Before even starting this list, I know this is going to be a long post. I will not be able to choose just one artwork by each artist, and I want to write what exactly it is about their work which speaks to me and inspires me. Just googling and looking through their work and studying their techniques instantly sparks motivation and awe in me.
Here are the artists:
Nicholas Roerich Thomas Cole K. Hokusai John Savio Eva Harr Robert Gonsalves Theodor Kittelsen The Brothers Hildebrandt Phil Couture
The list is sort of random, except for the one on top. Nicholas Roerich’s artworks are truly some of the best I’ve seen, not only in style and composition but also in the message they convey: often spiritual, mystical and religious themes combined with amazing landscapes and colour combinations.
Short trivia: Roerich (1874-1947) was a Russian painter, philospher and archeaologist. Founder of Agni Yoga or Living Ethics/Teaching of Life with his wife, Helena. He did a five year long ‘expedition’ to Asia, which in his own words were: “from Sikkim through Punjab, Kashmir, Ladakh, the Karakoram Mountains, Khotan, Kashgar, Qara Shar, Urumchi, Irtysh, the Altai Mountains, the Oyrot region of Mongolia, the Central Gobi, Kansu, Tsaidam, and Tibet”, which immensely influenced his works.
During his life, he lived both in Russia, Finland, England, India and USA.
Besides the recognition as one of the greatest Russian painters, Roerich’s most notable achievement during his lifetime was the Roerich Pact (the Treaty on the Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historic Monuments) signed April 1935 by the representatives of American states in the Oval Office of the White House. It was the first international treaty signed in the Oval Office.
There is a museum in New York displaying 150 of his works- which I would love to visit 🙂
Fun fact: The minor planet 4426 Roerich in the Solar System was named in honor of Nicholas Roerich.
Here are some of his best works, in my opinion (Sources: Google and the Roerich museum website)
As you can probably guess, my favourite kind of art is landscapes; mountains and rivers, skies and horizons. Thomas Cole’s work is very realistic and typical for the romantic era, but also carries a sort of spiritual vibe to them as he often implemented celestial beings such as angels. He is exceptionally good at perspective and composition, as you can see in the works below – and the details are amazing.
Short trivia: Thomas Cole (1801-1811) was born in England, but moved to the United states when he was 17 with his family. He is known for his amazing landscape paintings of the American wilderness, and was mostly self taught, studying other artists’ work and reading books.
In 1842, Cole embarked on a grand tour of Europe in an effort to study in the style of the Old Masters and to paint its scenery. Most striking to Cole was Europe’s tallest active volcano, Mount Etna. Cole was so moved by the volcano’s beauty that he produced several sketches and at least six paintings of it.
Fun fact: The fourth highest peak in the Catskills (where he and his wife lived) is named Thomas Cole Mountain in his honor.
I struggled choosing a limited amount of Cole’s paintings because he has so many good ones. I chose four of the absolute best ones, in my opinion, where the two first ones are part of a four series of paintings called The Ages of Life.
(Sources: google and Wikipedia)
Amid those scenes of solitude… the mind is cast into the contemplation of eternal things.
I love Japanese art. Although kind of typical Japanese in style, Hokusai still has his own expression, and I like the use of so many colours. He also has a lot of movement in his works, making them come alive. Just look at that wave 🙂
Short trivia: Hokusai (approx. 1760-1849), was a Japanese painter and woodblock print maker.
Hokusai had a long career, but he produced most of his important work after age 60. His most popular work is the ukiyo-e series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, which was created between 1826 and 1833. It consists of 46 prints.
Hokusai was never in one place for long. He found cleaning distasteful, and instead, he allowed dirt and grime to build up in his studio until the place became unbearable and then simply moved out. The artist changed residences over 90 times throughout his life.
