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
“A merchant crossing a forest infested with thieves would keep a weapon ready to hand. A traveler passing through a country ravaged by plague would take with him an assortment of medicines. In the same way, living as you do under the constant threat of emotions like anger, desire, pride, jealousy and many others, you should always be ready to fight them off with the appropriate antidotes. Constant vigilance is the mark of a sincere practitioner. You may know how to practice when everything is going well, but that is of little use if you succumb to the first emotion that hits you.
Good practitioners can be recognized by their response to difficult situations liable to provoke latent emotions. Those capable of reacting immediately with the correct antidote will have no problem overcoming obstacles.
In particular, if they know how to transcend the concepts of subject and object, all their thoughts will liberate themselves, like a snake wriggling out of the knots tied in its own body, without effort or help. When you trace all thoughts and concepts back to their very source, you will recognize that they all have the same true nature – emptiness inseparable from transcendent wisdom.”
Noen blinkskudd fra årets Riddu Riddu-festival i Manndalen! Herrefred, kor æ kosa mæ 😀 Topp fem mest minneverdige øyeblikk fra festivalen:
1. Tyva Kyzy – et tuvansk strupesanggruppe. Fikk sett de hele 3 ganga; en intimkonsert i en yurta, en gang på hovedscenen og enda en gang under frivilligfesten.
2. DJ Shub + Classic Roots, de spilte på fredagen (sjanger: pow wow dub). Du kan sjekke ut en av de beste sangene her.
3. Møte med andre urkulturer.
4. Koselige stunder rundt bål.
5. Alle de vakre koftene som var å se.
“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!” 🌳🌹🍃🌻🌸
Thunder, lightning, and the southern clouds, these three,
Although they arise, they arise from the sky itself;
Although they dissolve, they dissolve into the sky itself.
Rainbows, mist, and fog, these three,
Although they arise, they arise from the earth itself;
Although they dissolve, they dissolve into the earth itself.
Forests, flowers, and leaves, these three,
Although they arise, they arise from the mountain itself;
Although they dissolve, they dissolve into the mountain itself.
Rivers, bubbles, and waves, these three,
Although they arise, they arise from the ocean itself;
Although they dissolve, they dissolve into the ocean itself.
Habitual tendencies, clinging, and fixation, these three,
Although they arise, they arise from the All-Ground itself;
Although they dissolve, they dissolve into the All-Ground itself.
Natural awareness, natural lucidity, and natural liberation, these three,
Although they arise, they arise from the nature of mind itself;
Although they dissolve, they dissolve into the nature of mind itself.
The birthless, the deathless, and the expressionless, these three,
Although they arise, they arise from the nature of things itself;
Although they dissolve, they dissolve into the nature of things itself.
The appearance as demons, the apprehension as demons, and the conceptualizing as demons, these three,
Although they arise, they arise from the Yogi himself;
Although they dissolve, they dissolve into the Yogi himself.
Klarte å mobilisere litt overskudd til å komme meg ut i sola i dag! Sykt herlig. Føles så bortkasta å sitte inne når det endelig nærmer seg vår. Ble verdens korteste skitur, da jeg endte opp med å sitte/ligge å spise Smash og lese under tre 🙂 Fortsatt innafor.
Starta dagen med bålkaffe på Berg med tre herlige jenter og en stykk Findus her for noen dager siden ❤ Skikkelig nordnorsk vår med masse snø, klar himmel og litt kaldt i været. Det har snødd ekstremt mye i det siste, så en dag med opphold var veldig velkommen.
Litt bilder fra de siste ukene. Ramfjord, Ersfjord, Storelva og Lyfjord 🙂 Jeg har til og med vært på skitur; tre ganger! For første gang på fem år. Selv om det tar all energien jeg har, og krever mye planlegging både før og etter, så føles det verdt det å komme seg ut og bruke kroppen. Jeg elsker jo å være utendørs, skulle virkelig ønske jeg kunne gjøre slike ting oftere, ja – faen heller, hele tiden! Springe på fjellet, gå lange skiturer, klatre på berg og i trær..:) Naturen, ass.
