Wednesday, 29 June 2016

3 days until take of!

3 days until take of! Very early Friday morning we will leave for the airport, and then it is bye bye Shanghai for 2 months. It will feel so good to walk on Finnish soil again and breathe fresh air.

I did not get all the paintings done that I wanted, I think I got a little carried away with ideas... I guess that is a little how inspiration works. First I had zero inspiration and few ideas even if I knew I 'had' to paint for the upcoming exhibition in August. Then when a whole years time to prepare turned into 6 months and less, I suddenly got a lot of inspiration while working and more and more ideas. Greedy as I am I started as many of them as possible... So now I have 7 paintings still in progress that I am planning to take home with me, together with the 16 (I think) finished ones. The exhibition will take place in the end of August, so in reality I still have almost 2 months time to finish them.


No title for these flying swans yet. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 30x60cm. They flew past our summer cottage last summer. I find it quite funny that such elegant birds while swimming are so heavy and not so elegant while flying... They look majestic either way though.

'Midsummer calm'. Mixed media on canvas, 20x20cm. Acrylic, collage and oil. Killdeer. Bird reference with kind permission from David Richman from the website 'paint my photo'

Little ringed-plover. Acrylic and oil on canvas board. 28x22cm. Bird reference with kind permission from Aschi from the website 'paint my photo'.

It has been another rainy day. It feels like it has been raining constant for a month now.

Chaos in my studio. It will be much emptier after I have packed all my paintings on Thursday.




The bearded tit is almost finished. The head and the legs still needs a layer of oil.

This is a new one. I have had the background for quite some time already, and I had planned a sparrow for it. I changed my mind though, and now I need to decide if I want to take this one with me and finish it for the exhibition.

Long tailed tit. Almost done, the beak and the eyes left to do. 

Next time I write it will be from Finland. I have packed a sketching kit with me, so there will be small watercolour paintings in my art journal during my stay at home. And of course updates of the last paintings, and then the exhibition... I'm SO EXCITED!!!

And last, this weeks video. It is a studio update for the month of June:




Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Earth colours.

It is getting hot outside. The last several days the temperature has reach over 30 degrees. The AC is very much my friend right now! 


'Ut i det fri' (Outdoors) Acrylic, oil and collage on canvas. 25x25cm. Nuthatch reference with kind permission from Russ Bridges from the FB group 'Photos for artists'. First I was not all too pleased with how the background was coming along on this one, but as soon as I added the splatters and the stencil I started to like it. Now after painting the nuthatch I am very happy with how it turned out.

Today I have been working on the two blackbirds. Black is not an easy colour to paint. In the reference photo the blackbird looks almost blue. I have taken the liberty of adding purple to the mix, to set it of nicely against the yellow and brown background.

Almost done. I have to wait for it to dry before adding the last refining details. I think I need to add a leg as well, as it now looks like it is floating above the tree stub. The photo is not the best as it is already dark outside. 

The second Blackbird. The same goes for this one. It needs to dry a day or two and then I can finish it.

The swans are coming along slowly. I should have finished these by now, but the wings are taking longer than I thought. Or I am just too picky. Now I just have to add the last layer on the swan to the right.

This is a new one. I really should not start any new ones anymore and just concentrate on finishing the ones I have. But I have had this background ready for a long time, and the other day I just found the perfect bird for it: a Bearded tit. Now when I see it on the screen I think I need to move the leg a little. Horrible picture, but it is dark already and I am too lazy to go and take another... ;) 

I have wanted to try out acrylic inks for a while now, and a few days ago I found some in a local art store. They works almost exactly as I had imagined they would. I will have a lot of fun with them when I come back from my visit home to Finland. I would love to take them with me, but they are a little heavy to carry along in a sketch kit... I filmed the process when I did the swatches of the colours, and played with them a little. See video below!



That was it for this week! Have a great day!




Wednesday, 15 June 2016

50 shades of blue...

