Prepping for Art Drop

It is nearly time for my art drop. This time I will release a series of new works on paper in various sizes at affordable prices. All subscribers of my newsletter will get access to my new artworks before everyone else.

But first, I have some decisions to make and some work to do.

Treasure hunting in my studio

The privilege of choosing 

People and artists are different, there are various ways of carrying out one’s art practice. Some of you know that I always work on parallel projects, both short term and long term projects. 

Lately I’ve been telling you about my multitude of half finished, or just started, works on paper and a pile of canvases in a seemingly never ending process. I cannot do it any other way. But that means I have to ponder a little when it comes to my upcoming art drop.

So, what to choose? Think I’ll have to get some help from my assistant Mr Cat.

Seeking advice from my art assistant Mr Cat

Finishing touches

After the privilege of choosing which paintings to include in this upcoming art drop, I need to get the paintings ready for their new homes. Some might need a finishing touch of colour, while others need to have their edges painted. 

I prefer to sign my abstract paintings on the backside. But if a buyer prefers to see my signature on the front that is also an option – just remember to give me a hint before I ship your artwork. 

Painting the edges

Photographing and presenting art

Way back I used to work as a freelance photographer, so I know a few things about photographing art. I have also worked professionally with web publishing and managing social media, so I prefer to do all the work myself, even if it’s a bit time consuming.

Sometimes I wonder if I should learn how to make frames… 

Framing or not framing, that’s the question…

Artistic text work

I truly believe that every artwork will reveal its hidden message to the right viewer. I also believe that buying art is a soulful decision in the sense that you will instinctively know when to buy a painting – because it “speaks” to you. 

They say pictures contain more than a thousand words, but I think that sometimes titles and an introductory text about the art might add some more insight to what messages the artist is trying to get across. 

When exhibiting my work in galleries I normally give a brief artist talk, or introduction to my work and when launching a new series on my website I like to do the same.

When working on a series, I always reflect on my process, take notes and think about ideas that come up during studio time. Reflection time is crucial and some days I spend more time looking at my paintings than painting. I reflect on titles, I ponder about why I want to express a specific theme and how to make that “visible” in an abstract way. 

The trick is to talk, or write, about my art series in ways that give the viewer a more fully understanding of my theme – or even better; how do I explain my thoughts and ideas in ways that makes the viewer curious?

I like writing and reading about art. Hope you get some nice ideas too! 

Home is where the art is…

How to grab one

It is soon time to launch my upcoming art drop. All subscribers of my newsletter will get access to my new artworks before everyone else. Here is what you can do:

Sign up for my mailing list /newsletter to be first in line to grab one!

Sign up for my mailing list to get early access to my new work

Art Attack

Sometimes I suffer from an “art attack” which is the overwhelming feeling of having too many creative ideas at once, and not having enough time to do them. 

Yes, it is very frustrating. Of course. But not surprising since I have a full time job. And I have, finally, discovered that nights are for sleeping. 

Art Attack
Art Attack

8 days a week

So the sad truth is that nowadays most of my studio days are both fewer and shorter than I really, really want. The result is that I have a multitude of half finished, or just started, works on paper and a pile of canvases in a seemingly never ending process.

Guess I’ll have to ask Santa Claus for 8 days a week and 32 instead of 24 hours a day, so I can do a little more of what I really, really want.

In the meantime I work on my priorities to make the right decisions. 

What’s important now 

Every day I have to remind myself to stay in the now of my life to avoid being hijacked in the game of fear, competitiveness or letting myself drown in possibilities or being overwhelmed by the heap of unfinished work in my studio. 

I try to remind myself that I am never too late for my art. 

Focus

Over the years I have discovered that what I look at, what I see in front of me, is where my energy goes. So:

Every day I ask myself “What’s important now?” This question forces my mind to consider my priorities each day and take action on them. 

Once I have decided that something is important to me, I focus on working on that specific task and put everything else away, out of my sight. This is also the reason my phone is put on flight mode most of the time.

Project management is important to keep focus and get things done! 

Priorities

At the start of this year, I made plans for a 30 day focus on each project. But: 

As we all know nothing goes exactly as planned. Plans are important to get where you want, but they sometimes need to be adjusted. 

So far this year most of my scheduled painting time didn’t work out the way I was hoping. So to avoid building up frustration and working overload, I chose to downsize my ambitions and therefore declined to exhibit my work this year. At the moment I’m contemplating whether or not to sell some of my latest small works or not…

I do look forward to next month’s vacation, though. Hopefully I’ll have some nice studio time and maybe a visit from the young art student in Malmø, Sweden. 

Multi- or mono tasking

As some of you know, I like to work on parallel projects. These days I try hard to encourage myself to focus on what matters most right now. No wonder things take time when you work on several projects at a time. Slowly, slowly the series is coming alive. That’s my way and my choice. I cannot do it any other way.

But painting is not the whole story. As you might remember, I wrote a blog earlier about how time consuming artist life is.

Read it here.

Truth be told, my life is more than day jobs and studio time. I have family and friends. I also need to tend my flowers, play with my cat, relax, read and spend time in nature to stay healthy. If I’m not taking care of myself, I can neither work nor paint – not to mention be a nice person. So I make sure to take care of myself. Every day.

my chillout zone

Keep going

Whenever I go into my studio, my intention is to play and have fun. I like it when the painting session surprises me.

The main thing, I believe, is to keep going and never lose track of what’s important to me. So what is it that I really, really want? 

I want to play with colours, push paint around, experiment with line, shape and various techniques and see what’s happening. I want to continue working on my multitude of playful just started works, and take some of my paintings through the messy middle and maybe finish parts of my neverending story of canvases. 

Because I love painting! 