During a Tokyo festival in 1804, he created a portrait of the Buddhist priest Daruma said to be 600 feet (180 m) long using a broom and buckets full of ink. Another story places him in the court of the Shogun Iyenari, invited there to compete with another artist who practiced more traditional brush stroke painting. Hokusai’s painting, created in front of the Shogun, consisted of painting a blue curve on paper, then chasing a chicken across it whose feet had been dipped in red paint. He described the painting to the Shogun as a landscape showing the Tatsuta River with red maple leaves floating in it, winning the competition.
The artist also had difficulty settling on a single moniker. Although changing one’s name was customary among Japanese artists at this time, Hokusai took the practice even further with a new artist name roughly each decade. Together with his numerous informal pseudonyms, the printmaker claimed more than 30 names in total (!)
His tombstone bears his final name, Gakyo Rojin Manji, which translates to “Old Man Mad about Painting.”
Fun fact: Claude Monet acquired 23 of the Japanese artist’s prints.
(Sources: katsushikahokusai.org, artsy.net, google and wikipedia)
The only Sámi artist on my list, and the best one 🙂 I snuck him on there despite him not mainly being a painter, but also doing lithography. This summer, I went to see his original artworks at the Savio museum in Kirkenes, my mother’s hometown. Most of his art has arctic inspired themes; reindeers, the Sámi peoples way of life, and the wilderness (vidda).
Short trivia: John Andreas Savio (1902-1938) from Bugøyfjord, was the first sámi artist to get his own exhibition at the National Gallery (Norway). He also exhibited some of his works in Paris in 1937.
Savio grew up as an orphan and died at age 36.
I was lucky enough to visit Eva Harr’s gallery in Reine, Lofoten this autumn, and got to see her original works up close. Her style is realistic combined with a fiction-like feeling; it could be a real place she has painted, but it could also be a made-up dreamy landscape. She’s good at combining elements, such as rocks, and I like how she is able to make many of her paintings look hazy.
Short trivia: Harr (1951) is a Norwegian painter, born in Harstad. She has her own gallery as mentioned, and many of her works are displayed in other museums around Norway. Her own words about her art:
“Jeg har en meditativ holdning til mitt arbeide, der naturens syklus alltid står i fokus. Døgnets ulike stemninger, lyset og mørket, nattens begynnelse og slutt – og ikke minst månen med sin mektige symbolikk og innvirkning på våre liv. Symbolene jeg finner i naturen er ofte universelle og sterkt ladet. Dette velger jeg å utforske og fordype meg i. Mitt landskap er et indre landskap, og er metafor på mine indre reiser. Jeg vil speile naturen, og dens viktige plass i våre liv. Jeg blir berørt av dette uforutsigbare som preger vår tid, uro og støy som truer vår natur. Dette preger mitt blikk, og er underliggende i mitt valg av motiv. Samtidig ser jeg klart at lysets skiftninger og landskapet i nord, er en veldig viktig inspirasjonskilde.”
from her own website, evaharr.no
Some of her amazing works (Sources: google and her website)
Four years ago, I came across one of Gonsalves’ paintings (the first one below) and it reminded me of a meditation experience I had had. So I checked out more of his works, and found so many more that I liked. Style: surrealism (or magic realism) and optical illusions.
Short trivia: Rob Gonsalves (1959-2017), also known as The Master of illusion, was a architect and painter from Ontario, Canada. His works were very much influenced by other surrealist artists, such as Dalí and Escher. He also published several books containing his works. Sadly, Gonsalves took his own life last year. Check out this webpage if you want to see more of his mindbending artworks.
(Sources: wikipedia and google)
One of the most famous and beloved artists in Norway. You have probably seen his works even if you don’t know it. His art reminds me of childhood, as he made illustrations to many of the big Norwegian fairytales, lores and legends. I wish I had more of Kittelsen’s art, but I have been so fortunate to get my hands on five vintage porcelain plates (for hanging on the wall) with his drawings on them, and one giclée print of “White Bear King Valemon”.
