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!
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.
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!