Livin La Vida Loca

Being an artist today is a busy life. There’s not much time for Livin La Vida Loca. There are bills to pay, applications to write and pictures to paint. Marketing is another field. Sometimes it’s hard to keep focus. Luckily I’m a quite experienced project manager and motivator.

Livin La Vida Loca
Livin La Vida Loca

What does an artist do all day?

You probably think that: Making art is the most important thing that artists do. But there is more to it than painting. 

  • Daily tasks like mixing paints, preparing panels for painting, sealing them, cleaning brushes. 
  • Weekly chores like paying bills, ordering new material, shipping out fresh work, organizing and cleaning the studio.
  • Administrative duties like scheduling appointments, answering email and press queries, communicating with gallerists, dealers, and collectors.
  • Marketing responsibilities like photographing new pieces, managing social media, writing newsletters and blogs. Uploading new work and maintaining the webshop. 

When in the studio I try to structure my day to create periods of flow. Multitasking is not my cup of tea. Time management and focus is my secret weapon, because my energy goes to whatever I’m focused on. 

You don’t always get what you wish for. You get what you work for.

I coach myself the same way I coach others and make sure to keep track of my projects in order to get where I want.

Mixing wet paint
Mixing wet paint

Real Artist or not?

I believe anyone can become an artist if you really want to. But the work of great artists resonates with the audience and makes you feel something. True artists love what they do and make art to communicate something. 

My work is about how the mysteries in life unfold in different ways. I paint from my heart to explore and express what cannot be said in words. 

They say it takes about 10 000 hours of practice to master a discipline. Some art teachers claim all artists will make about 1000 ugly paintings in their career. I think I’ve done my fair share by now.

Studio time is Happy Time

I love going into my studio. Studio time is a happy time, even if the creative process sometimes gives rise to frustration. There are lots of decisions to be made every single day. So when in doubt I take a break, I take a walk or I dance. My experience is that moving my body helps boost creativity.

A day in my studio involves playful experimenting. Risk taking is vital and daring to fail is part of the learning curve. “What happens if I try…” is one of my mantras in the studio. I follow my curiosity and am willing to be different. 

Exploring oil pastels on acrylic paint
Exploring oil pastels on acrylic paint

Long hours in the Zone 

When I’m focused I normally work long hours. When being in the zone, or in flow, in creative mode I have a tendency to forget eating and drinking, so my husband cooks and when he’s at work he kindly reminds me. 

I’m not very fond of taking breaks. I prefer working till I’m finished and then call in the day to socialize with my family. Before going to bed I make sure to get some most needed unstructured time to reflect, or compost if you like. Without composting time my mind goes crazy, and I end up spending most of the night more or less awake figuring out new things to explore in my art practice. 

As an artist I am well aware that I need to take care of my most important tool: My Body. Therefore I make sure to get my beauty sleep to increase health and well-being and to enhance cognitive ability and get those creative juices flowing.

My Studio Assistant

Every artist needs a muse. My studio assistant is the best! He has neither experience or a degree in fine arts. But he supports me in his very own special ways, and our life drawing sessions are wonderful. He loves modeling.

I would never ever swap him for another studio assistant.

Read more about him here

Love my studio assistant
Love my studio assistant

Time to Reflect

Time to reflect is an important part of the creative process. Some days I spend more time looking at my paintings than painting. Why is that so? Artists have different creative processes: Some enter the studio with a clear idea in mind, start a new canvas and paint the picture. Just like that. 

My creative process is more like this: I start with an idea, and then the painting becomes something else. I love the playful initial stages of the painting process where I explore happy accidents. For me the hardest part is taking a painting through the messy middle to the clarifying stage and finishing it. 

No wonder I need time to reflect, or compost if you like. That’s why I have several paintings going on in my studio. So when one painting stops, I can continue working on another. I normally have loads of work in progress in my studio, but all of a sudden there are piles of finished paintings, too. 

Writing about Art

Writing helps me reflect and clarify things. I’ve always enjoyed writing and I’ve been blogging about various topics for about 20 years. 

7 years ago I started this art blog hoping to share some inside views from living the vida loca as an artist. Initially the art blog was meant for a smaller audience of family and friends, but I soon realized I have views and followers from all over the world. And that’s a boost! 

Social Media

Putting your work out there is part of the game. If no one sees what I create, and no one wants to buy my art, I really need to win the lottery. 

Sometimes Social Media gives me new opportunities, so please share my work!

Relaxing with my Family
Relaxing with my Family

Join my Newsletter

With the energy from The Year of the Tiger I decided to step up the game: So this month I welcome you to join my brand new Newsletter. 

I’m a lifelong learner. I love a challenge, so this year I will find the courage to step outside my comfort zone, to climb out on a limb and reach for my next level of growth as an artist. I want to go all in!

Why newsletter?

I offer you the chance to be the first to get news and special offers from my studio. News about upcoming exhibitions, opening nights, artist talks, workshops, open studios, giveaways and new art for sale. 

By signing up for my newsletter you will get special discounts and get to grab brand new artworks before they enter my webshop.

How often?

I plan to send monthly newsletters, unless something very exciting and extremely urgent matters pops up on the horizon.

How to Sign Up

I will be sending my newsletter directly to your email inbox. If you cannot find your welcome email, please check your spam mail. Make sure to move my newsletter to your inbox and add me to your contact list.

Click on this link to sign up for my newsletter.

Enjoy the ride! 

My Studio is My Happy Place

There is a “Happy Place” for each of us. It’s a safe haven for happiness, a place that allows us to breathe deeply and find peace no matter what is happening in our lives. Some prefer their happy place to be a low-stimulation environment, where quiet stillness offers a feeling of being at peace that can last for a long time. 

While knitting might be your happy place, My Happy Place is different.

My Studio is My Happy Place
My Studio is My Happy Place

My studio is my happy place! 

Lots of people find their happy place in nature, or with animals. Studies show that spending just 20 minutes in nature boosts vitality levels significantly. 

I’m the sort of person that needs to spend quiet time in solitude to refuel myself. Studio time gives me the chance to unwind and get away from the hamster wheel and the madness going on in the world. 

My Happy Place brings me joy and happiness and fills me with energy. My studio is a wonderful space where I can “travel” to fabulous places, “meet” interesting people with fascinating stories and interact with my passion to let dreams and fantasies come true on the canvas.

Also I get to spend time with my adorable studio assistant Mr Cat. You can read more about him here.

My happy place has lots of positive impacts on me: In my studio I find courage to step outside my comfort zone, climb out on a limb, and reach for my next level of growth. My studio is the place where I can escape and feel happy, feel at peace with no interruptions of any sort – until night time when I wine and dine with my family.

Magic Mr Art Cat
Magic Mr Art Cat

Unique Life Experiences

Living a creative life is food for my soul. I believe painting heals, lifts me up, fills me with positive energy and hope! Studio time normally boosts my vitality levels and brings out the best in me. When I’m in creative mode no one can judge or harm me, except my inner critic. There are lots of decisions to make during the process.

Painting resembles life with its many layers of experiences. Some of them you want to paint over, while others really shine. There are happy days and not so exciting ones. The push and pull of living and painting, make the whole story of both you and me and every single painting, unique.

Therefore I believe that every artwork will reveal its own secrets to the right viewer. For me buying art is a soulful decision – and you instinctively know when to buy a painting!

I’m currently working on two parallel projects for my upcoming solo shows. These days I’m also considering whether to participate in a few group shows. So happy the pandemic is coming to an end!

Check out my paintings!

Meet My Studio Assistant

There are no formal qualifications to become an artist assistant, although many assistants enter the job with a background in fine arts. My assistant has neither experience or a degree in fine arts. 

The King of the Art Studio

My studio assistant is a model and a poser dreaming of being the King of the Art Studio. He sure knows when to step up the game to get his treats and make me brush his fur till it shines. Mr Handsome Cat also tells me when it’s time to turn his woolen blanket.

I admit it: I’m his slave, he is my master and I think he is drop-dead gorgeous! 

Meet My Studio Assistant
Meet My Studio Assistant

My Magic Art Assistant

Apart from being drop-dead gorgeous, super smart, friendly, soft and furry, he is absolutely magic! Mr Magic Art Assistant even likes my studio music (contrary to the rest of the family). He knows exactly when I’m stuck and in desperate need for a hug and a nice cup of tea. No wonder, he practically grew up in my studio! 

Tiny Accidents

But sometimes we’ve had tiny accidents: Like the very first day in the studio when he suddenly jumped up on the table and stepped right into my wet paint. Of course, I immediately removed the blue paint under his feet, so he wouldn’t lick off the acrylic paint himself. Once he managed to taste the green water behind my back. But normally he just relaxes somewhere safe in his own very special place. So, no trouble at all!

tiny art cat first day in studio
tiny art cat first day in studio

Studio Chores

Instead of administrative duties – like scheduling appointments, answering email and press queries, communicating with gallerists, dealers, and collectors – Mr Art Cat  provides artistic support like purring and well… purring.

Instead of mixing paints and preparing panels for painting, he sleeps.

Instead of cleaning the brushes, he slowly and carefully licks his fur for hours.

Instead of bringing me food, he screams for me to come watch him eat.

Refreshing Walks in the Woods

During summer months we often have lunch in the nearby woods. His woods. After lunch Mr Cat normally takes the frustrated artist for a walk to clear the mind. Yes, it’s true. We take walks together. But he refuses to swim in the river with me. Well, you can’t have everything!

Let's go for a walk, mom!
Let’s go for a walk, mom!

Time to Reflect

When it’s time to reflect, my assistant is the best. He curls up and we talk and reflect until he wants to go outside. Sometimes we work on art texts for blogging, like today – I do the writing, while he watches birds and squirrels on youtube. He loves when I read out loud!

Life Drawing Sessions

Our life drawing sessions are the best. They make a cornerstone of training arts and living La Vida Loca, or the artist’s life, in our shared studio. This is the only time I’m allowed to sit in the studio arm chair.

As you might have guessed, the studio arm chair is His Highness’ Throne.

My assistant watching the Cat People
My assistant watching the Cat People

Cat People

I think Mr Handsome Studio Cat likes modeling best. I actually made a whole series called Cat People to honor our relationship! Part of the series was exhibited in 2019. Mr Drop-Dead-Handsome just loves it when I look at him all the time! And I love him dearly! It’s a win-win situation.

Artists and Their Cats

Many artists have shared their studio with cats: Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Gustav Klimt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Ai Weiwei to name a few. So I’m not alone!

Artists and their cats
Artists and their cats

Looking Back

Looking back, creating art has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. To most of those who know me, it’s no surprise I ended up living the vida loca as an artist. After a long and winding road I finally found my true calling ten years ago.