Short trivia: Theodor Severin Kittelsen (1857-1914) was a Norwegian illustrator and painter born in Kragerø. He has also written and published several poems. He came from a poor family with seven siblings, and his father died when Theodor was only 11 years old. This forced him to get out and get a job as an apprentice, which inevitably lead him to meet art historian Diderich Aall, who saw how gifted the boy was. Aall decided to pay for his art education.
In 1874, 17 years old, Kittelsen attended Wilhelm von Hannos drawing school in Christiania (now Oslo). In 1876, he travelled to München, to study at the royal art academy there.
Kittelsen’s depiction of trolls have largely shaped how people see these beloved fictional creatures.
His family’s home at Lauvlia is today a museum. Some of his most popular works were made here. His wife Inga was a stay-at-home teacher for their nine children and she organised his exhibitions.
Th. Kittelsen also composed an eerie book with illustrations about the Black Death.
Despite being very talented, Kittelsen never achieved financial security through his works.
(Sources: wikipedia, google and theodorkittelsen.no)
The Brothers Hildebrandt
When I was a kid, I used to flick through my dad’s art books and magazines, and I specifically remember seeing fantasy paintings. Fantasy is a very unique genre, and I love how skillful you have to be with your brush to make good fantasy art. Tim and Greg Hildebrandt are two of these.
Short trivia: Greg and Tim Hildebrandt, known as the Brothers Hildebrandt (born January 23, 1939), are American twin brothers who worked collaboratively as fantasy and science fiction artists for many years. They produced illustrations for comic books, movie posters, children’s books, posters, novels, calendars, advertisements, and trading cards. Tim Hildebrandt died on June 11, 2006.
They began painting professionally in 1959 as the Brothers Hildebrandt. The brothers both held an ambition to work as animators for Walt Disney, and although they never realized this dream, their work was heavily influenced by illustration style of Disney feature films such as Snow White, Pinnochio and Fantasia.
An oil painting artist I discovered last year on Etsy. As mentioned above, I like Asian art, and also fine art, so Phil Couture’s oil portraits of geishas really deserved a place on my list. I ordered one of his prints not long ago. Style: realism.
Short trivia: Philippe Couture was born in Drummondville, Canada in 1984, raised in Lakeland, Florida, and currently resides in Kyoto, Japan. He has been drawing and painting his entire life and Phil’s art education was primarily self-taught. His training consisted of drawing and painting from life, studying masterpieces in museums around the world, and employing exercises taught by classical ateliers. – from his own website.
Tried out some aquarelle techniques (wet-on-wet). Always found watercolors difficult; finding the right paper, using the right amount of water, waiting the right time for the water to be absorbed and using just enough paint/ink.. all the factors. Still, it’s fun and I want to learn how to use watercolors properly!🙌
My best early Sunday morning try at making a logo/profile pic for my Facebook art page.
Think it turned out pretty good! I used an app called Logopit Plus to add the fonts and circles, and the picture itself I just took outside on the porch – daylight really brings out the color in my paintings.
This morning I also felt very inspired and creative to make something, and I have always been very fond of Asian art, specifically Chinese and Japanese style paintings. So this one is inspired by that:
“The Master has mastered Nature; not in the sense of conquering it, but of becoming it. In surrendering to the Tao, in giving up all concepts, judgments, and desires, her mind has grown naturally compassionate. She finds deep in her own experience the central truths of the art of living, which are paradoxical only on the surface: that the more truly solitary we are, the more compassionate we can be; the more we let go of what we love, the more present our love becomes; the clearer our insight into what is beyond good and evil, the more we can embody the good.” – Lao Tzu
These past couple of days, my mind has been spinning in the direction of motivation and inspiration towards writing and painting. I feel creative again, after many, many months of having a huge creative blockage in my system. I’m painting and writing letters to people I care about. I’m not feeling as critical towards my own ability to create, and therefore I am able to play around more without being too hung up on the result. I even found the courage to go ask an art studio and a gallery in town if they wanted to display my paintings, and they did! What an adrenaline kick.
