Into Abstract Territory

The time had come for some abstract adventure, a field where I’d failed spectacularly before. Admittedly that was nonfigurative abstractness, but still … when it comes to abstract painting, I’m way out of my comfort zone.

So I had to try, right?

In my mind, I imagined a wonderful, colourful image of a promenade lighted up by street lamps. So colour it was, and bright ones at that.

An abstract evening walk

It certainly didn’t end up looking like I imagined it before I started, but it was a fun experience. And those who have seen it seem to like it, so I might’ve done something right after all. What do you think?

It’s still out of my comfort zone, tho …

Rediscovering Childhood Art: The Hidden Drawings of a Dog Enthusiast

Have you ever stumbled upon a long-forgotten treasure from your childhood? Something that instantly transports you back in time, evoking memories and emotions long tucked away? That’s exactly what happened to me recently when I stumbled upon a collection of my childhood pencil drawings. Among them were numerous sketches of dogs, showcasing a passion I have been reminded of now and then by the innocent phrase “You used to be so good at drawing dogs.” Join me on this nostalgic journey as we uncover the lost art and relive the memories of a young aspiring artist.

The Recovery

It had been years since anyone mentioned my childhood talent for drawing dogs. Memories of my artistic endeavours had faded over time, buried under the weight of daily life1. But fate had a different plan. One day, as I rummaged through old boxes, I stumbled upon a plastic folder, which showed small notepad-sized papers filled with sketches. Could it be? Had I finally found my long-lost dog drawings?


A Blast from the Past

Opening the folder, I was transported back to my younger days. The first sketch that caught my eye was a Collie, captured in simple pencil strokes. As memories flooded back, I marveled at the innocence and passion that once fueled my creative endeavors. Each drawing had its unique charm, telling a story of my early fascination with our four-legged companions.

I knew several of the drawings were lost, as I had glued them to a storage box for papers that I had made from carton – and that one has been thrown away. Unless it surprises me by suddenly turning up from somewhere I would never suspect. Many of those were my favourites, I think. Hard to remember now, many decades later.

Field Spaniel

Breeds Galore

Leafing through the sheets from the notepad, I discovered my exploration of various dog breeds. From the Collie, known in the Lassie films to the dainty Chihuahua, I had done my best to capture the likeness of each breed. Looking at these drawings now, I couldn’t help but admire the determination I had as a young artist to understand the nuances that made each dog breed distinct. Or well, how faithfully I had recreated the dogs from a book, “Hundene i farger” (The dogs in colour).

Short haired Chihuahua

Unexpected Talent

It’s easy for me not to recognize the talent – or lack thereof – that I showed in these drawings as a ten-eleven-year-old kid. But when I showed them to a friend of mine, a dad of four small girls, his response made me think: OK, maybe these drawings, while not as advanced as I remembered them, really do show the talent I had as a kid. And my parents really meant it when they said “You used to be so good at drawing dogs as a kid.”

It was a reminder that passion and talent can manifest in unexpected ways, even in the hands of a young artist.

Long haired Chihuahua

A Reflection

Rediscovering these long-lost drawings allowed me to reflect on the journey that began with a pencil and a notepad. While time and life may have shifted my focus to different endeavours, the joy and fulfilment that art brought me as a child remain deeply etched in my soul. It’s a reminder to nurture our passions, embrace the creativity that lies within us, and cherish the memories and dreams we once held dear.

Chow Chow


The unexpected rediscovery of my childhood dog drawings opened a portal to the past, unearthing a forgotten chapter of my artistic journey. These humble sketches, created with a standard school pencil and bound in a small notepad, reminded me of the passion and talent that once burned brightly within me. As I look at those drawings now, I am filled with gratitude for the joy they brought me as a child and the lasting impression they left on those who saw them. It’s a testament to the power of art and the magic of childhood dreams.

