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

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