Ps. Now, please excuse me, I have some colours to mix 😉

Time for colour mixing

Summer Feeling Continues

Summer isn’t over yet! As July turned into August, I deliberately chose to continue the summer feeling for one more month. And what a brilliant month it has been (except for a terrible sinus infection). Besides lazy breakfasts, walks with my cat, hammock time and old movies, we enjoyed another nice visit from overseas. 

As September is approaching, I’m thinking of enjoying one more month of the magical summer feeling before autumn arrives. How about that?

Flower power
Flower power in my studio

But first, I’m gonna recap a little from August days in my studio. When thinking back on my studio time, I believe I made some progress and discovered new ways to deal with old problems. Ha ha! After all, being an artist takes a lot of problem solving. 

What’s up?

Last month of summer holidays gave me lots of studio time. I’d say much wanted and needed studio time after busy months of work and travels. 

During my summer vacation I restarted my daily art practice and continued working on my long term project finding my deeper voice. I also started exploring a new Wabi Sabi project; the art of imperfection. But most of the time I had lots and lots of fun. 

People and artists are different, there are various ways of carrying out one’s art practice. Those who know me, will know that I always work on parallel projects, both short term and long term projects. This is a glimpse from one of them:

New adventures in my studio

Process-based  

Some of you might know that I am a process-based artist. That means I explore the “unknown” parts of the creative process. The question: “I wonder what happens if?” really inspires me to paint and to explore new ways of doing stuff. 

I work on several paintings at the same time. Each painting takes me on a ride, where neither of us knows the final destination until we arrive. Thus art is a guide and has much to teach me about life, what is going on in the world and about myself.

My work evolves, ebbs and flows, sometimes circling back for another look or to re-work. I have learned to accept these changes to be authentic and truly embrace my own creativity and my own voice. I paint what I cannot express in words.

The painting process is a never ending story: 1) what happens if I try this 2) did it work out? 3) how do I respond to that? 

Hang in there! The clue is never giving up! Sooner or later the painting will fall into place. At some point there is nothing more that I want to change. And that’s when I know the painting is finished. Voila! 

I love my studio, and what happens there. It’s my happy place!

Process includes lots of coffe

Inspiration 

Every month I search for inspiration. Besides reading lots of books and visiting some interesting art exhibitions, I had the pleasure of spending time with one of my nieces from overseas. We had some really interesting conversations, I’d love to do that more often! My husband and I continued revisiting some of our favourite old movies. So weird to discover you’ve forgotten half of the story, but what a joy!

So, what’s not to like about August? Hope you’ve had a good one, too!

Heads up!

People keep asking me how to buy my works. HEADS UP! here are some news for you: 

  • New original works will be available from my website soon! 
  • More info to come next month. 

Sign up for my mailing list /newsletter to be first in line to grab one!

Thank you for reading! I’ve had the most wonderful August days in my studio, my Happy Place which brings me joy and happiness and fills me with energy. Soon I will share some of the results with you. Stay tuned!

Work in progress
Work in progress

Wonderful Summer Days

Life has been so busy lately. I’ve been dreaming about lazy summer days and slow living with family and friends for months. I can hardly remember ever longing so deeply for my summer holidays. And I’ve really missed painting these past few months! 

Life has been so busy lately

I love lazy breakfasts, walks with my cat in the nearby woods, wonderful lunch baskets and swimming in the river, hiking and bicycling with my husband and of course, spending warm summer evenings in my hammock reading interesting books after nice dinners with a glass of Greek Retsina.

My hopes were high since June was super hot and sunny, but July turned out to be quite rainy, so I had lots of studio time.

Sunny Days in my studio in between the rain showers

So what’s up

Since last summer went down the drain due to covid, I had made plans to explore some new art territory this summer. But because the rain stopped me from working in my outdoor studio, I had to rethink. Seems that life has its own purpose. 

I decided to focus on having fun and to restart my daily art practice. My long term project on finding my deeper voice needed some attention. And I also started exploring a new Wabi Sabi project; the art of imperfection.

As usual I have lots of paintings going on in different stages; 1) the playful start, 2) the messy middle and 3) the clarifying stage. As one layer has to dry, I move on to the next piece. This way I never run out of work.

I paint what I cannot express in words. I paint to grasp the world around me by listening inwards. I paint in search of authenticity, trying to find and develop my true voice and always remember my artistic vision. 

Sometimes that resonates with the viewer and sometimes not. I believe every artwork will reveal its secrets to the right viewer and therefore you instinctively know when to buy a painting or not; because it speaks directly to you.  

Playful summer days in my studio

Inspiration

Every month I search for inspiration. This summer I have read lots and lots of good books (and a few not so good ones) and visited some interesting art exhibitions and had great conversations with my friend from overseas. 

During evenings my husband and I decided to revisit quite a few of our favourite melodramatic and humoristic movies by Spanish film director Pedro Almodòvar. What a joy!

Wonderful days

For me, making time to create is an important part of self-care. Studio time is sacred and my way of healing and dealing with the world. So I show up and create. That means getting into the studio no matter what is going on in life. 

Making art is a means of living my life, a way to be who I truly am. I think of art as my best friend and my studio always welcomes me, even on days where life is overwhelming and energy levels are low. 

The most wonderful days in my studio give rise to joyous series of explorations that lead to personal understanding and more interesting artworks. I’d say that my studio is my Happy Place which brings me joy and happiness and fills me with energy.

Well, I have to admit that friends and family were a bit neglected this summer, but what the heck: What a splendid way to spend my summer holidays painting!

Hope you had a ball, too!

Celebration
Magic Summer Holidays

Why Abstract Expressive

Somehow I have always found myself attracted to (semi) abstract and expressive art. I find vivid colours, bold lines, weird brushstrokes, twisted shapes and quirky faces a lot more interesting than hyper realistic paintings. 

