Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ahhhhh, Thanksgiving over, and the lull before the storm has set in. For some reason or other I woke up this morning thinking, now there's nothing on the agenda for a long time except painting and more painting. Then reality crept in and I realized that if I want to relax about Christmas, I had better get a few things done and out of the way a.s.a.p. At least we have a family internal agreement that we are allowed 1 present each and THAT'S IT! It's those Christmas cards that are gnawing at the back of my brain...oh well, Anyway, have been making headway on some paintings that I have been halfway into, but set aside a few months ago. Also, I have two rather large canvases that I have splashed (literally) paint all over, and am searching for direction with. Monday it's dive-in time. I have 11 paintings hanging in a hair salon here in Bergen, owned by a good friend of mine. It would be wonderful to get some more exposure for them, rather than them sitting in my studio, so I am investigating many more avenues for getting them out there. Will be having my yearly exhibit at Lille Atelier in August, 2010. It feels good to have that decided, cause I work best with an exhibit on the horizon. The days are short, and getting shorter by the hour, but it's less than 1 month til the winter solstice now. I see that some of my neighbors have put up outdoor Christmas lights already, so I guess that means that I can't ignore it any longer. Going to bed....maybe I'll dream of Barbados.......

Friday, November 13, 2009

Good morning...being November already, I have to admit that I have been totally absentminded about adding to this blog....mostly because I have not been in the studio enough to warrant letting anyone know what's going on there. Jan and I have been traveling in the US the past month, and the SUN and warmth have charged me up for a while. Also, the people I have met on this past trip have been wonderful and inspiring (thanks, Falda) so I came back to Norway with renewed inspiration and enthusiasm for the work that I do...and it is WORK. I am alittle tired of the comments that I get when I tell people that I am at the studio or that painting is what I though I'm there just "realizing myself", throwing paint around and having a ball. So much for acknowledging that years of school and showing up at the work place (atelier) qualify for calling what I (we) do as a real job. Artists who work hard and consistently show up and do the work needed for progression don't always have the marketing skills needed to "brag themselves" out to the rest of the world. And much of the world totally underestimates/neglects the side of their existence that needs visual/mental stimulation through the arts. Well, that won't stop our quest toward reaching for more than the eye can see, or trying to project our energy and insights outward, so that others can experience the power that the arts calls forth. The old adage that the pen is mightier than the sword, can be used for all of the art forms.... ignore the sensual side of yourself, and you close out some of the richest experiences you will have as a human being.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Good morning everyone. It's a new day-new opportunities, and I have decided to wonder (publicly) what I will paint for the coming months/years. The thing of it is,....when I examine what it is that I obsess over, or what it is that I come back to day in and day out on my little hamster wheel of life, it's three things.'s vital and energy-giving. Without it, I am a mess sooner or later. The summer months in Norway are just what the doctor ordered-nearly 24 hours of sun a day (when low pressure weather systems don't mess things up). Nr. 2, Food. Honestly, I have been buying cookbooks, and subsequently health literature.... dissecting and comparing and analysis of different doctors/food gurus/food celebrities/food blogs/food politics/medical publications on the effects of diet on health.....I am tired of it all. After all is said and done, why haven't we all just decided to eat SIMPLY. Instead of whipping up something which costs us time, money and mental energy, we could just eat a piece of fruit or a handful of steamed veggies, and drink water/tea or wine. We would be thin, have tons of energy, have tons of time for other creative endeavors which actually could leave a lasting impression after we're gone, or just allow us to persue pleasurable pastimes that define us in a way other than how we look/cook. When I think of all the MONEY, TIME and MENTAL ENERGY I have expended on feeding myself and my family, it is a mean statistic. We have been lead around by our tastebuds and cut the cable to our brains when it comes to food. I have so much food equipment, and have the coolest kitchen so that I can do almost anything with the simple ingredients that God gave us. I love being here (am writing this blog sitting at the kitchen table). Which brings me back to my original point today...what to paint...what subject I, myself, have opinions on and impressions that I want to communicate to others, without using words. Well, I know a thing or two about the above musings, and aside from the wrinkles that I also have been trying to keep at bay, I think I have a pretty good idea of where I will be taking my paint in the coming months.... this could be my best year ever.......