Back in the Days

As I remember them, my early years of childhood seem to be quite lighthearted and enjoyable. Back in the days, young children growing up in the countryside were normally playing outside with friends, while their parents were tending livestock, working the fields or taking a nap after dinner. 

I really enjoyed my own company and had lots of freedom and long hours of roaming the hoods, trying to figure out life’s mysteries and searching for fun.

The Tiny Artist
The Tiny Artist

The Tiny Artist

My dad had plenty of tools, so at the age of 4 the tiny artist was stone carving day after day, fully determined to become a sculptor and make gigantic statues. A few weeks later I gave up because I couldn’t find stones that would let me form them the way I wanted; the materials were either too hard or too soft. And my wrists were really hurting from all the hammering. 

Then I tried working with clay from the nearby seashore without significant success.

Sadly my carpentry didn’t come out like I wanted, either – so I went back to drawing, encouraged by Grandma who was happy to model for me every day. 

First Art Exhibit

At the age of 5 I had my first art exhibit in Grandma’s house. All the neighbors were invited and Grandma served coffee and homemade cookies. 

To my big surprise I sold my first drawing. And Grandma told everyone that I was going to become an artist.

Years passed by

Through adolescence I was sketching, drawing and writing for hours every night. I hardly had time to sleep. At 16 life took a new turn. Years passed by; life was filled with schoolwork, sports, friends and parties. 

Good years, by all means, but my creative spirit was not nurtured except for a few lucky hours every now and then. Some nights I skipped sleeping, or I couldn’t sleep at all, because my brain was in creative mode.

Art student working
Art student working

Dreamt I was painting

Night after night I dreamt I was painting large canvases with bold marks and vivid colors; weird and wonderful abstract motives. They say that what you dream of, over and over again, is telling you to pay attention to that theme in your waking life. That your subconscious is trying to connect you to something that’s important for you. 

So I tried watercolor and ink, but didn’t quite get the expression I wanted. I tried oil painting and hated the smell, but OMG! was I the most popular girl roaming the bars for a few weeks with oil paint in my hair and stains on my hands…

Photography was a lot of fun, but I never got around to apply for studies in New York. And since Bergen was totally out of the question I started working again. And all of a sudden I was caught up in Family Life, university studies and coaching handball. Time flies when you’re having fun!

The Local Art School

At 50 I discovered the local art school. Half way through my second day in summer class at Nydalen Kunstskole, I had kind of a spiritual awakening – a feeling of being connected with something I’ve been looking for my whole life. I finally had found my true calling and that autumn I attended art school. 

Sometimes, dreams come true or tell of a future event. 

Studio at local art school
Studio at local art school

Small works for big changes

Time flies when you’re having fun! That’s for sure! Early this summer serendipity knocked on my door and intuition told me to jump on the art train passing by. I have not regretted one single minute, not even a second! I have found my joy!

(C) copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Having fun is vital 

I had so much fun doing Louise Fletcher’s free taster that I signed up for the full 10 week course and exchanged my plans for a lazy summer holiday with long hours of work in my art studio. I didn’t get much of a sun tan this year, but I gained artistic insights and had a ball!

For me having fun is vital for my well being and when things get too serious or busy I get overwhelmed and lose my energy. This summer has been amazing!

Small works for big changes

Working small on sheets of paper has many advantages when you master the format. You get to experiment a lot more and finish work in a smaller amount of time and you get to know your preferences; what you like or don’t like. 

(C) copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Intuitive process

When working on technical paper or sheets of canvas paper I feel free to follow my intuition, I feel free to play and never think of “ruining” an expensive gallery canvas for that matter. Working on paper also means I can sell works at affordable prices.

Feeling fearless 

Another aspect of working small is that there’s really nothing to lose: If your painting sucks, make another and notice what you do and don’t like. It’s called learning and the more I learn about my preferences, the more “me” my paintings get.

My favourite idea when working in my studio is: “I wonder what happens if”… and this is how some of my small playful works give rise to big, bold changes.

(C) copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

I’m So Excited for what’s to come!

Well, to make a long story short I had so much fun and learned so much doing the full 10 week course this summer, that I signed up for the brand new 6 week master class starting in a couple of weeks. I’m so excited for what’s to come!

Let loose, feel free

My, my what a splendid way to spend the summer! I’ve had so much fun painting almost every day. I’ve already learned A LOT and I’m filled with positive energy, good vibes and hope for the future. I actually LOVE my artist life at the moment and can hardly wait to enter my studio. The drawback is, of course, my lack of suntan…

(C) copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Serendipity knocks

In my previous blog post I told you that serendipity knocked on my door as I was closing my studio for the summer, planning for lazy holidays with family and friends. This summer my intuition kicked ass and turned my summer plans upside down.

Intuition rocks

Today I feel like the luckiest artist in the world thanks to the wonderful teachings of Louise Fletcher, her team of coaches and my fellow artists taking the course. My energy is back, doubts are gone, and I’m ready to conquer the world! Good thing I listened to myself, even if my suntan this year will be minimal. Muahaha! 

(C) copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Transition ritual

Joining this course feels like a transition ritual where my inner artist is coming of age. As an anthropologist I’m well aware that rituals are symbolic passages from one stage to another – so my feeling of “coming of age” as an artist is, of course, on an emotional level, but hopefully it will show in my art practise and my body of work.

Let loose, feel free  

As you might remember, I’ve been struggling with my work for some time, feeling tense and frustrated. Now my studio has transformed back to My Happy Place thanks to the exercises, tips and tricks we learn and share with each other. 

Finding my joy

For me letting loose, feeling free, playing and experimenting is just what I need to find my joy and creative energy! There are so many ways to lose track of what’s the most important things in your life. When things get too serious, I tend to lose track of my path. For me, playing and having fun is vital. Especially in the studio.

(C) copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Relaxing in the hammock

Balance is another important aspect of human living. Our modern society is very busy and one is supposed to refuel and heal within hours or weeks. I simply LOVE canoeing with my family and I also like spending time in my hammock, reading books or staring up at the sky. That’s a nice way to recap my day and have a little chat with my cat.

(C) copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Serendipity knocks

As I was closing my studio preparing for a long summer holiday, serendipity knocked on my door. It’s said that “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear!” I never thought that quoting these words in my June blog post would make a difference, but Boy! Was I wrong! 

So be prepared for what you wish for! 

(C) copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

My art practise is my life line

Almost every single day I create something. That’s my priority. I feel like my studio time fills me with energy. Expressing myself through painting, sketching and collage helps me be more aware of what is going on inside, especially when things are busy outside and the world situation is hard to grasp. 

Having fun is my fuel

The hardest part of creating is finding my own voice. On my way through art school, workshops and classes I somehow lost my joy. Last spring I dragged myself into the studio, only to find that I didn’t like what I was creating. Now, that sucks! Imagine going to your happy place, getting stuck and feeling frustrated. Some say that being an artist is like having a midlife crisis your entire life… 

(C) copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo – Having fun is my fuel!

Serendipity knocks

Thanks to my art friend Cheri, whom I met through the international creative community Canary Rising, I finally discovered “My Octopus Teacher” – if you haven’t watched that film yet, please do! 

Brilliant teachings

What a life changing experience to have found British abstract artist Louise Fletcher and her brilliant teachings. Louise is a down to earth teacher with excellent motivational skills and strategies that really helps you get back to basics, letting loose and feeling free! 

Louise’s free taster course in the first half of June filled me with so much joy and hope that I signed up for a full ten week course and skipped my summer holidays! 

I’m so excited! I can hardly wait for next week’s teachings and assignment! 

(C) copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo – I love ripping off the tape

Spiralling upwards, downwards or sideways?

In art school my teachers often talked about how artists work in spirals, meaning that when learning new techniques you add to your toolbox so you can make art at a higher level. So far, so good. 

The downside of learning all that new stuff is that you might get lost, forget about who you are as an artist and spiral yourself down, or enter someone else’s spiral. 

Last spring I felt tense and stuck. I didn’t seem to get anything right. I was sick and tired of creating paintings that sucked. I had completely lost my joy and I felt like spiralling downwards. And I had absolutely no clue how to push my art further. 

Don’t stop looking!

But: If you’re searching for something, even if you cannot pinpoint exactly what it is, don’t stop looking – because one day you will find what resonates with you! For me having fun is essential; I love playing and experimenting! For me Louise’s and her team’s teachings are spot on! 

This is my journey –  I will find my joy – and make my studio my happy place!

(C) copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Summertime fine

Today painting almost feels like an out-of-body experience, I’m so excited and I love love love being in flow having fun in my studio. 

Think this will be a great summer!

My art journey

My journey as an artist began ten years ago as I entered the local art school for a week-long summer course called Finding Your Artistic Voice. I was a complete beginner. Except for a few attempts with watercolor, I had never painted before and barely knew upside down on the paint brush. 

One of my first paintings (c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

I found my true calling

On day two I realised I had finally found my calling. My results were nothing to brag about, but I loved the creative process. It was a very intense and hot summer week with deep diving into inner landscapes, lovely lunches outside and refreshing swimming in the river with new friends. 

The teacher was a well known artist who sometimes gave me a creepy feeling as she laughed at my beginner attempts at colour mixing and criticised my way of using the paintbrush. Therefore I somehow didn’t think the teacher was walking the talk, but she kind of saw right through me and I was strongly encouraged to enter the two year art program. And for that I am forever grateful. 

A gift from my family

The summer course was a birthday gift from my family. My husband and my son witnessed the immediate impact this creative week course had on my wellbeing, so the following month I enrolled as an art student, finally at the age of 50. Looking back I regret not doing this years ago, but life has been filled with other things. 

The following two years my learning curve was steep as I had spent most of my life fulfilling others expectations, not listening to my inner self. They say there is a crack in everything, and that is where the light gets in. I don’t know who I’d be without my creative practice. Entering my studio is like coming home on a deeper level.

Stressful years

For years I worked full time jobs and made art during evenings, weekends and holidays. I hardly had any energy to meet friends, and my poor family only saw me during meals and when I fell asleep on the sofa totally worn out. I have no idea how many movies I slept through while my tea got cold. 

Working two careers is demanding, and as my everyday life started to feel like a mountain to climb, and I began to feel dead inside, I realised I had to change my priorities and went for less stressful day jobs. Over the years I have spent long hours of hard work alone in the studio to push my art forward. Years of poor income have taught me not to spend money.