Of course, as you can see from earlier posts in this blog, my passion for creativity never left me. It just has come to expression in other forms when time and energy permits. Lately, it’s mostly through acrylic painting. I have to concentrate on mainly one thing to be able to do anything at all. Unfortunately, as it’s so many different ways I’d like to be creative, but who knows, one day I’ll be able to include more creative outlets in my daily life!

1 Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? Somewhat exaggerated, but it does make for a good read.

Pearly things

During my time as a happy amateur painter, I’ve painted motives from over the water, most of them not including water at all. So, wasn’t it time for a little change, and to get a completely different perspective? Like, painting a motive from under the water’s surface? I thought so.

I had long wanted to paint something like a castle ruin underwater as if the land had sunken or the sea had risen. That would be a detailed painting. Maybe too complex for the time I had for this challenge, at least the digital versions I had been somewhat creative with.

While pondering about this, I also figured I wanted to try painting on a circular canvas. I mean, I had bought a couple, so I had to use them, right? Which also would put some limitations on the motive.

I had an idea. But would it work?

I made a quick sketch in a circle.

I opened my trusty ol… brand-new sketchbook and tested my idea. Yup, it seemed to work for me. A giant pearl in a mussel looked just right. So the next step was to paint it. And paint it I did!

A bit different from the sketch, but I think it works.

I removed some of the objects; some I didn’t paint at all, and some I painted over afterwards because they didn’t really fit in – they removed the focus from the pearl. We can’t have that! But there’s enough variation for the whole image to work.

Paradise calling

I’m SO ready for warmer weather now. This is a small-ish acrylic painting I did some weeks ago when the weather was even colder. That was OK then – it was that time of the year. It was the colours and sunset that inspired me to do this, I love the warmth of it.

Dreaming of a tropical beach

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to dream of some time in a more tropical environment when the winter cold is ruling the outdoors.

Feeling Blue?

Feeling blue?

Briefly inspired by a colourful image that I don’t remember what it looked like, combined with a comment (before I started painting this) that people don’t have blue skin, I decided I wanted to have some fun when taking on this challenge.

It can certainly be better, but I had fun with it! And I still might change it a bit later.

Any comments?

Life is hard

The alternative title for this post could be “The Unfortunate Crow”, for obvious reasons. It’s quite a while since now, that I saw this crow in the snow one winter, trying to eat some snow. Probably the easiest way for it to get something to drink.

My photo of the unfortunate crow

A crow isn’t, I must admit, a bird I pay too much attention to normally. This time, tho, I soon discovered the problem it had to cope with: The broken beak. I quickly turned on the camera on the phone and snapped a few pictures, where it stood just a couple of meters away from me. Maybe three.

Also, instead of being a bird I don’t care much about, this one I felt sorry for. How long had she lived without the beak? How did she break it? How long would she live now? I found myself wanting to give her a beak prosthetic, but two things stopped me: First, I would have to catch her (she ignored me when I asked her to come to me) and second, I would have to make her that prosthetic.

I gave up that thought.

Instead, I toyed with the thought of painting her. Now I’ve finally done it.

My painting of the crow.

I’ve never tried to paint anything photorealistic, and all the details in the feathers scared me away from painting this for some years. But while I may enjoy doing some fiddly details, it’s first now that I’ve painted a few years and learned a bit I found this picture again with the intent to paint it. Faking the details.

In the process, I noticed for the first time that the crow isn’t just pure black and grey – there’s also some brown in there. I do notice more details when I study something to paint than I used to. Cool!

So, how should I paint it? Photorealistic is out of the question. The details is way too finicky for my abilities. Maybe one day, if I want to spend ages on one painting, but for now I had to simplify, a lot. Some lines to indicate the direction of the feathers are what I went with.

Currently, I’m very happy with what I’ve managed.

Pop Poppies Popping out

Sometimes I have fun with the Reface app on my phone, and one time I replaced the face in the painting “Girl With a Pearl Earring” with my own. Just for fun. A bit later I figured it could be fun to try painting it, but painting a portrait? That was a scary thought. Could I manage?

