The Year of the Cat

Happy Lunar Year, everyone! January 22nd kicks off the Year of the Rabbit, or the Year of the Cat 2023. 

In my part of the world winter is still on, but days gradually get longer, and nights shorter, until the summer solstice in June.

A Year of Hope and Good Luck

In Chinese culture the sign of the Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity, so 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope – and I do believe Hope is what the world needs right now!

The Vietnamese celebrate the Year of the Cat. According to Vietnamese tradition the Cat brings good luck and clears away bad spirits. The cat is considered to be a friend and symbolizes strength and power. 

Those who know me, know how much I love cats – so I’m very excited for the year to come!

Artists and their cats
Artists and their cats

A Year of Exploring Creativity and Arts

I’ve also read somewhere that creativity and appreciation for the arts thrives in Rabbit years. So you might feel like exploring museums, music festivals and performances. I know I do.

In Vietnamese culture cats are a symbol of kindness, perseverance, patience, thinking ahead before starting to do something. Cats are considered to be open-minded free spirits ready to explore. Sounds familiar! 

Hopes and Plans 

New year always brings new energy and I hope and plan for this year to bring more time for creativity and playful exploration in my studio. My studio is my Happy Place which brings me joy and happiness and fills me with energy.

With my full time job, planning is essential and I try to make time for my creative art practice every day. 

My plans for 2023 are a mix of short-term goals I want to complete in the near future and long-term goals that will take months and years to finish. 

This year I will focus on 30 day projects, one project for each month. As a former project manager I have naturally made a list of challenges and possible outcomes. 

My plans contain both unexplored territory, projects in the messy middle and a few projects nearly finished. All in all, lots of fun and problem solving.

Plans also include recreation time like reading, writing poems and spending time with family and friends. 

Plan B or C

Like Rabbits and Cats I always have a plan B, because the most certain thing in life is that nothing ever goes as planned. Change is inevitable and it often brings exciting opportunities. 

To me, planning for project progress is a critical means to meet deadlines, and time management gives me the opportunity to focus on what’s important now. 

The best thing about deadlines is that they herald new beginnings. I love starting up and exploring new projects.

My mantra is: I wonder what happens if I do this, or maybe that?

But 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 y’all next month!

artists and their cats
artists and their cats

Thank you – Happy Holidays!

Thank you for showing interest in my art! Thanks for your kind support, for sharing likes and comments and for buing my artworks! It has been quite a year, and I think I have the best people cheering for me! Thank you – Happy Holidays!

Being an artist means a lot: As long as I have my studio I always have something to look forward to. And all your positive energy keeps my creativity grow! Lucky me!

Thank you for your support and positive energy! Spread love!

Nice people from all around the world

I feel so lucky to be able to do this, so lucky to have family and friends cheering for me. And I feel so lucky to meet so many nice people from all over the world, some in real life, some over the internet. 

I honestly don’t know who I’d be without my art practice!

What a year!

What a year this has been, with so many nice surprises! I don’t know how to recap this in a few sentences, but I’ll give it a try.

The first two months of the year I was really stepping it up and launched my newsletter and I had scheduled loads of interesting projects. But plans changed as a long desired opportunity knocked on my door – and I took on a new day job which I really love!

Working full time also means new priorities regarding my art practice. For instance turning down 4 invitations to exhibit my work this year.

Top 5 portrait of Paul
Top 5: portrait of Paul

Top Five 

Wow! I was totally blown away when I learned that my painting was the curator’s choice and made TOP 5 among almost 1000 artworks in this year’s international TAE exhibition in York, UK taking place in June.

I was so honoured that my abstracted portrait was highlighted in the catalogue. The model, who is an artist himself, was thrilled as he received the good news.

Makes me really happy to know that this special artwork now belongs to a dedicated collector in sunny California, USA.

Want to buy my artworks, please sign up for my newsletter!

When life gives you lemons

They say: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Well, my planned summer holidays went down the drain this year due to Corona. I had no other choice but to surrender as I couldn’t beat that stubborn Covid-monster inside my body. 

So no large painting outside in my planned forest studio this summer. But other nice things happened!

One of my mural portraits at MUNCH museum summer of ’22

Making murals at MUNCH museum 

I had never thought I would be able to show my work at the new MUNCH museum, but this summer opportunity knocked again – and I made 2 large mural portraits on the 11th floor. I loved coworking with kids visiting the museum! The exhibition is now closed and the murals on the walls are painted over. 

New Batch of Artwork

In November I finally finished my new batch of abstract paintings and put them out for sale exclusively for those who follow my newsletter. To tell the truth, it is always a bit scary to show new artworks – what if no one likes them but me?

The first one sold almost immediately and I’ve received lots and lots of nice comments and interesting suggestions on how to go further! That’s so exciting!

I absolutely have the BEST PEOPLE cheering for me! What a year!

Thank you & Happy Holidays! Hope to see you again next year!

Happy Holidays!

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! 

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!

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 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!

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

Making Woodcuts in Trine’s Garden

Time flies when you’re having fun! I cannot imagine that a whole year has passed since this wonderful weekend making woodcuts in Trine’s garden in the artist colony at Ekely.

Back to Ekely

As some of you might remember, I have taken a couple of printmaking classes at Ekely before and really enjoyed working in Edvard Munch’s print making studio. This weekend course, though will take place at the teacher’s private studio.

Hot, hot summer

Oslo had an extraordinary hot summer last year, I think we had three months of sunshine and hardly no rain. This weekend was super hot, so the teatcher, Trine Lindheim, had prepared for the class to work outside in the generous garden.

woodcuts in the garden

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Artist colony at Ekely

While we were working, carving out motivs on wooden blocks, the cat slept quietly in the shadows, and fishes swam slowly in the pond. A few curious birds were chatting, probably wondering what on earth was going on in this normally peaceful place of the artist colony at Ekely. What a summer!

My plan

Before going there I had prepared a few sketches in advance, but I changed my mind and started working on a motif from a photo I took with my cell phone the previous afternoon while strolling along the Akerselva river toghether with my beautiful cat, Mr Muskat.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

 Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Oh, I simply love taking walks with Mr Muskat and he seems quite happy, too – playing hide and seek, running super fast or climbing high up in the trees to impress Mom.