In a little bit more than 2 weeks we will be flying home to Finland. My husband can only stay for a shorter time as he then has to return to work, but I will stay for two whole months! It has been a year since I was home last, so I am really looking forward to it! Meet up with family and friends, breathe clean air, go out on the sea, and eat all the things I have missed.

My palette is getting messy. When I travel home I will paint it white so that I can start to mess it up again when I come back to my Shanghai studio.

Small brushes have been a lot in use the last few weeks.

The second kingfisher is done: Jewel 2. Acrylic and oil on canvas board, 28x22cm. Bird reference with kind permission from Peter Skillen from the Facebook group 'photos for artists'. I really enjoyed painting this one, and so far it is my husband's favourite.

Swan. I have no name for this one yet. Acrylic and oil on a 20x30cm canvas. The fluid acrylics I used for the background was a joy to work with.

A little bit more progress done on the Egret. I am trying a new technique here, to paint the bird almost totally by dry brushing. I like it so far.

I also have made some progress on the flying swans, one more layer of oil on the birds and they should be done.

Something different. I was trying out some sketch material to take with me home. This is where I am going... Beautiful, isn't it?!? I am planning to try and keep up with my blogging and Youtube videos once a week, so I need some materials with me for creating.

Last out today is this weeks video. It is a progress video of the small flying swan painting I showed you above:



Tuesday, 7 June 2016

I love blue.


The main theme of this years paintings seems to be blue and brown. When it comes to paint I just love to use a lot of blues and browns!

The first of the two Kingfishers are done. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 28x22 cm. Reference photo with kind permission from Peter Skillen from the FB group 'photos for artists'. I really like how the colours  stand out against the black in the background.

Wren. Acrylic, oil and collage on a 18x13cm canvas board. Photo reference with kind permission again from Peter Skillen.

This is the first canvas of two that I are planning with flying swans. 

This is the second.

This is a 50x50cm canvas that will become a Heron, as you can see. The first blocking in of acrylic is done. I will probably add one more layer of acrylic before starting with oils.

This weeks video is of the wren: 


I wish you all a beautiful week!


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Thunderstorm and a Bluethroat.

For the first time in 2 weeks we actually had a little bit of sun this morning. It was still foggy, or 'smoggy' (since most of it was pollution), but without the rain clouds it was so much lighter! That has changed though. I am writing this just before going to bed, and now I have a glorious display of thunder, rain and lightning outside. I love thunderstorms!

A week has gone by again. I know I have said this many times before, but the time is just flying away so fast that I can not keep up. It feels like a week consists only of three days nowadays. And in 30 days time I will be flying home to Finland for our yearly visit. 30 days. I still have a lot of paintings I would like to finish before that. I'm trying to think of what I have been doing the whole winter and spring that has preventing me from being ready already. I do not know. Between moving apartment, travelling to Thailand and New Orleans and having guests staying with us, there still should have been plenty of hours spent painting. Maybe I have just been lazy! =D

Anyhow, on to this weeks studio update:

Bluethroat. A White-spotted bluethroat to be precise. I read that they have cousins with a red spot under their beaks instead of the white that this one has. This is a bird that I can not remember if I have ever seen in real life. I love their colours though! This Bluethroat is painted from Angeline Rijkeboer's photo, from the website 'Paint my photo'. It is a great website to find reference photos that photographers share for artists to use to make traditional artwork from! I filmed the process of this one and I will put the link to it at the end of this post.

This canvas was suppose to become a Heron. Then I found this Egret by Aschi on the website Paint-my-photo and I just knew that I had to paint it. And on this background! I am already in love with it, I just hope I will succeed in finishing it without overworking it. So far I have only painted with acrylics. Canvas size is 50x50 cm.

One of the waxwings has got the first layer of oil colour. I do not like the branches as they are now, so I will have to change them.

This woodpecker I do not think that I have showed anywhere yet. I am debating if the background is a little bit too light. I think I will have to add a little bit of blue so that the white of the woodpecker will show up a little better.

And last as promised, this weeks video: