Thursday, August 29, 2013

The rise and fall of a mandala.

A strong idea and refusing to adjust.

I should have seen it coming from the start, but my idea was so strong and I believed so much in it that I refused to see the facts. Some times that's how it is, one has to follow the idea to it's end. Below is the finished drawn piece. I did see there were alot going on, but hey, just wait until it's colored.

See what I mean? It's all much clearer now, right. At this stage I started to plan my penwork, and boy should that be the best I ever did. - That shape I'll  make rounded and that flat and yes, I'll make that one like a bag. You all know how the mind flies.

I was so occupied making my masterpiece that I didn't notice what was about to happen. After the last stroke, I sat back to enjoy my work..................oooops, what happened? It looks like a mess, but come on, the shadowing still remains. Of course, that will make it come together again. Uha, for a moment I thought I had messed it all up!

All the shadowing done and now the realities dawns on me. How on earth could I manage to mess it up like this? Throw it away, I won't see it any more.
So I went to do something else, but in the back of my mind I still thought of it and what could be done to rescue it.

You know I have worked with curtains and sunscreens for many years. Let me create a sunscreen and call the outer shape an umbrella. And that's what I did. I don't know what I feel about it still, but it is what it is.

One thing's for sure, I have learned a few lessons from this and even found some new ideas. The time spent wasn't completely a vaste.

Monday, August 26, 2013

I'm hooked on mandalas again.


I had a wonderful day  yesterday.

I spent most of the day making a new mandala and I enjoyed it so much. This time I remembered to take photos as I went along, because I so much like to see how it changes from start to finish. 
First I used the compass to make the circle(s), I need them, otherwise it would never become a circle. Then I start to draw the design using a pencil. Normally I have no plans on how the end result is going to be even though I have some really good ones inside me. It's just that I don't know exactly how to draw them. Perhaps that should be my next project, to figure out how to make them.
Well, after I'm finished drawing with my pencil, I draw over with a micron pen and use the eraser to remove the pencil lines. Then it's time to paint.
Here I have used water soluble crayons only. At this stage, while painting, I make most of the decisions on how it will become at the end. Preparing for shadowing and all the lines. When the painting is done my mandala looks quite good, and it could be considered  finished, but it's not. The most fun part still remains, all the penwork. And the transformation is amazing, often it's hard to believe it's the same piece.

Most times when I'm done, I discover things I should/could have done in a different way, but that might be a common "problem". I'm pleased on how this one turned out, and especially pleased that I could leave the triangles without any lines. Stop in time, so to speak.
When it comes to which colors to use, I have no conscious plans. I most often start in the center and work my way out, choosing colors as I work. If I'm in doubt, I jump to the next row and then go back. All the shadowing is done using a light grey marker pen.

That was how I spent my Sunday, did you make some art too?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Art I saw in America.


It's always interesting to see alot of diffeent art abroad.

One do get inspired and think of new ways of doing things. I did photograph alot of sculptures and decorations too, but today I have chosen to show you some paintings I saw. This first one was photographed in a gallery in Tulsa, we went there to see the exhibition, Famous Faces, of the artist Kristin Halldorsdottir Eyfells. A very interesting exhibition.
Kristin H. Eyfells is an Icelandic artist who use oversized canvases to paint faces. As you see below she uses different colors to express the different feelings she sees in people. She claims that every wrinkle in our faces is there for a reason. She has made alot of faces, not only famous ones. Below is a photo of a card I recieved when I bought her book called Famous Faces.

The next two photos were taken in Santa Fe in a marked there. Santa Fe was a fantastic place to visit if one take interest in art and crafts. All the soft-edged buildings felt so friendly too. I loved being in Santa Fe.

This last photo is a very old well known painting, made of  Johannes Vermeer. It's called Girl with a Pearl Earring. You can read mor about it here. This painting has been one of my favorites for a long time, I once  read a novel about the prehistory of this painting, how it might have happened. Isn't it beautiful? I did photohraph this in Las Vegas.

I hope you got a bit inspired too! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

A new mandala.

An inspiring site.

Today I became a member of an inspiring site, and that led to this new mandala. I had nothing specific in mind when I started this, just to make a mandala. Sometime during the process I discovered the boats. Now, I've had a fantastic journey this summer so it might represent that. It's been so long since I made a mandala that I had forgotten how calming it is to make one.
Have a look at the site here to be inspired too. There is alot of beautiful pieces of art.
I made my piece on top of old bookpages, torn and glued down. It's all made by using watercolors and black and white pens. It has been so long since I made any art that this feels like a good day.
Enjoy yours too.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A bit more electricity.

Last week I promised

a bit more electricity, and now, I can't remember what I had in mind.I took the photo below while driving. Don't know where it is from, but I like the way the bus is parked and the power poles are there too. 
We stayed some days in San Diego too and that was much fun. I really liked that city. It was in San Diego I bought my pan pastels by the way.
The harbour and the maritime museum was a good treat and so was the beach with the longest pier I have ever seen and walked. We also went to listen to a concert played on the worlds second largest outdoor organ. A fantastic experience.
As you'll see in my next photo, the airport is close to the city and that gave me some rare opportuneties to photograph planes in odd situations.

We did ensure that the hotels we booked had outdoor swimmingpool, so that Anne and I could swim almost every day. San Diego was no exception and the pool were situated right outside my door. What a great time we had there, I would love returning to San Diego.

After San Diego we spent a couple of days in a small town called Santa Clarita. What I have to tell from that place needs a post of it's own, so I'll probably return to that.
Last stop was Los Angeles, and we spent two interesting days there too. We spent one day down town, walked among the skyscrapers, had something to eat and did shop a bit. The second day we spent in Warner Bros. Studios. A special experience topped when meeting Clint Eastwod himself. Below is a couple of beautiful cityscapes we saw. First one from LA and the last one from Saint Louis.

There is so much I want to show you, but I have to choose. I will show you some art I saw though, maybe next week.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mixed media.

I sat down to try my pan pastels in another project.

First I drew a wreath of flowers and painted them using watercolors. The drawing is made from imagination and isn't that well done but it's good enough for me to try what I want. At the very beginning I drew a circle, that way it's easier to make the wreath even.

I added some twinks and used WS crayons to make a neutral background.

Black and white pen for details and pan pastels to even out the background.

I worked some more with the greyish background, and at the end I used a new stencil to add the  dragonflies. I might add shadows to the dragonflies too, later on.

The pan pastels was like a dream to even out the background color. So smooth and easy to add. One certainly have to use a fixative, and I'm going to try hairspray.
Another time I'll try using a lighter color for the background, as it is now I feel it's a bit too dark. And, I could have kept the dragonflies white or a light color. I also did think of adding text instead of dragonflies, but with a complete wreath it seemed too strict.  All in all I'm pleased with the result and what I learned from doing it. That's the most important thing, don't you think?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The life giving "mothers" of America.


This was something I noticed from the first beginning of our visit.

The electrical poles, or whatever they are called. Look at the first photo, "she" is standing there giving life to America. I was very surprised to see this, at first. Back home most of these things have been hidden into the ground. Not all, but most of it close to where people live.
I have no idea what's the best, in the air or in the ground. In the ground is the most expensive, I've been told and less visible is more aesthetic, in my opinion. BUT, the more I saw during our journey the more beautiful, even poetic, I thought they became.
Below. New ones are being built, and not just a couple. As far as the eye could see they stood there , majestic, in the wide open. 
Not only one row, many times I saw several rows. Year after year they stand there doing their job.
On our way to Las Vegas we stopped to visit Hoover Dam, once the largest dam built ever. Built to produce power, and one do expect to see alot of electric installations there. What do you see here? For me these are ballet dancing cats and their instructors.
Even in the desert they do their duty. Can you see their heavy burdens? This is one of my favorite photos from this "series". Next week I'll show you a bit more electricity, and there is some good shots there too.

This became a familiar sight right outside the cities. It's not beautiful, but for me they represent the office life. Colleagues that are busy together.

Perhaps not the most usual things to photograph, but I most often follow my feelings. And, seeing them all together makes me remember how I felt. Next time you see one of the "mothers", maybe you'll look at them and think different thoughts, as I did. Who knows?

Enjoy your Sunday and thanks for visiting! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013



I bought myself pan-pastels while in the US.

Today I tried them for the first time. Easy to use, but difficult too. I think I have to make myself a face stencil, it's not nice to see all the pencil lines. I have to practice alot too, but I liked them. Isn't it strange how helpless one can feel when using new tools? Perhaps I should practice painting without drawing first but it's so difficult, I feel. And shadowing......I have alot to learn.
The other night I was surfing the internet and came across some tempting watercolor pencils too. Well, I'll have to think about it for awhile, meaningless to buy and buy and not use them. Right now I'm more up to reading  than anything else, but I have alot of things I'll try later on. 

I did this face rather quick, and ended my work even without coloring the neck. It was just meant as a test and I saw many things to do different. A good learningpiece.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Grand Canyon.


We had the most spectacular day in Grand Canyon.

It was a surprising event to visit Grand Canyon. In my head I had been expecting something totally different. I don't know why, but I did expect to enter the bottom of the canyons and look up, instead we were on top and looked down. Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this, and how GRAND it really is!
It was a fantastic sight which I'll never forget. I just had to climb the fence and stand close to the edge. Handyman took my picture and it seems like I'm ready to say: Hands up! 

The photos don't need any further comments, they speak for themselves. If you ever get the opportunety to visit there, do it!

The last photo is something special, enlarge and notice the "thing" in the lower right side. Can anyone tell me what I have photographed? It's quite a mysterie to me. It's just like it's hanging in the air. I would be greatful if anyone can tell me what it is.