The woodcut process

  • First you draw the motif onto the wood block.
  • Secondly you start carving using sharp tools with different blade shapes to make various structures in your design.
  • Third stage is to make test prints and adjust your carving so that the motif will stand out the way you want it to.
  • The process sure takes time when you have little experience.

printmaking studio

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

The teacher

The teacher, Trine Lindheim is a well established norwegian artist working in several diciplines. I first met Trine when taking a woodcut class at Ekely in spring 2018 and immediately signed up for her summer weekend class.

The group

The group held paricipants from beginners level to quite experienced level and for that reason we received coaching adjusted to our individual level. It seems to me that everyone was quite happy with both our own and fellow participant’s outcome. Some even made plans to join next summer course.

Saturday in the sun

The first day we “only” carved one woodcut and used one single colour for our prints. Carving is quite tidious work and the summer heat forced us to take breaks every now and then.

Together we had long delicious lunches, fruits and soft drinks and, off course, inspiring conversations. The charming group of ladies was quite enthusiastic about each others work as the process we went through.

drying prints

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Sunday Funday

The second day was even hotter, and we were prepared the work would be a little more difficult as we now worked on a second woodcut to join with the one we made yesterday. And we were to use several colours. Sunday funday!

Knowing we had limited time, we tried to minimize the breaks and worked real hard on our woodcuts to complete what we set out to do. We were actually quite impressed by ourselves and cheering for each other to take new steps towards mastering the art of woodcuts. We hardly wanted to leave, because we had such fun!

Thank you, Trine for teaching us! And thank you Ladies for a nice weekend!

discussing next step

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

One advantage of printmaking is that the process is a bit quicker than the slow painting process of days and weeks. When printmaking you also get to testing out different colours using the same motiv. I kind of like this quick printmaking process, but I’m not so sure about the carving…

Anyway, here is the result. It still needs to be framed.

Muskats rike

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Related article 



Tiden flyr når man har det gøy! Tenk at det har gått et år siden denne herlige helgen med kurs i tresnitt i Trines hage i kunstnerkolonien på Ekely.

Tilbake til Ekely

Som noen kanskje husker, har jeg tatt et par kurs i grafikk på Ekely før og jeg trivdes godt med å jobbe i Edvard Munchs trykkeri. Denne helga finner kurset sted i lærerens private grafikkverksted.

Den varmeste sommeren

Oslo hadde en veldig varm sommer i fjor, jeg tror vi hadde tre måneders solskinn og nesten ikke regn. Denne helgen var også varm, så læreren vår Trine Lindheim hadde lagt opp til at en del av kurset skulle foregå ute i den deilige hagen.

Mens vi risset motivene våre inn på finerplater, sov katten stille i skyggene og fiskene svømte sakte i dammen. Et par nysgjerrige fugler kvitret lystig, de lurte nok på hva som foregikk i denne vanligvis så fredelige delen av kunstnerkolonien på Ekely. For en sommer!

Jeg har en plan

Jeg hadde forberedt noen få skisser på forhånd, men jeg ombestemte meg og begynte å jobbe ut fra et bilde jeg tok med mobiltelefonen ettermiddagen i forveien mens jeg gikk tur langs Akerselva sammen med katten min, kjekke Herr Muskat.

Åh, jeg elsker turene med Muskat! Han virker glad han også – der han spurter forbi meg, leker gjemsel eller klatrer høyt opp i trærne for å imponere mamsen sin.

tools for carving

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Prosessen med tresnitt

  • Først tegner man motivet på treplaten (kryssfiner).
  • Deretter risser man motivet inn i kryssfineren ved hjelp av skarpe verktøy som har forskjellige former på bladet, dette for å lage ulike strukturer i designet.
  • Neste steg er å lage prøvetrykk og så må man justere utskjæringen slik at motivet blir slik du vil.
  • Hele prosessen tar tid når man har liten erfaring.

tools for coloring

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo


Læreren vår, Trine Lindheim, er en veletablert norsk kunstner med solid erfaring som lærer og kursholder. Jeg møtte Trine første gang på Ekely i våren 2018, og registrerte seg umiddelbart for sommerhelgerklassen.


Gruppen inneholdt deltakere fra nybegynnernivå opp til ganske erfarent nivå, vi fikk derfor coaching tilpasset vårt individuelle nivå. Jeg tror alle var ganske så fornøyde med både vår egen og andres innsats og hva vi klarte å skape. Noen la planer om å bli med på neste sommer kurs.

En lørdag i solen

Den første dagen jobbet vi “bare” med en enkelt treplate og laget trykk med en farge. Å lage tresnitt er ganske tidkrevende, arbeidet krever nøyaktighet og sommervarmen tvang oss til å ta pauser titt og ofte.

Det ble tid til lange og deilige lunsjer, pauser med forfriskninger og inspirerende samtaler. Den sjarmerende gruppen med damer virket ganske så begeistret for hverandres arbeid etter hvert som prosessene skred fram og klessnorene i grafikkverkstedet fyltes opp med deltakernes trykk.

hand driven press

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo


Søndagen ble enda varmere. Vi var dessuten forberedt på at arbeidet ville bli litt vanskeligere i dag ettersom vi skulle lage et nytt tresnitt som skulle passe sammen og legges oppå det vi laget i går. Og vi skulle bruke flere farger. Søndagsmoro!

Fordi vi hadde begrenset tid, prøvde vi å minimere pausene og jobbe hardt for å klare å fullføre oppgaven. Jeg synes vi var flinke til å heie og inspirere hverandre for å mestre kunsten å lage tresnitt. Vi hadde det så gøy, vi ville nesten ikke dra hjem!

Tusen takk, Trine for alt du lærte oss! Og til damene for en fin helg!

En fordel med å lage tresnitt er at prosessen går litt raskere enn den treige maleprosessen som tar dager, uker og måneder. Med tresnitt får du anledning til å prøve ulike fargekombinasjoner på samme motiv. Jeg liker godt den raske trykkeprosessen, men jeg er ikke så sikker på at jeg er så glad i treskjæringen…

Uansett, her er resultatet som fortsatt mangler innramming. Me lyt vona at det kjem ein dag i mårå og…

working hard

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Relatert innlegg. Her kan du lese mer om tresnitt 

Painting with Peter

Artists need inspiration. I have long been fascinated by Peter Esdaile’s enigmatic image world. His magic characters move in a slightly surreal, colorful and mysterious world. The image composition lets the eyes wander over large canvases and Peter’s many layers of painting techniques provide associations to several different stories.