But I still started painting it, on a small canvas. Just, I waited with the face; that was the hard part, I figured. I managed to fill in the rough placement of the features in the face before I had to end that painting session. And – I never continued. It stayed unfinished.

Until now.

The last evening of the painting classes, and portraits was a challenge. I figured I could try to finish it.

My version of “Girl with a pearl earring”

So I attacked the task with my smallest brushes trying to get the details in place. And to mix sensible colours, of course. Maybe it would’ve been easier with a larger canvas. It would provide a bit more wiggle room to make the placement of details a bit easier, and they wouldn’t be that small …

As it is, I managed to make some things correct, while other things really should be adjusted. If I want to paint portraits, I should practise more. Much more. At least if I want to get the likeness I would like, but I must also admit that I was my own largest critic; the others apparently saw more likeness than me …

That said, I’m not unhappy with it. I do think it looks nice, so I’ve managed that, at least. I do have another portrait I need to finish, too. One day. But it will be done – I’ve got a little push now.

Or at least, in my current style? One of my styles? As I’m still learning different methods all that will develop until I settle on what I feel most comfortable with and prefer. Probably.

Popular poppies popping out from the canvas

I’m still exploring those rough, loose brush strokes. There are not really any details, just big, rough areas in the background, and some vague, flower-like shapes for the poppies. The colour variations give it the 3D look, and some smaller strokes, dots and areas give the impression of more detail than what’s actually there.

Could I’ve done more with this? Absolutely! But – I didn’t want to. Had I done much more, the painting would’ve changed completely, possibly ruined. And, I was happy with the current result, so why would I even try?

An apple a day …

A little week ago, I got the challenge to paint an apple. And why not? I’ve painted an apple before, but at that time it was a digital painting and a realistic painting. Of an apple. Not so this time. I wanted to challenge myself and paint in a style I usually don’t try …

This is not an apple. It’s a painting of one.

I want to be able to paint looser, with rough brush strokes. Much like I did with my autumn-painting, but even rougher, using larger brushes. Trying it with an apple, well, that seemed easy enough. Not that much that can go wrong ????

So, first, a thin brush, to make the black outline. Or well, first covering the canvas in a light brown colour, and then the outline. The next step was to find the main colours and drop them in, not worrying too much about getting it exactly right. Add some variations here and there.

Pink, yellow, orange, brown and red. That makes it a perfect red apple, right? And some dabs of different colours make the green leaves look a lot more detailed than what I painted.

I’m happy with it. I think I succeeded in what I set out to do.

Lighthouse in stormy weather

I wanted to paint a lighthouse in stormy weather, and with the help of AI I made some images that I used for inspiration

It’s been way too long since I’ve updated this blog now. Shame on me. Admittedly, I did post my lighthouse painting on Instagram, but I never got as far as writing about it here. So, time to do something about that.

A lighthouse in stormy weather

I painted this between Christmas and New Year, and was joined by mother who got inspired and wanted to paint a specific lighthouse on the Norwegian coast. One known as the most beautiful lighthouse in Norway. For me, it started with an idea: I wanted to paint a lighthouse, and I wanted it to be in stormy weather.

To achieve that I needed some reference pictures, but instead of searching for photos that I could use, I used one of the AI art generators to give me suggestions. A few tries and I got a few results that inspired me.

I mixed the ideas as I painted on the canvas; the sky from one image, the lighthouse and environment from another, and the waves varied a bit. The resulting picture is different from all of them, but I got the inspiration I wanted, and since the motive is imaginary in any case, I could easily take my artistic liberties and not make the lighthouse exactly as the picture. Although it mostly is. ????

There are still things I should practise, just to be able to paint better. There’s always something new to learn. Still, while I see the things I could do better, I’m still happy with what I made.