February Diary 24

Truth be told, my initial plan of scheduling time for spontaneous creativity on a daily basis did not work out very well. But February was not all about heavy work loads at my day job. I also went to a few interesting exhibitions and chilled with some really nice people who made me feel happy and energized and inspired and ready to paint!

refueled, inspired and ready to paint!

The Year of the Dragon

The year of the dragon started on February 10. In Chinese culture, the Dragon holds a significant place as an auspicious and extraordinary creature. It symbolizes power, nobility, honor, luck, and success. 

2024 is forecasted to bring about opportunities, changes, and challenges. If you’re seeking a shift in your current lives, this year might offer a favorable chance.

opportunities, changes and challenges

Studio days

Last month I started experimenting with new color schemes, shapes and themes and to my surprise I really enjoyed it. Since my studio is my happy place where I nurture and celebrate some of the good things of this earth, I decided to bring these joyful experiments further by incorporating them into some already existing artworks.

My master plan for this year includes continuation of a few projects started during lockdown as well as playful testing of new artistic expressions.

This pic shows how I keep track of what’s going on in my studio:

what’s going on in my studio

Throwback to lockdown

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. I remember discussing that a crucial part of artistic development is developing your personal style and that looking back on your history might give you some clues. 

During lockdown all students at my art school were left with one opportunity only; working from home. 

Long hours alone in my studio together with my cat was nice, but as days turned into weeks inspiration got scarce. I started to examine what I had collected over the years and pondered about what I liked and disliked about each object. I studied shapes, patterns, colours and textures on tablecloths, vases, urns, bottles, wine glasses, embroideries, flowers and plants.

Read more about my graduate project here

old sketchbooks, new challenge

Old stuff, new challenge

This month I pulled out my sketchbooks from Easter 2020 filled with sketches and notes about heirlooms such as furniture, textiles, handicrafts and photo albums. 

Once again I will simplify, stylize and abstract form elements and patterns, and bring my findings into new contexts.

In my art work I strive for progression, not perfection. I emphasize the process of abstracting. I prefer quirky and imperfect, incomplete aesthetics, perhaps a bit wabi sabi like. To me the most interesting part of creating lies somewhere between intuitive play and logical thinking. Here’s a sneak peek (work in progress):

sneak peek | work in progress

Transforming colours

Colour and energy is all around us. Colours have different energy, some you like and some you don’t. When you mix different colours with each other they transform. Two bright complementary colours next to each other will give the impression of an energy kick, but if you put a bright colour next to a neutral colour you get a different kind of energy, a different expression.

I love working with contrasts, and I love challenging myself. Colour mixing can be really fun, but also very time consuming and frustrating as daylight changes my studio light during the day. 

Studio time includes lots of fun and complex problem solving. If it’s not tricky, it’s no fun! So at the moment I try mixing colour values and presenting them in new ways to explore how this makes a difference to my expression. 

If things go as I hope, I might throw a spring art drop with some brand new works in a month or two. Fingers crossed and stay tuned for more news.

time will show

Celebration time

At the end of February the family gathered to celebrate my Hubby’s birthday at a really nice restaurant with a wonderful view over the Oslo fjord. The food was delicious and the wine bountiful. What a night!

What a night!

January Diary 24

In my part of the world winter is still on, but days gradually get longer, and nights shorter, until the summer solstice in June. January light always brings positive energy and I hope this year will bring more time for creativity and playful exploration in my studio. I also hope to keep the seasonal viruses out of my system!

A trip along beautiful Akerselva river, in January 2024

Creative spark

The month of January always gives me a creative spark. This year is now exception. After weeks of darkness and really cold weather, the sun is back and amounts of white snow makes nature look amazingly light and beautiful. Mother Nature gives fresh inspiration; her shapes, lines, structures and the graphic winter color scheme make me want to wander off into new paintings. But transforming mostly black and white impressions of nature into a personal artistic and colourful language is a complex procedure which requires lots of studio time, trial and error. 

More & Less

I think of the New Year as a fresh start, giving me the opportunity to leave old habits behind and redetermine how I want things to move forward. Therefore I made a More & Less – list for my creative journey. I decided to cut the crap, get down to basics – and here it is:

More painting, more fun!

Life is what we make of it

My creative force has been with me since early childhood. Carving stone, working with clay, making weird wood sculptures and drawing portraits are among my first memories. I’ve always been busy creating something. I believe that creativity is one of my core qualities.

In 2019 I made a commitment to show up in my studio every day for 100 days. The goal was to nurture my creative art practice and step up the game. Every single morning or evening (before/after work) I went to my studio to work on my #100dayproject. And what a joy!
Read more here

This year I will schedule time for spontaneous creativity on a daily basis.

Make room for daily art practice

Everything is possible

As we tiptoed into the new year I’ve focused on playful experiments just to let loose, feel free and have fun. In my studio everything is possible. Time seems to stop when in my creative zone, probably as I’m in flow and feel happy and energized. 

Winter has many shades of blue

Project: January diary

This January I’ve spent my studio days creating a new body of small works where I experiment with new color schemes, shapes and themes. My main focus is on spontaneous and joyful play. Anything goes, no judgment, no room for critics as I try to paint from my heart and soul, not from my logical mind. The trick is to have faith and trust the process.

Before I start I try to set myself in a meditative state, or some kind of spiritual mode far, far away from the hamster wheel of everyday life in this crazy world of horrific wars, climate change and economic rat race. My studio is my happy place where I nurture and celebrate some of the good things of this earth.

Set myself free

The idea behind this project is to set myself free from patterns in my life that I’m not consciously aware of and to express emotional energies from within.

My chosen method is: Spontaneous, intuitive, unfiltered, unplugged. No pressure, just try to have fun. Try to be bold, loose, rough, raw, quick. Use unexpected combos of colours, lines and shapes. Hoping for intriguing, surprising and colourful outcomes.

So I’ve created 32 small paintings on paper, and a few bigger ones are still in process. Quick painting sketches, kind of experimental stuff where one painting informs the next one. 

And of course, those who know me well have already guessed that I’m working on a few side projects as well, but I’ll save them for another blog.

I made 32 small works on paper for my January Diary

Life changing experience

13 years ago I attended the local art school for a week-long painting course. Walking through the woods in the morning sun I realized I was about to start a life changing experience… and slowly, slowly I truly found back to my creative self (and my inner voice that had been silenced for years) and discovered my strengths and limits, but also my dreams and hopes as an artist. 

Growth and expansion is a complex process that takes two steps forward and one step back. Creativity is like ebb and flow, so don’t panic if everything seems to go wrong, take a timeout, do something else and remember to set aside time to «compost» or to do nothing.

My studio is my Happy Place and creative time fills me with energy. With a full time job, planning is essential and I try to make time for my art practice every day.

My studio is my Happy Place

Hopes and plans for the year to come

My art plans for the coming year are a mix of short-term goals which I want to fulfill in the near future and long-term goals that will take months and years to finish. 

This year I will try focusing on one project at a time. My art plans contain both unexplored territory, projects in the messy middle and a few projects nearly finished. All in all, lots of fun and tricky problem solving. If it’s not tricky, it’s no fun!

But the main thing is, of course, the work – life balance… So now, if you’ll excuse me; I’ll get back to my stack of interesting books. It’s recreation time, or “time to compost” as my gardening husband puts it.

See yah later!

Let’s get some inspiration!