Peter Esdaile

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Lucky me took part in one of Peter’s weekend courses this autumn. The material list included: large canvases, water buckets, window sill, large brushes, rubber patches, paint medium, spray bottle and a selection of acrylic colors. I decided to put the most important equipment into my trunk bag, wrap up four canvases and hope for some new insights.

I was genuinely curious about how this sorcerer of an artist works out his surrealistic mix of teams on the verge of seemingly chaos and cheeky coincidences. I wondered why he mixes the daring play of abstraction with solemn classical figuration, I also wondered how Peter pulls it all together and make things look like a three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional canvas. Where does he get the motives from? What techniques does he use?

Peter the teacher

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

After an hour’s relaxing train ride I met a wonderful bunch of enthusiastic artists at Nedre Eiker Art Society. The charming old house in the centre of Mjøndalen held both an atelier and a chill out lounge with coffee and homemade cookies. After a small introduction, Peter started the weekend’s first demo of many, and enthusiastic participants were ready with mobile cameras.

It was exciting to see how a professional artist has developed personal techniques and shares the secrets with us.

The weather was nice and sunny so we dried our large canvases outside on the pavement in the quite little street. I believe som neighbours and pedestrians were quite impressed.

wet paintings on the pavement

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Key words in this painting process are: rhythm, direction, different strokes, many layers of colors. Thin coating, thicker coating, we are looking for potential motifs, scratching, leaving something to stand out while the rest is painted over. We let our body works the large canvases, we let coincidences prevail and take control when needed.

Time flies as we leave more paintings to dry outside in anticipation of the next layers of color.

In short: A creative process of controlled coincidence that alternates between apparent chaos and steel control. Bright light colors against heavier darker colors. Occasionally we work all over the picture, sometimes only partially. Nothing is right or wrong, just try and fail, play, learn and master.

Thank you for a wonderful and educational weekend, everyone! Hope to see you again!

my 4 canvases

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

På norsk: 

Kunstnerspirer trenger inspirasjon. Jeg har lenge latt meg fascinere av Peter Esdailes gåtefulle billedverden. Hans magiske figurer beveger seg i en litt surrealistisk, fargerik og mystisk verden. Billedkomposisjonen lar øynene vandre over store lerret og Peters mange lag av besnærende maleteknikker gir assosiasjoner til flere ulike fortellinger.

Til alt hell fikk jeg plass på et av kunstnerens ettertraktede weekendkurs denne høsten. Materiallisten inneholdt blant annet: store lerreter, vannbøtter, vindusnal, store pensler, gummispatler, malemedier, sprayflaske og et utvalg akrylfarger. Det var bare å stappe det viktigste ned i trillebagen, surre lerretene fast og la det stå til.

Jeg var oppriktig nysgjerrig på hvordan denne trollmannen av en kunstner jobber fram sin surrealistiske miks av lag på lag med tilsynelatende kaos og snodige tilfeldigheter. Jeg undret meg over hvorfor han blander abstraksjonens djerve lekenhet med soleklar klassisk figurasjon, og på hvordan Peter får det hele til å henge sammen og se ut som en tredimensjonal verden på et todimensjonalt lerret. Hvor henter han motivene fra? Hvilke teknikker benytter han?

Etter en times avslappende togtur møtte jeg en herlig gjeng med entusiastiske kunstnere i Nedre Eiker Kunstforening. De sjarmerende lokalene i Mjøndalen sentrum huset både malersal og chill out lounge med kaffe og hjemmebakst. Etter en liten introduksjon gikk Peter i gang med helgens første demo og spente kursdeltakere stod klare med mobilkamera.

Det var spennende å se hvordan en profesjonell kunstner har utviklet egne teknikker og deler hemmelighetene med oss.

Med så ivrige kursdeltakere med mange store lerreter på gang var det kjekt å kunne legge arbeidene til tørk utendørs i det fine været til glede for naboer og forbipasserende.

Stikkord i maleprosessen er: rytme, retning, penselbruk, ulike strøk, lag på lag med farger. Tynne strøk, tykkere strøk, laseringer, vi leter og skraper fram motiv, lar noe stå mens resten males over. Vi lar kroppen jobbe over store lerret, vi lar tilfeldighetene råde og tar kontrollen når det trengs.

Timene flyr av gårde og ute på fortauet ligger stadig nye malerier til tørk i påvente av nye lag med maling.

Kort sagt: En arbeidsprosess av styrt tilfeldighet som veksler mellom tilsynelatende kaos og stålkontroll. Lyse lette farger mot tyngre mørkere. Av og til jobber vi over hele bildet, stundom bare delvis. Ingen ting er rett eller galt, her gjelder det bare å prøve og feile, leke, lære og mestre.

Takk for en herlig og lærerik helg, alle sammen!
Håper vi ses snart!

Art by Rekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Printmaking at Ekely – Part Two

I recently had the opportunity to join a printmaking class at Ekely – Edvard Munch’s studio in Oslo where the famous artist lived and worked for 28 years. This was my second time working in the great master’s printmaking studio where all the great Norwegian printmakers have worked over the years. The atmosphere was superb, and so was the teacher, Trine!

printmaking at Ekely part 2

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Preparations before class
The week before my printmaking class I started thinking of what kind of motif I would like to try out. Since woodcut is new to me, I asked for advice from a few experienced colleges before starting sketching my motif. I decided to go for a quite simple motif and have another one as a backup plan.

High pressure printing
Woodcut and linocut are examples of high pressure printing. Woodcut is the oldest graphic technique we know of. Wood has a beautiful structure and numerous prints can be produced from a woodcut. Linoleum is easier to work with due to its smooth structure, but only a limited number of prints can be produced with the linoleum.

printmaking at Ekely part 2

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Woodcut is a relief printing technique in printmaking. You might say it resembles the historic petroglyphs engraved on stone or mountain walls. Woodcut was probably the first graphic technique to be used for mass communication since the technique allows you to make a number of prints from the same carved woodblock.

printmaking at Ekely part 2

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

The process

Carving: We used a set of gouges; sharp tools with different blade geometry to carve the design into the surface of the plank of wood. The lines are mostly cut along the wood grain. The deep cut away areas will carry no ink. Only images at surface level will carry the ink to produce the print.

