Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I recieved an award from Kazumiwannabe for creating a cool blog! Im very proud to be chosen but I´ve been a lousy blogger lately. ( I´m supposed to send it forward to ten others, but I will have to come back on that one ).I´ve been busy making plans for my upcoming move to a new studio/workplace. It has also been a dark, cold and snowy period that drains all energy out of you. There isn´t much good to say about Sweden in november. You just have to get through it. So there has not been much sketching outside work. But I´m very pleased that there has been some exciting incoming work despite of the financial difficuties that we all go through. Today I´ll post an old sketch. Maybe you´ll seen it before but it was the best one to illustrate the colors outside my window. Have a nice day everyone!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

November starts off well

Hi everyone,
The time of the year has come when the only way to sketch outdoor is from my car. Well, today it was sunny and nice but still the degree was around 0 C which is a bit chilly to sketch in. I got to park with a view though so I was pleased. The rest of the day I have been spending sketching on a childrens book. A new project of mine together with my sister.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Across the table

This is Therese. She is sitting opposite me, almost invisible behind her huge screen. I have lacked a little inspiration for sketching lately but I try to convince my self to step out of my comfort zone and just draw what I have in front of me. And so I did. Have a nice day everyone.

Monday, October 20, 2008

This is good

I found this site today....Josh Cochran such talent! Check it out!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A little something from this saturday

Lovely, lovely weather this weekend. Sunshine, not to windy and with crispy and clear air.
I had a photoshoot scheduled and afterwards I headed for Njuta and a nice cup of coffee. In between I sat down and made this. I have the town church behind me and the main street on the other side of the houses in front of me.
Almost all leaves have turned yellow or brown now. But here I managed to found some sort that still remains green.
I will try to keep up the sketching but with winter coming it will be harder to find great sketching moments. I hope you all have had a nice weekend!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Hi everyone, had a pretty calm weekend. Coffee with friends, birthday party and a concert. It´s almost to cold now to do any outdoor sketching. I took some time sunday morning leaning against a fence and drew this little piece from Hjo ( my hometown ) It´s a part of the old quartiers with cobblestone and wooden housen almost climbing on top of each other along narrow streets. The bright yellow car at the left is one of the post office fleet. There were a bunch of them parked there but I decided that one was enough for this picture. Now I´m really starting to long for a sketching journey to Italy or Spain perhaps. The warmer temperatures, the nice landscape and architecture.... oh sweet dreams. Have a nice week everyone

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Sis and Josefine

My 12-year old niece Josefine is watching TV and my sister is doing the same thing and knitting a scarf at the same time.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sorry, sorry, sorry

for not being around on the blog lately. I´ve been working on this monster of a map and I´ve been exhausted when it comes to drawing. I´ve preferred doing other things at least to rest my poor hand. But now I´ve almost finished it so took the time to publish a small sketch of a base-player I did a week ago. It was during a break at a service and he was resting comfortably between songs. A small thing but I will be back with more. Just be a little patient.
Yesterday I visited a great watercolorexhibition by artist Johnny Alhgren. A lot of inspiration to continue with the watercolors. Today I´ve been at my sisters working on a new and secret project that we have started together. Let´s see what comes out of that. It´s strange how my creativity seems to increase during periods when I have to struggle with other things. Maybe it´s like a life saver. Sorry, now I´m starting to ramble. Have a nice time everyone and welcome back.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

From Swedish theatre in Helsinki

The street in front of the beautiful Swedish Theatre in Helsinki. Our feet were aching severly after hours of walking through the town and finally we ended up here at the theater café.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On Queen street

I love september. These last couple of days the sun has been shining and I don´t intend to brag but the nordic light is fantastic. ( Maybe it´s a compensation for those winter months when there is none at all :-) )Today when I took a walk during my lunch hour everything seemed so crisp and clear and I wished I had brought my camera. But at least I managed to draw something, not anything special, just a little part from the city centre.

