I took myself to Björnö yesterday which is a 45 minute drive from stockholm. I walked for another 40 minutes through woods until I reached a beautiful spot that inspired. It was meant to be a grey day but it wasn’t. I find these kind of small adventures so rewarding.
I have taken what seems to me a long break from painting. It’s involuntary, I suffer from SAD during the winter months and it can really slow me down. This year I escaped the depression but I still got the tiredness, plus the aches and pains. The good news is that brighter days are now on their way. The snow is coming and the days are getting longer. It makes me happy just thinking about it.
So , to get the ball rolling again I painted the first things that popped up in my photo-archive which just so happened to be a tugboat and a cow. I like the cow composition, it called an “O” composition, the eye is lead around the painting like a hamster in an exercise-wheel. We can be happy just letting our eyes go round and round for hours seemingly.
Last Sunday I spent a lovely afternoon with my friends at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts. The weather was truly awful outside so it was so nice to socialise indoors in these Covid-times. My approach for this sketch was not to try and achieve a perfect likeness of the sculpture but to practice my watercolour tonal skills. I will return another day and try and catch her likeness.
I walk everyday, it’s very important for me to get outside and get a breath of fresh air. It’s so essential to leave the studio and let my eyes rest by viewing my surroundings, my neighbourhood. Yesterday, I was inspired by the sky, the earlier rain had ceased and left wonderful clouds to hang around for a while. I sat down on a damp bench and sketched. My aim was to capture the clouds, to study them and learn from what I saw. It’s an impression and I am quite happy with how my sketch turned out.
The autumn is here, the days are getting shorter, I take lunchtime walks to get as much light as I possibly can. It’s that time of the year when it’s totally natural to spend more time in the studio. I have sketched all summer and I feel I have improved a great deal due to all the practice. In a way I am looking forward to the winter, I want to see if I have really developed – painting larger studio watercolours is a great test of this. I do not want to stop sketching, I will do this too but less during the winter months.
And so, here is my latest sketch after saying all that. I sometimes drive to Hellasgården which is close by for one of my lunchtime walks. I take myself around the lake and it relaxes me from the day’s stress. There is a small island called “Lilla holmen” which means little island funny enough. I decided to try and paint it, insanely difficult to capture on paper and even harder to make it interesting. This is how I improve though, I am forever putting myself in these uncomfortable situations, I enjoy it.
Lilla holmen, Hellasgården 13 x 17.5 cm
Click the thumbnail below to see the original full-sized image
In this video I paint a watercolour scene of islands in the archipelago while on holidays. My goal with these demonstrations is to help others who are trying to or thinking of sketching outdoors. My tip for this episode is that there is rarely a perfect sketching location to be had. Just sit down somewhere quiet and start, that’s the hardest step.
The watercolour to the left is the one featured in the video. 13 x 18 cm
I just love driving down to Nacka Strand, which is close to where I live. There I practice my clouds, my reflections and at the same time unwind enjoying the view.
Yes, on Sunday I met more art friends. This time it was an unofficial Urban Sketchers meetup. We met at Humlegården in central Stockholm and enjoyed the sun soaked day.
I managed to do two sketches, one trying to capture the light in the trees and the other is of the statue of Linné, the famous Swedish botanist.
It was so nice to meet my friends. I know now it is really important to have social contact, I feel so much better for it. Luckily sketching is an outdoors activity and so it’s relatively safe to meet friends in this the year of Corona.
It was early Saturday morning, I broke the plastic sealing wrapper from around a William Turner book I had purchased – The ‘Skies’ Sketchbook by David Blayney Brown. Once I had studied it for a while I had this enormous urge to get outside and paint some clouds. Luckily the sky was very beautiful during the weekend, the soft pillow type cushions sailed past quickly which meant the scene in front of me changed completely every few minutes. I sat in my new camper van at Nacka Strand protected from the cool wind, I was inspired and I enjoyed every moment of it.