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beautiful weather in Scandinavia right now.  Alittle rain sometimes, but the temp. is so warm and the showers so short that it is just perfect. I am watching the sun heading towards the horizon, but that is still 1/2 hr. away---the sun sets around 10:30 pm. With the clouds we have had lately, the sunsets are just gorgeous. The sea is calm, kayakers surrounding our home as well as ducks and seagulls. Jan and I just got back from an "after dinner" bike ride into the city. The pleasure boat traffic is huge and the boats/ships are from every part of Europe. Occasionally we see an American sailboat, usually once a summer.  
My (0ur) summer exhibit at the Handangerfjord Hotell in Oeystese, (Norway) is up and running. We installed our work and had a little party on the back lawn, so now we just wait for the sales to start happening. We're 4 artists with different styles and processes, but compatible personalities, so the arrangement went off with smiles all around. The exhibit hangs until the 31st of September. 

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Now that summer has finally arrived, there is a real conflict going on about spending time in the studio vs. being outside and getting yourself charged up for the months to come. I guess it has to be a half and half proposition, as one without the other is just boring. It's time to smell the flowers, literally. When my husband comes home from Australia, we'll take a "road trip" with our antique car (mercedes 450 SL, 1976) up the western coast of Norway, then over the mountains, down to the eastern coast and then back to Bergen.  I'm hoping for sun, so we can have the top down (!!) and maybe get some kind of color on my milky white skin. I guess that the rain and lack of sun (most of the time) are good for keeping the wrinkles at bay, but, I know I might just be willing to sacrifice some of those wrinkles for more sun.  I have to supplement in the winter with a light therapy lamp, and a trip to a warm sunny place just before the worst of the darkness sets in.  The goal is to be in Norway in the summer months, and somewhere else in the winter (except, of course, for Christmas, which is really cool here).  Now that the sun is slowly warming up the fjords, our boys have been throwing themselves (literally) off the front balcony, and swimming around the house, making friends and daring the neighbors. It continues to fascinate me how lucky we were to acquire this condo, and I thank the universe every day.  Hope your summer is giving you renewed energy to tackle your challenges.... 

Monday, June 22, 2009

OMG, tomorrow is the summer solstice, people....the longest day of the year and it's all downhill from here.  Sorry for sounding so negative, but you have to realize that the opposite of Midnight Sun  is ...... total darkness in the middle of the winter.  (Norwegians don't have a catchy phrase for that event, cause they would rather forget it, and the tourists don't find it fascinating much). Of course, the thing that is great in the darkness of winter is the Northern Lights, but that is rather illusive down here in the southern part of Norway.  Anyway, tomorrow, we light bonfires all over the countryside, (not that it's dark) drink lots of champagne or whatever, have food, go out in your boat until the morning light, stay up all night, listen to outdoor concerts, and just have it "kult (norwegian for "cool"). It's a celebration of light, and thank God it the weather report is really good.  Have a great time everyone. I long for this to last year long....but like they say, be careful what you wish for!!!! Connie

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I can hardly believe that it has been almost a whole month since I updated. So much has been going on, and I don't even know if I just thought it was important, or if it really was.  Anyway, the exhibit is over and I am now minus 4 paintings...not too bad in economically challenging times. There was alot of time/effort/money put into this exhibit and at least it has been rewarding talking to the many people that ventured in. It is a huge step for some people to come to a gallery...they are so afraid that 1. they might meet a gallery owner bent on selling them something, and 2. they might just have to talk about what they find in there. I always give viewers a WIDE space to just look, so if a conversation starts, it's always them that have initiated it. There have been MANY conversations this month, and I take that as enormously positive. The fact that 2 of my personal favorite paintings were purchased and taken to Italy really inspired me. Also, the painting sold after the exhibit closed confirmed that those postcards I made, that very many people took, were worth their weight in gold. Also, I had lots of time to read, write and think between visits which resulted in some great insights and determination that I have something of value that is being appreciated. After the closing, I have been celebrating birthdays (JP), hosting a company reunion party (Gulf), cooking more than normal since my boys (23 and 26) are home from their hectic snowboarding nomadic lifestyle.  Right now everyone is out traveling, except me.  That leaves me free to "camp out" at the studio for the next 3 weeks, although if the summer weather warms up here in Bergen, I might be tempted to take my sketchbook and drawing utensils outside instead. It's still chilly, but sunny, so I'm hoping for lots of sun and warmth, cause I am tired of freezing in the summer!!  Oh yea, just a little critique of a concert that I went to on Wednesday night in Bergen-if you get the chance, see BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN on his current world tour.  He and the E Street Band were fabulous in Bergen-gave it their all and had a great time doing it. The energy level was off the charts-mutual love.  Keep those good vibes moving around the earth everyone. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Flowers inside and out

