I took a silk painting class a couple of weeks ago at the local art supply store. Sadly, I didn’t learn anything new from the class, but I got to play with new medium and paint. We were painting scarves, but I wasn’t necessarily thinking of wearing this scarf. I decided to paint an improvised tree using the paths taken by the colours during their absorption into the fabric. Once I had wet my scarf, I blended some brick red, orange and taupe as the background and started drawing the tree. Afterwards, I added a bit of fluffy falling snow using the same colour. I liked silk as a medium enough to purchase another white silk scarf and a bunch of colours before I left the store. Silk is very absorbent, wet silk made the paint spread out a lot more than I anticipated. I can’t say I am completely happy with the finish, but I’m hoping for improvement as I practice more.
Trees are a lot of fun to draw. I don’t have to think much, I simply let the lines dictate my drawing. This is another tree I painted on a bookmark. I was going to do a watercolour wash and make it a daytime painting. Then I saw the bottle of orange ink on my desk and ended up drawing an eclipsed moon. Once I finished painting the background with a recently-acquired blue ink, it became a completely different painting than my original intention.
A few weeks ago I mentioned about our trip to Sweden and I promised to share more. Special thanks to Lara and Mary for encouraging me to write about this journey. Before I begin, here is a little summary –
12 days ( includes 3 days for plane travel )
It will take me a couple of months to go though all the photos. However, I have the photos sorted enough to share a skeletal version of the trip. So here we go –
I am addicted to the North and I longed to see the Swedish Lapland. That’s what took my husband and me to the mining town of Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden. It was a very long journey from Northern California to Kiruna and there was the dreaded jet lag. We stumbled outside for some dinner and spotted the glowing sky. Neither one of us had ever seen an Aurora before. Our tired brains took a little time to realise what we were looking at. Still not really believing our eyes, I looked up the aurora watch sites for nightly activity. Surely enough, it was an Aurora Borealis. A mild storm, but a storm nevertheless. We hurriedly ate our dinner, bundled up with ample clothing to stay warm and headed out to find a dark spot armed with camera and stand.
This is the whole of Kiruna airport. There is a small Hertz centre off to the side where we got our pre-reserved car.
Kiruna mine at night
After a long rest and a lot of coffee, we headed out next morning to explore the Swedish Lapland in our car. We drove up to the Norway border on a beautiful road that stretched through lakes, mountains and wilderness as far as the eye could see. We stopped whenever we found parking, walking closer to the lakes, taking in the cold, desolate beauty of a generally wintry land.
It was September, but it was frigid already and storm clouds were looming. It poured the next day as we were leaving the Lapland.
We wondered if we would be able to see the aurora one more time before we had to leave Kiruna. We got lucky. The northern sky cleared enough for us to get another glimpse of the aurora and it was breathtaking.
We started our southbound journey the next day. After a nice lunch at Arvidsjaur we went to see the Sami Church Village. A group of people were playing treasure hunt in the open park.
The colours on some of these logs are so beautiful, I couldn’t resist taking a few detail photos.
We spent the late afternoon driving through the famous Swedish Blå Vagen, the Blue Road.
The road goes through long, beautiful lakes on both sides. We took a break to enjoy the sunset. It was late when we got to Umeå, where we spent the night before continuing southwards.
Hope you enjoyed the first part of our journey through Sweden.
Until next time,