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!
Januar er favorittmåneden. Dagene blir fort lysere, og sola “kommer tilbake”. Alt ser friskt og nytt ut når det er så mye snø, og selv om det er veldig kaldt, fins det varme rundt meg. I folks hjem, i bilen, fra stearinlys, i musikk, fra dyr, i relasjoner, under dyna. Ja, også har jeg bursdag i januar. Det er alltid stas 🙂
Har lenge tenkt på å gjøre en cover-up av den tatoveringen jeg har på høyre overarm som jeg dessverre ikke er så fornøyd med, og har bestemt meg for å bare gjøre halve armen helt svart. Har alltid elsket blackwork, syns det ser utrolig kult ut. I går satt jeg tre timer og fikk gjort ferdig et svart bånd nederst, resten blir nok å ta noen timer til 🙂 Regner med å bli helt ferdig i løpet av neste år en gang!
Nydelig novemberlys ute, forresten. Sola har takket for seg for i år her i nord, men av en eller annen grunn så liker jeg mørketida. Nordlys og stearinlys. Hvitt på bakken og nakne trær.
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!
Bildene er tatt i Dovre, på en fryst elv. Det var så mange fine mønster, ble helt betatt. Hadde uheldigvis ikke ordentlig kamera med med, kun mobilen, men de ble ikke så verst. Naturen slutter aldri å imponere meg 🙂
Litt bilder fra Lyfjorden. Var der på meditasjonsretreat for andre året på rad. Utrolig heldig med været og vi var en veldig bra gruppe mennesker, både fra Norge, Finland og Irland:) Alltid like gøy å møte andre som praktiserer samme type yoga/meditasjon. Gleder meg allerede til neste års retreat!
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! 🙂
Sommeren kom så plutselig på – over natta var det blitt grønt og opp mot 30 varmegrader. Det kan jeg like. Så da var det innafor å investere i et par uteblomster; to blodamaranter og en lavendellilla sak jeg ikke husker navnet på 😉 Sommeren i nord er kort, men herlig, og noe av det beste jeg vet er midnattsola. Er egentlig en ihuga tilhenger av å legge meg før midnatt, men det er vanskelig på sommeren, når det er så lyst og fint her. I går kveld var det ekstra fint; gul/lilla himmel og perfekt lys til å ta noen bilder 🙂
De var jammen meg kul i svart/hvitt også! Håper alle har en fin, kreativ og avslappende sommer ❤ Selv har jeg vært litt lite produktiv på den kreative fronten; jeg har noen maleriprosjekter på gang som jeg ikke har blitt ferdig med, men håper å komme i gang igjen til uka.
Idag tok jeg meg en liten tur ut for å få litt friskluft og for å meditere i fjæra, samt ta litt bilder. Ikke den mest fantastiske kvaliteten på bildene, da jeg måtte bruke mobilkameraet framfor speilreflekskameraet fordi jeg glemte minnekortet hjemme, og den korte turen opp fra fjæra for å hente det virka som et stort tiltak der og da. Vel, de ble jo litt brukbar! 😀
Ellers har dagen blitt brukt til å se videre på Game of Thrones, som jeg startet på på nytt for noen dager siden. Fant ut at jeg skal se alle sesongene en gang til før den syvende kommer i begynnelsen av juli. Må si at jeg ikke husker halvparten av det som skjer i serien, må har vært veldig lite tilstede første gang jeg så det. Eller så er det bare den “gode” gamle hjernetåka/ME-hodet som gjør det hele litt vanskelig å følge med på.
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.
Lyngsalpene sett fra Kåfjorden. Litt av en utsikt! 🙂 Hadde dessverre ikke med meg speilreflekskamera denne gangen, men fikk et par OK mobilbilder. Været var nydelig og stille, men plutselig slo det om til å bli full storm. Nord-Norge i et nøtteskall! 🙂
“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.”
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 🙂