Well, it's the middle of the month already and I have been busy sitting at the gallery, meeting the visitors and conversing on my work.  The interest is greater this year than previously, and I am enthusiastic.  One sold painting on the first day, and many visitors taking cards and postcards with their fav painting, intending to show it to friends and family. All of it is good P.R.  It was a cold and windy weekend last Sat. and Sunday, so I had to find/buy some firewood, and make a fire in the fireplace.  It is a great little gallery, and with the heat pouring out of the fireplace, it creates a uniquely cosy atmosphere.  
The days are getting so long now.  It is sunset at 10:15, and not really dark by 11:00, so it makes for very long days.  No complaints here, though.  Dark curtains and a sincere tiredness because you've woken up so early and stayed up too late make sleep almost instantaneous when you hit the pillow.  Which is what I have to do right now.  Have a great Wednesday.  

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Monday a.m.....should be in bed, but am still going over ""to do's" for the coming day. The arrangements for the exhibit are coming together...and I am feeling calm and excited about the whole project.  The exhibit that is in our little gallery this month (April) is a real masculine exhibit by a very talented and gifted guy.  I wish him many more sold pieces than he already has.  Would like to get a couple pieces of his work for my boys, which I will see about before Christmas rolls around this year. I am going to get together with the 3 other "managers" of our gallery and have a little pep talk about how we should be profiling our image.  We are not your "usual" gallery, in that we are a kind of coop set up.  We 4 have rented the location, and we, in turn, rent out this location to 8 other artists-after deciding ourselves which months we want to have our own exhibits.  We don't promote, hang up/take down, watch the gallery during opening hours, clean out or otherwise restore the premises for the next exhibit the following month. Each of us creates the exhibit that we want-either high profile or discrete. It's what we each make of it.  I feel that the public that generally makes the gallery rounds doesn't know how or why we are different than the other places in town, and I want to remedy this.  I have a plan.  Stay tuned and I'll let you know how it goes in a week or two.   Have a great day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hi Everyone (anyone)'s been a nice 10 days at Geilo.  Snow, sun, cross country skiing, painting, and reading.  Also, too much food, cause that's what happens when your house is full of people and you are the hostess.  We want to impress each other with our culinary abilities, and so we bake, cook and provide snacks and wine for the duration, and it is beginning to show on my waist and hips..... 
Anyway, a funny thing happened on my way to painting another piece for the exhibit.  I came up here with 2 blank canvases and the intention of at least starting on them both, but I tripped over them on my way out of the studio, tearing the edge of one and stepping on the back of it, leaving a big black shoe print.  Well, I thought, I'll have to take it off the stretchers, cut it down, re-stretch it and then I can use it again....but imagine my surprise when one of my guests offered to pay me for it.  The whole group then proceeded to paint a group picture which turned out quite interesting!
We all signed it, and agreed that we will do the same thing every Christmas and Easter. Highly recommended.    Tomorrow it's back to Bergen, and back to the studio.  Bye for now. C.S.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1st!  I get giddy just typing it.  Just one month left to create enough so that I have too much.
It might, then be easier to hang the show when I have more than I can actually fit in......or not.  
Tomorrow I will be heading for the mountains for the Easter break....quite long in Norway.  We are going to our son's home in Geilo for about 2 weeks.  I plan to take 4 - 30 x 40 cm primed small canvases with me, some acrylic paint and brushes, and use a good chunk of time on the sunny side of the house experimenting with techniques.  Can't be skiing every day!!
I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful Easter break, enjoys the holiday in whatever way they choose to celebrate it, and feels refreshed afterward.  I will miss my children (23 and 25 years old, but still my kids), as they will be in the middle of the snowboard season, and they are in Alaska and Canada...not able to come home.  If you're reading this JP and Stian, "God Paaske", and we'll save you some marzipan and an chocolate easter bunny.  Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another month gone by and I feel like I have been living in a bubble. Eat, paint, make food-watch TV (way too much), and sleep.  My hubby will turn on the TV at 6:00 and watch "something" until it's time for bed.  I am getting so I hate the TV, so things are gonna change there.  Granted, in Norway in the winter, it's dark at 3:00 p.m. and cold and wet outside, so people tend to get in a rut by zoning out doing dumb things.  But now it's actually light out until 7:30 p.m., and that means going for walks, bike riding and otherwise just getting up an going out cause you feel that there is still a day out there left to be used up.  This weekend we move the clocks ahead an hour, and that really extends the days....YIPPIE!!!!  I love that.  I am so light sensitive and living in scandinavia has it's challenges.....the darkness being the big one.  Forget the language, food, culture transitions.  The WEATHER is the biggest challenge, and specifically, the extremes between midnight sun in the summer and near total darkness in the winter.  No problems with the first one, but the a killer.  Took me many years and a light/sleep therapist to discover what the heck I was going through.  Now I have a Phillips "Bright Light", actually, I have two, one in the studio and one at home.  They simulate daylight, and using them in the mornings, for 30 to 45 minutes, gets the hormones moving and charges me up for the day.  If you don't have one of these, you will be dragging your butt through the winter, never really rested and tired all the time. 
The painting has been going on like it should, though, and I have a new series of paintings that I will show at an exhibit in May at Lille Atelier in Bergen.  The month of May my work will be hanging there, and I fully expect to sell a good majority of the work.  (Positive thinking).  I'll write more later, as I am already late getting to the studio today.  I've had a cold and sinus problems the past couple of days, and have stayed home, but I just have to get back there.  There are problems to solve and work to be done.  Bye for now.