I don’t aim to show the obvious, but what might be there if you take a moment to look inside yourself, shake your emotions and listen to your heart. The best part of exhibition openings is listening to what stories people tell each other while looking at my artworks over a glass of wine. Sometimes their stories lead to new paintings.

For some time now (4-5 years) I have been working systematically on abstractifying my art through extensive explorations in mark-making, layering and textures. While composition and contrasts are really important, I sometimes find that both colour and shape can be quite overwhelming, so lately I have felt the urge to limit myself hoping to reach a new level of insight.

lots of canvases going on in my studio
lots of canvases going on in my studio

So what’s up

This month I had a great deal of fun by opening some of my large rolls of paintings. To my surprise I had forgotten many of these paintings and I’m already looking forward to continuing the process this summer in my outside studio.

Of course I continued working on my abstract series on canvas and made a few smaller studies on paper. It seems that my abstract series is evolving and that some of the paintings are bridges over to another semi abstract series. I think I might go for an exhibition after all.

from my ongoing abstract series
from my ongoing abstract series

Inspiration

This month I’ve spent some time at the National Museum in Oslo. I especially like the modern art section (room 75-88) on the second floor. And to my surprise I also found loads of inspiration from Fashion Design and Royal Costumes (room 30-31) on the first floor. Unfortunately I missed the temporary exhibit with Carrol Dunham on the top floor. I will definitely go back several times. Check it out next time in Oslo!

Aiming for Authenticity

My abstract series on canvas keeps moving forward, slowly but steadily. I sometimes find it hard to grasp what the painting is about, but as soon as I understand the hidden message, the piece seems to come together pretty nicely. 

ongoing abstract series
ongoing abstract series

Along the way I’ve had different working titles for this long term project. I paint in search of authenticity, trying to find and develop my true voice and always remember my artistic vision. 

I paint what I cannot express in words. I paint to grasp the world around me by listening inwards. Sometimes that resonates with the viewer and sometimes not.

As usual I have lots of canvases going on in different stages and I’m starting to look forward to seeing the end of this project. I sometimes wonder how many canvases this project will end up with. But one canvas seems to inform the next one, so it feels like I’m still in the middle of discovering something new.

Some artists prefer working on one canvas at the time until it gets finished. My working process is different. I work on parallel projects. I like taking a break from one project by working on another. What I discover in one place often leads to new ways of seeing and working. I like that very much.

Group exhibition coming up

If you know me, you’ve probably seen some of my cat paintings. This month I decided to make some more and one of them will be exhibited in the beautiful city of Vancouver, Canada in June. 

Cats are wonderful
Cats are wonderful

Inspiration

Inspiration is paramount. This month I went to the MUNCH museum with a group of colourful friends who have not yet had the pleasure of visiting the new museum.  Afterwards we had a nice meal and some good conversations at one of the many restaurants in the Bjørvika area. Socialising with nice people is so rewarding.

I also recommend a visit to the Thorvald Hellesen exhibit Pioneering Cubism at the National Museum (NaM) Oslo

Followers First in Line

I’ve had so much fun in my studio over the past months! Finally the day has come: Proudly presenting some of my latest artworks. Hope you like them!

Followers first in line

The online exhibition | webshop is now open exclusively for those who follow my newsletter. 

My new work will not be shown i detail anywhere on social media. So feel free to sign up for my newsletter and be among the first to get sneak peeks from behind the scenes and special offers from my art studio. 

Follow my newsletter and be first in line!

Handmade artworks – one of a kind

My artworks are all original and individual artworks, handmade and one of a kind. There are no prints for sale. 

All artworks are sold unframed and unmatted, so you can choose your favourite framing and matting to match your personal style.

Affordable prices

If you follow my newsletter you will get access to my new batch of artworks. You might have a look around to see if you find something you like at affordable prices. 

I try my best to keep the prices low so you can buy the artworks you love to make your home shine even more.

I’m so proud and happy to have collectors around the world. Hope you find something you love, and maybe a little something for your family and friends, too!

Choose your favourite framing for your beautiful home

Available artworks in different sizes

So many of you have asked: How do we get to buy your artworks? Well, here is your chance. Click on the links below and you will find the available art works.

All artworks are made on acid free art paper, watercolor paper or canvas textured paper. All artworks are sold un-matted, not framed so you are free to choose what will look the best in your beautiful home.

The links below will be accessible for followers of my newsletter only:

Small works

Medium size works

Large works

Shop til you drop

So feel free to have a look around and it’s okay to shop till you drop! I look forward to shipping art to happy collectors all over the world!

Thank you for reading my blog!

Photo by Lore Schodts
Photo by Lore Schodts

Livin La Vida Loca

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

Livin La Vida Loca
Livin La Vida Loca

What does an artist do all day?

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

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

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

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

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

Mixing wet paint
Mixing wet paint

Real Artist or not?

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

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

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

Studio time is Happy Time

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

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

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

Long hours in the Zone 

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

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

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

My Studio Assistant

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

I would never ever swap him for another studio assistant.

Read more about him here

Love my studio assistant
Love my studio assistant

Time to Reflect

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

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

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

Writing about Art

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

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

Social Media

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

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

Relaxing with my Family
Relaxing with my Family

My Studio is My Happy Place

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

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

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

My studio is my happy place! 

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

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

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

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

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

Magic Mr Art Cat
Magic Mr Art Cat

Unique Life Experiences

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

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

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

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

Check out my paintings!

Meet My Studio Assistant

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

The King of the Art Studio

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

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

Meet My Studio Assistant
Meet My Studio Assistant

My Magic Art Assistant

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

Tiny Accidents

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

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

Studio Chores

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

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

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

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

Refreshing Walks in the Woods

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

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

Time to Reflect

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

Life Drawing Sessions

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

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

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

Cat People

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

Artists and Their Cats

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

Artists and their cats
Artists and their cats

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!

