Studying Art in Sweden
I completed a one-year beginning art program at Sigtuna Folkhögskola for the 2002-03 school year. I decided to study art in Sweden because I had previously studied there, so I was already fluent in Swedish, and I wished to immerse myself again in the language and culture. Financing a year's study abroad was simplified by the fact that Swedish schools do not charge any tuition.
The fall term covered most of the modern periods of art, beginning with Impressionism and ending with Surrealism and Pop Art. We devoted most of our time to painting in acrylic, with live modeling sessions once a week for drawing, and lectures in art history. Our studio assignments followed the different movements in art we were studying, so in addition to working to improve our painting techniques, we also attempted to emulate the artists and style of work we were studying.
During the spring term we worked independently. We could continue to work with acrylic paints or we had the opportunity to experiment with other media. We each wrote a statement defining what we would focus on and how we would work during the term. My goal was to try to discover what my own painting style is, plus I spent time working with images inspired by the Viking picture/rune stones. For most of the term I continued to work in acrylic, but I also produced my first oil painting (using water-based oil paints, which are much easier to work with and clean up). I also made my first linoleum block prints, which I thoroughly enjoyed
During the last two weeks of the term our class took a 2-week trip to Mallorca. We stayed in a smaller resort area, Cala Mesquida, which is adjacent to a large nature preserve on the northeast corner of the island. We worked mostly with water color paints, as well as some drawing and sketching. The main city, Palma de Mallorca, lies on the southwest side of the island, but I never made it to Palma, choosing instead to concentrate on the smaller towns surrounding Cala Mesquida. I rented a bike for one week, which allowed me to take my water colors and paint from a variety of locales. I had never been to Spain or the Mediterranean before, and I loved the trip and enjoyed getting to work with water colors for the first time.
The first is a still life, which was completed on 12 February 2003:
Link: Tea still life
(acrylic on cloth)
Next is my first oil painting, using water-based oil paints.
Link: Nordic deer
(oil on cloth)
And here are some paintings that I did during the fall term:
Link: Still Life - Apples
(acrylic on gesso-treated paper)
Link: Cubist Still Life
(acrylic on gesso-treated paper)
Link: Wedding Quilt Square
(acrylic on cloth, finished in Sept. 2002)
Linoleum Block Prints
These designs are based on rune stones found here in Sweden.
Link: Clover design - red
Link: Circle design
Link: Weave design 1
Link: Weave design 2
Link: Weave design 3
Link: Weave design 4
In addition to the paintings and drawings that I'm doing at school, I'm still doing the occasional craft project. I made my Christmas cards this year, as per usual.
Speaking of Christmas, I learned to knit while I was spending the Christmas holidays with my friend Carola. Here's the first piece I made:
Since then I've completed a matching hat and mitten set with blue and green yarn for the mittens, and purple, blue and green for the hat. I'm currently working on a pair of socks, using up the leftover bits of purple, green, and blue, plus a ball of white yarn which I had purchased previously.
All images and text copyright 2002 - 2004 by Red Fish.