(c) Copyright Art by Rekkebo
I love working with colours (c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Never stop dreaming

To me being an artist means quite a few sacrifices. We only have 24 hours and 7 days a week. I plan my days well in order to accomplish what I want. Artist life is sometimes stressful, but I’ll never stop trying to fulfil my dream. 

Trusting my inner voice has been a hard trial, guess I wasn’t brave enough to listen, maybe I was told I wasn’t good enough too often. When you feel your life is too small for you it’s time to make a leap! Time to unfold! Trust your inner voice, it demands to be heard! 

10 years and 10 000 hours later

They say you need about 10 000 hours of practice to become really good at something. My art practice has covered several trials and errors, exploration, failure and happy coincidences. I have painted small and big, painted over again and sold a few. I have taken workshops, had exhibitions, even attended a third year at the local art school. I’ve learnt techniques and made loads of paintings in different styles, but I’m still searching.

10 years later I am eager to find my true artistic voice. But when the student is ready, the teacher will appear! So I carry on. 

(c) Copyright Art by Rekkebo
Never too late (c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Abstractifying my work

Like many artists I dream of pushing my artwork forward so it looks more like the artwork I visualise and the artwork I make while asleep. For years I’ve had vivid dreams about filling really large canvases with abstract non-objective paintings. These paintings look amazing, but when I go painting in my studio my work looks very different. So in order to get a little closer, I’ve made a plan.

(c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

I heard that if you paint from your mind, it won’t work. You have to paint from your heart and soul. The tricky part is that you have to use your intuition to get there. And that might be a challenge, because my intuition has more or less been switched off since early childhood. So what to do? 

Recurring shapes, patterns and lines

Throughout my almost 10 year long art practise I have noticed that some shapes, patterns and lines are recurring over and over again. This especially happens when I’m in flow, when my (over)thinking left brain is taking a break and I just play and explore and completely forget about the rest of the world. When time is totally irrelevant, when I don’t need food, drink or rest. I love being in flow.

My studio is my happy place

Normally my studio is my happy place. But lately I have been feeling tense and restricted when in my studio. I feel stuck. My paintings suck. I don’t seem to get anything right. I’m sick and tired of this whole art project. All the fun is gone and it somehow feels wasteless to stay on my art path. I think I’ve lost my mojo. In times like this one sure needs a change: there is no point in continuing to repeat the same shit. I need to stop doing what I don’t like!

Searching for myself

At some point in art school we did research on our early works to see if there were recurring elements, and we were encouraged to make a log of our personal language of shapes, patterns and marks. Last spring while working on my graduate project, I made a journal containing my visual alphabet. This spring I went through my existing body of work looking for composition details. And, to my nice surprise, I found some good stuff that I really like. So, there is hope! 

(c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Next step collage

Next step in my process is making collage based on my findings. Making collage is both fun and challenging. Making my own collage material is a playful way to start my day in the studio. I find that working with a set of limitations gives me freedom to experiment within the set frames, and I often use a timer to avoid overthinking what I’m up to. The main thing is to let loose, to play, experiment and have fun! If it’s not fun, then I’m on the wrong track!

Mixed media

Recently I started experimenting with mixed media and I kind of like the combination of layering with acrylic paint, collage materials, ink, markers, charcoal and oil sticks. I’ve come to think of the layers as life experiences. In the studio some of them are covered up, but they still shine through or stick out like traces of history. It’s all part of what makes a person, or an artwork unique. Life in and outside the studio is not so different after all. 

(c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Cruising the internet

I’m not sure how smart it is to scroll through facebook, instagram and watch youtube videos when you are in search of yourself… but I admit I sometimes do, even if it is really scary to see how good some artists are. 

I try not to compare myself with others, but sometimes I stumble over things that remind me of the art from my dreams, so I try to figure out how they have made their artworks and try to adapt some of the findings into my own work. The possibilities are overwhelming and I often get confused and frustrated when I cannot make it work. Now that’s a vicious circle.

Evolving as an artist

I never understand artists who make the same paintings over and over again. Some of them claim to have a ball, while others are frustrated and stuck with gallery expectations. Maybe there’s something wrong with me because I easily get bored and want to try something different, explore and see what happens. Maybe I haven’t found myself as an artist yet? 

Inner landscapes

I heard that real artists paint from their heart and soul. But when creating from your heart and soul, you need to get in contact with your inner true self. The only gut feeling I ever had was stomach pain due to food allergies. Growing up I experienced that feelings often made things worse and that logic and reasoning was the way to go. Years later I find that it takes courage to look inside, and you never know what shows up from the subconscious layers. The question is how do I express my emotions in abstract ways that touch your feelings? 

(c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Having fun is my fuel 

Right now the trick is to find what keeps my creative juices flowing. I need to find a way of nurturing myself, a means to fill the artist part of me with fuel that keeps me going, energy that keeps me pushing my art forward and closer to the paintings I dream of making. I need to free myself and unstuck whatever is holding me back. Because I love creating, I honestly don’t know who I am without my creative studio time. I suspect that my fuel is HAVING FUN! 

Developing a unique style

When letting loose and having fun in my studio is established, I will explore and experiment different methods of putting things together in my personal abstract mix. I can hardly wait, all of a sudden I am super duper motivated! I love planning, and I know I’ll get there!

Even if it takes a lifetime

As long as I am creating there is hope! I will keep on searching for my artistic voice and continue abstractifying my work. Some say it takes a lifetime. I suspect I will need another incarnation to fulfil my dream, but I will never give up! 

(c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

My global collage village

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and expect nothing! A year ago I had no idea what impact Covid-19 would have around the globe and how it would affect my daily life. Today I know a lot more. I’m glad I didn’t know everything forehand. Sometimes it’s best to accept the situation and don’t push the river, so to speak.

Cancelled and closed

I admit it has been a bit tricky to stay optimistic the past year. I mean, most of my plans are on hold and the corona situation will probably make sure it stays like that for quite some time. Like many other artists, the only thing I can do is work, work, work alone in my studio and hope for better times to come. Sometimes it feels like my painting sessions continue long into my sleep, like a neverending story. 

All shows are cancelled. All workshops are cancelled. Even art supply shops are closed. I have run out of several mediums and therefore have to improvise.  Most likely I’ll have to order something from an online store just to get things going.

Making collage (c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

No man is an island – or?

They say “no man is an island” meaning that most people need to be part of a community in order to thrive. This capital city has been more or less closed down for five months and we are all pretty isolated. Maybe it’s time to rethink how we downsize our health care systems, organize our work and communities and how we live our lives? 

As some of you have read and commented on earlier, an art school is not particularly suitable for online schooling while working on your graduate project. Last year Covid-19 forced all supervision to take place in a virtual classroom and in such moments it’s hard to keep the motivation going. In times like this you have to trust the process and seek inspiration elsewhere.

Small collages in the making (c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

My global collage village

A year ago, as Oslo closed down, I quickly understood that I needed to get myself a hobby and a creative online community to hang out with. Luckily I came across a fantastic group of international collage artists. I have learned so much from making collage, taking online classes, discussing with morning birds and night owls and hanging out with these wonderful people. My art collection has grown along with my hope! So thank you Canaries, you really inspire me to grow my wings! 

April 1. 2020 I made my very first 5 minute intuitive collage. One year later I have taken on a few challenges and made some progress. I do not compare myself to artists with 10 plus years of experience – they do amazing works! And I’m still a beginner. But as long as I’m happy, I carry on. Doing it my way. I find making collage to be both relaxing and challenging and very suitable in my ongoing process of abstractifying my work.

This April (2021) I focused on making a series of 36 collages and I’m actually quite happy with some of them. A few even found their way overseas. I will definitely dedicate more time to working with collage. But first I will try to add collage into my paintings.

36 small collages on my wall (c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Coming in from the cold with fresh eyes 

We had a really cold winter this year. Since I have moved my studio home, opening windows was not a preferred thing to do, so I had to come up with less smelly ways of working. Making collage is one of them. Working small and journaling is another. Rethinking and retextualisation is part of the process. So I’m not looking for “new landscapes”, I use “fresh eyes” to see what is already there. 

It’s not always what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. So, I’m kind of looking for traces, searching for myself…or rather; new ways of “inventing” my art. 

What if?

When time is abundant and money is scarce, when your studio is smaller than your big dreams, when you run out of your favourite art supplies – what do you do? You either freak out or you try new things! I wonder what happens if I do this or that? Or try another way? My next project might be using my grandmother’s sewing machine on my canvases. The sewing machine that only runs backwards. Wohoo, that might be a lot of fun!

Never give up, keep trying and practise every day! Success comes in many different shapes and forms. Have faith and have fun!

Flower Power

Most people seem to like every season, enjoying snowboarding and skiing during the winter. I never really fancied the cold as it makes me tired, frustrated and sick. Where I grew up we missed the sun for a couple of months during winter and everyday life was quite gloomy. 

Grandma’s flowers

Luckily my grandmother knew a trick or two to endure life. Her favourite spring hobby was FLOWERS. We looked through all her floral magazines, took care of her pelargoniums and planned the flower beds, while listening to popular flower power music on the radio. And of course, while waiting for the snow to melt, Grandma encouraged the little artist to make colourful drawings and paintings of all the spring flowers to come. 

So… when the going gets tough, I make flowers! Just like Grandma taught me

(c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Dreaming of summer

In my last blogg, I wrote about how February was quite challenging and that I started dreaming of summer by making small mixed media paintings of vases and urns to focus on something positive after months of cold winds, snow and darkness. Not to mention the pandemic still going on.

Main focus in March

My main focus in March is a continuation of February’s work; “same same, but different”. Abstract painting is where I feel most at home. This month I work bigger and bolder, on stretched canvas and trying my best to experiment and implement new techniques into my work. Daylight is back in my studio for a few hours every day, weather and health conditions are improving and hope is slowly returning. Even the cat seems happier. Life is finally returning!

Large canvases

Working on large canvases means you need more energy to stand upright for hours, walking back and forth looking at and working the canvas. Of course, you need a lot more time to finish a large painting than a small. Some days I feel up to it, other days I don’t. But the overall feeling is good, and I will have to go with the flow.

(c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

New series of paintings

Going really big is still out of the question, due to circumstances, but I am an optimistic person and started working on 9 canvases of various sizes (from 50×40 cm up to 80×60 cm). Before the month is over I have finished 3 of them, 3 still need a few more layers and some finishing touches, and 3 has a way to go. Hopefully they will all be finished and ready to exhibit after pandemic restrictions are gone. Time will show.

Playful days

My art practise is full of surprises. Every month I work on various projects, sizes and media. I like playing and exploring new possibilities (what happens if I do this or that?) and learning new techniques. Reading, journaling and writing poems is also part of my creative work. 