Ink: The surface is covered with ink by rolling over the surface with an ink-covered roller (brayer), leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas, the lines and patterns we have carved out.

Printing: The carved plank of wood is put through a high-pressure printing press together with a sheet of paper, and the paper picks up the ink from the engraved lines, making a print. The motif will come out mirrored. This process can be repeated many times; 100 – 200 hundred impressions (copies) could be printed from the original printing plate.

We only made a few prints in black and white, and we also tried adding blue and green. Next time I hope to make woodcuts with several colors in the same print. Hopefully I can join a weekend class this summer!

New inspiration
I’m so grateful for having this opportunity. This woodcut class filled me with new inspiration; it sure is quite different from the slow painting process which goes on for days and weeks. Woodcut also suits me well since there is no action needed regarding my allergies during the process. The only drawback is that you need a high-pressure printing press – but hey, I’ve heard there are printing studios to rent and some has whispered there are simpler ways to get the work done. Guess I’ll do some more research and get back to you later.

printmaking at Ekely part 2

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo


Grafiske trykk på Ekely – del to
Jeg har nylig vært så heldig å lære litt om tresnitt på Ekely, i Edvard Munchs atelier i Oslo der den berømte kunstneren bodde og jobbet i 28 år. Dette var andre gang jeg jobbet i den store mesterens trykkeri der alle de store norske grafikerne har jobbet opp gjennom årene. Atmosfæren var fantastisk, og det samme var læreren, Trine!

Forberedelser før kurset
Uken før tresnittkurset begynte jeg å fundere på hva slags motiv jeg ville prøve meg på. Fordi tresnitt er nytt for meg, ba jeg om råd fra noen erfarne kunstnerkolleger før jeg begynte skissearbeidet. Jeg besluttet å gå for et ganske enkelt motiv og ha et annet i reserve.

Tresnitt og linosnitt er begge høytrykk. Tresnitt er den eldste grafiske teknikken vi kjenner til. Tre har en vakker struktur og man kan produsere mange hundre trykk fra en treplate. Linoleum er enklere å arbeide med på grunn av sin glatte struktur, men kan bare produsere et begrenset antall.

Tresnitt minner litt om helleristninger. Tresnitt er en av de eldste kjente grafiske trykkteknikkene, avtrykket/bildet oppstår etter trykking fra en utskåret plate av tre. Begrepet tresnitt dekker både teknikken og selve avtrykket/bildet. Tresnitt var trolig den første grafiske trykketeknikken som ble benyttet til massekommunikasjon, siden teknikken lar deg lage en rekke utskrifter fra samme utskårne treverk.

printmaking at Ekely part 2

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Utskjæring: Vi brukte et sett med skarpe verktøy (u-jern og v-jern i ulike størrelser) for å snitte motivet inn i overflaten av treverket/kryssfineren. Man skjærer vanligvis med tre-retningen og man kan gjerne utnytte treverkets struktur og årringer som en del av bildet. Man skjærer så dypt at trykksverten ikke kommer ned i de utskårne områdene når sverten valses på.

Trykksverte: Treplaten innsettes med trykksverte ved hjelp av en rulle innsatt med svart farge. Høytrykk betyr at de graverte områdene med linjer og mønster ikke tar til seg farge. Strekene du har gravert inn vil dermed vise seg som hvite linjer mot den svarte trykksverten.

Trykking: Den utskårne treplaten/kryssfineren kjøres så gjennom en høytrykkspresse sammen med et papirark som tar til seg trykksverten. Motivet kommer ut speilvendt. Trykkeprosessen kan gjentas flere hundre ganger.

Vi laget bare noen få utskrifter med svart farge og prøvde med blå og grønn. Neste gang håper jeg å lage fargetresnitt. Håper jeg får plass på helgekurs hos Trine i løpet av sommeren!

Ny inspirasjon
Jeg er så utrolig glad for å ha fått denne muligheten. Tresnittkurset fylte meg med ny inspirasjon; dette er ganske annerledes enn den trege maleprosessen som pågår i dager og uker. Tresnitt passer meg bra ettersom det er allergivennlig og rimelig kjemikaliefritt. Ulempen er dog at du trenger en trykkpresse, men jeg har hørt at man kan leie seg inn ved enkelte trykkerier, og noen har hvisket at det finnes enklere metoder. Og det vil jeg finne ut av!

printmaking at Ekely part 2

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

New Beginnings

Sometimes working in the art studio really sucks. There are days where nothing goes as planned, paintings that never turn out the way you want them to no matter how hard you work. Sometimes art resembles the struggle of life itself; same old shit, back and forth, like a game of ping pong.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Struggling with art is, of course, a minor problem in the world. But art can pinpoint more important things as well and sometimes we all need to get a grip, to take new responses because: More of the same old shit won’t get you where you want!

Earlier I have been suggesting that the artistic process often takes the shape of a loop. In the sense of evolving as an artist the process often goes in circles, or spirals, where you integrate today’s expression with earlier experiences, motives, themes and techniques. This magical process results in a personal artistic language and, as time pass by, you reach new levels and make more interesting art.

To be honest, I’ve been struggling for quite some time, feeling unable to take my artistic process to a higher level. So what to do? Give up, or continue painting the same shit over and over again? Luckily I have some really wise people in my life to discuss important matters with, when reflection on my own doesn’t bring me any further. Thank you, for being part of my life and for lending ears to my artistic frustrations. Brainstorming is da shit; listen closely to experience and open up for new ideas!

Sometimes New Beginnings are disguised as painful endings.

Intuitive painting is fun (c) art-by-rekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

It is normal to resist, and even resent changes. But change is somehow the key to the circle of life; seasons come and go, after rain comes sun. Yes, it’s true that a beginning can seem like an end, but when one door closes then another door opens! So what’s perceived as painful and undesirable, often paves the way for something better – and if not better, at least different.

My art project is based on a playful and exploratory process. In my quest for personal artistic expression I explore several possibilities to present expressive abstractions from everyday life. I try to deal with complex settings by taking a closer look, because often a glance under the surface reveals unknown beauty and new paths to follow.

I believe struggling is part of the game, and in order to succeed you need to work through both rainy days and rough seas. I try to embrace the unexpectedness of life and change by working hard and dig deep – but in loose, playful ways – by observation, looking for lucky coincidence on the way. Because I want to enjoy my time on earth, both inside and outside the studio.


