Friday, 29 March 2013

20x20 cm is a nice size...

I have never been one who cares much for electronical gadgets and everybody who knows me also know that I have never been very technical. I didn't learn to use the computer until I 'had to', and still today I only use two or three programs well. The rest is mostly a mysterium to me. When my husband bought me an IPad I first thought it a completely unnecessary toy. Fun to play games on for sure, but I did not appreciate it until I found out that I can subscribe to art-magazines on it and buy and read books electronically... Closest place to buy english books is in Shanghai ( about 600km from here), and not even there have I ever seen any art-magazines. But now I do not have to wait until we travel to be able to get new books or magazines, I just buy them online and can read them whenever I want. I am subscribing to two different art- magazines, one from the UK and one from the US. So once a month I can download my two magazines and enjoy! It is still not the same as actually having the real magazine in your hands, but the upside is that I can have all the magazines with me I want and countless books where ever I go, and its all contained on one small IPad... And if I really do not want to carry anything extra, I can even read my magazines on my IPhone... I am becoming an apple-junkie ;-)

I got my new issue of The Artist today. I will enjoy it with a cup of tea tonight!

I had a quick see through of it after downloading, and this months issue seems to be full of colors!

In the studio I started last week on a new series of small 20x20cm paintings. I had 8 thin canvas boards, and wanted to do something easy and fun with them. Without any real plans I just started mixing different hand written papers, song sheets and old linoleum prints. When I was satisfied with the pattern and composition I glued them all down, and I had 8 collages as backgrounds. I really liked the colours as they were, and decided not to paint over the papers at all, but to leave them exactly as they were.

The first 4 collages on canvas board...

...and the birds that I decided would suit well on top of them. Here is just the first layer of oil. Some tails and feet are still missing ;) Three European Crested Tits (Tofsmes) and a Common Chaffinch (Bofink).

Here are the next 4 panels...

...and the next 4 birds. Here I actually broke on of my rules. I usually try to only paint birds that I have seen in real life, but I couldn't resist painting a Siberian Jay (Lavskrika) on the last panel. Two White Wagtails (Sädesärla), a Red-backed Shrike (Törnskata) and the Siberian Jay. When I have finished these I am 1/3 closer to my goal of the numbers of painting I need to finish for my upcoming exhibition in August!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Spring energy

Not much to say today, Just some pictures to share!

Fishing season has started!

The first Magnolias are out!

The first flowers of 'Syrenen' 

Second painting of the year finished! 'Aftonen' / 'Evening', mixed media on canvas, 25x17 cm.

Third painting of the year finished. 'Fäders jord' / 'My fathers land', mixed media on canvas, 17x25cm.

Now I'm of to finish some more of my paintings... =D

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

On a roll!

The spring weather is somewhat unpredictable here!

This is how it looked yesterday while I was out walking...

And this is what I see out from the window today. I can see the sea!! This does not happen so often!

I have had a few good painting days in the studio lately, and some of my paintings are close to being finished. Finally. Some of my paintings I was not happy with has gone through some changes, and now I can see them also becoming something worth-while. 
 This is my current painting chaos with almost finished and just begun paintings all over my studio. My easel is not usually this crowded, but I put the paintings together for the photo. The floor however usually does look like this! :)


 And this is the three latest pages from my art-journal. The Great tit will become a painting on canvas just as it is here, I have already the background on canvas ready for the flying bird. More updates to come soon!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Pigs and 'mouse-ears'

Well, I guess that everybody in Europe already heard the news about the dead pigs that was found in the Huangpu river in Shanghai. Depending on which news site you read, they have cleaned the river from everything between a few hundred pigs, to up to 6,000 pigs. And still the Chinese authority claims that the water is safe to drink... The sad part is that even if people would get sick by drinking the water now, we will never know of it. What people don't know hasn't happened. And as they have cleared that the water is safe, it will stay safe according to the authority no matter what happens. That's local politics for you!
Here are some pigs whose fate I hope have been better than ending up rotting in a river. Taken on the highway between Rizhao and Qingdao:

Now it is not only the much warmer air that shows that spring is coming, I found some flowers and some trees on my morning walks this week that has dared to come to life again:

And as we have Easter soon approaching, I thought I would inspire you with this colorful picture of some coloured chickens you can buy here at the local market. Don't ask me how they colour them, I don't think I want to know...

So: Happy Easter in advance, and for you in Finland: enjoy some mignon eggs for me please!!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

ABB Dinner and Spring is here!

Last weekend we had the annual dinner for ABB maintenance Rizhao at Hua Mei Hotel. Family members were invited, and all in all we were about 70 people! 

We were welcomed as usual to the Hotel...

The dinner was opened with a few words of my husband (site manager for ABB here in Rizhao) and some sparkling wine.

A lot of food, both beautiful and tasty, and some food less so. As always with these official Chinese dinners: they serve what is considered 'fine' and 'good' and that is not always the most tasty food. This time however we had no bugs or sea cucumber, and even the Chicken feet were quite nice...

Oysters and scallops are always nice!

After the food it was time for entertainment! Sam told me that many at work had been practicing for several days before the dinner on their performances after work! And as they absolutely love to both look at performances and be on the stage, we had 10 performances to enjoy! Here you can se one group doing the Gangnam style in the ABB-rizhao style ;-) we also got some old fashioned Chinese opera (spoken though), poems, songs, sketches, more dances and of course the lottery!

Sam and Tony were the last to perform, and they sang and played for us. After that it was time for drinking: everybody goes around and cheers with all the tables. And as the cheers always are done in 'gambei' -style (bottom up), the party always comes to and end quite fast after this stage. Usually Sam's Chinese co-workers are very keen on singing karaoke, but we only had to listen to a few this time. Everybody seemed to have a very good time, so it was a successful evening!

And then something else: Spring has arrived in Rizhao! Last week we still had a few evenings when we had just around zero on the meter, but now we had had three days of +15 degrees. And yesterday I saw the first butterfly of this spring on the move!

At home I have been painting:

Here is my easel with my works in progress. I usually work like this with many paintings at the same time. As I build up my paintings with many layers, they always have to have time to dry in between. 

And a close up from two of them. There will come a blue-tit on the left, and on the right you can see the first stage of a great-tit.