Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's 07:30 and it's black as midnight outside, and raining and cold. Hum...a good day to go to the studio and stretch some canvas, I guess. The need to head on over there is pulling me like a magnet. I have been on the road for a very long time now-in Norway, and in the U.S., and the impulses I have absorbed are needing to come on out. Geilo, Isfjord, Phoenix, San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Houston....hew......from cold to warm to cold again. From fabulous norwegian mountains to the desert in Arizona to fisherman's wharf. I was so lucky as to find wonderful exhibits in both Phoenix and San Francisco, so the whole experience was mind expanding on many levels. Now to use these impulses in my work-to catalogue the feelings of these places and put my own spin on the combination that is now together in my head. What a crazy puzzel, and will I be able to extract some essences from the mix? That is what is so exciting about starting and working on a painting...I never know what will plopp out of my mind and down on the canvas next. I do try to clear myself of preset ideas, at least in the start phases. My plan is to have no plan, but when I am in the middle of several works, I see the thread. Color will be the challenge-as always. I will try to recall the heat of the desert-and the feel of excitement of the experience of my southwest roadtrip which got rearranged on a daily basis. Just like I like living life.... impulsively and in the moment. Have a great November.....

Friday, September 24, 2010

I have been starting/stopping/starting/stopping for a couple of weeks now in September, and don't actually know why it's so long between days at the studio, but when I first get there, I just don't want to leave. The canvases are being stretched and primed, the first tentative lines and random colors are thrown down, and alot of thinking and journaling have happened, so I am on the right track. I have decided to continue with the series of paintings called "Pintey St.", at least for the next couple of paintings. The response from the exhibit was so positive that I can see where my best and most honest work is communicating with the visitors.
This weekend I have left my sons home in Bergen and driven with a dear friend of mine to her childhood home in Aandalsnes, Norway. The mountains here are enormous and jagged, and already have lots of snow half way down the sides. The temps. are cooler and crisper, and today we have been to a woolen yarn factory, Rauma Fabrikk, outlet store, and been inspired by the local weavers and knitters. Even though I haven't knitted anything in 20 years, I bought new needles and yarn and will start on wonderful little neck warmers for christmas gifts. Maybe even my boys would like those?????? What the women in this little village don't know about weaving, knitting and dressmaking would make the world's shortest book. (maybe one line). Wish me luck with my new projects.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Late, Great Summer

Hum, summer is feeling kind of chilly these days. Are the months of the year sliding past faster than greased lightening? It has been two months since I last picked up a paint brush, and this coming week will probably find me buying a few more stretchers and maybe more yards of canvas. I haven't a clue as to which direction I will be heading, but I sure am looking forward to some time writing, listening to music, listening to my own inner voice and going to bed with a painting or two on my mind, giving me a challenge to solve. I am at a baptism of my niece's daughter this weekend. Be home tomorrow. Can I discipline myself to head to the studio instead of cleaning the house?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ahhhhhh, the last day of my exhibit today. I was looking forward to being free from having to sit a minimum of 4 hours nearly every day of the month, except Monday, of course. Well, I will miss all of the positively motivating conversations I have had with the visitors. They were so inspiring as to my frame of mind. We painters are always doubting ourselves-and the only way to know if what we're doing is communicating with others is to lay it all out there and wait for the response. Well, the response this time has encouraged me to paint like mad for the next exhibit-although I don't have anything scheduled yet. (next September??) Although I see which paintings generate the most interest, I still have to explore the other areas and expand my horizons with both techniques and subject matter. Thanks to all those who bought, to those who helped nearly as much by encouraging me with words, and to my husband who helps me in all ways to be able to do this. Love and Peace..Connie

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This is the final spurt...the last few days to present the work that I have worked 15 months on. The response has been good, and I am looking forward to seeing those people who are still sitting on the fence. Trust your gut feeling, and if that says "I would really enjoy seeing this image on a daily basis, it would calm/stimulate/amuse/inspire/cause me to reflect, (well, fill in the blank)....then we can make it possible.
The weather in Bergen today is, how to say this in a positive way....nope......miserable. Raining cats and dogs and the wind will probably blow me 30% off course on my walk to the Gallery today. Better put on the whole nord-easter gear. My children (grown now) used to look like little moon men when they went to the play-park in this kind of weather, and they stayed dry no matter what, so I'll try to remember how I did that. Have a great day everyone.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday already...wondering how today will develop. I have been rewarded with some movement of paintings, and am sure that as the month progresses, those who are on the fence will be back to claim a piece for themselves. Brochures are flying out the door faster than I can make them, and I have used a fortune on printer ink and glossy 180 gm. professional paper...but they are nice!! Love my Mac and iWorks.....Gotta get myself into the Gallery in an hour, and have yet to do the most basic preparations (clothes??, food, reading material??) My wish is that the people of Bergen would trust their own instincts more and not think that because I have priced my work on the lower end of the "original art work" scale, there must be something to be leary of. I did it because I WANT those who want my work to be able to afford it, and for me to be able to replenish my dwindling canvas stock and get some new stretchers-and my landlord (for the studio) has just increased the rent alittle.....it's not cheap to make art, but I'm doing my bit to make it affordable.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