Next month I plan to relax with my family during Easter Holidays and work on improving my collage making skills. I really want to reach the next level!

Take care and make sure to have some fun! Life is too important to be taken seriously!

(c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Think big, work small

Oh boy, what a freezing cold February we had this year. The cat cried and refused to leave the house. My brain was going in circles, so I forced myself to endure the short walk to the local library once a week to pick up a stack of interesting books before crawling back under the blanket together with my poor cat. 

(c) art by rekkebo

Lack of motivation

I had numerous cups of tea and felt like decomposing every time I looked out the window. No motivational quotes would ever get me through this horrible winter. I realised I had to DO SOMETHING to get myself back on track. I had to step up!

Nurturing myself

Still not feeling fit for fight after being sick on and off since last spring when the pandemic hit, I decided to go back to my old friend yoga. Sadly I found that even very small doses of yoga would knock me out for 2-3 days, so I had to plan well to avoid the fatigue reaction and think of new ways to nurture my creative self. 

In case you wondered, severe headaches, neck pain and brain fog does not exactly boost your cognitive resources. I could barely focus nor think, and the same thoughts repeated themselves over and over again. Luckily they were happy thoughts!

Dreaming of summer

For days and weeks I could think of nothing but spring flowers and lazy summer days, so I obeyed and started painting what my mind was full of.

With so little energy to spend each day, I realised I had to sit down at my desk and work small. My initial plans of going big this spring was out of the question. 

Looking for motifs

A year ago I was working on my third year graduate art project and looking through my sketchbooks I found my mother’s vases and my grandma’s urns. I had a new project!

Abstract painting is where I feel most at home. But working small is a challenge. I also wanted to add more layers and introduce some new techniques in my paintings. Maybe try out new colour combinations as well. 

Think big, work small

There are many advantages when working small: You can sit down at your desk while working. You can finish a small painting in a relatively small amount of time. You can make several variations of the same motif and try out different things. You might take a picture of your painting and put it through one of those interior apps to see what it would look like on a big scale. Some of them turn out pretty cool – and one day I just might PAINT BIG again!

(c) art by rekkebo

21 days in my art world

Wohoo! Kickstarting the new year with 21 glimpses from my art world. This challenge is a new experience for me, and I had so much fun sharing from behind the scenes. Thank you for joining me on this adventure!

Happy artist (c) art by rekkebo
Happy artist (c) art by rekkebo

The #21daysinmyartworld challenge, by artist Tara Leaver, is designed with daily prompts to shed some light on my art process, and allow you to get to know the artist behind the work.

Juhu! Sparker i gang det nye året med 21 glimt fra min kunstverdenen. Denne utfordringen er en ny opplevelse for meg og det var litt skummelt, men mest moro, å dele litt fra hva som skjer bak kulissene. Takk for at du ble med på dette eventyret!

Utfordringen # 21daysinmyartworld av kunstneren Tara Leaver, kommer med daglige tips til hvordan kaste lys over kunstprosessen og gi deg muligheter til å bli litt kjent med kunstneren bak arbeidet.

Daily prompts

The prompts made me reflect and share with you some of the insights I’ve made so far; like sometimes you have to let go of the old to make room for something new – and how I start my days in the studio to create happiness and energy for the more focused work to come, and how not to end my days (by ruining the painting). 

I posted some of my favourite paintings, current motifs, work in progress and I shared pics from my creative nest (studio) and revealed a few secrets, some milestones of my artist journey. And of course, I introduced the audience to my important tuxedo muses.

The adventure took me to new horizons; I made new friends, read fascinating stories and learned so much from other artists of all levels taking part in this challenge. I am so impressed how artists think outside the box to get past obstacles like time, place and space in order to do what they like most; making art.

Daglige utfordringer

Ved å delta i denne utfordringen fikk jeg anledning til å reflektere og dele noen av erfaringene jeg har gjort så langt. Slik som at man noen ganger må gi slipp på det gamle for å få plass til noe nytt – og hvordan begynner dagene i atelieret for å oppnå mest mulig skaperglede, energi og fokus for mer tidkrevende presisjonsarbeid. Og fremfor alt hvordan jeg skal unngå å ødelegge for meg selv.

Jeg har delt noen av favorittmaleriene mine, aktuelle motiver, pågående arbeid og bilder fra det kreative reiret mitt (atelieret). Jeg delte både hemmeligheter og milepæler fra min kunstneriske reise. Og jeg introduserte noen av mine viktigste inspirasjonskilder.

Utfordringen tok meg til andre horisonter, jeg fikk nye venner, leste fascinerende historier og lærte masse fra kunstnere på ulike nivåer som også deltok i dette eventyret. Jeg er så imponert over hvordan kunstnere tenker utenfor boksen for å komme forbi hindringer som tid og sted for å gjøre det de liker best; å lage kunst.

(c) art by rekkebo

I make art, therefore I am an artist! 

My grandmother kept telling everyone that I was going to be an artist. I think I sold my first drawing at the age of 5, and I kept on drawing, painting with watercolours and photographing for years and years. But I didn’t think of myself as an artist, even if “everyone” suggested I was one. The turning point came at 50 as I entered a summer course at the local art school. I’ll never ever forget that tuesday in july when I finally found what I have been looking for. The summer art course was a gift from my son and husband. And I have painted almost every day since then.

Jeg lager kunst, ergo er jeg kunstner!

Min bestemor fortalte alle at jeg skulle bli kunstner når jeg ble stor. Jeg tror jeg solgte min første tegning da jeg var 5 år, og jeg fortsatte å tegne, male med akvarellfarger og fotografere år etter år. Men jeg tenkte aldri på meg selv som kunstner, selv om “alle” mente jeg var det. Vendepunktet kom da jeg var 50 og tok et sommerkurs på den lokale kunstskolen. Jeg glemmer aldri den tirsdagen i juli da jeg endelig fant det jeg hadde lett etter. Sommerkurset var en gave fra sønnen og mannen min. Siden har jeg malt nesten hver dag!

Thank you

Loved to take this journey with you and show you what’s inside my art world. Thank you for supporting me, thanks for all your likes and cheerful comments! You are such a wonderful audience!

Stay tuned for next month’s journey exploring my unique artistic voice!

Tusen takk

Det har vært kjempefint å dele denne reisen med deg og vise deg litt fra innsiden av min kunstverdenen. Tusen takk for at du heier på meg, gir tommel opp, liker og kommer med oppmuntrende kommentarer! Hatten av for en herlig heiagjeng!

Følg med på neste måneds reise der jeg utforsker min unike kunstneriske stemme!

(c) art by rekkebo

Thank you for buying my art

Thank you so much for buying my art! It gives me a lot of energy and creative joy! Love all your nice feedback and inquiries regarding my work. Unfortunately, I am a little behind with the orders, but trust me they will come!

Tusen takk for at dere kjøper bildene mine! Det gir meg masse energi og skaperglede! Veldig moro med alle hyggelige tilbakemeldinger og henvendelser. Jeg henger dessverre litt etter med bestillingene, men de kommer, de kommer!

Digital theft

It feels horrible to find out that my pictures are stolen and sold on dubious websites. I have previously been spared for digital theft, but this fall I had some devastating news. To avoid future digital thefts, I have therefore changed the quality and image size of what I post online. Sad, because this affects all of you good people with honest intentions.

Digitalt tyveri

Det er skikkelig kjipt når bildene mine stjeles og selges på tvilsomme nettsider. Jeg har tidligere vært forskånet for den slags, men i høst fikk jeg meg en durabelig nedtur. For å unngå fremtidige digitale tyverier, ser jeg meg derfor nødt til å endre kvalitet og bildestørrelse på det jeg legger ut på nett. Trist, fordi dette går utover alle dere som har ærlige hensikter.

A strange year

2020 has been a busy year, and a very different year, marked by Covid-19, which put an end to many plans. The spring term at art school was therefore strongly influenced by online studies, which is far from optimal during the 3rd school year’s most important period working on my graduate project in visual arts. Fortunately, opportunities arose to hold an exhibition in Gallery C-14 when the corona restrictions opened up for it. This autumn has also been characterized by restrictions, but you learn to improvise, so I have spent my autumn months well; they have been packed with new inspiration and long work hours in my studio.

Et underlig år

2020 har vært et travelt år, og et veldig annerledes år preget av Covid-19 som satte en stopper for mange planer. Vårsemesteret ved kunstskolen ble derfor sterkt preget av nettstudier, hvilket er langt fra optimalt under 3.årets viktigste periode og arbeidet med hovedoppgaven. Heldigvis kom muligheter for å arrangere utstilling i galleri C-14 når korona-restriksjonene åpnet for det. Høstsemesteret har også vært preget av restriksjoner, men man lærer å improvisere, så jeg har brukt høstmånedene godt, de har vært fullspekket av ny inspirasjon og intenst arbeid i atelieret.

Closed studio

This December, my studio has been closed after a busy autumn and I have spent time with my family. Truth be told, my health has faltered a little bit more than usual this strange year. I have therefore tried to spoil and nurture myself during this dark period of the year. Because health is important for my creativity. 

I feel fine and I’m looking forward to getting back in my studio. I have so many ideas and soon it’s time to plan for the year to come. I hope for a prosperous year!

In the meantime, I wish you all a happy new year!

Stengt atelier

Denne desembermåneden har atelieret vært stengt etter en travel høst og jeg har brukt tid og energi på familien. Sant å si så har vel helsa skranglet litt mer enn vanlig dette underlige året, jeg har derfor forsøkt å pleie meg selv litt ekstra godt i denne mørke tiden. For helsa er viktig for kreativiteten, så det er godt å kjenne at det kribler litt og at jeg gleder meg til å komme igang igjen med å lage bilder. 

Jeg har mange ideer og snart er det tid for å planlegge året som kommer. La oss inderlig håpe det blir et fruktbart år!

I mellomtiden ønsker jeg alle et riktig godt nytt år!

(c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Twitter Art Exhibit – TAE20

Through art we can change the world! Twitter Art Exhibit (TAE20) utilizes social media and public engagement to generate income for charities and nonprofit organizations. 80% of the art sale goes directly to a different charity each year.

TAE20 is the 10th anniversary and I am proud to announce that this is the fourth year I take part in Twitter Art Exhibit by donating a mini piece of original art especially made for this global event. This year my entry made the front cover of the catalogue.

10th anniversary #TAE20

About TAE

Twitter Art Exhibit was founded by scandinavian artist David Sandum in 2009. This is the 10th year TAE make the world a little bit better through the sale of original postcard-sized artwork. 