Monday, September 22, 2008

More from my trip

Thank you for your nice comments everyone. It´s make all the difference to know that someone apprieciate your stuff.
I was surprisingly productive during my trip to Finland and I still have some sketches to publish. The upper one is from the very centre of town were the big ferries from Sweden and Estonia anchor just in front of you. There are Viking lines red fleet and the blue one´s of Silja line. It´s pretty impressing. Most countrymen of mine come here with one of these on a the weekend or over-night cruise, staying just for a day. In the background a glimpse of the sea and the archipelago. Finland is the land of a thousand lakes and that is not an overexaggeration, rather the opposite.
Each evening we of course had to get a bite and we happened to end up at this italian place two nights in a row. Great food and a very nice athmosphere. And a great place to draw some of the other guests.
The lady with the cards is from the airport though. She and some other gals, I believe they were danish, spent the time before getting on a plane with a game of cards.
I´m already looking forward to next fall when we plan to go to Ireland. Please let me know if you have any other tip were else to go to draw.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Helsinki Harbour

Late friday afternoon and time to go home. I will publish this one from Helsinki harbour before I close down the computor for today. It was warm and sunny when I sat there but I only drew a couple of the endless row of luxorious
yachts that laid there.
This week has been hopeless to plan due to some sudden new commission that is due next week. But I have hope for the weekend. Have a nice one everyone!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Along the boulevard, Helsinki

Hi everyone,
Now I´ve manage to complete another of my sketches from Helsinki. This one is made outside the oldest café in town. At least that is what the guide told us. It is called Ekberg and has a completely real retrostyle. Nice to see that some places are untouched by the different styles that pass by and have managed to keep their soul. They served a nice lunchbuffé with hot soup, delicious sandwishes on the excellent finnish dark bread and great coffee. They seem to have the same thing about coffee as us swedes, it can´t be too strong. I love sitting on a café chatting with a friend and just keep the pen going over the paper.

Monday, September 15, 2008

First drawings from Helsinki, Finland

Here comes the first studies from Helsinki, Finland. The upper one is from the big cathedral in the middle of town. Finland is a neighbour country to Sweden but it´s still obvious that there are a lot of differences in architecture and style. The influences from east are not strong, but still noticeable to us. The people of Helsinki was very nice and polite and it was a sothing experience to walk through a capital that was so calm and suprisingly quiet, even for us Swedes. A visit is highly recommended.
This trip was meant to be a handful of days of inspiration and sketching. I went with a couple of friends that also work with art and design and this combination was great. We strolled around, visited design shops and the home of famous architect Alvar Aalto. And we had plenty of time to sit down and draw. Luckily the weather was with us and we had some sunshine and really desent temperatures. Fall is really here now and the cold is nipping on your fingers every morning. I can really recommend this type of travelling, whith peers and people who have the same interest. I guess you have all experiences the same inpatient sighs over your never ending eagerness to sit down and draw.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

During working hours

Life has been busy lately and though I´ve done some sketching I havn´t had any time to publish. Monday I returned from a trip to Helsingfors Finland. I´ve never been before even if it´s so close. Shame on me. It was fun though and I will publish a bunch of pictures later this week hopefully.
At the moment I´m on a project from town Mariestad and I was therefore I was there photographing some days ago. I stole little time and sat down drawing on the bank of river Tidan.
In the right of the picture is the residence of this regions governor. I especially like the bridge with it´s old lamp posts.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Läckö Castle

This is the castle I mentioned in a earlier post. It´s located on the end of cape Kålland in lake Vänern. The biggest lake in Sweden. This was the home of the wealthy count Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie and it has medieval origin before that. Today it´s a popular place to visit in summer. They have a summer opera and annual exhibitions. In the picture you see a part of it. It´s actually a watercolor and I´m very pleased that I find the medium somewhat fun again. It was my thing for a long time but eventually I got fed up and I felt I only did what was expected of me. So I turned to digital media instead or a combination of ink and digital. And my illustration commisions took me in new and exciting directions. Oh, here I found another one of the same place. I had a watercolor class here some years ago and it is a great place to practice painting shadows. Here you can actually form the shape of the castle by painting only the background.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A lot of red

This weekend I sketched some old buildings again. If you come to Sweden you would see that many houses, especially in the countryside are painted in red. It´s quiet striking and suits the landscape both in summer and during winter when we certainly can need some colors. Ok, here comes a history lesson again so stop reading if it bores you. About three or four hundred years ago most houses up in the north were in timber and unpainted. By time they became grey and didn´t look very uplifting. The more fortunate had the privilige to build their homes in stone or brick material as they did further south in Europe. This became very fashionable and families less well off started to paint their timber houses in red to make them look at least somewhat like the brickhouses. It started out in the cities but since the paint was expensive many painted only the wall towards the street. There are still places where you can see this.