Flower Power

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

Grandma’s flowers

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

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

(c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

Dreaming of summer

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

Main focus in March

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

Large canvases

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

(c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

New series of paintings

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

Playful days

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

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

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

(c) Copyright. All rights reserved Art by Rekkebo

21 days in my art world

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

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

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

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

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

Daily prompts

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

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

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

Daglige utfordringer

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

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

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

(c) art by rekkebo

I make art, therefore I am an artist! 

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

Jeg lager kunst, ergo er jeg kunstner!

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

Thank you

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

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

Tusen takk

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

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

(c) art by rekkebo

My graduate project in visual arts

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

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

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

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

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Hovedoppgave i koronaens tid

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

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

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

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

The idea phase

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

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

Idefasen 

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

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

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Searching for myself

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

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

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

På leting etter meg selv

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

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

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

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Sketch process and motif development

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

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

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

Skisseprosess og motivutvikling

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

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

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

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Framework

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

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

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

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

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

Rammer for prosjektet

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Online schooling

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

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

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

Fjernundervisning

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

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

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

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

6 more weeks to go

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

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

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

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

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

6 uker lengre enn planlagt

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Being an Artist in Today’s Modern World

New Year, New possibilities!

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

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

Kunstnerens væren i verden

Nytt år, nye muligheter! 

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

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

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Workshops

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

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

Workshops

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

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

Based on our own experiences

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

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

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Med utgangspunkt i egne opplevelser

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

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

Kill your darlings

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

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

Kill your darlings 

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

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

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Winter vacation week in the studio

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

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

Vinterferie i atelieret

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

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

Life in the classroom

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

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

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

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

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Livet i klasserommet

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

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

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

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

Cat People on Show

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

Time flies

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

Tiden flyr

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

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

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

Who am I as an artist?

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

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

― Edgar Degas

Hvem er jeg som kunstner?

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

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

– Edgar Degas

Finding my personal style

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

Å finne sin personlige stil 

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

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

What do other artists do?

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

Hva gjør andre kunstnere?

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

Working process

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

Serielle undersøkelser 

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

Working on a personal theme

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

Et personlig tema

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

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Cat people

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

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

Cat people

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

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

Art project and personal history

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

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

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

Kunstprosjekt med personlige elementer

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

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

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

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Exhibition in pre-Christmas rush

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

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

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

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

Follow this link for more pictures from this project

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

Utstilling midt i julestria

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

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

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

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

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

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

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

Portraits and Identity

One of the most difficult things I know is drawing self-portraits, and even worse is painting self-portraits. But this autumn, I had to bite the sour apple and try both. It is not easy to make a portrait look like the model for someone who is reasonably far from hyperrealism. My strength is probably within the world of abstraction; I guess I’m a bit like:

“I don’t paint what I see, I paint how it looks like in a dream …”

PORTRETT OG IDENTITET

Noe av det aller vanskeligste jeg vet, er å tegne selvportrett og enda verre er det å male selvportrett. Men i høst har jeg måttet bite i det sure eplet og prøve meg på begge deler. Det er ikke helt enkelt å få et portrett til å ligne på modellen for en som ligger rimelig langt unna hyperrealismen. Min styrke ligger nok snarere innenfor abstraksjonenes verden; jeg er nok litt sånn: 

“Jeg maler ikke det jeg ser, men slik det ser ut i drømme…”

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

PERSONAL ARTISTIC STYLE

An important part of the process of moving forward in my artistic development, is to find my personal style. What do I want to tell and how do I want to express that with painting brushes? What does my language, my dialcet, my vocabulary look like on the canvas?

Shape, color, surfaces, light, shadow, directions. There is a lot to keep track of for a quirky art student. There are many choices to make. And if you choose one, you often rule out another. One day I was focusing on winding hair… and had a lot of fun!

PERSONLIG STIL

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

Form, farge, flater, lys, skygge, retninger. Det er mye å holde styr på for en skarve kunststudent. Det er mange valg man må ta. Og velger du det ene, velger du ofte bort det andre, fordi bildet må jo henge sammen. En dag hadde jeg fokus på svingete hår… Det var gøy!

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

SEE AND BE SEEN

If one is to consider self-portraiture as a form of self recognition – and the mirror as a metaphor to be seen, understood and confirmed – then I think we can quickly conclude that I am reasonably confident in who I am, and that I don’t worry about what others think of me. I’m probably more concerned with painting other faces than my own.

SE OG BLI SETT

Dersom man skal betrakte selvportrett som erkjennelsesform – og speilet som en metafor for å bli sett, forstått og bekreftet – så tror jeg vi kjapt kan konkludere med at jeg er rimelig trygg på hvem jeg er og at jeg gir litt beng i hva andre tenker og tror. Jeg er nok mer opptatt av å male andre fjes enn mitt eget. 

Study for self portrait
Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

WHEN YOU STRUGGLE

When you face resistance, you are on the threshold of a new level, it is said. And maybe the resistance you felt turned out to be just a slow door you hadn’t quite opened yet … But hey, everything doesn’t suit everyone.

“You can’t paint something that’s not you,” the teacher said early in the semester

The phrase has rumbled around in my brain since then. I’ve already been focusing on portraits for a year, the stranger portraits the better. To consider yourself in the mirror is certainly a good angle to study a face you know pretty well, and hopefully learn something more, so I try as best I can.

Å MØTE MOTSTAND

Når du møter motstand, står du på terskelen til et nytt nivå, sies det. Og kanskje viser det seg at motstanden du kjente på, bare viste seg å bare være en treg dør du ikke helt hadde åpnet ennå… Men hallo, alt passer ikke for alle. 