Anyway. I felt like writing about my buddhist path. Two nights ago, I was at a small get-together, a moving-in-party at a buddhist friend´s place, and the conversation steered towards spirituality and religion. Me and this friend were the only practicing buddhists in the room, and it became evident to me that there are a lot of assuptions about buddhism that I just don’t find true at all, in my personal experience. For example that the (historical) Buddha Shakyamuni is looked upon as a God, above other people/followers, that enlightenment/buddhahood is something mystical only available to certain people and that spirituality is in the culture, not necessarily in people’s heart and mind.
To me, it only makes sense that since we all have a mind, that means we all have the same ability to transform it, to step out of the wheel of suffering and confusion. And since we all have a heart, we all have the potential to open it towards all living beings, and develop a compassionate heart without disrimination. The Buddha Shakyamuni showed us it’s possible, and so did many other dharma practitioners and teachers, like Yeshe Tsogyal, Padmasambhava and Jetsun Milarepa – to mention a few. I believe it is true though, that some people have a stronger connection to dharma (the teachings and the practice) than others, but still the possibility is there.
I think it’s important to remember that when we are practicing dharma, it is not to become a part of Tibetan or Indian culture, or to belong to any other culture with a strong tie to buddhism. It is “simply” to be a kind of scientist who looks closely at our own minds, and to be able to use the samsaric (cyclic) mind as a tool to tranform it into an enlightened one. Training our minds through meditation. In this sense, I feel buddhism has much more of a spiritual approach to it, than a religious one. There is a lot of religious and cultural baggage attached to buddhism that I personally don’t agree with, for example putting young children in monasteries, away from their families, blindly believing something just because a robed person said it without using common sense to check it for yourself, and the still-existing patriarchy that’s going on in some areas of buddhism.
Despite this, I still call myself a buddhist because I feel a strong devotion in my own heart to practice the dharma and a motivation to transform my mind using the buddhist teachings. I feel lucky to not live in a poor country and to have time to practice and to be able to go on retreats 3-4 times a year with a wonderful sangha and a very capable teacher. I also feel like the basic buddhist principles of ethics, honesty and being of help and benefit to others is such a beautiful and transformative thing.
Having been a practicing buddhist for about two years now, I definitely feel like I have a more clear mind and a more pure heart. Still long ways to go, but feeling progress is golden. If you’d like to check out the tradition I am practicing in, go to openheart.fi 🙂
Six years ago a lovely friend of mine took some photos of me in Bukta in Troms, and last week at the Bukta festival I randomly met her again while picking trash 😛 We decided to meet up for another photoshoot, and so we did yesterday! We tried many different looks, this one might be my favorite. Raincoat, bra and latex skirt. Perfect summer outfit :’D (Not, it was so warm, it felt like I was wearing a portable sauna!)
Had a very fun, lively and creative photoshoot with my good friend David González (Buendia photography) in his studio in Tromsø city. I have made the clothes myself 😀 The green string bag is made of photography printed fabric, picture was taken close to where i grew up 🙂 Feel free to contact if you would like to purchase one yourself, or are interested in any of the clothes as well.
“Kom, mai, du skjønne, milde,
gjør skogen atter grønn,
og la ved bekk og kilde
fiolen blomstre skjønn!
Hvor ville jeg dog gjerne
at jeg igjen deg så!
Akk, kjære mai,
hvor gjerne gad jeg i marken gå!” 🌳🌹🍃🌻🌸
Perspektivet museum har de siste månedene hatt en fantastisk fin postkortutstilling med samiske motiv (samlet av Alan Borvos mellom slutten av 1800-tallet og til midten av 1900-tallet), og nå nylig hadde de et foredrag om nettopp denne utstillingen, samt at man kunne få lov å prøve monotypi (maleteknikk). Sykt morsom teknikk, absolutt noe jeg blir å prøve hjemme selv!
Tok noen bilder av utstillingen med mobilen. Så mange fine postkort/fotografi!