Charity exhibit 

This year’s Twitter Art Exhibit was originally scheduled for April, but had to be postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions. TAE20 is curated by Debanjana Bhattacharjee and will be hosted in Myrtle Beach, USA. The exhibition will take place at local artist William H. Miller’s gallery.

Here is my postcard-sized, handmade original artwork.

Miss Myrtle – Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Where to find it

The chosen charity to benefit from this global art exhibition is Horry County Disabilities and Special Needs – HCDSN, located in Myrtle Beach/Conway area of South Carolina. HCDSN aims to develop and extend the art program to offer additional art classes as well as enhance the individual’s opportunity to also engage in statewide community art exhibitions. Read more about HCDSN here https://hcdsn.org/ 

The TAE20 catalogue

Please help us make a difference!

Myrtle Beach,

TAE20 exhibition dates: Sept 4-8, 2020

Venue: William H. Miller Studios & Fine Art

714 Main St,

SC – 29577

USA

Online Sale: An online sale will follow https://hcdsn.shop/collections/all

Read more at https://www.twitterartexhibit.org/ 

PÅ NORSK

Gjennom kunst kan vi forandre verden! Twitter Art Exhibit (TAE20) bruker sosiale medier og offentlig engasjement for å generere inntekter for veldedige organisasjoner og ideelle organisasjoner. 80% av kunstsalget går direkte til veldedighet hvert år.

TAE har tiårsjubileum i år og jeg er deltar  i Twitter Art Exhibit for fjerde gang gjennom å donere original kunst i et format spesielt laget for denne globale begivenheten. I år kom bidraget mitt med på forsiden av katalogen. Så gøy!

Om TAE

Twitter Art Exhibit ble grunnlagt av den skandinaviske kunstneren David Sandum i 2009. Dette er det tiende året TAE gjør verden litt bedre gjennom salg av originale kunst i postkortstørrelse.

Årets Twitter Art Exhibit var opprinnelig planlagt til april, men måtte utsettes på grunn av Covid-19 restriksjoner. TAE20 er kuratert av Debanjana Bhattacharjee og vil finne sted i Myrtle Beach, USA i galleriet til den lokale kunstneren William H. Miller.

Veldedighetsutstilling

Årets utvalgte veldedighetsorganisasjon er Horry County Disabilities and Special Needs – HCDSN, som ligger i Myrtle Beach / Conway-området i South Carolina. HCDSN har som mål å utvikle og utvide kunstprogrammet og tilby flere kunstklasser, samt forbedre den enkeltes mulighet til å delta i statlige samfunnskunstutstillinger. Les mer om organisasjonen her https://hcdsn.org/ 

Bli med å gjøre en forskjell du også!

Her er utstillingen

TAE20 utstillingsdatoer: 4-8 september 2020

Sted: William H. Miller Studios & Fine Art

714 Main St,

Myrtle Beach,

SC – 29577

USA

Les mer på https://www.twitterartexhibit.org/

Online salg: Når utstillingen er over kan du handle bilder online

https://hcdsn.shop/collections/all

Exhibition at Gallery C-14, Oslo

Hurray! It’s time for the graduation and exhibition!

It has been a somewhat strange spring, with online teaching, chat groups and conversations. Online guidance in painting is far from optimal, but we made it! Big thanks to teachers and fellow students for heroic efforts and groundbreaking work in a twisted corona era.

Avgangsutstilling i galleri C-14

Hurra! da er vårens fordypningsprosjekt i havn og det er tid for avgangsklassens utstilling! 

En litt rar vår har det vært, med online undervisning, chattegrupper og samtaler i ymse kanaler. Online-veiledning i maleri er ikke helt optimalt, men bevares vi fikk det da til, så klapp på skulderen til lærer og medstudenter for heroisk innsats og nybrottsarbeid i en vrien koronatid. 

Photo by Sebastian Gabriel Nord
Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Busy days

We are up for busy but pleasant days when the graduate class finally gathers at school again. Creative processes are presented, paintings must be completed and prepared for exhibition.

The school year will last 6 weeks longer than planned because the art school’s original exhibition is canceled due to coronary restrictions. Instead the class will arrange a graduate exhibition at the school’s gallery C-14 in Oslo.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible for some of the students to participate under the prevailing circumstances. Our class consists of both experienced and inexperienced exhibitors. The previous workshop in curation and exhibition preparation comes in handy here, because there is a lot of work to be performed, responsibilities and work tasks that must be distributed. After all, we are going to arrange our own graduation exhibition. All by ourselves.

Travle dager

Det blir travle men hyggelige dager når klassen endelig kan samles på skolen igjen. Kreative prosesser skal dokumenteres og presenteres, malerier må sluttføres og klargjøres for utstilling.

Skoleåret blir i praksis 6 uker lengre enn planlagt fordi kunstskolens opprinnelige utstilling må utgå pga koronarestriksjoner. Klassen får i stedet tilbud om å gjennomføre en egen utstilling i  skolens galleri C-14 på ærverdige Frogner. 

Det er dessverre ikke mulig for alle å delta under de rådende omstendigheter, men vi blir en fin gjeng av både erfarne og uerfarne utstillere. Her kommer workshopen i kuratering og utstillingsforberedelser godt med, for det er en god del praktisk arbeid som skal utføres og ansvars- og arbeidsoppgaver som må fordeles. For vi skal jo arrangere vår egen avgangsutstilling. Helt selv.

Photo by Sebastian Gabriel Nord – Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Vernissage

It’s time for the opening in Gallery C-14 which is located in Colbjørnsensgate 14 in beautiful Frogner, Oslo. Exhibition period 24-28 June 2020.

The gallery is intimate, and Midsummer Day is very hot. We are excited, but fear people will not  show up in the afternoon heat. Fortunately, they do; family, friends, friends of friends, acquaintances and some casual passers-by. Everyone is welcome!

Our wonderful teacher Henriette Emilie Finne gives the opening speech. The photographer has arrived, life is good and there are free drinks for everyone. Artists are happy, but too tired to celebrate. The evening passes by, not quite like back in the days where absinthe flows and artists celebrate all through the night. Most of us will go to work early in the morning.

Photo: Sebastian Gabriel Nord

Vernissage

Så er dagen endelig kommet: Det er tid for vernissage i Galleri C-14 som ligger i Colbjørnsensgate 14 på ærverdige Frogner i Oslo. Utstillingsperiode 24.-28.juni 2020.

Lokalet er intimt, men det er høyt under taket. Dagen etter St Hansaften er vakker og smellvarm og vi er spente på om folk orker å møte opp i ettermiddagsheten. Det gjør de heldigvis; familie, venner og bekjente, kjente og ukjente og noen tilfeldig forbipasserende. Alle er velkomne! 

Vår supre lærer Henriette Emilie Finne holder åpningstalen, fotografen er på plass, stemningen er god og det er nok drikke til alle. Kunstnerne er lykkelige, men alt for slitne til å feire. Kvelden ble dermed ikke helt som i de gamle kunstnermytene hvor absinten flyter og kunstnerne feirer til den lyse morgen. Mange av oss skal på jobb i morgen tidlig.

Photo by Sebastian Gabriel Nord – Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

The hottest week of the summer

The summer has arrived in full force. But I have hardly noticed, because I have spent days and weeks painting in my studio. Oslo seems to be almost empty. Holidays are here with beautiful summer dresses and bouncy children on their way to the beach. Mothers with picnic baskets and small dogs. Every now and then a working dad passes by on his electric bike.

My class is at gallery C-14 to showcase the results from a long, creative working process carried out mostly in isolation due to Covid-19 restrictions. Oslo has opened up again and we take turns in the hot gallery. We bring a lot of water and run for ice cream. As we get hold of a fan to cool down the gallery, people start walking in.

It feels good when visitors are interested in the displayed works. I hand out business cards hoping that visitors will take a closer look at my website and art blog.

Den varmeste uken på hele sommeren 

Sommeren er kommet for fullt, men det har jo knapt vi kunstnerne merket som har stått inne og malt de siste 3 ukene. Storbyen virker nesten folketom, mange har tatt ferie. Flagrende sommerkjoler og hoppende barn med badering rundt livet er på vei til eller fra stranda, ekvipasjer med piknikkurver og små hunder på slep. En og annen pappa haster forbi på elsykkel med tomt barnesete.

Så er vi her da, for å vise fram sluttresultatet av en lang, kreativ arbeidsprosess denne litt rare våren preget av mye alenetid og avstand pga korona. Vi bytter på å være utstillingsvakt i det kokhete lokalet. Det går med mye vann og vi går i skytteltrafikk til nærbutikken for å kjøpe is. Heldigvis får vi tak i en vifte som hjelper betraktelig på både humøret og publikumsinteressen. 

Det er alltid stas når publikum er interessert i arbeidene og kunstnerne som stiller ut. Det er lurt å ha visittkort klare for å dele ut, for det kan jo tenkes at besøkende vil ta en en nærmere titt på hjemmesiden til noen av kunstnerne, eventuelt også ønsker info om neste utstilling.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

My four big paintings

I decided to exhibit the large paintings I painted at the end of my process. All four are painted with acrylic and oil pastels, they measure 47 x 37 inches and are mounted on stretched canvas.

Top left: The red roomTop right: My favorite armchair
Bottom left: I need more coffeeBottom right: Let’s rest a little
Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Mine fire store malerier

Jeg bestemte meg for å stille ut mine fire største malerier, selve sluttproduktet av prosessen. Alle er malt med akryl og oljepastell, de måler 120 x 96 cm og er montert på oppspent lerret.

Top left: Det raude rommetTop right: Godstolen
Bottom left: Eg må ha meir kaffiBottom right: Lat oss kvila litt

Then came the rain

After a hot, cloudless week with blue, blue sky, loads of sunshine the rain comes pouring down. It’s like the sky opens up. The rain washes down over dusty city streets, half-dried flower beds and thirsty trees.

We run for the bus between the showers and arrive at the gallery just in time to avoid getting soaked. We rig down and prepare the gallery for next week’s exhibition. It feels good to finish an exhibition, because in my head ideas are flourishing with my next creative process.

Så kom regnet 

Etter en hel uke med skyfri himmel, solsteik – og nummeret før storbyen får heteslag, kommer regnet. I bøtter og spann. Det er som om himmelen åpner seg og regnet skyller ned over støvtørre bygater, halvvisne blomsterbed og tørste trær. 

Vi løper til bussen mellom bygene, blir overrasket i påvente av neste buss og ankommer galleriet akkurat i tide til å unngå å bli plaskvåte. Så er det bare å rigge ned og klargjøre lokalet til neste ukes utstilling. Det er alltid godt å bli ferdig med en utstilling, for hodet mitt er allerede langt inne i neste kreative prosess.