The paint they used and we still use is called Falu redpaint. It´s pigment comes from the copper mine in Falun in Dalarna and contains about 20 different minerals which creates this excellent color. It has a very warm nuance to it that looks great both in sunshine and in the shadow. Later it became very affordable and everyone was able to paint barns and houses with it.
The red building in the upper drawing is from Lidköping. The house in the big, big square was originally a hunting lodge or "castle" from 1600-something. It was built and used by one of the richest counts in Sweden during this time. I have painted his castle too and I will publish it later. His name was Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie and he was ridiculously rich. A soldier and a handsome player and the queens favourite. Well, today his old hunting lodge is a café and a tourist centre but it is a very nice building isn´t it. In the drawing below you can see some old houses that was spared during the big fire in Lidköping 1849. Almost all our towns that were mainly built in wood have been devistated by big fires during the centuries. It´s amazing that anything at all is left.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Part two and five

During my watercolorclasses I always prepare some studymaterial for the group. Such as step-by-step instructions that I´ve scanned while I was painting them. These have been very helpful and quite popular. This painting is one of them, stage two and then the finished watercolor. I actually started to think about collecting some of the instructions in some way. It would be a nice project to work on either way.
Last week I made a little fieldtrip to the eastcoast. I set off to pick up a friend that had taken the ferry from Gotland to the mainland. It took me almost four hours to drive to the harbour in Oskarhamn and it was almost no time to stay and sketch but it was nice to get a glimpse anyway. Havn´t been there since I was in my early teens so I didn´t really remember what it looked like.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It´s been raining cats and dogs

I remember when my first english teacher ( I was about 10 ) taught us this expression. And of course it stuck with us all. We saw little kittens and puppets tumbling down from the sky in our minds. Well, this week it has been the case... it has been pouring down non-stop. It suited me quiet well since this week it was time to go back to work again but it hasn´t left much time and opportunities for sketching or any outdoor activities. Saturday I ended up at the same place where I held last weeks watercolorclass and I made some sketches from a friends house and garden. In the evening I saw the movie Mamma Mia for the second time. Fantastic film and the songs are among the first ones I learned as a kid. As many swedish of my generation did. The funny thing is that we rarely knew the correct lyrics since we didn´t understand english. We sang along to what we thought we heard and those sometimes peculiar lines still pops up when I hear the music. I believe many in my generation still have moments of revelation when we finally hear what they actually sing.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

A barn to paint

This barn is located where I have my watercolorclass. Just close to Lake Hornborga. All rural buildings in the area looked like this in the olden days. Grey timber with a touch of burnt umber to it´s wall because of the tar in the wood. The roof is made of straw from the lake. During this class I´m running around helping my students all the time so it´s not any time left for me to sit down and paint- which is pity cause these outdoor painting days tend to inspire me.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Watercolor class

Thursday to sunday this week I´m holding a watercolorclass for a group of a dozen "students".
Some of them have been coming back for 9 years now. Pretty amazing. We meet around 9.30 pm and then have a short practical go-through indoor before we go out and paint. It´s a bit hot so it´s essential to stay in the shadow.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Evening on the bridge

Spent the whole evening by the water. It was sooo hot and you have to remember we are in Sweden here and temperatures above 30 degrees C are very rare. But yesterday was one of those days and the very cold and deep lake Vättern could barely cool you off. Rare that too. Last week the watertemperature was +16 and westerday almost 24!!!!
Sorry for going on and on about the summerweather but it´s a general "bad" habit among us here up in the north.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Visiting my sis

For my birthday I was warmly welcomed at my sisters and we had a great couple of days together. Here is a view from their house. Their new heater on the left is the newest addition. They always have some project going on.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

On the beach

I´m probably many peoples nightmare doing this, drawing people on the cliffs in their bathing suits but hey, noone are really portrayed that well. My sister and niece are among the figures but that´s all I will say.This is how I´ve been spending my days lately. It´s really hot but we are fortunate to have plenty of lakes to take a swim and cool off in. I´m living within 5 minutes from the water... so now I´ll grab my towel and my bike and I´m off for an evening dip. Have a nice day/evening.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Smoked fish

It´s nice in the harbour with the view and all the boats. But I preferred these little red houses today. The first one belong to the sailclub. Not a yacht club or anything fancy, mostly they have classes for kids, teaching them to sail.
In the middle fish are being smoked. I don´t know if that is the right word for it but the speciality our my town is smoked whitefish. And they use juniper for the process. You can even see a small junipertree in the picture. In the next house is our fish shop located. Great place to get your fresh fish.

