Monday, 29 April 2013

Glad Valborg! (Happy 1 May)

I can not comprehend that it will be the first of May the day after tomorrow. Where on earth does the time fly to? I'm not in a hurry, but time itself does not seem to agree...

Anyway, today I have some art to share with you.

'And sweetest in the gale is heard...' 20x20cm. Here I have had some collage fun with the background. Book pages, handwritten papers, stamped letters and so on. I first made the collage background as an abstract piece in itself, and then decided what bird would fit onto it. For some reason it seem to work better for me that way: To first make and paint a background, and then decide what to paint on it. This way I work more spontaneous. If I have a bird in mind from the beginning, it often paint the background around the bird instead of behind it. If that makes any sense...
Oh, yes, and the wagtail is painted in oil!

'Runosång'/ 'Song of runes' 20x20cm. Same story as above. The only thing I can add is that the 'trees' in the background here is actually an old linoleum print that I did many years ago while I was studying in The Netherlands for my bachelor degree... I found it amongst my papers, but I have no idea how it ended up here in China with me. But it came in handy now! This is so far one of my own favorites. It is simple, the colours go well together, and it is just darn cute! :)

'Vårfrost' / 'Springfrost' 20x30cm. Acrylic, oil and different papers. This background has gone through quite some changes before I decided that it was finished. I have added, sandpapered down, added again, removed... even the bird has changed. I first painted two blackbirds, but realized that the canvas was too small to do them justice.   So I decided on this Bullfinch instead. I thought that his splendid red plumage would go great against the blue and cold background. 

Two new backgrounds started. A 50x40 cm canvas on the left, and many layers of different papers and acrylic. This will probably become a background for a flying gull of some sort. Lets see when the background is finished, The canvas on the right is a smaller 40x30cm, and this will be a magpie painting. It is a commission, and I have been asked to use a lot of green, blue and purple. The purple is already there, now I have to add green and blue. It's a challenge to get preordained colors to work together in this way. For me that is. 

Two more paintings in progress: a flying great tit on a 40x30cm canvas. I covered the canvas with book pages, and then had some fun with white, blue and payne's gray. The tit still need a couple of layers before it is finished. The canvas below is a 40x50cm size, covered in book pages, and in the beginning of getting some paint. I have no clue what I will do next with it.

And last: Glada vappen! I made mead three days ago, and poured it in bottles this morning. I also tried  to make struvor (a special 1 of May cookie we eat in Finland) for the first time in life today. It was actually surprisingly easy, and they are good!!! Things you learn to do when you can not find it in the supermarket...

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Flowers everywhere!

Spring really is the most beautiful time of the year here in China. At least for a few short weeks even the air smells nice in places, and I actually enjoy being outdoors in the city. In next post I will return with some updates from the studio, but for now I want you to just enjoy some more flowers!

Across the street from where we live.

White heaven.


One of many lakes in this city.

Same lake the other way.

Me a lá chinese.

Dutch wooden shoes in the botanical garden. Very popular!

Hyacints and Daffodils.


I'm doing what the Chinese loves - taking pictures with frames. I had to queue for my turn...

The same colorful flower bed without me!

Two girls posing for their mommas.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Morning walk, crabs and flowers.

I was out for my daily morning walk, and met something curious in the staircase. A crab. And not only one, but three. They didn't look like they had been dropped or thrown away (they were untouched so not just leftovers from a meal...) They actually looked exactly like they had succeeded in escaping the pot, and met their death in the dry staircase. If you haven't seen our staircase, you would think crabs escaping to the staircase impossible. But several of our neighbors use the staircase as an extra storage place, especially for food. Once they even kept live fish in water in a styrofoam box.

One of the three crabs I met this morning in our staircase.

Fafa-dagis, or the 'grandfather-club'. They have taken their boardgames outdoors now when the weather is nice. You see them all over the city playing cards, mahjong or this game, which is a chess-like game.

The local market on the street just below our house. I often buy fresh vegetables from this lady.

Veggies coming strait from the farm, so they are much fresher that veggies in the supermarket.

Mussels for sale straight out of the wagon.

Thats the city-hall in the background.

A lake in the middle of Rizhao which is my usual goal on my walks. There they have nice walks and benches to sit down on with enough distance to the roads that you can 'breath free' for awhile... Today it was totally calm, a nice change from some really windy days lately!


Soon it will be more green everywhere, but the first flowers are like a breath of fresh air after the brown and dusty winter.

Friday, 5 April 2013

I'm excited!

I'm excited, and happy, and grateful, and.... Well, you get the picture! I told you some months ago that I was one of the winning artists of an online art competition, and the price was to be published in an art book about mixed media. Well, yesterday I found out that not only will I be featured in the book, they actually chose my painting for the front cover of the whole book!!!
Here is a link to Amazon where they have the book listed already, even if it will be published first in September of this year. I'm really looking forward to get my copy! : amazon

*doing the happy dance*