Noen ganger suger det skikkelig å jobbe i atelieret. Det fins dager hvor ingenting går som planlagt, malerier som aldri blir slik du vil, uansett hvor mye du jobber. Av og til minner kunsten om livet selv; det samme gamle, frem og tilbake som å spille bordtennis.

Mine kunstneriske bekymringer er selvfølgelig små, globalt sett. Men kunst kan også si noe om større sammenhenger og innimellom trenger vi nye tilnærminger for å komme videre fordi: Mer av det samme, fører deg ikke dit du vil!

Jeg har tidligere skrevet om at den kunstneriske prosessen ofte går i en loop der du gjenoppfinner deg selv; en magisk prosess der du integrerer dagens uttrykk med dine tidligere erfaringer, motiver, temaer og teknikker. Dette resulterer i et personlig kunstnerisk språk, og etter hvert som du når nye nivåer kan du skape mer interessant kunst.

For å være ærlig, så har jeg slitt litt en stund. Jeg synes ikke at jeg har klart å nå et nytt kunstnerisk nivå og har derfor tidvis vært ganske frustrert. Den som gir seg er en dritt, men er det egentlig noen vits i å male det samme bildet om og om igjen? Heldigvis kjenner jeg noen veldig kloke mennesker som jeg kan diskutere viktige saker med, når refleksjon på egen hånd ikke bringer meg videre. Takk og lov for at dere er en del av livet mitt og for at dere orker å dvele ved mine kunstneriske frustrasjoner. Brainstorming er suverent, andres erfaringer kan fort åpne opp for nye ideer!

Noen ganger er begynnelser forkledd som en smertefull slutt.

Motstand er ofte begynnelsen til endring. Og forandring er nøkkelen til livets sirkel; årstider kommer og går, etter regn kommer sol. Joda, det er sant at begynnelser kan virke som slutten, men når en dør lukkes, åpnes en annen dør! Så det som kan oppfattes som smertefullt og uønsket, baner ofte vei for noe bedre – og om ikke bedre, i det minste annerledes.

Mitt kunstprosjekt baseres på en leken og utforskende prosess. I min søken etter et personlig kunstnerisk uttrykk, undersøker jeg flere muligheter til å presentere uttrykksfulle abstraksjoner fra levd liv. Jeg prøver å håndtere komplekse situasjoner ved å kikke litt nærmere på hva som egentlig skjer og et blikk under overflaten avslører ofte skjult skjønnhet og nye stier å følge.

Jeg tror at det å streve litt er en del av pakka – og for å lykkes, både som menneske og kunstner, må man tåle både motvind og motbakker. Jeg prøver å stå i det, jeg bruker gråværsdagene aktivt til å jobbe systematisk og å grave dypt – men på en løssluppen og leken måte- der jeg ser etter heldige sammentreff underveis. For jeg vil nyte min stund på jorden, både i og utenfor atelieret.

Trust the Process

The month of January always gives me a creative kick. This year is now exception. After weeks of darkness and 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 impressions of nature into a personal artistic language is a complex procedure which requires reflection time, trial and errors. My mantra is therefore: Trust the process!

trust the process - final stage of River Houses (60x80cm)

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

When art teachers say “trust the process” what do they try to tell you? I remember discussing this topic vividly with class mates in art school on several occasions. We all had different views depending on the situation. Here are a few interpretations I have overheard: “It’s a nice way of telling you that you lack talent (ha, ha). It means you need some more experience, so work hard (I damn will). It means you have to carry on till you make it right, you’re the boss!”

When I use the expression towards my art students “trust the process” means believe that you’ve got what it takes! Or if you don’t; ask for help, discuss with colleagues, take a time out and do something else! Then start over again.

Amazingly often the artistic process takes form as a loop where you recycle yourself; a process where you take earlier themes, techniques and motives into a higher stage. Painting is a bit like life itself, you need to grow and sometimes you need to start all over again.

There is no quick fix; you have to work hard to evolve as an artist. Some of my paintings are stuck away for months, even years before I finish them. In the meantime I work on other paintings, or with other techniques, to build up the competence I need. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I fail. I have fucked up several nearly finished paintings, I even cried a few times over lost beauty – only to realize that the new painting came out a lot better than the version I fucked up.

So trust the process, even if it takes a long time and requires loads of hard work! But most important: Never give up!


Januar pleier å gi meg et realt kreativt kick. I år er intet unntak. Etter uker med mørke og kulde er solen tilbake og den hvite snøen gjør naturen lys, myk og vakker. Moder Jord inspirerer med sine former, linjer, strukturer og vinterens spartanske farger gir meg lyst til å vandre inn i nye malerier. Det å omdanne naturens uttrykk til et personlig kunstnerisk språk er imidlertid en kompleks prosedyre som krever tid for refleksjon, prøving og feiling. Mitt mantra er derfor: Stol på prosessen!

Når kunstlærere sier “stol på prosessen”, hva prøver de egentlig å fortelle deg? Jeg husker vi diskuterte dette emnet heftig ved flere anledninger på kunstskolen. Og alle hadde litt ulike oppfatninger avhengig av sammenhengen. Her er noen tolkninger jeg har overhørt: “Det er en pen måte å fortelle deg at du mangler talent (ha, ha). Det betyr at du trenger litt mer erfaring, så jobb hardt. Det betyr at du må fortsette til du får det til, det er du som er sjefen!”

Når jeg bruker uttrykket “stol på prosessen” overfor mine kunststudenter, betyr det at du må stole på at du har det som skal til! Eller hvis du ikke har det; be om hjelp, diskutere med kolleger, ta deg litt fri og gjør noe annet! Så starter du på’n igjen.

Den kunstneriske prosessen beveger seg i en loop der du gjenoppfinner deg selv; gjennom en kreativ prosess der du tar med deg tidligere temaer, teknikker og motiver opp til et høyere nivå. Maleprosessen er som livet, du må vokse litt og noen ganger må du starte forfra.