Friday, July 18, 2008

In the park

Summer in sweden is short but it´s so lovely to be able to just sit down and draw anywhere, without freezing your butt off. Could someone move the gulfstream a bit closer please. This one is from our town park. Hundred years ago Hjo was a vacation resort and the villas where built for the visiting guests. Some of the houses are still available as hotel accomodations. And all of them are all in different colors and shapes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In Gothenburg.....again

Hello, all blog readers. It´s really inspiring to continue this blog with the kind words you pour over me! The problem is that I get so eager to work with the blog that I forget about preparing for my watercolorclass in two weeks and my other commissions. The later have somehow spilled over and into my vacation by the way.... hm, how did that happen...... again!
Yesterday I jumped on the train again for a day in Gothenburg. The weather was perfect for a citytrip and I really felt like I needed some of the inspiration that you get from a bigger city. Gothenburg has appr. a pop. of 600 000 so it´s not that big and it has a relaxed and friendly athmosphere to it. I did one sketch that I was pleased with. In the foreground one of the canals in Gothenburg. Long ago there were more of them and the town was called Amsterdam of the north. But today only a couple is left. I didn´t get any of the many blue trams in the picture either but they pass over the bridge you see in the background all the time so maybe you can imagine one. The statue in the picture by the way seem to have a cardboardhat on.... and I have no idea why :-)

Monday, July 14, 2008

At Lake Hornborgasjön

Here are two sketches I made by Lake Hornborgasjön this sunday. If any of you blogreaders don´t want a history lesson please stop reading now.
In the top drawing you can see a typical mountain for my region. It looks like a flat hat because of the last ice age. 10 000 years ago Scandinavia was covered with a really thick ice layer. When the ice started to melt and withdraw it brought with it the top layers of the mountains leaving just the very solid stone material left. When the ice line continued north it also left big heaps of gravel and other geological material and therefore we can see long soft hills in the landscape. You can even see a cople of them in the top picture.
When the ice age was over people came wandering in from the south and started to populate this area. The first findings are from 8000 bc. Back then they lived on the mountain sides in winter and in summer they came down to the lake to fish and hunt. The remains of the first family dog in Swedish history is actually found by this lake.
Today it is a very popular place for nature lovers. Each years thousands and thousands of cranes come here to mate and dance their peculiar dance. Thousands and thousands of tourists from all over watch them. Sometimes I wonder though if the cranes partly come here to take a look at these strange human beings.
The building in the lower sketch is built for the tourists and to melt into the landscape. The roof is made by reed from the lake. It used to be the most common roof material in these parts. It has become very popular move to this area and many artists and musicians love to spend time here.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A place of great importance

I had to raise really early today despite it was sunday morning. I drove my artistic friends Barbro and Lennart to the railwaystation. They were heading off for Florence- (oh, no I´m not jealous at all). Since the gas prize these days is so high I felt I had to take advantage of the miles I had already driven and continued for half an hour to my friend Susanne for sunday breakfast. She lives in a very beautiful landscape close to lake Hornborga-sjön. And it is in these parts I organize my 4-day watercolor class each summer. Today i decided to spend the rest of the day making some preparations for my class, such as checking out places to sit, nice motifs and practical stuff as parking places. I started out down by the lake and I will publish some sketches from there tomorrow. Afterwards I continued to Varnhem, a great historical place. It was an important friary in the 12th century and the burial place for some of Swedens first kings. Today you can walk around and look at the remains of the friary and visit the church. It has changed it´s appearance over the years but the older parts are from around 1100. It is a pretty complicated building to draw and the perspective really put you to the test with all the steep angles that raise above you. It´s fun though. Since some of you wonder how I make these sketches I will publish an old painting I did some years in watercolor. I like that too but these days I prefer the must faster sketches and the coloring in photoshop (an increasing restlessness maybe).
Somehow I think that I tend to draw and paint in the same illustrative style whatever media I use. I don´t know what you think or if you have the same experience.
It was a nice day though- the only thing missing in the picture was a cisterciensermonk strolling around. Maybe I´ll add one......

