Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

What better way to spend christmas morning than to paint this years christmas card!

I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas, A happy Holiday and a marvelous creative New Year!!!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Birds birds birds

So, here is my final post with photos taken while on holiday home to Finland. After this there will be updates from the studio and my new life in Shanghai ;)

We have been rather busy here the last 2 weeks. We spent one week back in Rizhao, and this week I've been running around the city trying to find a Christmas ham, painted and, um… ok, maybe I haven't been that busy this week. The days flies past so fast! 

But as the title of this post suggest, today I will give you Birds! I tried to get as many photos as possible with birds on my trip home so that I would get new reference material for painting. Unfortunately I was home quite late in the autumn this time so most of the birds had migrated south already. But I got a few good shots, and below are some of them. 

Blue tit. I was amazed at how aggressive these little feather balls were. They sounded like angry cats and chased the other bigger birds away when they wanted to feed, even if there would have been space for all of them. Small but feisty!!

Great tit. 

Great tits and an Eurasian tree sparrow.

A flock of geese traveling south for the winter.

Great blue Heron.

Herring gull, I think.

Ok, this was fun to watch! We have had a pair of White-tailed eagles feeding their young on the island opposite our summer cottage this summer. I got to see the adults a few times flying to and from the Island on a distance. Then this one day when one of the adult eagles came back 'home', it was chased by a crow. I have seen different kinds of gulls and ravens chase the eagle as well, but this time it was the crow. Who needs television when you get to watch drama in nature firsthand like this?

This was a dazed European Robin that my brother rescued from their cat. She did not get it for dinner this time. While it was recovering I took the camera and got quite a few nice shots of it. First it didn't mind me being close, but then when it recovered more it flew away. Unfortunately it flew the wrong way and into the window. So the second time I actually picked it up and brought it to some trees and put it on a branch so that the cat couldn't get to it and far away from any windows. After a few minutes there it flew back into the forest.

Eurasian tree sparrow.

Mute swan. I happened to sit on the pier with my camera trying to get some pictures of an unidentified small bird when a pair of swans flew right past me. Lucky me!!

Mute swan.

Mute swan.

Great tit.

White wagtail.

White wagtail.

So, as you can imagine there will be a lot more bird paintings coming up!!!

Thursday, 4 December 2014


So, I have a lot of pictures waiting to be shared, and today I give you Norway! While I was home for my holiday I decided to visit my cousin who has moved to Norway. She lives in the city of Bergen, on the west coast of Norway. My parents decided to joined me for the trip, so we packed the car and left. 

Our route:  Ekenäs - Åbo - Stockholm - Oslo - Bergen. We took the night ferry between Finland and Sweden, and we slept one night in Oslo. We spent 5 days in Bergen, and then drove back to Finland. 

I really have to say that Norway is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited. I have once before driven through Norway when I moved to Scotland for a year back in 2007. Then I took the ferry from Stavanger in Norway to Newcastle in north of England. Ever since then I have dreamt of returning to see a little more of Norway. Now my cousin have given me the perfect excuse to visit more often...

If I did not have a few bird painting commissions, and some more bird paintings to do for an exhibition in my hometown next summer, I would now be painting landscapes. But maybe I can fit in a few of them in between.

A fun map over Norway I saw in a craft and knitting shop. I put a onarge circle around bergen. Thats where I went!

Downtown old Bergen. These old wooden houses are still standing after a few hundred years, though not really that straight anymore. Really charming!

Tthis pictures shows how the weather is most often.

One day we took the cable car up to the view point above bergen. The view was fantastic, as you can see. Me and dad posing!

Being in Bergen you can not avoid going to the fish market and admire all the fresh sea food.

Tasting some king crab and the 'normal' crab (according to norwegians) with a nice white wine...

That was the city, now to the mountain roads that we took to be able to reach Bergen:

Even if it was still only autumn, the mountain tops were already covered in snow.

Lots and lots of waterfalls and streams everywhere.

Lots and lots of tunnels to pass through. Some only 50 meters and the longest 24 km!

Borgund Church. The best preserved church of this fashion in Norway, and if I remember it correctly, also the oldest that is still standing. Unfortunately is was closed for the season, I would have loved to enter it and have a closer look. It is black because of tar, the wood have to be painted regularly with tar to keep rainproof.

I hope you enjoyed these pictures. I have no art to show as I am working on some commissions that I can not show before they are done and delivered. But hopefully I will soon have the first couple finished  ;)

Friday, 21 November 2014

I'm back! Finland in pictures.

November. Soon December.
 Time flies, so fast! I am back in China, and I am now living in Shanghai. There is so much that has happened since last I wrote, that I do not know where to start. That is also the reason why I have been procrastinating with a thousand other things than opening the blog and start writing. But I have by now organized all my photos from my visit home to Finland (just a few thousands photos ;-) ) and I have unpacked all of our stuff in the new apartment here in Shanghai. So, writing time!

Let’s start where we left of, shall we?

After emptying our apartment in Rizhao, I flew home to Finland to visit family and friends. I spend almost 2 month at home, and for the first time in 4 years I was able to enjoy a glorious autumn. A full on coloured autumn with rain and sun and cold clean ‘high’ air. My husband joined me for 3 weeks, and we spend almost all of that time out in the archipelago with the boat.

The details of what I did when is not important, so here are the highligts:

- Met up with friends and family to catch up with a years worth of gossip and happenings.

- Had a very successful and fun exhibition at Gallery Karaija in Inkoo together with many other bird artists.

- Spent time in our summer cottage on the Island, both ‘mine’ and the husband’s.

- Spent a lot of time on the sea cruising around visiting our favourite places.

- Saw the 100th anniversary exhibition in Helsinki of our beloved artist and writer Tove Janson. (The creator of the character Moomin )

- Celebrated my grandmother’s 101 (yes, 101!) birthday.

- Made several trips to the forest with my mother to pick mushrooms.

- Did a road-trip to Norway with my parents to visit my cousin.

- Tried to gather new reference material for painting with my camera. Unfortunately many birds had already migrated south for the winter, so I was not so successful. However I did start feeding the small birds in my parent’s garden, and then I did get a lot of good pictures of the Great tit and the Blue tit. And out in the archipelago the Mute swan was still swimming around, so I did get a few good shots of that one too.

Now on to he best part, a small selection of photos from my visit home:

The harbor of Ekenäs, my hometown. 

The same harbor a month later than the previous photo. The trees are turning red, and not many boats left in the water.

Our first frost night. 

Ateneum in Helsinki where the exhibition with Tove Janson was held.

My husband and me out on the sea.

Ekenäs archipelago, the view from my summer cottage. I never tire of siting and watching the weather change here, the birds swimming by and the change of light. It is heaven on earth for me! I miss it already.

Stormy weather.

Cooking inside the cottage on the island. No electricity, so I had to use a headlight to see what I was doing...

Visiting my husbands family in another part of the archipelago. So beautiful.

Our forest path for morning walks in Ekenäs.

Gallery Karaija at the day of the opening night just before the guests arrived.

My paintings at the far left.

Beautiful stained window. I have unfortunately forgotten the name of the artist.

My lovely grandmother on her 101 birthday. 

Mushroom picking, absolutely complete and perfect with a tea break.

My favourite mushroom, Trattkantareller.

And last, let me introduce you to my sister in law Elli, and my niece Emma. I had to post this picture just to show you how the next generation will look like in the forest while picking mushroom. A princess dress with a crown and everything. Not to forget the blinking shoes that you cannot see here. She is too adorable, don't you agree??!

Pictures of Norway and a sample of all my bird photography I brought back will come in the next post! See you soon!