Det finnes ingen snarveier; du må jobbe hardt og metodisk for å utvikle seg som kunstner. Enkelte av mine malerier står bortstuet i måneder, eller år før jeg fullfører dem. I mellomtiden jobber jeg med andre malerier, eller med andre teknikker, for å bygge opp kompetansen jeg trenger. Noen ganger får jeg det til og andre ganger ikke. Jeg har ødelagt flere ferdige malerier jeg anså for å være nesten ferdige, jeg har felt tårer over tapt skjønnhet – bare for å innse at det omarbeidede maleriet ble mye bedre enn den tidligere versjonen.

Så stol på prosessen, selv om det tar lang tid og krever hardt arbeid! Og viktigst av alt: Gi aldri opp!

trust the process - Early stage of River Houses

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Kick starting the artistic year

Lucky me: I’m kick starting my artistic year with a little help from my talented son. He is creative, fun to be with, and has finally found time to do some sketching.

A few tips and tricks
Since he’s quite an ambitious young man, I take the opportunity to teach him a few small tricks that might make his artistic process a little easier. I wonder what direction his artistic path will turn. In kindergarten his art teacher named him “the expressionist” and we were told he was quite talented with a bright future! Imagine how proud we were, hearing that 🙂

Having fun is most important
The most important thing about doing art, though, is to have fun along the way! If something is really, really fun you will find the time to do more of it! And here we go again…

Check out his work at Instagram

drawing is fun

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Heldige meg: Jeg kickstarter det kunstneriske året med drahjelp fra min talentfulle sønn. Han er kreativ, morsom å være sammen med og har endelig litt tid til overs for å lage noen skisser.

Noen tips og triks
Etter som han er en relativt ambisiøs ung mann, benytter jeg anledningen til å lære bort noen små triks som kan fremskynde den kunstneriske prosessen. Jeg lurer sånn på hvilken retning hans kunstneriske bane kommer til å ta. I barnehagen kalt kunstlæreren ham for «ekspresjonisten” og vi ble fortalt at han var ganske så talentfull og kunne gå fremtiden lyst i møte! Gjett om vi var stolte da 🙂

Viktig å  ha det gøy underveis
Men det aller viktigste med kunsten, er jo selvsagt å ha det gøy underveis! Hvis man har det tilstrekkelig gøy, så finner man alltids litt tid til å gjøre mer av det som er gøy. Og så baller det på seg…

Se bildene hans på Instagram

Refresh your home with original art!

Let’s face it, many artist doesn’t sell all their art works at exhibitions. It’s hard enough to find a gallery that doesn’t rip you off, right?

So what can you do when canvases are piling up in your studio?

  • Let friends and family borrow your paintings and exhibit them in their home or working place.
  • Paint over the old canvases (the only problem is that when you do that, the potential buyer of what’s gone shows up within short).
  • Store your artwork somewhere else.
  • Refresh your home every now and then (and make sure you do it before you throw next party).
  • Hopefully someone out there is looking for a new painting and likes your art!
  • Buy your next painting from a local artist!

Looks pretty good, don’t you think?

Rearrange your home with original @art by rekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

De færreste kunstnere får solgt alle bildene sine via utstillinger. Det er vanskelig nok å finne et galleri med gunstige økonomiske betingelser, ikke sant?

Så hva gjør man når lerretene begynner å hope seg opp?

  • La venner og familie låne bildene dine for å vise dem frem  på  veggen hjemme hos seg eller på arbeidsplassen.
  • Mal over de gamle bildene (men uups! vær oppmerksom på at når du gjør det dukker det alltid en potensielle kjøper opp opp i løpet av kun kort tid).
  • Lagre bildene dine et annet sted.
  • Bruk anledningen til å fornye litt hjemme (og pass endelig på å gjøre det før gjestene kommer).
  • Forhåpentligvis forelsker noen seg i ett av bildene de ser!
  • Støtt en lokal kunstner!

Se så fint det ble!

Family first – Life has it’s own plan

I sure was hoping to paint a lot this summer, but sometimes life has it’s own plan. This summer our family took on a new mission; sweet Mr Kitten arrived and we immediately fell in love with this charming little fellow.

art cat in studio

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Checking out Mom’s studio
We slowly introduced Mr Kitten to both his new home and human family, Dad’s cooking, tree climbing with Human Brother and Mom’s paint brushes, hoping that in time Mr Kitten will fancy hanging out in the art studio with Mom. And surprice, surprice Mr Kitten seems to love art – especially since it comes with treats and hugs.

Artists and their cats
I know quite a few artists who enjoys the company of their fury friends. Cats seems to go well together with the free artistic spirits. I myself find cats truly inspiring and in secrecy I tend to call my black and white kitten Salvador. Guess I will have to buy this book.

Please check out my Homepage for more info about my work.

Jeg hadde håpet å male mye i sommer, men noen ganger tar livet nye vendinger. Denne sommeren påtok familien seg et nytt viktig oppdrag; denne herlige lille kattepusen kom til oss, vi forelsket oss i den lille karen og tilbrakte nesten all tid sammen med ham.

Sjekk ut mors studio
Vi introdusert kattungen sakte men sikkert for sitt nye hjem og menneskefamilie, for fars matlaging, menneskebrutterns treklatring og mors malepensler, i håp om at kattungen etter hvert vil komme til å like seg i atelieret med mamsen. Og til min store glede virker det som om kattungen liker kunst – særlig fordi det følger godbiter, kos og klemmer med.

Kunstnere og kattene deres
Jeg kjenner ganske mange kunstnere som nyter selskapet av sine firbente pelskledde venner. Katter synes å gå godt sammen med frie kunstneriske sjeler. Jeg synes katter er inspirerende på så mange ulike måter og i hemmelighet kaller jeg vår svart -hvite kattunge for Salvador. Tror nesten jeg blir nødt til å kjøpe denne boken.

Her finner du Hjemmesiden min

artists and their cats

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Expressive portraits of people I know

Recently I was telling you about my parallel art processes and that I prefer to work on several themes in order to try out different ideas and new techniques. Artist have different working styles, some go really deep and create more or less the same picture over and over again.

4 crazy portaits

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

My art project is based on a playful and exploratory process, and my quest for personal artistic expression demands hard work and reflections for the choices to be made in order to bring my work where I want.

Instead of working on one piece from start to finish, I rather explore several possibilities at the same time but in different projects; figurative or non figurative, abstract or more naturalistic – there are so many roads to go, paths to walk. I am still young as an artist!

It takes a long time to become young. (Pablo Picasso)

Today’s topic is portraits.