Photo by Sebastian Gabriel Nord – Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Thank you!

The third school year has finally come to an end. I have received my diploma and a warm and wonderful graduation exhibition week here at Gallery C-14 has closed.

Thank you for a wonderful school year, everyone! Many thanks to family and friends who have encouraged and cheered me along the way! What would I be without you?

Now I’m off to new adventures!

Tusen takk!

Tredje skoleår er forbi, vitnemålet er i havn, avgangsutstillingen er slutt. Det har vært en varm og flott utstillingsuke her ved Galleri C-14. 

Tusen takk for et herlig skoleår, alle sammen! Hjertelig takk til familie og venner som har oppmuntret og heiet på meg underveis! Uten dere hadde det neppe gått så bra! 

Nå venter nye eventyr!

My graduate project in visual arts

Corona days are here! A few days before Norway closed down on March 12, 2020 our class had started the initial discussions on how to pull off our graduate project. Fortunately, I am experienced in project management, so I made a plan for the entire process.

Easter holidays are spent at home working on a draft for my project. No one is allowed to go to the cabin this year. While the pollen season really beats me up, my teacher says: “Do not let circumstances stop you, limitations are fun, find a way around the challenges!”

Plan A is to keep my head above water and spend time and energy wisely in order to reach my goal. I therefore rearrange my studio to fit both good and bad days. I also decide to start working on a small scale, and possibly work larger towards the end of the project periode – if I’m still standing.

Nydalen Art School is a process-oriented art school with a focus on developing students’ individual expressions. From now on it’s all about mixing everything we’ve learned during the third school year, to make my artistic distinctiveness shine. And how do I do that?

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Hovedoppgave i koronaens tid

Vi hadde knapt rukket å få utdelt hovedoppgaven før Norge stengte ned 12.mars 2020. Heldigvis har jeg lang erfaring fra prosjektarbeid og selvledelse, så jeg setter opp en plan for hva og for hvordan jeg skal gjennomføre hele prosessen frem til innlevering. 

Å jobbe med research og utkast til prosjektbeskrivelse funker fint. Påskeferien tilbringes hjemme. Ingen får dra på hytta i år. Så kom pollensesongen og slo beina under meg. “Ikke la omstendighetene stoppe deg, begrensninger er bare gøy, finn en vei rundt!” Sier læreren.

Plan A er å holde meg frisk nok, og å disponere tid og krefter klokt, slik at jeg kommer i mål. Jeg bygger om atelieret slik at jeg både kan stå og sitte avhengig av dagsform. Og jeg bestemmer meg for å starte smått, for deretter eventuelt å jobbe stort mot slutten, hvis kreftene holder. 

Nydalen Kunstskole er en prosessorientert kunstskole med fokus på å utvikle studentenes individuelle uttrykk. Så nå gjelder det å sette sammen alt vi har lært gjennom det 3. skoleåret på en slik måte at mitt kunstneriske særpreg kommer tydelig fram. Og hvordan gjør jeg det?

The idea phase

During the idea phase everything is possible. What do I want to work on, and why? What do I want to spend my time and energy on? I think back and forth, reflect on what I like, and what I don’t like. I flip through old sketchbooks to find traces of myself, and quickly come to the conclusion that I thrive best in the world of the abstract, which is also reflected in my bookshelf.

The winter holiday week was spent in the studio working on my abstract expression. I explore new elements that I want to bring into my graduate project.

Idefasen 

I idefasen er det lurt å være åpen. Hva vil jeg jobbe med og hvorfor akkurat dette? Hva ønsker jeg å bruke tid og energi på? Jeg kaster ball med meg selv; reflekterer over hva jeg liker og ikke liker. Jeg blar i gamle skissebøker for å finne spor av meg selv og kommer raskt frem til at jeg trives aller best i det abstraktes verden, noe som også gjenspeiles i bokhylla.

Vinterferieuka ble tilbrakt i atelieret for å jobbe med mitt abstrakte uttrykk. Jeg utforsket nye elementer som jeg ønsker å ta med meg videre, inn i hovedoppgaven. 

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Searching for myself

A crucial part in my artistic development is to develop my personal style. What narratives do I want to tell, and how do I express them with paintbrush and palette? How do I find my pictorial dialect, my language, my vocabulary on the easel?

Throughout the school year, we have been working on identity. Questions like “Who am I as an artist?” or “Who am I in the world?” requires complex answers. What’s special about me and my art? What do I want to express and why? To answer these questions, I have to ask myself: Where do I come from?

Many artists claim that childhood is an everlasting source of inspiration, because in childhood everything is new and magical. I have few memories from growing up, so I have to dig deep to find my way into the realm of childhood.

På leting etter meg selv

En viktig del i prosessen for å komme videre i min kunstneriske utvikling er å finne min personlige stil. Hva vil jeg fortelle og hvordan uttrykker jeg det med pensel og palett? Hvordan finner jeg min maleriske dialekt, mitt språk, mitt vokabular på staffeliet?

Hele skoleåret har vi jobbet med identitet. Spørsmålene “Hvem er jeg som kunstner?” og “Hvem er jeg i verden?” er ikke enkle å svare på. Hva er det særegne ved meg og min kunst? Hva ønsker jeg å formidle og hvorfor? For å besvare disse spørsmålene må jeg stille meg spørsmålet: Hvor kommer jeg fra?  

Mange kunstnere hevder at barndommen er en uuttømmelig kilde til inspirasjon, fordi i barndommen er alt vi opplever nytt og magisk. Jeg har få minner fra oppveksten, så jeg må grave helt innerst i boden for å finne veien inn til barndommens rike. 

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Sketch process and motif development

With inspiration from heirlooms such as furniture, textiles, handicrafts and photo albums, I make a sketchbook with memories and patterns from back in the days.

I simplify, stylize and abstract form elements and patterns, and plan to set my findings into new contexts. Grandma’s striped rugs are familiar elements, as are the checkered kitchen floor, patterns on mugs, curtains, clothes and wallpaper. Nowadays such designs can be found around flea markets and second-hand shops. But in times of corona I google what is hidden and forgotten.

The more I draw, the more I remember. Soon my book is full of sketches and color samples. It’s time to start painting pictures which are not representations of my experienced reality, but which hopefully are open to different interpretations depending on the viewer’s own experiences.

Skisseprosess og motivutvikling

Med inspirasjon fra arvegods som møbler, tekstiler, håndarbeid og fotoalbum lager jeg en skissebok med minner og mønstre fra den gang da.

Jeg forenkler, stiliserer og abstraherer formelementer, mønstre og har en plan om å sette det inn i nye sammenhenger. Farmors stripete filleryer er kjente elementer, likeså det rutete kjøkkengulvet, mønstrene på kopper og kar, gardiner, klær og tapeter. Mange av den tidens design finnes rundt omkring på loppemarkeder og i bruktbutikker, men i koronaens tid googler jeg det som er gjemt og glemt.

Jo mer jeg tegner, desto mer husker jeg. Snart er boken full av skisser og fargeprøver. Det er på tide å begynne å male bilder – som ikke er reelle gjengivelser fra min opplevde virkelighet, men som er åpne for ulike tolkninger beroende på betrakterens egne erfaringer.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Framework

During the sketching process, vague memories have emerged: rooms with open windows and fluttering curtains, creaking armchairs, striped rugs, patterned wallpaper, small glimpses of festive meals and livingrooms with chandeliers and candelabra. I remember sneaking around exploring everything, whenever my parents were taking a nap, and when visiting relatives.

I want my graduate project to be a bit more challenging than just decorating a few canvases. Therefore I set some framework for my project. 

I have decided working on memories, figuratively but abstractly. I go for a limited color range in an attempt to reflect the time’s color scheme. I go for a dynamic height format, instead of a calmer square or horizontal format.

I start by sketching lots of small ideas and then pursue some of them, working my way towards larger formats and more finished images. 

Painting takes time. There are many decisions to make along the way. Therefore, I like to line out some limits to avoid drowning in possibilities. I follow the plan and stick to my schedule. 

Rammer for prosjektet

Underveis i skisseprosessen har det dukket opp vage minner fra rom med åpne vinduer og blafrende gardiner, knirkende godstoler, filleryer, mønstrede tapeter og tepper, små glimt fra festlige måltider og høytidelige bestestuer med lysekroner og kandelabre. Jeg husker at jeg snek meg rundt og undersøkte alt som var spennende når de voksne tok en lur og særlig når vi en sjelden gang var på besøk hos slektninger. 

Hovedoppgaven skal jo ikke bare være pynt på et lerret, så derfor formulerer jeg noen rammer for prosjektet. Noen utfordringer er godt å bryne seg på, ellers blir det fort kjedelig.

Jeg har valgt å jobbe med minner, figurativt men abstrahert. Jeg går for et begrenset fargeutvalg i et forsøk på å gjenspeile tidens koloritt. Ved å velge høydeformat får det romlige en spenstigere dynamikk, enn i et kvadratisk eller horisontalt format. 

Jeg liker å jobbe serielt og starter med å lage mange små ideskisser. Deretter forfølger jeg enkelte ideer og forkaster andre. Jeg jobber meg videre i stadig større formater, mot mer ferdige bilder. Jeg følger planen og holder meg til mitt oppsatte tidsskjema. 

Det tar tid å male, det er mange muligheter og mange beslutninger som må taes underveis. Derfor er det godt å ha satt noen rammer først. 

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Online schooling

As an artist, you get used to working alone in the studio for long periods. I have spent most of my spare time on painting since the summer of 2011 when I picked up the paintbrushes again. Therefore, I was well prepared when Norway was shut down due to Covid-19 overnight. My art school closed on March 12. The instructions for our graduate project were just handed out, and my class was in the middle of a group project curating an exhibition. 

Truth be told, a painting school is not particularly suitable for online schooling. Covid-19 forced all supervision to take place in a virtual classroom wich makes it almost impossible for supervisor and fellow students to see true color, coats and textures via the screen.

In such moments it’s hard to keep the motivation going. No more studio weekends with classmates. Luckily I have 7 years of studio practice. In times like this you have to trust yourself!

Fjernundervisning

Som kunstner er man jo vant med å stå alene i atelieret over lange perioder. Jeg har stort sett brukt all min fritid på dette siden jeg tok opp igjen malepenslene sommeren 2011. Derfor var jeg godt forberedt da hele Norge ble stengt ned på grunn av Covid-19 over natten. Kunstskolen stengte 12.mars. Vi hadde nettopp fått utdelt vårens hovedoppgave og klassen stod midt i et gruppeprosjekt med kuratering av utstilling.