“Du kan ikke male noe du ikke er”, sa læreren tidlig i semesteret 

Den setningen har rumlet rundt i meg mange ganger siden. Jeg har allerede hatt fokus på portretter et års tid, jo rarere tryner jo bedre. Å betrakte seg selv i speilet er jo absolutt en fin innfallsvinkel til å studere et ansikt man kjenner ganske godt og forhåpentligvis lære noe mer, så da gir jeg jernet og prøver så godt jeg kan. Og etterhvert løsner det litt.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

EXPLORING DIFFERENT EXPRESSIONS

There are many ways to create paintings. What do other artists do? One of my favorite things is trying out different expressions. I love playing with colors and I am constantly trying to get inspired by other artists. Sometimes I use books, other times I go online. After seeing a selection of pictures, I let the impressions sink – often over a meal, a cup of coffee, a nice conversation or a session with the vacuum cleaner if the cat is outdoors. If it’s still difficult to get started, it’s a good idea to take a walk to unleash the creativity. And there are hundreds of ways to paint a picture, because there is not just one truth. So keep going!

Å UTFORSKE ULIKE UTTRYKK 

Det er mange måter å lage flotte bilder på. Hva gjør andre kunstnere? Noe av det jeg liker best er å prøve meg fram med forskjellige uttrykk. Jeg er glad i å leke med farger og jeg prøver stadig å la meg inspirere av andre kunstnere. Noen ganger blar jeg i bøker, andre ganger går jeg online. Etter å ha sett et utvalg bilder lar jeg inntrykkene synke – gjerne over et måltid, en kopp kaffe, en hyggelig samtale eller en økt med støvsugeren hvis katten er utendørs. Er det fortsatt vanskelig å komme i gang, er det fint å gå en liten tur ut for å løsne på kreativiteten. Og det er hundrevis av måter å male et bilde på, for det finnes ikke bare en sannhet. Så kjør på!

FROM REALISTIC TO ABSTRACT

For many artists and art teachers it is logical to first learn to draw the object as it appears in reality, and then slowly but surely, abstract more and more, until it may not look like the real motif at all. I wonder if I was born a little abstract, because abstraction is where I feel most at home in the arts! In the sphere of abstraction I see freedom and possibilities for exciting subjective interpretations. It’s a thrill listening to people’s associations, putting totally different perspectives into my paintings. That’s what art is for, to set good thought processes in motion, and adding a little magic to everyday life.

The works you see here are made during the autumn. The size is approximately 75×55 cm and they are made with acrylic paint and charcoal on paper. Maybe some of them will be shown at the next exhibition December 14-15 at the Nydalen Art School in Oslo.

FRA REALISTISK TIL ABSTRAKT 

For mange kunstnere og lærere er det logisk at man først lærer å tegne objektet slik det ser ut i virkeligheten, for deretter sakte, men sikkert å abstrahere mer og mer. Helt til det kanskje ikke ligner i det hele tatt. Jeg tror nesten jeg er født litt abstrakt. Det er der jeg kjenner meg mest hjemme i kunsten! I det abstraherte finnes frihet og muligheter for subjektive tolkninger. Det er fint å tenke på at folk assosierer ulike perspektiver og egne historier inn i bildene mine. Det er det kunst er til for; å sette i gang gode tankeprosesser og å tilføre litt magi i hverdagen!

Arbeidene du ser her er laget nå i høst. De måler ca 75×55 cm og er laget med akrylfarge og kull på kraftpapir. Kanskje blir noen av dem med på neste utstilling 14.-15.desember ved Nydalen Kunstskole, i Oslo.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Back to art school

As some of you might know, I’m back at art school again. Hurray! After 6 years of working mostly alone in my studio opportunity knocked and I found what I’ve been dreaming of; a third school year with my favorite teacher Henriette Emilie Finne. Lucky me have been looking forward to this chance since January. Woohoo! Our class is super. Time flies and we are already halfway through the first semester.

TILBAKE TIL KUNSTSKOLEN

Som noen av dere vet, er jeg tilbake på kunstskolen igjen. Hurra! Etter 6 års jobbing alene i atelieret kom muligheten jeg har ventet på; et tredje påbyggingsår med min favorittlærer Henriette Emilie Finne. Jeg har gledet meg siden januar. Klassen er super. Tiden flyr og vi er allerede halvveis i første semester.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

LIVING AND PAINTING

Every day I simply love putting on my favourite artist smock and get started on today’s work. Well, I do’nt paint all the time – I also sketch, draw, or stretch canvas. I also spend time contemplating living and painting. I never run out work. Good thing I have such an enthusiastic assistant.

LIVET OG KUNSTEN

Det er alltid fint å ta på seg malerhabitten og gå i gang med dagens maleøkt, syns jeg. Jeg maler jo ikke hele tiden da – det hender jo jeg tegner, lager skisser, eller spenner opp lerret. Tidvis sitter jeg også å reflekterer litt over livet og kunsten. Det er nok å ta fatt i. Det er godt å ha en assistent.

Mr Art Cat
Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

NICE AND SCARY

Going back to art school is both nice and a little scary. Especially when you have to work for a long and intense periode with the somewhat difficult task: portraits. Here are a few glimpses of my initial work.

SKUMMELT OG MORSOMT

Å gå på kunstskole er fint og litt skummelt. Særlig når man skal jobbe lenge og intenst med noe av det man syns er aller, aller vanskeligst, men også gøyest: Portretter. Her er glimt fra noen uker tilbake i tid

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

SELF PORTRAITS

This fall we are focusing on portraiture and identity; which means you have to study yourself in the mirror in order to learn about light, shadow and form – and I assure you, that’s hard when the “model” is constantly moving from side to side, holding her head in different positions every 20 seconds. Well, here is one of my self portrait studies (acrylic and charcoal on paper 54x67cm)

SELVPORTRETTER

Denne høsten har vi fokus på portrett og identitet; hvilket betyr at man må studere seg selv i speilet for å lære litt mer om lys og form – og det er jo ikke helt enkelt når “modellen” flytter på seg stadig vekk. Her er en av mine selvportrettstudier (akryl og kull på papir 54x67cm)

study for self portrait
Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

THE BIGGER THE BETTER

Some people like working small, I like big sizes. Here are two of my large portrait studies with quite different expressions (acrylic and charcoal on paper, 120x80cm) – ideas are many, time is limited. Hoping for Santa Claus to bring a few extra hours every day and an extra Sunday Funday!