One week in to the exhibit, and I must say that I have never had such a good response to an collection of new paintings before. The enthusiasm is so encouraging/confirming what my gut feeling was when I hung it up. So the fact is that I am still waiting for the first person to commit to buying a piece. Can't be the work, because never have I had an exhibit before that was so well received. Some are not trusting their own judgement, and must go and bring back a husband/wife/friend, to confirm what they already know....they want their favorite piece (or to, or three)....I know that times are tough, so I'm patient, knowing that the pieces are so good that it's like anything else that you see that makes a deep impression on you....you won't rest until you have it. I am looking forward to the next week or two, cause that is when the action will start happening..........

Saturday, August 7, 2010

What a good day! You think that you'll NEVER be ready, but, that's all in your head. I was more than ready when the first guests showed up at my gallery door today, and it was so pleasurable, that I can't wait to do it all over again tomorrow. Good weather, lots of friends and family, and even a nice mix of total strangers who were ever so positively liking the work. I'll have to make more brochures, cause they disappeared fast.. The cookies went like hotcakes, too. My feet hurt from standing so long, but it's a small price to pay for the fun of putting your work out to a appreciative audience. Thanks everyone for giving me such a nice day.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August Expectations

Again, I'm surprised that it's only a few days until I present the last year's work to friends, family, and anyone who wanders into my gallery, Lille Atelier, Lille Øvregaten 16, in beautiful Bergen. After 3 great weeks in the U.S., I returned to face squarely the fact that I had tons of work to do before I could present my work in a manner that would make me proud. Invitations to make and deliver, posters, folders, emails, blog update, opening wine to buy and I have decided to make chocolate chip cookies and mini brownies to have with the rosè wine.....the list is still not complete. I have taken a breather day today, but tomorrow it's back to the list,..... check/check/check....I am not exactly nervous, but that will come on Friday nite/Saturday morning. It'a funny, but even though I have done this a dozen times before, I keep surprising myself by the small things that I forget-until the last minute. Last year a tourist to Bergen, by way of a cruise ship, wanted 2 paintings, but needed to have them dismantled, packed and ready to go on an hour's notice. I need to be ready for that again.... I will be ready and it will be fun. If you're in the neighborhood, please drop in!! Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Well, it's July 1st and the sun is shining here in lovely Bergen. We are not having to deal with heat waves and humidity...just cool temperatures and a little less sun than we would like. No complaints, though, cause the midnight sun effect is, and will be, in place for another couple of months. Today there is another huge yacht moored off our "front yard". It is a wealthy tourist from New Zealand !! I guess that the fjords of Norway just keep attracting the rest of the world to come for a visit. This morning the helicopter landed on the back deck, with the owner onboard. Now they can plan their cruise up to the north cape-or beyond.
I feel as though the summer is getting away from me, cause it is still cool and we haven't really done anything resembling "vacation" activities yet. Heading for the USA on Monday, though, and I guess I can start to prepare myself for some heat. (Probably complain about that too!) Just wishing to see the family and friends, and get some tan.
The painting is coming along, I keep telling myself. The last paintings have been a struggle, and I am always (ALWAYS) wondering if they are worthy to be presented as finished visions. I look around the net and at other works at galleries and museums, and don't find anything that I can say that my work resembles, and I don't know if that's a good thing, or a bad thing. Something to be said for originality, I guess, but at the same time, don't know if they're increasing in qualities that I am striving for. The only solution I can see is to continue plowing on. Will be photographing the group that I will be using for the August exhibit tomorrow, so I will put one or two on this site. Got to go for now, but I'll return with more updates as I work on putting my exhibit package together. Love and peace.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


