actually – it was jazz standards like Blackbird and stuff. I’ve titled the painting, Ragtime Band anyway because I like the sound of it and I think it suits the watercolour. It’s my painting so I can call it what I want, he he.

I took some reference photos and did a few sketches last December together with my Urban Sketching friends here in Stockholm. We had a great time in a pub I wouldn’t set foot in normally. It was totally nice though and I’m glad I was brought to the venue to discover a little gem in the blandness of a train station shopping mall.

Ragtime Band – Lilla Wien pub, Södra station 26 x 36 cm

Painting with Google Translate

Plien air painting with Daniel Luther and Pavel Pugachev earlier last week. We painted the view towards the parliament buildings here in Stockholm. It was fun meeting Pavel, he couldn’t speak much English and no Swedish, and my Russian sucks so we communicated through Google Translate. It worked most of the time!


Sailing and Sketching


The weather is totally amazing here in Sweden at the moment. The month of May must have been the sunniest on record. The farmers aren’t happy as it hasn’t rained for ages but city folk like me are ignorant of agricultural needs. Still, I do worry about climate change and what will happen to the planet if we don’t change our ways.


Anyway, I went sailing last weekend. I sailed by myself for the first time on the new boat, “Aquarelle” and it went well, one is always a bit nervous when it’s a first. It was a working weekend, I installed Lazy Jacks, changed the reefing ropes and added an extra solar panel. I did find time to do a few sketches. My personal challenge was to make interesting compositions out of what I could see from the cockpit of the boat. I was happy enough with these two. Tomorrow, we go out sailing again, I am so looking forward to it. Maybe I’ll have a few new sketches to show next week.


Too many balls in the air.

I am not so productive at the moment, I have so many balls in the air, it’s hard to focus on just one thing and do it well. So I don’t produce many watercolours at the moment, it will soon change, but right now it’s a little frustrating. What are these balls that I have in the air then?
Well, I am creating a business plan and a 5 year budget to work out how I am going to make it as an artist. One thing is for sure, I cannot make enough money just selling my watercolours. I can dream that I will one fine day but until then I need a more realistic plan. It’s very interesting really, I won’t go into detail here but one has to really think about how one will succeed in the coming years. I hope that this is all dealt with this week and I can forget about it very soon.

Another ball in the air is my recent vlogging career on YouTube, I have produced 2 episodes which you can view here. I am working on the third, It’s taking forever because I have so much I want to achieve but most of all I want it to be professional. This is aiming way too high, I only started learning to film and edit in the beginning of this year. I soon will have it published, I need to find a balance between my travels and my watercolours which I film when painting. A full length painting demo can take 90 minutes which no YouTuber no matter how bloody bored they are are going to watch. My goal is to produce a vlog every second week but right now it is taking me a month to produce. This is too slow, hopefully the process will become more streamlined with time.

Ball number 3. Well, that would be learning stuff. I am studying film editing using Adobe Premiere, it’s really enjoyable but it’s a pity there is so much to master. I bought a drone while I was in Singapore last month, I’m learning to fly it when I have the time. Stockholm is basically buildings, rocks, trees and water. There are not many open spaces to practice on, I’ve been flying it over water, a bit nerve racking to say the least. I’m getting the hang of it slowly, I hope I don’t ditch it in the sea. I want some sexy aerial shots for my YouTube films, it should be pretty cool. Just imagine following me with a birds-eye perspective as I sail out into the Stockholm archipelago or walk along the coast of Northern France.

Ball number 4. I travel a lot! I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me but honestly flying all over the place is distracting. Tonight I’m off to Ireland to spend a week with my mother, it’s her birthday so we are going to live it up for a couple of days. In June I travel to France to visit Denise, my mother-in-law. I look forward to all the trips and to be honest it is an opportunity to create more vlogs on YouTube. I love my life right now, I just need to produce more art and more videos.

Ball number 5. My brand new laptop is in for repair, it’s a HP. They’ve had it for 3 weeks and it’s going to take a few more weeks before I get it home. I asked for a new one but they said no. This is a real pain, I have a stationary computer that copes with video editing but while I am on the road I have nothing to edit with. HP are in the dog house as far as I am concerned.

I don’t like to moan and bitch so I am going to end on a more positive note. Go out and paint plein air, it’s so much fun! The weather was unusually hot here in Stockholm yesterday so I met a fellow watercolourist, Daniel Luther and we painted all morning. It was really enjoyable.