JO STØRRE, JO BEDRE

Jeg syns det er ekstra gøy å jobbe stort! Her er to av høstens mange portrettstudier med ganske så forskjellige uttrykk, syns jeg (akryl og kull på papir, 120x80cm) – ideer er det nok av! Jeg ønsker meg flere timer i døgnet og en ekstra søndag hver uke!

the bigger the better
Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Next exhibition: 14-15. December, Nydalen School of Art, Oslo

Neste utstilling: 14.-15. desember, Nydalen Kunstskole i Oslo

My 30 day project

HURRAY! The 100-day project went as clockwork (January 1-April 10). The plan worked out and I kickstarted 2019 with 100 creative sessions in a row. Every single day, all week I worked in my studio. After 100 days of creative work, I was so inspired that I threw myself into a brand new 30 day project, which I managed to finish just in time for my summer job and the upcoming summer holidays. – Oh boy, did I establish some good habits!

30 DAGERS PROSJEKTET MITT

HURRA! 100 dagers prosjektet gikk som smurt (1.januar-10.april). Planen funket og jeg kickstartet 2019 med 100 kreative økter på rekke og rad. Hver eneste dag, hele uka gikk jeg inn i kunstnerbobla i atelieret mitt. Og da de 100 dagene var over, var jeg så inspirert at jeg kastet meg like godt ut i et nytt 30 dagers prosjekt som jeg rakk å avslutte akkurat i tide før sommerjobben tok meg og sommerferien stod for døren. – Snakk om å etablere gode vaner!

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

PROJECT GOALS

I like progress and result! And as a former project manager, I know that project work motivates me; I like that things have a beginning and an end. When professionalism and quality go hand in hand, good things can happen! As a wannabe professional artist, it is important that my products will find buyers, that’s why I want to raise the quality of my work. Fortunately, I know the art of planning and breaking down into affordable sub-goals, hence the projects.

PROSJEKT, MÅL OG DELMÅL

Jeg digger fremdrift og resultat! Og som tidligere prosjektleder vet jeg at prosjektarbeid motiverer meg; jeg liker at ting har en begynnelse og en slutt. Når profesjonalitet og kvalitet går hånd i hånd, kan bra ting skje! Som wannabe helprofesjonell kunstner er det viktig at produktet mitt holder mål, så da må jeg både fornye meg og heve kvaliteten på arbeidene noen hakk. Heldigvis kan jeg kunsten å planlegge og bryte ned i overkommelige delmål, derav prosjektene.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

STRANGE PORTRAITS

The 100 day project was about drawing weird portraits, the weirder the better. I mainly worked with promarkers on A3 size drawing paper. My goal was to raise the level of creative activity and to take my artistic expression one step further – and I think I succeed! I focused on completing one portrait every day and I’am quite happy with the development.

RARE PORTRETTER 

100 dagers prosjektet handlet om å tegne rare portretter, jo rarere jo bedre. Jeg jobbet primært med tusj på papir i størrelse A3 format. Målet var å få opp aktivitetsnivået og å ta ta det kunstneriske uttrykket mitt ett hakk videre – og jeg tror jeg lykkes! Jeg fokuserte på å fullføre ett portrett hver dag og er godt fornøyd med utviklingen.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

NUDE STUDIES

The 30 day project was about expressing bodily reflections of people, and the work is based on drawing live models. The studies in this project are larger and most of the charcoal sketches and acrylic paintings are made on kraft paper measuring about 70×50 cm or 80×60 cm.

AKT STUDIER

30 dagers prosjektet har mer handlet om å uttrykke hele mennesker og arbeidene er basert på studier av levende modeller. Arbeidene i dette prosjektet er større og de fleste kullskissene og maleriene er laget på kraftpapir om måler ca 70×50 cm eller 80×60 cm. 

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

SOCIAL MEDIA 

As part of # 100dayartchallenge (January 1st-April 10th) and # 30dayartchallenge (April 11th-May 10th), I shared one photo on Instagram every day and was lucky enough to receive tip-top response along the way. As I decided to close down my art pages on facebook, I publicly shared some tastes from the projects on my personal profile along the way for people to follow.

SOSIALE MEDIER

Som en del av  #100dayartchallenge (1.januar-10.april) og #30dayartchallenge (11.april-10.mai) delte jeg ett bilde på Instagram hver dag og fikk god respons underveis. Ettersom jeg har lagt ned kunstsidene mine på facebook, delte jeg offentlige innlegg med noen smakebiter på profilen min underveis slik at flere kunne følge med.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

130 DAYS IN THE STUDIO = GOOD JOB

130 creative studio days in a row is nothing to giggle about. I know talented artists who struggle to find time and effort to work creatively. And sometimes being a self employed artists feels a bit overwhelming. My coping strategy is setting realistic goals that fit in with everyday life. A few years back I had tiny goals and I am so grateful that this year is of a different caliber. Being able to work on the right project at the right time will eventually set me free to do what I want!

130 DAGER I ATELIERET = BRA JOBBA

130 arbeidsøkter på rekke og rad er ingenting å kimse av. Jeg kjenner mange som sliter med å finne tid og krefter til å jobbe kreativt. Jeg kan også kjenne litt på at hele kunstnerbobla kan være i overkant overveldende innimellom og da er det godt å sette seg konkrete mål som er overkommelige med hvordan livet er akkurat nå. Jeg har hatt veldig små mål i enkelte perioder tidligere og er veldig takknemlig for at dette året er av et annet kaliber. Det ligger mye mestring og frigjøring av positiv energi når man klarer å jobbe med riktig prosjekt til riktig tid.

