Thursday, 29 October 2015

The heron and the swan.

Greetings from a sunny Kuala Lumpur. Not only sunny, but today we actually have blue sky! And according to the locals, that is the first blue sky in over 2 months now, due the haze from the burning in Indonesia and Borneo. It has been a grab few days, and luckily we still have 3 more days to go. But I will write all about KL in my next post completed with pictures!!

Today I thought I would share with you the two commissioned paintings I finished just before leaving for KL. They are approved by the new owner, though she has not got them yet. I was suppose to deliver them to her myself while visiting her in Kerinci, but due to the f*#@$$∞-ing haze there (excuse my language) our flight was cancelled. So, they have to stay with me for a little while longer! I am really pleased with both of them though, so I do not really mind having them on my wall for a little while before they go to their new home.

Great blue heron. Acrylic, oil and collage on canvas, 30x30cm. Photo reference with kind permission from The background is a little bit special in the way that I chose paper that have in some way or another links to Rain, the new owner. We travelled together a few times, so I chose material I gathered on those trips together. Paper and book pages from books I bought from our 2 trips to Seoul and Xian, and a map in one corner over Rizhao in China where we both lived for awhile. It is great to be able to give her not only the bird she asked for, both also to fill it up with great memories from our time together!!

Muted swan. Acrylic, oil and collage on canvas, 30x30cm. Photo reference my own. I love to paint swans, they belong to my summers! 

When I return to Shanghai I will start on my next commission. Or continue I should say, as I have already painted the background 3 times but didn't like either of them. So now I will start fresh and then finally be able to send it to it's commissioner in USA.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Studio update!

Here we are, one week on again. I know I have said it like a 100 times before, but time really is slipping through my fingers with an alarming speed. I don't mind really, it just amazes me. And to think that we are now approaching the last week of october, which means that I am traveling to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow!!! My husband has a few meetings there, and I'm so looking forward to visit Malaysia again. I have many good memories from my previous visit, especially the great food and taking my divers license. And while we are on the subject of time, can you believe that it is almost 20 years ago already???? I need to check that I have my camera battery charged, because of course I need to blog about it here later.

In the studio this week I have tried to finished three painting, a heron, a swan and a magpie. As soon as I have posted this I will go and paint the last details on all of them. The heron and the magpie only need some minor fine-tuning, but I need to finish the last wing of the swan. It always amazes me how much time it actually takes to paint these birds, but then again I only have my self to blame as I get lost in all the details… Maybe one day I will teach myself to paint faster and a little looser, but for now I really enjoy painting like this.

The heron and the swan on my desk.

For once my desk is less chaotic than normal.

The magpie and the swan. 

I need to add the legs!

Detail of the swan.

oil colours. 

I love the feel and smell of oil.

My signature. It is my fingerprint with my initials.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Incite 3 - The art of storytelling

Happy Friday everyone!

It is a beautiful morning today here in Shanghai. Almost a clear sky (= pollution not too bad), sun, and a nice temperature of 24 degrees! I'm on my way out to the local veggie market to buy the last ingredients for tonights dinner. We are having a Kiwi and a Hungarian as guest, so I thought I make a traditional meatloaf for us to enjoy.

Beautiful warm morning light in my studio today, had to take a picture!

And then: Incite 3 - The art of storytelling:
Last autumn I participated in a mixed media art competition for North Light Books. All the finalists were to be published in a book - The best of mixed media. I was lucky enough to be one of the finalists, and now the book is published, and I finally got my copy of it! 

The cover of the book.

My painting on page 95. It feels so good to see my art printed like this.

They have opened the next competition for Incite 4, but I haven't decided yet if I am going to participate this time again. Maybe I should try and send in a couple of art journal pages and see if they would do as well…

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

On my desk...

The weather is starting to cool down a bit, and I have to admit that I am enjoying it immensely! Being born in one of the nordic countries (Finland) I am more comfortable with putting on more clothes when it's getting chilly, than being 'trapped' indoors with the cooling on because its too hot outside. Add that it has been quite cloudy and rained several times the last week and I am happy! I love a rainy autumn!

I have several things going on on my desk at the moment and I have used my camera often to document the stages.

Here you can see one of the backgrounds I am working on. I'm not sure if it is finished yet. But I really want to start painting the swan that it is meant for. You can see my art journal on the easel with the sketch that I am basing this painting on.

Detail of the swan before it got glued in my journal. Watercolour and quite small. My new art journal is only 18x18cm.  It is painted after one of my own photographs I took this summer. One swan was stretching its wings and I happened to have my camera in hand… Perfect timing! There will be several paintings from that 'shooting'!

The first finished page in my new art journal! Mute swan. Watercolour, acrylic and collage on paper.

Here is a painting I started the day before yesterday, and today it was so far gone that I could start painting the bird. This will be an Azure-winged magpie. This is a painting I am making step-by-step progress photos of for an article I hope will be published. More details later when I have got it send in and hopefully approved.

On the easel is the page from my art journal that I am using as inspiration for this painting. It is a page I did several months ago from a magpie I was able to photograph a few years back in Rizhao.

First layer of acrylic. I'm thinking of continuing painting this one with acrylic instead of switching to oils in the next step like I usually do… I quite like the texture of the acrylic paint here.

More backgrounds. Something to do in-between my commissions while they are drying.

A lot of new gorgeous collage papers I brought back with me from my travels this summer. A book about owls in german from Baden in Switzerland. A book from Jane Austen in hungarian from Budapest. Children's stories in dutch my father picked out for me from his old books. Poems, songbooks and more from a second hand shop in my hometown. Aren't they lovely? As you can see it is not only random paper I put in my collaged backgrounds, I collect them carefully!