According to Wikipedia “a portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. For this reason, in photography a portrait is generally not a snapshot, but a composed image of a person in a still position. A portrait often shows a person looking directly at the painter or photographer, in order to most successfully engage the subject with the viewer.”

Who sees the human face correctly: the photographer, the mirror, or the painter? (Pablo Picasso)

I started working on my portrait series because I like people. And I never stop fascinating about how different we look. As a photographer I am trained to work close to people hoping to capture, if not one’s soul, so at least some kind of personality expressed through the motives facial expressions.

Male model (c) artbyrekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

When portraying people with my camera I prefer a kind of quiet, observing and natural look style, often photographing in black and white, often spending hours with my models.

When painting portraits I work in a completely different way; with bold colours and some wild, expressive strokes. I seldom use models, but I do try to paint close up portraits, retrieving memories from my heart, hoping my paintings will reflect something of interest through the eyes of the beholder.

Who knows who I’m painting tomorrow…

Hot Lips (c) artbyrekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

See more pics at my homepage


Nylig skrev jeg litt om mine kunstneriske prosesser og at jeg foretrekker å jobbe med flere temaer parallelt for å prøve ut ulike ideer og teknikker. Kunstnere har ulike arbeidsmåter, enkelte går veldig i dybden og lager mer eller mindre det samme bildet om igjen og om igjen.

Mitt kunstprosjekt er basert på en lekende og utforskende prosess og min søken etter personlig kunstnerisk uttrykk krever hardt arbeid, modningstid og refleksjoner over hvilke valg som må tas for å bringe arbeidet dit jeg vil.

I stedet for å male et bilde fra start til slutt, utforsker jeg flere muligheter samtidig gjennom ulike prosjekter; figurativt eller nonfigurativt, abstrakt eller naturalistisk – det er mange veier å gå, mange stier å utforske. Som billedkunstner er jeg fortsatt ung!

Det tar lang tid å bli ung. (Pablo Picasso)

Dagens tema er portretter.

I følge Wikipedia er portrett f.eks maleri, foto, skulptur eller annen kunstnerisk representasjon av en person hvor ansiktsuttrykket er hovedfokus og hensikten er å vise likhet, personlighet og stemning. Derfor er et godt portrett vanligvis ikke et øyeblikksbilde, men et velregissert bilde av en person i en bestemt setting. Portrettet viser ofte en person som ser direkte på maler eller fotograf, i de beste portrettene engasjeres også betrakteren via blikkontakt med modellen.

Hvem ser menneskets ansikt riktig: fotografen, speilet, eller maleren? (Pablo Picasso)

Back to the 80s (c) artbyrekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Jeg begynte på denne portrettserien fordi jeg liker mennesker. Jeg slutter aldri å fascineres over hvor forskjellige vi ser ut. Som fotograf er jeg vant til å jobbe tett på folk i håp om å fange, om ikke akkurat sjelen, så i det minste litt personlighet via lys og ansiktsuttrykk .

Når jeg fotograferer forsøker jeg gjerne å få fram en naturlig stemning. For å få til dette tilbringer jeg tid sammen med modellene og ofte fotograferer jeg i svart og hvitt.

Når jeg maler jobber jeg på en helt annen måte; jeg bruker dristige farger og kraftige strøk. Jeg bruker vanligvis ikke modell, men jeg forsøker å male tett innpå livet portretter ved å hente fram minner av folk jeg kjenner i håp om at maleriene vekker interesse og gjenkjennelse hos de som ser dem.

Hvem vet, kanskje er det deg jeg maler neste gang…

Putting on my face (c) artbtrekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Se flere bilder på hjemmesiden min


Parallell projects – Trust the process

Artists have different ways of working. Some plan and reflect on possible themes and ideas, start sketching, paint small pics and then go for the big ones. Others start and finish one painting, before producing a new one. One painting after the other, day after day. Over and over again.

serial paintings (c) art by rekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

My working style is more like setting out on a series of parallel adventures. I do that because I have so many ideas, so many techniques I want to test in order to be able to present to you some of the universes that reside inside me.

Contrary to other artist colleagues I prefer serial paintings. I rarely start less than 6. This way I always have several paintings in progress at the same time. Some brand new, others halfway through, and finally I finish them. All of a sudden I finish LOTS of paintings. What a great feeling!

This kind of working process might seem slow and complicated to you, but it gives me time to reflect and really contemplate what I am doing, and where to go further. My paintings often need time to ripen, they sometimes need new techniques or tiny adjustments before I finish and sign my works.

I like to work systematically and see the paintings turn out the way I want them to. At the same time I can enjoy the variety of working on paintings at different stages depending on time, season and energy levels.

Different stages, trust the process (c) art by rekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

For the past two – three years I have been working on several exciting projects, and I admit that time has been shorter than I initially was hoping for. Sometimes life turns out different than expected and all you can do is be patient and wait til the storm calms down.

My aim for this year is to finish about 30 – 40 canvases. And hopefully start some really BIG paintings. But in order to do that I really have to rent a big studio. Maybe I can schedule somewhere for the summer, or even consider painting outside like Edvard Munch used to do …


Kunstnere har ulike måter å jobbe på. Noen planlegger og reflekterer over mulige temaer og ideer, starter med skisser, maler små bilder for så å gå for store malerier. Andre maler ett og ett maleri helt ferdig. Dag ut og dag inn, år etter år.

Min metode går ut på å sette i gang med flere parallelle prosjekter. Jeg gjør det fordi jeg har så mange ideer og teknikker jeg ønsker å teste for å klare å uttrykke universene inni meg.

I motsetning til andre kunstnerkolleger foretrekker jeg å lage serier med malerier. Jeg starter sjelden færre enn 6 samtidig. På denne måten har jeg alltid flere malerier under arbeid samtidig. Noen er tidlig i maleprosessen, andre er halvferdige, noen nærmer seg slutten. Og PLUTSELIG blir jeg ferdig med en hel haug. Det er gøy!

Denne arbeidsprosessen kan kanskje virke treg og komplisert for deg, men metoden gir meg tid til å reflektere og virkelig fintenke på hva jeg driver med og hvor jeg vil gå videre. Maleriene mine trenger ofte tid for å modnes, noen ganger trenger jeg nye teknikker eller små justeringer før jeg er klar til å signere bildene mine.