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

HAVE A NICE SUMMER

Right now I will take on a summer job to hand in some extra money. After that lies a long-awaited summer vacation. My husband and I have planned so many nice trips together and we will buy an electric bicycle to get us farther than far. But knowing myself, I bet I can’t keep myself away from the studio for the whole summer!

GOD SOMMER

Nå skal jeg bare få unna sommerjobben og hanke inn litt ekstra penger, før en etterlengtet sommerferie for døren. Ektemannen og jeg har planlagt mange fine turer og vi skal kjøpe el-sykkel sånn at vi kommer langt og lenger enn langt. Men kjenner jeg meg selv, klarer jeg neppe å holde meg helt unna atelieret! 

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

My 100 Day Art Project

Sadly, there is no quick fix to being an artist. You need a bit of talent, ability and willingness to learn, perseverance and time to work hard. Like any other superpower it takes years of practice to find your unique style and most artists do not become famous at all.

So why do I keep on drawing, painting, photographing, printmaking and testing new techniques? And why is my brain always in the mood of creating new projects?

Because creating art is my passion!

100dayproject artbyrekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

#100dayproject

The reason I created a 100 day project is to build new habits that help me live the life I want. Modern life is busy, filled with lots of dos and don’ts. We’re online more or less 24/7 clinging to cell phones, listening to books, music and podcasts, attached to PCs and television. Time is limited and we tend to think in headlines and with short concentration span.

Working in my studio gives me time to contemplate what goes on in the world. The slow creative process is kind of a life force that reconnects me with more important stuff. A bit like how a walk in the woods revitalize me. Some call it recreation, meditation or therapy. I do what nurtures me, what feels right and what I love.

This year I have committed myself to 100 days of daily art practice. Because:

Creativity is a skill and the more I practice, the more skilled I become!

The plan is that every day for 100 days I will be working in my studio with diverse creative projects; small or big doesn’t matter. Every day I will post one pic on my Instagram account. I’d like to say working in my art studio helps me become a better version of myself; happier, kinder and more open-minded. I feel free, the world is limitless! Like some of my first memories.

Growing up

Growing up on a farm back in the days, young children were normally left alone to play outside while their parents took a nap after dinner, before going back to the fields and taking care of their livestock. Like most farm children I enjoyed lots of freedom roaming the hoods, trying to figure out life’s mysteries. My early years of childhood seem to be quite lighthearted and enjoyable. I was curious and excited, had lots of creative energy and hours to spend on my own searching for fun.

Early artist career plan

My dad had plenty of cool tools, so at the age of 4 this little girl was stone carving day after day fully determined to become a sculptor and make gigantic statues. A few weeks later I gave up because I couldn’t find stones that would let me form them the way I wanted; the materials were either too hard or too soft. And my wrists were really hurting from all the hammering. Then I tried working with clay from the seashore without significant success.

Since neither my carpentry did come out like I wanted, I went back to drawing, encouraged by Grandma who was happy to model for me every day. At the age of 5 I had my first art exhibit in Grandma’s house. All the neighbors were invited and Grandma served coffee and homemade cakes. To my big surprise I sold my first drawing. And Grandma told everyone that I was going to become an artist.

100dayproject artbyrekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Years passing by

Through adolescence I was sketching, drawing and writing for hours every night. I hardly had time to sleep. But then it all stopped. For years and years, life was filled with sports, parties, studies, jobs, friends and family life. Many good years, by all means, but my creative spirit was not nurtured except for a few lucky hours every now and then. Some nights I skipped sleeping, or I couldn’t sleep, because my brain was in creative modus.

Dreamt I was painting

During sleep I dreamt I was painting large canvases with strong colors, weird and wonderful, abstract motives. Luckily I discovered an art school in my hood and took a summer class. Half way through my second day in summer class, I had kind of a spiritual awakening and a feeling of being connected with something I’ve always looked for. I felt I had no choice, that I finally had found my calling, so I attended the art school. The next two years were intense in so many ways. So many things to learn, so much work, so much fun!

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working. (Pablo Picasso)

Building successful habits

There are many “where do I stand, where do I want to go” exercises, loads of reflection and evaluation programs to carry out. But I like to keep things simple:

1. Where do I want to put my energy and How do I do that?
2. Put first things first. Every day.
3. Step by step, I will get there.

On my journey to being an artist, I skip a lot of nice things like travelling and socializing with friends. My everyday life consists of daily routines, small steps towards new achievements.

Unlike most of my fellow students from art school, who are struggling with full time jobs and busy days, most of my days are open. I have decided to focus on what I love most. I am determined to follow my heart and my dream.

I still dream

I still dream that I make art while sleeping; I still dream I paint large canvases. They are a lot better than the ones I make during the day. Therefore:

The #100dayproject is one of my tools to be capable of painting those beautiful pieces.

If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing. (Marc Chagall)

The year of the pig will hopefully bring dedication, commitment, progress, originality and thrilling possibilities for me and my artwork. I will work hard and set small goals every day!

100dayproject artbyrekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

PÅ NORSK 

Det ingen snarveier for å bli kunstner. Du trenger talent, evne og vilje til å lære, tid og utholdenhet til å jobbe hardt. Det tar mange år med jobbing for å utvikle din unike stil og de fleste kunstnere blir ikke berømte i det hele tatt.

Så hvorfor fortsetter jeg å tegne, male, fotografere, skrive og teste nye teknikker? Og hvorfor kommer hjernen min alltid opp med masse ideer til nye prosjekter? Fordi at:

Å lage kunst er min lidenskap!