Når sant skal sies, så er vel ikke en maleskole spesielt godt egnet for fjernundervisning. For oss studenter ble Covid-19 krevende, fordi all veiledning måtte foregå digitalt, hvilket gjør det nesten umulig for veileder og medstudenter å se farger, strøk og teksturer via skjerm. 

Det er lett å miste motivasjonen i en sådan stund. Den planlagte atelier-weekenden gikk også fløyten. Jeg er heldig som har 7 års ateliererfaring, for her må man stole på seg selv!

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

6 more weeks to go

It turns out that the school year will be 6 weeks longer than planned, because the original exhibition gets cancelled due to coronary restrictions. Instead my class will arrange our own graduation exhibition in Gallery C-14 at Frogner in Oslo. So, hang in there!

As we know, there are many choices to make during the painting process. An artist I know says that she has made some of her best decisions when in doubt, so trust the process!

Fortunately, I have stimulating conversations with my family along the way. They are worth their weight in gold. It is especially enriching talking to my son, who studies at Oslo Photo Art School and has been through many of the same topics as me during the school year.

I upgrade my plan. My end product will be 4 large paintings. I can barely carry them, but my family promise to help me out. I’m running on empty, the pollen season has been bad this year. 

I dream that I paint: “The colors will sing, the picture will dance!” the teacher says. The sun is burning outside my windows.

6 uker lengre enn planlagt

Det viser seg at skoleåret i praksis blir 6 uker lengre enn planlagt, fordi den opprinnelige utstillingen må skrinlegges pga koronarestriksjoner. Avgangsklassen får i stedet tilbud om å arrangere vår egen utstilling i Galleri C-14 på Frogner i Oslo, så det er bare å stå på. 

Som nevnt er det mange valg som skal tas underveis i maleprosessen. En kunstner jeg kjenner sier at hun har tvilt seg fram til sine beste avgjørelser.

Heldigvis har jeg inspirerende samtaler med familien underveis. Den heiagjengen er gull verdt. Det er særlig berikende å snakke med sønnen som studerer ved Oslo FotoKunstskole og har vært gjennom mange av de samme temaene som meg i løpet av skoleåret. 

Med 6 uker ekstra oppjusterer jeg planen slik at sluttproduktet blir 4 store malerier. De er så store at jeg knapt kan bære dem, men familien lover å hjelpe meg å bære. Jeg kjenner at kreftene er i ferd med å ta slutt, pollensesongen har vært fæl i år. 

Jeg drømmer at jeg maler: “Fargene skal synge, bildet skal danse!” Sier læreren. Og utenfor vinduene steker sola.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Being an Artist in Today’s Modern World

New Year, New possibilities!

While the autumn semester focused on identity, portrait studies and self-portraits, the third-year students enter a new phase after the New Year. We will reflect on who the artist is in the world: What engages me and how can I make my personal experiences more universal so that more people can recognize themselves?

The goal for the spring semester is to find the personal artistic project. And the school year ends with the main task; an in-depth project of my own choice.

Kunstnerens væren i verden

Nytt år, nye muligheter! 

Mens høstsemesteret handlet om refleksjoner rundt identitet, portrettstudier og selvportrett, går tredjeårsstudentene etter nyttår inn i en ny fase der vi skal se mer på hvem kunstneren er i verden. Hva er det som engasjerer meg og hvordan kan jeg gjøre mine personlige erfaringer mer universelle, slik at flere kan kjenne seg igjen? 

Målet for vårsemesteret er å finne fram til det personlige kunstneriske prosjektet. Og skoleåret avsluttes med hovedoppgaven; et fordypningsprosjekt med selvvalgt tematikk. 

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Workshops

But before we get this far, we will learn various working methods to achieve what we want, such as technical acrylic, serial surveys and motif development. We paint on different surfaces and see how that changes the expression. We also learn methods for enlarging images.

The third-year students also have a section on curation and exhibition preparations, where we go through the whole process, from idea, jury, assembly and implementation of exhibition. All details must be in place. This will add to future collaborative projects and group exhibitions.

Workshops

Men før vi kommer så langt skal vi gjennomgå ulike arbeidsmetoder for å oppnå det vi ønsker, eksempelvis teknisk akryl, serielle undersøkelser og motivutvikling. Vi maler på ulike underlag og ser hvordan det endrer uttrykket og vi lærer metoder for å forstørre bilder. 

Tredjeårsstudentene har også en bolk om kuratering og utstilling der vi gjennomgår hele prosessen, fra ide, juryering, montering og gjennomføring av utstilling. Alle detaljer må på plass og dette er nyttig læring med tanke på fremtidige samarbeidsprosjekter og gruppeutstillinger. 

Based on our own experiences

The most important thing about a portrait is to reproduce the personality and this is not always done via portrait similarity. In the fall semester, we abstracted more and more. Now we enter a phase where we will make a “portrait” of ourselves as an artist, but without using portraits as part of the composition.

Based on our own experiences the starting point is photographs, events and experiences. The mission is to express these experiences so that the images can evoke emotions in the viewer.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Med utgangspunkt i egne opplevelser

Det viktigste med et portrett er å gjengi personligheten og det gjøres ikke alltid via portrettlikhet. I høstsemesteret abstraherte vi mer og mer. Nå går vi over i en fase der vi skal lage et “portrett” av oss selv som kunstner, men uten å bruke portrett som del av komposisjonen. 

Vi tar utgangspunkt i egne fotografier, hendelser og erfaringer og forsøker å uttrykke opplevelsene slik at bildene kan vekke følelser hos betrakteren.

Kill your darlings

To tell a story, the artist must choose to highlight something and leave other things out. The advice to “kill your darlings” certainly has its relevance when painting pictures as well. It is all about presenting the storyline in such a way that the viewer senses the message.

A story can, for example, show the atmosphere in the room / inside the café, or perhaps customers inside the café at different times of the day. In my exploration of the café scene, I have tried to recreate how the light changes through various approaches.

Kill your darlings 

For å formidle en historie må kunstneren velge å trekke fram noe og utelate noe annet. Uttrykket kill your darlings har absolutt sin relevans når man maler bilder også. Det handler om å forenkle for å få fram historien på en sånn måte at betrakteren fornemmer budskapet.

En litterær fortelling kan eksempelvis handle om stemningen i rommet/ inne på kafeen, mens en seriell fortelling kan handle om livet i kafeen til ulike tider på døgnet. I min utforskning av kafeen har jeg forsøkt å gjenskape lysstemninger via ulike maleriske tilnærminger.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Winter vacation week in the studio

I like to plan to achieve results both in the short and long term. So when the winter holidays arrive, I have set aside time to challenge myself. I want to reach a new level of abstract expression. I have plenty of space in the art school’s large studio. I have decided to work on two different expressions; a figurative portrait series and a non-figurative, intuitive series with limited palette. The works measure 70×50 cm.

I didn’t finish these series, but I am very happy with the process. I achieve what I set out to do; strenghten my abstract expression, but the works probably suffer somewhat when it comes to  composition. The next step in my exploration process might be collage.

Vinterferie i atelieret

Jeg liker å planlegge for å oppnå resultater både på kort og lang sikt. Så når vinterferien kommer, har jeg satt av tid til å utfordre meg selv litt i forsøket på å nærme meg et nytt abstrakt uttrykk. Jeg har god plass i skolens store atelier og et hav av tid. Jeg har bestemt meg for å jobbe serielt med to ulike uttrykk; en figurativ portrettserie og en non-figurativ, intuitiv serie med begrenset palett. Jeg liker å jobbe stort, alle bildene jeg jobber på måler 70×50 cm. 

Jeg kommer ikke helt i mål med begge seriene, men er godt fornøyd med prosessen. Jeg oppnår det jeg ønsker; å forsterke mitt abstrakte uttrykk, men arbeidene lider nok noe under det kompositoriske. Neste steg i utforskningsprosessen er muligens collage.

Life in the classroom

It is said that art and life are connected, but this connection is not always very clear to an art student. At times when you get a little stuck, it is nice to have a coffee break with classmates.

When things go wrong, it is crucial to have an experienced teacher with good coaching skills. Henriette Emilie Finne has been part of many parallel processes this school year. She shares her own experiences and tailors the guidance, so that we can both think for ourselves, reflect in groups and be challenged when we need it.

At regular intervals, each  student presents the individual work process in front of the class. This provides valuable training in discussing our own and others’ art in a constructive way.

We have learnt important tools before going to immerse ourselves in the graduate project.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Livet i klasserommet

Det sies at kunsten og livet henger sammen, men denne sammenhengen er ikke alltid like tydelig for oss kunststudenter og innimellom står man litt i stampe. Da er det godt å kunne ta en kaffepause sammen med gode klassekamerater.

Når det butter imot er det godt å ha en erfaren lærer med gode coachingevner; Henriette Emilie Finne står stått støtt gjennom mange parallelle prosesser dette skoleåret. Hun deler egne erfaringer og skreddersyr veiledningen, slik at vi både får tenke selv, reflektere i grupper og utfordres når vi trenger det.

Med jevne mellomrom presenterer hver enkelt arbeidsprosessen foran klassen, det gir trening i å reflektere over egen og andres kunst på en konstruktiv måte.

Vi har lært mange viktige redskaper før vi nå skal fordype oss i egen hovedoppgave.

Cat People on Show

Amazing how fast this autumn semester passes. It is time to exhibit and I will showcase paintings from my series Cat People which is inspired by cats I’ve shared my life with.

Time flies

It’s kind of weird, but days fly by, while time almost stands still. I enjoy being a third year student at Nydalen Art School under the wings of my favorite teacher, supervisor and professional artist Henriette Emilie Finne. The timing is perfect and I have already learned a lot. Life sometimes gets a bit hectic, but in a good way. And of course, I get lots of help from my artist assistant, Mr. Muskat, we make a good team.

Tiden flyr

Utrolig hvor fort høstsemesteret går. Det er snart tid for utstilling og jeg viser bilder fra min serie Cat People som jeg har jobbet med on and off de siste par årene. Kanskje ikke så rart at man blir inspirert av de man deler tilværelsen med. 

Det er rart, men dagene flyr, samtidig som tiden nesten står stille. Det er fint å være tredjeårsstudent ved Nydalen Kunstskole under vingene til min favorittlærer, veileder og dyktige kunstner Henriette Emilie Finne. Timingen er perfekt og jeg har lært masse allerede. Det blir litt hektisk innimellom, men heldigvis på en god måte. Og så har jeg jo kunstnerassistenten min Herr Muskat, vi er et godt team.

My assistant in the studio
Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Who am I as an artist?