Monotypi: legg en glassplate over et motiv (postkort, foto etc.), mal på glassplaten etter motivet og deretter ta et avtrykk av glassplaten med papir. Voila!
Likte litt at hun ble ansiktsløs (da jeg ikke er noe flink å male ansikt), føler det representerer på en måte den undertrykkelsen og anonymiseringen av urfolk som har vært – og enda er, til en viss grad. Når man ser på henne (min versjon til høyre), kunne det nesten vært “hvilken som helst” urkvinne.
‘She is considered to be the deity of universal compassion who represents virtuous and enlightened activity; a female bodhisattva.
The word Tara itself is derived from the root ‘tri’ (to cross), hence the implied meaning: ‘the one who enables living beings to cross the Ocean of Existence and Suffering’. Her compassion for living beings, her desire to save them from suffering, is said to be even stronger than a mother’s love for her children.
The story of Tara’s origin, according to the Tara Tantra, recounts that aeons ago she was born as a king’s daughter. A compassionate princess, she regularly gave offerings and prayers to the ordained monks and nuns. She thus developed great merit, and the monks told her that, because of her spiritual attainments, they would pray that she be reborn as a man and spread Buddhist teachings. She responded that there was no male and no female, that nothing existed in reality, and that she wished to remain in female form to serve other beings until everyone reached enlightenment, hence implying the shortfall in the monk’s knowledge in presuming only male preachers for the Buddhist religion. Thus Tara might be considered one of the earliest feminists.’
Malte Hamperokken for en liten stund siden. Uten tvil min favorittfjelltopp, spesielt nå på vinteren, dekt i snø. Har vokst opp med dette fjellet som utsikt og bare å se på det bringer fram minner og følelser jeg setter pris på. Var absolutt på tide at jeg fikk malt det i mitt bilde!
I am definitely not gonna write a “new year, new me” post, because I am really not trying to improve myself. If anything, I am trying to dissolve what is left of “me”-identity 😀 I am not going to say “2018 will be the best year” either because the last two times I did that, the year proved to be the absolute worst/hardest, haha. Not gonna jinx it this time!
The new year has started off with a very bad flu + migraines + something called laryngitis (constant couching and loss of voice). Luckily, people rarely call me, so good old texting is in order! I hope I get better fast, tho, because I have some couchsurfing hosting to attend to, and also there is the TIFF (Tromsø International Film Festival) coming up. Plus some concerts…and parties…ah, how will I find the energy to do all this 🙂
I do, however, want to say that I wish the new year will be even more creative and that I will find more motivation for my art. Doubt and low energy has been big for me these last months and it has affected me a lot. I also wish that I will develop and find meaningful connections and adventures this year. I don’t believe it is good for anyone to be too much alone or isolated, even if you have chronic illness or social anxiety or whatever reason. I have been in a place where being around people have been *impossible*. So I am so grateful that is not the case anymore, and lately Couchsurfing has been kind of a lifesaver in that regard. I don’t have a job or go to school, so meeting new people this way is really nice. I still love my own space, but balance is always key 🙂
Last year, in January, I started a crowdfunding for a medical treatment (rehabilitation) in the Dead Sea, next to Jordan and Israel.. I have not received enough funds to go there yet, but if I do within the next 8 months, it is very possible I will go. Other than that, the year is pretty much open to whatever happens. Not gonna plan too much.
“Dunes/texture” 18 x 24 cm, acrylic on canvas board. Trying out different stroke techniques; I think this one made it look very alive and “flowy” 🙂
Oh, and here’s an amazing song by an incredible woman you don’t want to miss!
Wishing everyone a happy new year! My new year has started off with lyrangitis (constant couching and loss of voice), and what seems to be a chronic headache. According to the good old internet, I’ll be fine within a fortnight, and that the cause of this might be “loud singing” or “too much alcohol”…well, I did have a fun Christmas, but how can one have too much fun?
