For the month of May I was in Europe, sharing experiences of art and painting, promoting art projects, visiting galleries and exhibitions, private studies and getting inspired. I'll start this blog post with sharing my first adventures in Sweden, skål and some art...well lots of amazing art really- read on!
I stayed in Trollhättan which is an amazing place….my first visit to Sweden looked like this:
I loved the calm, beautiful forests, and different forest smells, fabulous green colours- the colours in particular were very inspiring.
During my forest walks I came across these black snails- in Australia ours are a grey green colour. During our skype chats, my daughter kept asking about whether the insects and creatures are different in Sweden to Australia, and if I had seen a bear or wolf! I didn't see any bears or wolves, but I sent her photos like the snail, or lady bugs...and bumble bees (which we don't have in Australia).
This was the first sunny morning, it took three days until I saw sunshine in Sweden- and it was most welcomed!
The colour green in the foliage below was an amazing colour green to me- which was even more intense in person. I have never seen such an intense green like this, but it answered a question I'd always had since I got my first box set of Derwent pencils as a child. There was this really bright green in it, and I always wondered what you could colour with it, or where it could be found...I found it, in Sweden, nearly 30 years later.
Beautiful forget me not flowers waited for me in my room...Thank you Turid <3
Thanks to my dear friend Dan for the hat- I felt very Swedish! Big hugs and many thanks for helping me make art happen 🙂
I created two etudes during my stay as you can see below, and I used these as my main demonstrations pieces during the course (read more on the next blog post) and I have been inspired to create some more paintings when I get home based on the colours and my experiences during my 9 day stay. I discovered new thoughts and connections from the beautiful landscape a nature, and the wonderful friends I have made in Sweden.
Master classes in abstract expressionism
So what else did I do….well I spent 6 intensive days sharing my techniques about abstract expressionism to art teachers and artists from Sweden and Norway. It was a week of emotional journeys, teamed with learning how to let go of what they know about painting, so they can focus on pure expression of emotion…. Not so easy. BUT these hard working artists painted a total of 60 paintings over 6 days, and I can only say how proud I was to see all of their works during the final exhibitions.
Their paintings were excellent, inspiring, conceptual, and share a part of themselves….especially that moment when they ‘let go’ and expressed their feelings. I think some of them even surprised themselves.
I demonstrated many new techniques for painting in acrylics, which they eagerly applied to their paintings. The first master class focussed on how to Express your soul through paint. We worked through the practical exercises in my text book, especially written for the course in Sweden, in order to open the mind, shift the mind set, look at relevant art theory…and then they started planning and painting. Here are some of their paintings over the three days:
The second masterclass focussed on ‘emotional landscapes’ again these students worked through the practical student manual written for this course, and expressed their emotions through sea scapes. Here are some photos of their journey
As you can see, each students created two paintings, and that is the challenging part of teaching these courses. My courses do not involve copying my studies, rather my etudes are used to demonstrate a technique or concept, and each student expresses their own understandings and ideas which we develop through activities in the text book- I need to help keep them focused and develop their techniques to bring it to life. I like to use everyone's works to share techniques or theoretical aspects on...it's a big problem solving exercise, and intense teaching and learning- learning is really at it's maximum, and I hope that my students will pass on new insights to their students. One of my students from this course created another painting at home within the following week, inspired by what she'd learned from the course- which is my biggest reward!
What is it like to learn acrylic painting with Ingrid Lee?
Here is what some of my students thought about this course:
Other adventures in Sweden
Food in Sweden was similar to what I eat at home, but still a little different. My favourite cake kanelbulle and other little pastries were great at coffee (and might I add lots of coffee) breaks; I made sure I had one last one at the airport as I left to go to St Petersburg.
It was also wonderful to go out for dinner to a British style pub with Swedish style pub grub 😉 It was a great opportunity to get to know everyone a little more, and get to know a little more about Sweden and Norway and lots of cultural exchange, share painting stories and answer lots of questions about snakes and kangaroos in Australia.
With both groups we attended a fantastic dinner at my hostess’ home, talented artist and teacher Turid Wassenius-she is wonderful and I write more about my experience and the special painting I created about my experiences with her in the next post. Turid is a most welcoming and gracious host, great cook…and teamed with her husband Tomas, who helped behind the scenes and ensured lots of laughs and great times and summer drinks…. Skål!
I fit in some time to visit some other places too, I caught a train to Gothenburg and met up with friends who were very welcoming and hospitable to me. Thank you Zuhair and Innas for showing me some places around the city, seeing your new Rosenthal acquisition, and an amazing lunch at the Opera Restaurant….hopefully the weather will be better next time!
Here are some of the other interesting things I saw:
While in Sweden I got to see my latest magazine article about my porcelain painting published in Decor-Magasinet from Norway, Issue 2, 2014, which was great 🙂
We stopped after lunch break to go for a short walk to where the water is released through the locks as part of the hydro power station read more here. It was an amazing thing to see, and watch how the colours and movement of the water changed- very appropriate for our master class on emotional landscapes 🙂
We also visited some other locks with Tomas, Eva and Turid (taking the photo)
And I was very fortunate to be invited to a beautiful lunch and visit the gallery of one of my students Karin Mona Hermansson
I want to thank everyone for being so wonderful and welcoming to Sweden….and thanks to Karin for breaking the dry spell 😉 your gallery is enviable. I loved my time in Sweden and look forward to seeing everyone again soon.
Please check in the next post to see the etudes I painted in Sweden- here
If you are interested in learning to paint in expressionism with Ingrid, contact me here
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