Friday, February 27, 2009

This weeks work has yielding  some interesting paintings.  The direction is definitely spring, what with Scandinavia finally receiving some sunshine, after the months of darkness.  The palette changes with the seasons, and now things are running greens and yellows and plants.  That is not to say that it's been SUNNY here...quite the contrar.....grey, wet and cold, but the sunsets are extending with an hour a week and that means that sunrise is about 07:30 and sunset is about 6:00 p.m.....a more natural cycle for a human.  If you've never been far north (Alaska or thereabouts) you don't know how the shifts in season effect your mood. Lack of sunshine in the winter months, and overabundance of sunshine in the summer (midnight sun) makes for an extremely crazy personalty.  Anyway,  I will be attaching some of the newest creations as soon as I can find my digital husband needed it this week to take pictures of our car for the insurance company......Have a great week everyone.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blogging is great for keeping in touch with a generalized group.  How in the world can I update every one I know except by writing on this and sending it out.  It's amazing, really.  
I have been at the studio for the past 6 months, creating paintings and drawings for the upcoming May exhibit.  Now, I have had the good fortune to be invited to show a group of paintings at Hardanger Fjord Hotel in Oystese (outside of Bergen, Norway) all summer, so that will mean splitting up the paintings I have, and trying to create more than I had planned on.  Challenges like this stimulate me to enter into the creative environment (my studio, combined with nature) and pull up the elements that transfer themselves to the medium I am using.  I have 10 yards of canvas that will soon be stretched, primed and made marks upon.  The fact that I just had my knee operated on (menisk, big deal) just means I have to overcome alittle rehab time and not let it prevent me from climbing the 3 flights of stairs to my studio.  I will post some of the newest creations as they present themselves...