What am I thinking....I realize that having a blog obliges some information from the BLOGGER! My blog has been so neglected, but if you're really wondering what is going on with me, this is a better place to look than FB....that is just the short version of a blog...not even that. It is so superficial that I am beginning to wonder.....I know that it is a great place to connect, but after the connection, isn't it better to have a place that a person can vent/inform/muse in a lengthier way, getting into the real issues that interest us? Like lately, I have been investigating ALOT of web sites concerning health, mainly the fats/cholesterol/carb myths that have lead us down the path to sickness. Now, there are ALOT of environmental issues, gene issues, etc. that come into play when we talk about a healthy body, but I also understand that after decades of the American Medical Association (Heart Association) denouncing natural fats, meat and dairy, it is tough for them to admit that they got it DEAD wrong. Look at our society as a whole. Look at the size of our teenagers and children-not to mention the adults. The fat-free, more carbs pattern of living has given us one of the most unhealthy populations in the world, not to mention one of the sickest industrialized food systems imaginable. After having stumbled onto a good no/low carb website here in Norway, I became intrigued...then obsessed with different countries (Sweden, Australia, Great Britian, Canada, US) research on how to get into the most healthful state possible. I am now 6 kg. (15 lbs.) lighter, haven't suffered hunger one minute, eaten all the things I have been told will kill me for a couple of months now, and scanned the web for everything I can find on why the myth persists that fats make you fat. I can't go into it here, but do the same thing yourself and you will maybe find a way off the hamster wheel of food/medication/guilt/exercise hysteria...
I am painting, in case anyone thinks I couldn't possibly have time to do that while immersing myself into this other area. Been in Aarhus, Denmark to visit Aros, the museum there full of wonderful Danish painters, especially Per Kirkby. My August exhibit will be hard to arrange, cause I have so much to choose from, and so little space to show in...have to look for a larger venue next year (or the remainder of this year). Take care...keep in touch-pray for sun!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wow, it's the end of April and I guess everyone has given up on me....I am still here and still painting/cooking/exploring. This winter has been long and cold, but the temperature is doing what it usually does in April-fooling the heck out of us. One week, fooled into thinking that summer came early-then the next....snowing and blowing and cold as a polar ice storm. Crap. We spent a long Easter in the mountains getting what we thought was the last of the skiing season in, only to find that it's still snowing and ski season is going to last far into the summer. Actually, the glaciers are going to open for summer skiing May 1st, and the winter ski resorts are just closing down now.
Makes for alot of good painting in the studio without feeling guilty for not basking in the sunshine.
The paintings are more abstract these days, with the feeling of spring breaking through, as usual for this time of year. The odd flower painting forces itself through, although it's not so recognizable as a flower. (Take my word for it!) Now I have started a series of paintings using my childhood home in Sayre as inspiration. It's not obvious, but the forms and colors and emotions are all associations from Pitney St. The sketches are loose, and only suggest shapes that are a jumping off point for what actually works once the painting takes off. I am pleased with the first two paintings, and this coming week I will continue down this inspirational road. I have purchased new canvas, and will be stretching up 5-6 new blank canvases in the week ahead. I am optimistic and feel like a kid on his way to school for the first time. It's frustrating and hard, but challenging and rewarding, so I hang in there for the ride, knowing that I will succeed in the end.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oh, the end of February and the winter in Bergen has been unbelievable this year. Temperatures have kept below freezing, the snow that has fallen has stayed, and piled up, layer upon layer. The skies have mostly been clear and blue and the sun has shone at every opportunity. Not since 1918 have we had a winter like this! (statistics say so.) In just under a month, we will screw our clocks ahead one hour, and then I will feel the usual surge of enthusiasm to make the most of that extra hour! I have been in the studio nearly every day since the beginning of January, and the work is coming along. This year's exhibit is in August, so I must have about 10-12 new paintings; just plain need as many as possible to be able to pick and choose what represents my best work this year. I have decided to paint a larger format (1 meter x 1.20) with a few smaller sizes, but will concentrate on the 1 meter area to experiment on. I get alittle claustrophobic working small, but I see that there is a period coming when I will go down in size and stay there awhile to accumulate some proficiency there. I have begun painting my interpretation of landscapes... choosing some gorgeous photos and turning them into my own creations. Rather, they start out as forms and colors that interest me, and from that point on, the direction changes according to whim. So far, so good. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ahhhhhh, a new year and the freedom to dream big. Christmas is all consuming, and I always wonder where it all went when Jan. 1st rolls around. We have had a quiet Christmas gathering here in the mountains of Norway, at Geilo. The snow is almost 3 ft. deep, it's -15 C outside most days (colder at night), and we have enjoyed this time together. This is one of the few times each year that I get my boys both under one roof for an extended length of time. They enjoy each other's company, and I get to remember what it's like to forget myself and practically run on autopilot to get the Christmas experience to come off somewhat entact. No wonder I haven't even thought much about my studio, and how lonely it must be feeling....abandoned since around the 10th of December! How nice it would be to have a room that I could have some basic equipment in up here and enjoy the process of painting "in my spare time"!! Well, now that the busiest holiday of the year is over, I COULD have the time, if I insist on it...which is really the only way to get it! Here are a few pictures from Christmas 2009, and I wish all of you a very successful and inventive new year, with lots of health and happiness.