Ofte når jeg er ute, finner jeg steiner som bare må bli med meg hjem fordi jeg tenker de er perfekte til å male på. De trenger ikke være firkantet, eller være helt glatt, jeg liker at de er litt ru og skjev eller at de har en helt unik form. Og ofte er det lettere å finne ut hva man skal male om steinen har en spesiell form, slik som denne – syns en seilbåt var helt perfekt! Å male på steiner kan også være en fin måte å øve seg på; å bruke hundrevis av kroner på lerret kan jo bli dyrt i lengden 🙂 et lite tips på fredagskvelden 😉
Har blitt helt forelska i å lage søte små maleri. De er så lett å jobbe med, da man kan holde lerretet i hånden hele tiden, og dessuten liker jeg veldig godt å bruke små pensler. Føler at fokuset på detaljer blir ekstra viktig 🙂
Dette maleriet er forøvrig til salgs – skal legge det inn på butikksiden!
I am currently working on a bigger piece (60 x 60 cm), but I needed a small break for it, so I decided to do some wave and cloud painting studies/practice. Turned out pretty okay, but I see many places where improvements can be made. Things don’t have to be perfect at first try, and the practice of different techniques is key. I did, however, really like the colors. Blue, pink and orange – and a bit of purple inside the peaks of the waves. I see many more wave paintings in the future, for sure! 🙂
Har slitt veldig med motivasjonen i det siste når det kommer til maling og andre kreative aktiviteter. Vet ikke helt hva det kommer av, men jeg har lyst å komme tilbake til den kreative flyten jeg hadde for noen måneder siden. Så i dag har jeg satt av hele dagen til å bare høre på musikk og å teste ut forskjellige maleteknikker. Jeg merker hvor mye inspirasjon jeg får av musikk, så det er noe jeg absolutt skal utnytte bedre. Her er et album jeg snubla over på YouTube som jeg likte veldig godt:
This was a very fun project to do. I got an order to make a rainbow body/sambhogãkaya representation in the form of swirling rainbow light in primary colors (the five elements), with a simple black circle. It was a challenge to get the different colors in the same size and had to do most of it freehand, but it turned out super nice and whole image seems to have movement which was the goal. It took about 7-8 hours in total, and each color has 4 layers to not make it look streaky. The person who ordered it seemed very pleased with the result and seeing someone else appreciate my work is priceless. Thank you.
50 x 50, acrylic on stetched canvas. Simple yet powerful.
Had a little break from painting in the Easter, but today I felt like making something again. Have not bought any new canvases, the only ones I have are these tiny cute ones, and they are very fun to work with because you can hold them in your hand.
The weather here is absolutely amazing these days; clear blue sky all the time and very much snow in the mountains. So this was inspired by that 🙂
Snowy Norwegian mountains.. Every time I take the bus, I drive pass these mountains, and they look very majestic, so I had to paint them ❤ Still about one thousand more mountains I want to paint, hehe, but all in good time.
“The eagles of Manwë”, 50 x 40 cm, acrylic on canvas
“The Great Eagles were beings of Arda said to have been “devised” by Manwë Súlimo, the leader of the Valar, and were often called the Eagles of Manwë. They were sent from Valinor to Middle-earth to keep an eye on the exiled Ñoldor, and also upon their foe the evil Vala Morgoth, and later yet upon Morgoth’s lieutenant and future Dark Lord, Sauron.”
Made some more jewellery lately. Love the colors. All jewellery is made with glass or crystal beads, and either nickle free metal or sterling silver. Pine cones and shells are from the local nature. Will put it in the shop asap! 🙂
Finally made something new and fresh, and it feels really good to make something that comes straight from a creative and pure place. It’s been a long time since I was in such a creative mode. I have a thing for mountains and peaks, especially if they are covered in snow. Growing up in Northern Norway (Troms and Finnmark), I have been spoiled with mountain views all my life, but for some reason I decided to make a mountain peak how I imagine it looks like in the Himalayas, a place I’d much like to visit one day 🙂