# 100dagerprosjektet

Grunnen til at jeg gjør et 100 dagers prosjekt er for å etablere nye vaner som hjelper meg til å leve det livet jeg ønsker meg. Ukene er travle, fylt med mange gjøremål. Vi er nesten alltid pålogget, klamrer oss til mobiltelefoner, lytter til bøker, musikk og podcaster, vi sitter foran PCer og TV. Tiden er knapp, vi tenker ofte i overskrifter, har kort konsentrasjonsevne og hopper raskt fra det ene til det andre.

Arbeidet i atelieret gir meg ro til å gruble over hva som foregår i verden. Den kreative prosessen tar tid og er en slags kraft som kobler meg på igjen, et slags kompass som gir retning, innsikt og perspektiv. Litt som en tur i skogen gjenoppliver meg etter en stressende dag. Noen kaller det rekreasjon, meditasjon eller terapi. For meg handler det å være i ett med seg selv og omgivelsene, å være tro mot seg selv, å gjøre det som er bra for meg!

I år har jeg forpliktet meg til 100 dager med daglige kreative økter. Fordi:

Kreativitet er en ferdighet og jo mer jeg øver, jo  dyktigere blir jeg!

Planen er at skal jeg jobbe i atelieret mitt hver eneste dag i 100 påfølgende dager med ulike kreative prosjekter; små eller stor spiller ingen rolle – og poste ett bilde på instagram. Jeg vil nesten påstå at å jobbe i atelieret hjelper meg å bli en litt bedre versjon av meg selv; lykkeligere, snillere, åpen og imøtekommende. Jeg føler meg fri, verden er ubegrenset! Slik noen av mine første minner er.

Oppvekst

Jeg vokste opp på en liten gård på den tiden barn var ute og lekte mens foreldrene tok en fortjent middagslur, før de gikk tilbake til åker og fjøsstell. Jeg hadde stor frihet til å utforske livets mysterier og minnes mine tidlige barndoms år som spennende og morsomme. Jeg var vitebegjærlig, hadde masse kreativ energi og et hav av tid til å gjøre alt som var gøy.

Pappa hadde massevis av kule verktøy som jeg fikk låne, så i 4 års alderen satt jeg dag etter dag og hugget i stein, fast bestemt på å bli billedhugger og lage enorme statuer. Noen sommeruker senere ga jeg opp, fordi jeg ikke fant stein som lot seg bearbeide slik jeg ønsket; steinene var enten for harde eller for myke. Og håndleddene mine verket etter all hamringen. Deretter forsøkte jeg å lage skulpturer av leire fra fjæra, uten nevneverdig suksess.

Etter som heller ikke snekkerprosjektene ble slik jeg ville, gikk jeg tilbake til tegning. Farmor heiet på meg og satt modell så ofte jeg ville. Jeg var rundt 5 da jeg hadde jeg min første kunstutstilling i farmors stue. Alle naboene var invitert, og farmor serverte kaffe og hjemmelagde kaker. Til min store overraskelse solgte jeg en tegning. Og farmor fortalte alle at jeg skulle bli kunstner når jeg ble stor!

Årene går

Gjennom barne- og ungdomsskolen skisset, tegnet og skrev jeg i timevis hver kveld. Jeg hadde knapt tid til å sove. Men så endret alt seg og de neste årene var livet fylt med sport, kjærester, fester, studier, jobber, venner og familieliv. Mange gode minner, for all del, men mine kreative talenter lå stort sett brakk bortsett fra noen få timer nå og da. Enkelte netter droppet jeg å sove, eller jeg kunne ikke sove, fordi hjernen min var i kreativ modus.

Drømte at jeg laget store malerier

Ofte drømte jeg at jeg malte store bilder med sterke farger og merkelige, fantastiske, abstraherte motiver. Til alt hell oppdaget jeg en kunstskole i nabolaget og meldte meg på et sommerkurs.
Den andre dagen på sommerkurset fikk jeg en sterk aha-opplevelse og en bestemt følelse av endelig å ha hadde funnet det jeg alltid hadde lett etter. Jeg kjente at jeg ikke hadde noe valg, og søkte meg inn på billedkunstutdanningen. De neste to årene var intense på så mange måter. Så mange ting å lære, så mye arbeid, så mye moro!

Inspirasjon eksisterer, men ikke uten at du jobber. (Pablo Picasso)

Art by Rekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo

Lag gode vaner

Det er mange “hvor står jeg, hvor går jeg” øvelser, utallige refleksjons- og evalueringkurs man kan ta. Men jeg liker å gjøre ting enkelt:

1. Hva ønsker jeg å bruke energien min på og Hvordan gjør jeg det?
2. Gjør det viktigste først. Hver dag.
3. Sakte, men sikkert vil jeg komme dit jeg vil.

På veien mot kunstnerdrømmen, dropper jeg stadig fine ting som å reise og å være sammen med venner. Hverdagene består av daglige rutiner, små skritt mot utvikling og mestring. I motsetning til mange av mine medstudenter fra kunstskolen, som sliter med heltidsjobber og tidsklemme, er de fleste av mine dager åpne. Fordi: Jeg ønsker å fokusere på det jeg elsker mest. Jeg er fast bestemt på å følge mitt hjerte og min kunstnerdrøm.

Kunstnerdrømmen

Jeg drømmer fortsatt om kunst mens jeg sover. Jeg drømmer fortsatt at jeg maler store, vakre bilder. Og de er mye bedre enn de jeg lager i løpet av dagen. Så derfor:

# 100dagersprosjektet er et av verktøyene mine for å lære meg å male de vakre bildene.

Hvis jeg lager ting fra hjertet, fungerer nesten alt! (Marc Chagall)

Grisens år vil forhåpentligvis bringe engasjement, fremgang, originalitet og uventede muligheter for meg og min kunst! Jeg skal jobbe hardt og sette små mål hver dag!

100dayproject artbyrekkebo

Copyright (c) Art by Rekkebo