I am finding this street scene a real challenge. I am enjoying it though, I basically have to paint kungsgatan several more times before I can be fully happy. This isn’t a bad watercolour, I just want to do it better. I guess that’s the artist’s curse, never totally content – always trying be better.
For Sale: €350
Title: Kungsgatan Technical information: Painted on the backside of Saunders Waterford Rough. 26 x 36 cm. I use W&N, Holbien and Daniel Smith paints.
Yes, it’s not a sailing boat but one of the old ferries that work everyday here in Stockholm. I love painting water and sky, I will never stop painting them but I can be brave and take a break from sailing boats for a while, a good while.
My plan is to start painting people more. I bought a new camera with a super zoom lens so that I can capture people doing their things. I was out cycling around town today taking lots of photos. I felt a bit like a voyeur but I’m sure I’ll get used to street photography after a few tries.
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
This is a radar reflector beacon on the island of Sandhamn in the Stockholm archipelago. Not easy to guess what it is I know. It was such a strange object to approach on the lonely windswept beach, a little spooky – cold metal with sharp, angular form.
The sketch is about A5 in size and painted in my Moleskin watercolour journal.
Click the thumbnail below to see it full-size image
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.