July Snapshots

Making coffee on the camp fire

roadside flowers || by marion

a river between two lakes

roadside flowers || by marion

red houses by the river

roadside sign loppis, västerbotten countryside

building a miniature watermill || Swedish summer || by marion

drive safe, retirees playing playing road sign

Dipping feets in the river || Swedish summer || by marion

mountain view, south lapland, sweden

Wow, it’s been quiet around here. But you see, July is such a busy month : sunbathing (vitamin D, please!), dipping feets in rivers, driving past roadside flowers and funny road signs (“drive safe, retirees playing !”), treasure hunting in flea markets, building miniature watermills, making coffee on campfires, having picnics with a view (and occasionally, mosquitoes), etc, etc.

Bright summer nights, great times, great company: July in Sweden is just wonderful.

roadside flowers || by marion

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One May Evening

spring flowers

grass along a red wood wall

straw

rut in the field

dandelion

horsetails

… watching the earth turn green once again.

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Now

a bowlful of dandelion flowers

in the field

by the old mill

lying in the grass

No matter how long the days have gotten, time seems to fly way too fast. Here I am digging garden beds and turning the compost pile, while golden dandelion jelly is bubbling on the stove. Nature doesn’t wait.

So, business has to wait. Oh, sure, it’s frustrating at times, and yes, my laptop charger died on me as I was editing this goddamn business website.

But my life is so, so much better this way than the other way around. For nature doesn’t wait and dandelions are blooming now.

after sunset


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Green And Gray

wild cherry blossoms

rainbow

flower

rainbow

field

Before I know it, it’s past midnight. I’ll be up until the wee hours, these June nights are so bright.

It’s such a luxury — probably the biggest of all — to freely dispose of one’s time.

Sometimes as I gaze at the birds through the window I get to witness the birth of a cloud above the fields, or see a fox running by, or the couple of hedgehogs that takes a walk on the lawn every night.

Sometimes the wind carries smells of manure from the nearby farms. But the garden smells of wet earth and wild cherry flowers. Cycling around the other night, I paused several times to take deep breaths. There were so many different smells. Spring flowers, wet forest, freshly cut fir trees.

I’m not writing as much as I wish I would. There are garden beds to dig, seedlings to start, compost piles to turn, grass to cut — nothing to complain about, really.

And then there are these creative endeavours, slowly taking shape. Notebooks being scribbled into, orders sent, ideas becoming clearer, hands becoming more agile. Scalpels cutting paper and paintbrushes dipped in watercolors.

IMG_8683


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Wild Strawberries And Dandelions

branch

Back to photographing the countryside after last week’s urban snapshots.

drops of rain

In the spring, rain replaces snow and this happens again. Apparently it had captured my attention last year too, when I wrote my very first post.

yellow spring flowers

You can’t see that on this picture, but these look so pretty against the red wall of our little house.

blue spring flowers

These are starting to wither now. Until next year!

dandelions

wild strawberries

It’ll soon be time to cut the grass in the garden. I’ve been picking the dandelions and carefully replanting the wild strawberries in one spot, safe from the lawnmower. Lookin’ at it as food, not lawn!

sunset10:28 pm. Sunset.
Watching movies before going to bed in the wee hours.
I’ve been diving into the Coen brothers‘ films lately, and loving all of them.
I’m so glad to find that Barton Fink and Inside Llewyn Davis resonate so much with me these days.
How about you?


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North & South | #15

north-south_anderssonkim02

Anneli captured these delicate signs of spring in North Sweden and South Korea. Not only is she sharing these with us, but she is also starting an “East & West” photo series on her blog! The principle is the same: pairing two photos with similar textures, colors and composition: one from the East, one from the West. We both think this is a really fun way to work on picture-taking, and hope you’ll join!

Read more about the East & West series on Anneli’s blog, and contact her at anneli.andersson (at) yahoo.se to share your photos.

Read more about the North & South series here, and contact me to share your photos.

Or, post your photos on your blog, and leave a link in the comments. Welcome!

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Spring Things and Painting Things

crocuses

Every day, I’m discovering new spring flowers ready to pop out in the garden. It’s my first spring here, and I am savoring all these lovely suprises.

watercolor illustration // chickens

Being self-taught, there are plenty of basic painting tricks I am discovering by chance every now and then. Recently I watched the inspiring video that one of my absolute favorite illustrators, Anna Emilia Laitinen, shared in this post. This is how I realized that taping the paper on the table with a little bit of masking tape relieved the stiffness I was feeling after sitting drawing or painting for several hours, constantly holding my paper in place with my left hand. Bye bye, pain!

buds

This tree will be all green in no time. It’s placed perfectly in front of the south-facing windows, letting the sun in in the cold winter months, giving some shade during summer.

watercolor and cut paper illustration // close up

I’ve been working on cut paper characters for a little more than a year now. I make a sketch first, and then prepare all the pieces that I cut, paint and glue together. I like the texture and shadows that are created by superposing several layers, and I’ve found that working with cut paper was a great way to force myself to draw clean contours and precise shapes. I sure also felt safer making every character separately when working on a large piece such as this one. This time, I painted the chickens directly on the paper, and only added the wings and the eyes on top for a little texture.

sprouts

Inside, by the window, seeds are sprouting. I have big hopes for this year’s vegetable garden. The first one I’ll grow in my very own place.

branches

The field has gotten even greener since I took this picture.

crocuses

Spring, confirmed. Chickens, done.
How about you, how’s your week been so far?

watercolor and cut paper illustration // chickens


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