Saturday, July 12, 2008

An award

This is from Anita Davies at Art by Anita Thank you very much Anita.
The rules of accepting are as follows:

Put the logo on your blog.
Add a link to the person who awarded you.
Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
Add links to those blogs on yours.
Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs

Here are 7 great blogs I get inspired by and read daily:
Stef´s sketches
Per Hardestam
Camilla Engman
Andrea Joseph

Danny Gregory
Gennine Zlatkis
Suzanne Buchanan

My daily tools

Sherrie asked me what paper and pens I use. I´m always searching for good sketchbooks and when I find something I like I buy it so I have plenty of books that are waiting for me. I tend to prefer square shaped books, with a threadbinding. My favourites measure about 25x25 cm. The binding allows me to draw over the back binding and since I often draw architecture I find that this format suites me. The paper must be opaque enough so I can draw on both sidesof the paper. That seem to be a problem tough. I sketch with a Pilot pen with reservoir tip, nothing fancy. But my bags tend to be filled with them. For many years I did nothing but watercolors but today I prefer these really fast sketches made on the spot. Back home I then scan the drawings I like and color them in photoshop. It´s important to me to keep the handmade feeling in the pictures especially since I color them digitally.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Holiday at home

For a couple of weeks I´m on vacation. Or at least I try to. I spend most of my free time at home here in Hjo, a small town that other people come to for there summer holiday so the setting is perfect. I´m the one that is not perfect. I get bored after a few days off. Sketching is the best way to achieve the relaxed holiday feeling and at the same time keep my restless hands on something. This weekend my little town is crowded with people since we are hosts for the biggest craftfair in northern Europe. At least it used to be the biggest. I had some plans to draw some visitors today but it started to rain early on and it was not until in the late afternoon that I sat down for some sketching. I biked a couple of hundreds of meter and leaned towards the bike while working. Perhaps I have more luck with the weather tomorrow.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tour to Gothenburg

I spent yesterday in Gothenburg with a handful of friends all eager to do some sketching. The weather was a bit unpredictable so we spent some time at a café escaping the rain showers. To top sketch is from one of those showers. You draw what you have in front of you, right. Around the corner is one of the best art supply stores in this area so we didn´t suffer. The second sketch pictures Hampus, our youngest artist, in a moment of deep koncentration. In the afternoon, we wondered off in to Haga. An old part of Gothenburg that today is a area full of cafés and design shops. A lot of artists and musicians live in this neighbourhood. All year around it´s full of tourists and people just strolling around. A big reason is probably the relief in not having to share the streets with cars.
When I studied for my Design degree I lived really close by and this was actually part of my walk to university.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Back from Scotland

Have been in Scotland for a week together with my choir, Skövde Gospel. It´s been a week of singing and laughing but I also managed to get some sketches done between conserts and sightseing. It was raining a bit almost every day wich also disturbed my sketching-moments. The first image is our hotel in central Glasgow. What immediately strikes you when you travel is the color palette that shiftes between different countries and within a country as well. Many might see Sweden as a cold and pale place but being abroad actually makes me realize how colorful our architecture is for one thing. Red and yellow houses with bright orange tile roofs is so common to my eye that it´s not until a visit other cities with a lot of grey stone houses that I see the differences. It was great to be back in Scotland tough. It has been 14 years since the last time.

These two are from Edinburgh. My choir got the opportunity to sing in the Great Hall of the castle. Afterwards we had a couple of hours to see the town. Far to little. Quite frustrated I did these two while we had a cup of coffee and in the last case leaning against a wall.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A visit to Munkfors

Last monday I made a fieldtrip to Värmland with a little group of friends. We set off to see the permanent excebition in Munkfors by Lars Lerin. One of Swedens finest watercolorists.
We had a great time studying his amazing paintings, had a little picknick and strolled around in the little community of Munkfors. This is one of many places in Sweden that thrived on the steel and ironproduction. These days it´s not so easy to get a job and many young people move away. I sat down and made some sketches around the old buildings.