The autumn semester is mainly about who I am as an artist and we focus on portraits and self-portraits. We learn different methods to approach light, shadow and form. Exciting to see the classmates’ personal style emerging. For me it is unusual to work with self-portraits, it feels strange to be my own model – but it is convenient to find a model in the mirror. Some art critics claim that every portrait “really” is a self-portrait. People see different things, that’s for sure!

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”

― Edgar Degas

Hvem er jeg som kunstner?

Høstsemesteret handler om hvem jeg er som kunstner og vi fokuserer på portrett og selvportrett. Vi lærer ulike metoder for å nærme oss kjernen av problematikken gjennom studier av lys og form. Spennende å se hvor ulikt klassen løser oppgavene med sin personlige stil. Det er uvant å jobbe med selvportretter, litt rart å skulle være sin egen modell – men det er jo veldig praktisk å alltid ha en tilgjengelig modell  i speilet. Enkelte kunstkritikere mener at et hvert portrett “egentlig” er et selvportrett. Folk ser ulike ting og det er bra!

“Kunst er ikke hva du ser, men hva du får andre til å se.”

– Edgar Degas

Finding my personal style

It is quite difficult to know what one’s personal artistic style looks like. Therefore we are encouraged to collect things that we like and that mean something to us. We hunt old sketchbooks, drawings, paintings. Looking through photo albums, textiles and household utensils in search of ourselves. What do these things represent and how can I bring some of these elements into my art? What do other artists do, what constitutes their personal style? 

Å finne sin personlige stil 

Det er ikke helt enkelt å vite hva som er ens personlige kunstneriske stil, derfor oppfordres vi til å samle på ting vi liker og som betyr noe for oss. Vi går gjennom gamle skissebøker, tegninger, malerier. Ser gjennom fotoalbumer, tekstiler og husgeråd i jakten på oss selv. Hva representerer disse tingene for meg og hvordan kan jeg bruke dette i min kunst? Hva gjør andre kunstnere, hva utgjør deres personlige stil?

From my Cat People series
Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

What do other artists do?

In our search for inspiration the class visits artist studios. We flip through loads of art books, watch art films, join lectures, discussions, we google and go to exhibitions. We try different techniques and methods. We learn many useful tools and practice until we get it.

Hva gjør andre kunstnere?

I vår søken etter inspirasjon drar klassen på atelierbesøk hos andre kunstnere, blar i massevis av kunstbøker, ser kunstfilmer, har forelesninger, diskuterer, googler og går på utstillinger. Vi prøver ulike teknikker og metoder. Vi lærer mange nyttige verktøy og vi øver helt til vi får det til!

Working process

I prefer the working process where I first think of some possible ideas, then make a number of simple small sketches, before continuing to work on a few interesting sketches before I set the work aside to mature. I normally have several ongoing creative processes, therefore I never run out of work. I wish I had an extra day of the week.

Serielle undersøkelser 

Det jeg liker best er nok serielle undersøkelser. Først finner jeg mulige ideer, så lager jeg et antall enkle småskisser, deretter jobber jeg videre med noen av de skissene jeg syns er mest interessante. Noen dager eller uker senere er jeg klar for å jobbe jeg videre. Jeg har alltid flere kreative prosesser gående samtidig, slik at jeg alltid har noe å jobbe med i ledige stunder. Jeg ønsker at døgnet hadde flere timer og at jeg fikk en ekstra ukedag.

Working on a personal theme

I have had a fairly long creative process working on a specific theme for a while, a theme that says something about my being in the world. Throughout my life, I have been concerned with the relationship between animals and humans. Dog and horse owners will surely have many stories to tell. I myself have lived with cats since I was little. I find cats quite magical!

Et personlig tema

Jeg har hatt en relativt lang kreativ prosess og jobbet med et spesifikt tema en stund, et tema som sier noe om min væren i verden. I hele mitt liv har jeg vært opptatt av relasjonen mellom dyr og menneske. Hunde- og hesteeiere vil helt sikkert ha mange historier å komme med. Selv har jeg levd sammen med katter siden jeg var liten. Jeg syns katter er helt magiske!

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Cat people

Of course, one should not humanize animals, but I sometimes experience that it is possible to communicate with animals. Occasionally there are special moments where I wonder if the animal feels a bit of the same wonder as me.

The family cat we have now, handsome Mr. Muscat has the ability to suddenly “appear” in my head minutes before he enters the front door. Strange, but hardly coincidental. I sincerely doubt that I show up in Mr. Muscat’s head. I am told that during my middle school years I had a cat who always “knew” when I got home: 15 minutes before I arrived (no matter what time of day and from which direction) my cat suddenly appeared at a certain place to wait for me to walk him in. Part of the story is that this particular cat spent his first weeks in an incubator made from my wool socks, the baby kitten was hand fed by me, and he slept in my bed every single night as long as he lived. We were best friends.

Cat people

Man skal selvsagt ikke menneskeliggjøre dyrene, men jeg opplever at det er mulig å kommunisere med enkelte dyr. Det oppstår av og til spesielle øyeblikk der jeg lurer på om dyrene kjenner litt av den samme undringen som meg. 

Katten vi har nå, kjekke Herr Muskat, har det med å plutselig dukke opp i hodet mitt minutter før han kommer inn. Merkelig, men tilfeldig er det neppe. Jeg tviler vel egentlig på at jeg dukker opp i Muskats hode. Da jeg gikk på ungdomsskolen hadde jeg en katt som alltid visste når jeg kom hjem: 15 minutter før jeg ankom (uansett tid på døgnet og fra hvilken retning) dukket katten opp og satte seg til på et bestemt sted for å vente på meg, så gikk vi sammen inn. Det hører med til historien at akkurat den katten lå i kuvøse inni ullsokkene mine og ble matet med tåteflaske de første ukene av sitt liv, og han sov sammen med meg hver eneste natt så lenge den levde. Vi var gode venner.

Art project and personal history

This fall, the third graders have been working to integrate our personal history into the artistic process trying out different approaches. I have pondered over elements that often appear in my work and finally I understood something new. So I guess the striped rugs will be part of my art, since they are connected to some good memories.

Cats have been present in my work for some time. Trying to catch the cats’ essence, I have made cats in different colors and in black and white, I have used charcoal, felt-tip pens and acrylic paint. I have drawn details such as ears, claws and eyes over and over again and tested countless ways to make fur. In the beginning, the cats looked quite realistic, then gradually more and more abstracted.

Eyes reflect the soul, I have heard. I believe the same goes for animal eyes. It is also said that pets and owners become more alike over time. But the pictures you see here are no attempts at self-portraits of me and Mr. Muscat, although he has certainly been present during the creation of the pictures. There is no final word here, you get to look at the motifs in the light of your experiences. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I love listening to people’s associations and interpretations in the showroom.

Kunstprosjekt med personlige elementer

Denne høsten har tredjeklassene jobbet for å integrere vår personlige historie i den kunstneriske prosessen. Vi har forsøkt ulike tilnærminger, jeg har lett og grublet over elementer som ofte dukker opp i mine egne arbeider og plutselig en dag var det som om det løsnet litt, som om jeg forstod et og annet som jeg har lurt på lenge. Så de stripete filleryene blir nok antakelig med meg videre, de gir meg gode vibber. 

Kattene har vært til stede i mine arbeider en god stund. For å få tak på kattenes vesen har jeg laget katter i farger og svart-hvitt, jeg har brukt kull, tusj og akrylmaling. Jeg har tegnet detaljer som ører, klør og øyne om og om igjen. Jeg har testet utallige måter å lage pels på. I begynnelsen var skikkelsene realistiske i utførelsen, etter hvert mer og mer abstraherte. 

Øynene speiler menneskets sjel, har jeg hørt. Jeg tror det samme gjelder dyrenes øyne. Det sies også at kjæledyr og mennesker ligner hverandre. Men bildene du ser her er ikke forsøk på selvportretter av meg og Herr Muskat, selv om han har absolutt vært til stede under tilblivelsen av bildene. Det finnes ingen fasit her, du får selvsagt betrakte motivene i lys av dine erfaringer. Det meste kommer an på øyet som ser og det er alltid gøy å høre andres assosiasjoner og tolkninger i utstillingslokalet.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Exhibition in pre-Christmas rush

An important part of being an artist is to showcase your work. The third graders will take part in the Christmas exhibition at school 14.-15.december 2019. It has been 6 years since I last participated in this group exhibition and I am excited to see other student’s work. But first there are preparations:

The Christmas exhibition is arranged every year and all art students are involved in the entire process. We prepare walls, hang pictures, work together with the curator, we are present during the exhibition, receive the audience and assist with sales. Afterwards sold works get handed out, unsold works get collected and the school is prepared for next term. Exhibition practice is an important part of our learning process and provides important insight into being an artist.

This year the exhibition weekend collides with the pre-Christmas rush. I’m expecting visitors from abroad. There might even be some surprises too, but it’s ok as I live a short walk away. The favorite trail is icy at this time of year, so I must avoid ending up in the icy Akerselva.

There will be 103 works at the gallery. Creating exhibitions with others is beneficial, and there are more chances to come. Sometimes I dream of having my very own gallery.

Follow this link for more pictures from this project

https://www.rekkebo.com/cat-people

Utstilling midt i julestria

En viktig del av det å være kunstner er å vise arbeidene sine. Tredjeklassene tar del i juleutstillingen 14.-15.desember 2019. Det er 6 år siden jeg sist var med på kunstskolens gruppeutstilling og det blir spennende å se hva årets elever stiller ut. Men først er det forberedelser.

Kunstskolens juleutstilling arrangeres hvert år og vi kunststudenter er med på hele prosessen frem til ferdig utstilling. Vi klargjør lokaler, henger opp bilder sammen med skolens kurator, er tilstede under utstillingen, tar i mot publikum og bistår ved salg. Etterpå må utstillingen tas ned, solgte verk leveres ut, usolgte arbeider hentes og skolen må klargjøres for neste semester. Utstillingspraksisen er en viktig del av læringen ved skolen og gir innblikk i det å være kunstner.

Utstillingshelgen kolliderer med førjulsinnspurten og jeg venter hyggelig besøk fra inn- og utland. Kanskje dukker det opp noen overraskelser også, men det går fint ettersom jeg bor en kort spasertur unna. Favorittstien er isete på denne tiden av året, så her gjelder det å unngå å havne i iskalde Akerselva.

I år er det 103 arbeider med på juleutstillingen. Å lage utstillinger sammen med andre er en fin erfaring og det kommer flere sjanser. Av og til drømmer jeg om å ha et helt eget galleri. 

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Her kan du se flere av bildene jeg har jobbet med til dette prosjektet

https://www.rekkebo.com/cat-people