Jeg liker å jobbe systematisk og se at maleriene blir akkurat slik jeg vil ha dem. Samtidig gir det meg mulighet til å arbeide med malerier på ulike stadier av prosessen avhengig av tid, sesong og energinivå.

De siste par – tre årene har jeg jobbet på flere spennende prosjekter parallelt, og jeg innrømmer at tiden har vært litt knappere enn jeg i utgangspunktet hadde håpet på, men livet blir ikke alltid slik man planlegger. Man får ta tiden til hjelp.

Målet for i år er å fullføre ca 30 – 40 lerreter og forhåpentligvis begynne på noen veldig store malerier. Men for å gjøre det må jeg leie et stort studio. Kanskje jeg kan låne et sted over sommeren, eller kanskje jeg skal male utendørs, slik Edvard Munch gjorde …

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Happy & Creative New year!

I plan for a happy and Creative Year of 2016 beacause not everything turn out as planned last year, so my summer holiday project is still unfinished – but on the other hand: I have buckets of motivation waiting to materialize! Hence I plan for a prosperous 2016!


Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

For me getting through these past 6 months has been more than a handful, but on a global scale… NOT. I am so proud of my fellow artists and friends that have been organizing and helping out during the refugee migrations from Syria – both here in Norway and in Greece. Most of the artist I know own little, but give from their big warm hearts!

Complications due to surgery is not something I planned for, but hopefully things are getting back on track now; you know:

“Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place…”

I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year. May all your dreams come true. I know mine will!

sometimes things fall into place

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo


Jeg satser på et særdeles godt kreativt 2016 fordi alt gikk ikke helt etter planen i fjor, så… mitt sommerferieprosjekt står fortsatt uferdig – på den annen side: Jeg har bøtter med motivasjon som bare venter på å materialisere seg! Så jeg går for et fremgangstrikt 2 016!

De siste 6 månedene har vært mer enn en håndfull for meg, men ikke i et globalt perspektiv … Jeg er så stolt av mine kunstnervenner som har organisert og hjulpet til under Syrernes flukt – både her hjemme i Norge og i Hellas. De fleste kunstnere jeg kjenner eier lite, men gir fra sine store og varme hjerter!

Komplikasjoner på grunn av kirurgi er ikke noe jeg har planlagt, men forhåpentligvis ordner ting seg nå. Du vet:

“Noen ganger når ting ramler fra hverandre, faller de faktisk på plass …”

Så det gjelder å ha trua!

Med ønske om et godt og fremgangsrikt nytt år. Måtte alle dine drømmer gå i oppfyllelse. Jeg vet at mine vil det!

beware of artists they mix with all

beware of artists they mix with all

Summer Holiday project

I love my new day job, but I sure have missed painting these past few months! I’ve had this yellow form in my head for some weeks, this is my first attempt to catch the idea on paper.

yellow form (c) art by rekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

As I started my summer holidays I immediately went off to buy new canvases for a new exciting journey. Since yellow is one my favourite colours, I will start with a few yellow fields and let’s just see what happens!

yellow beginnings (c) art by rekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Hopefully I will take new artistic steps working on my summer project for the next 3 weeks! And maybe some of my new paintings will follow in the footsteps of the “Summertime Fine” project I started last year.

Check my homepage for further details.

norsk_flagg_ikonJeg elsker den nye jobben, men jeg har savnet å male disse månedene! De siste ukene har jeg hatt denne gule formen i hodet mitt, dette er mine første forsøk på å fange ideen på papir.

Da jeg startet sommerferien dro jeg umiddelbart ut og kjøpte nye lerreter til min nye spennende reise. Etter som gul er en av mine favorittfarger, begynner jeg med noen gule figurer og så ser vi hva som skjer!

Forhåpentligvis tar jeg nye kunstneriske skritt ved å utforske sommerprosjektet mitt de neste tre ukene! Og kanskje kan noen av mine nye malerier følge i fotsporene til “Summertime Fine” prosjektet som jeg startet i fjor.

Sjekk hjemmesiden min for flere detaljer.

Summer workshop in Vigelandsparken

As I sat sketching in the Vigeland Sculpture Park on a beautiful early summer day, I gradually started to feel a bit like Edvard Munch.

sketching in the park (c) art by rekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

After a few hours of rapid charcoal sketches we went back to the studio to develop motives, play with new expressions, adding and subtracting, selecting in and out and limiting the palette. Today I chose other colors than I normally use and a painting block size A3 was my best friend.

I tried to mix a color that was entirely my own (remember to mix enough that so it will last all day, until the paintings are finished).

Today I used cold yellow and slightly warm red to make a strange orange looking color.

painter's shoes (c) art by rekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

  • pour half of the new color into another cup, and add a little blue to make a brownish color
  • both colors can be mixed with white
  • both colors can be mixed with black

By testing various painting techniques I try to make the motiv my own, and slowly it starts to look like some of my weird paintings, but still quite different…

In order to regain my inner balance I start playing with my blues and greens and a little bit of yellow and red and all of a sudden the sculptures comes alive…

sculptures on the run (c) art by rekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

norsk_flagg_ikonVi dro til Vigelandsparken en vakker forsommerdag – og etter hvert følte jeg meg nesten litt som Edvard Munch der jeg satt med tegneblokken i fanget og betraktet folkelivet i skulpturparken.

Etter noen timer med raske kullskisser dro vi til atelieret for å utvikle motivene, leke med nye uttrykk, legge til og trekke fra, velge inn og ut, begrense paletten. Jeg velger andre farger enn jeg vanligvis bruker og jobber på en ny maleblokk i størrelse A3.

Jeg blander en farge som er helt min egen (husk å lag nok til at det varer hele dagen, til hele malearbeidet er ferdig):

  1. kald gul og varm rød gir en litt merkelig oransje
  2. ta halvparten over i en annen kopp, tilsett litt blå og jeg får brun
  3. begge fargene kan blandes med hvitt
  4. begge fargene kan blandes med svart

Jeg jobber iherdig for å gjøre motivet til mitt eget – prøver ulike maleteknikker og sakte, sakte begynner bildene å ligne litt på mine vanlige rare malerier, men de er likevel helt annerledes…

For å gjenvinne min indre balanse begynner jeg å ta inn blått og grønt, litt gult og rødt, og plutselig begynner skulpturene å leve sitt eget liv…