Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas

I just want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year!!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Diving in Truk Lagoon

We have just been on an amazing dive trip to Chuuk Lagoon (formerly known as Truk lagoon) in the Federate states of Micronesia. I can highly recommend this for anyone interesting in diving!!

During the second world war the lagoon was one of the mane anchorage base for the Japanese imperial fleet. In 1944 the Americans attacked the Japanese fleet in what was called the Operation Hailstone, and sunk a considerate amount of war and merchant ships and over 200 planes. These wrecks are what we went diving on.

This will be a picture galore, so huddle up with a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy! All pictures taken by my husband, me or our travel and diving buddies John Cairns and Kim Sow.

First sight of the Chuuk Islands from the plane window.

Look at the water, so clear that you saw the sea bottom and corals even from the plane! And I have not enhanced the colors in any way digitally, the beautiful turquoise color is absolutely real.

SS Thorfinn, an old whale hunting boat from Norway was our home during the diving. We had the opportunity to make 5 dives a day if we wanted to, so there were not much else we did except dive, eat, dive and sleep for 7 days… 

Me and my hubby Sam. 

Memory plaque on the Fujikawa Maru, one of the first wrecks we dived on. It lay quite shallow, so it is slowly becoming more of a coral reef than a wreck. Absolutely stunning dive! 

On almost every wreck we dived on you had the opportunity to go inside to the cargo holds, bridge and engine rooms if you wanted to, or stay outside and just enjoy the corals and fishes. We made two diving teams: the boys went in wherever they could, and we girls enjoyed the outside sea world.

The bow of one of the smaller wrecks. 

One of the bigger wrecks resting on its side. The visibility was much better than you can make out on these photos.

Some human remains can still be found, but most have been gathered by the Japanese and taken up and buried with memory services during the years. 

My diving buddy Kim, and our diving guide Tomo.

My husbands says this is a lathe from one of the engine rooms.

Jellyfish. We saw quite a lot of them. Beautiful creatures!

Betty Bomber Plane.

Sam's diving buddy John by a small tanker on deck.

Welcome to 'sharkville', our last dive on the trip. They took us to a sandy reef where these black tipped reef sharks usually hangs around. We just sat on the sea floor for 40 minutes and watched them swim around us. Unbelievable how elegant they are!

This small one was the only one to come a little bit closer to me, it is my tip of the fin you can see at the bottom.

They were so fast that it was difficult to get any really good sharp photos of them without a professional camera. I rather like this one though, that I took of one swimming by above me.

And I give you Nemo with some of the real colors that we saw! This photo is taken by Lars Darling, one of the divers in the other diving group we shared the SS Thorfinn with. He had a more professional camera with mounted lights, and you can see that he was able to catch the 'real' colors of the corals. My pictures are all mostly bluish and greenish. I have a photo of the exact same anemone and fishes, but this photo is so much better that I got permission to post it!

After the diving we spent a few days on the shore to rest at Blue Lagoon on the Island Weno. Same island that also host the airport. We did absolutely nothing but some sunbathing, kaiaking, snorkeling etc. To quote the robot Marlin from a Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy: 'absolutely terrible, isn't it…'  *big smiley*

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Shanghai patterns

A few weeks back we spent a weekend in Shanghai. As usual I visited some of my favorite places: the art-market, the old small art and designs shops at Taikan lu, the big mall and I hit the supermarket for some western food. Shanghai was as usual brimming with colors, patterns and full of life. Today I thought I would share some of this with you, enjoy!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Playing with backgrounds

First of: Happy fathers day to all fathers today!

I am happy to announce that the book:  Incite, Dreams Realized: The Best of Mixed Media has been published!

This is the book that I'm featured in with one painting, and as you can see they chose my artwork for the cover. You can take a sneak peak in it on 
I have not been able to read it myself yet, as my copy of the book was sent to Finland. But I hope to have it in my hands soon!

Studio news:

I have been painting and playing with several backgrounds, but I only have a clear plan for two of them so far. 

First up is a page from my art journal. I liked this design, so I decided to paint it big on canvas.

This is a few acrylic layers in on a 50x50cm canvas. Of course it can never be totally the same when transferring a design from a A4 journal to a much bigger canvas, but I thought that the Heron needed to be painted a little bigger to do justice to its beautiful feathers. I have many more layers to go before I start on the heron. I want the silhouettes of the swans to become just right, and I need to figure out just how I am going to create the 'drawing' of the archipelago in the upper corner. Also the single sheet of music feels a little small in this stage, so maybe I will have to add some more before continuing painting. More updates on this soon!

This is also a 50x50cm canvas, and for this one I have planned an Ural Owl. It is quite somber in colors, only thin acrylic layers of blues and browns. I am trying for a more 3D look here, and I want the owl to really 'pop out' when I'm finished. That means that I need the background to stay soft and unfocused, and not too much details in it.

The next bunch of paintings are 30x24 cm canvas boards. I have no idea yet what to do with them. More birds, or maybe flowers. I have a lot of really nice photo closeups of cherry blossoms and roses from the botanical garden, so lets see what I will come up with. All of them are collage with a few layers of acrylic colors.

This background is almost finished, and actually quite nice just as it is. Maybe I should leave it just as an abstract experiment. My favorite colors!

This background is finished, and I am now debating what kind of bird I want on it. I know I want to paint it together with some nice colorful autumn leaves, so I have to see what I find.

This one is waiting for several more layers. 

And the same with this one. I'm not sure if I like the flower pattern, so lets see how much of that will be visible in the finished result.

And then I have been carving some stamps for myself to be used in my art journal. I'm using wood carving tools and big erasers. These are all supposed to be swan silhouettes.

Today we have sun and nice clear air, so I think I will grab my camera and go out and see if I can capture some nice autumn leaves and maybe some birds.