Less is more

  
Today is the start for a photo course with Joy Sussman. She is such a good teacher and opens my eyes for details that I otherwise shouldn’t notice. And also that a photo with less can be so effectful. The wording Less is more has a new meaning. 

The past week was strange. A lot of work and suddenly a colleague got a heart attack in front of me. The ambulance came quickly and everything went well. But it makes you think about how fragile life is. Everyday is a new day and it is important to do the best of it. To take care of the little moments and dear friends. 

I have carried on with my drawings. These are the ones from last week. 

  
I have also started to do some lettering again. This quote is one of many efforts with the letters. 

  

A cold and sunny day

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It has been a cold and sunny day today. The temperature was -13C in the morning. I have had a nice day indoors. One of my tasks has been to keep the fires in the kitchen stove and in the stove burning. In between I have made some paperwork and some drawing.

It has been a peaceful day and I can feel that my energy sources, that has been low, have had  the opportunity to recharge today. For a couple of months I have had a stressful time and have been able to notice how people are good or bad at meeting someone that is not feeling so well. It is not always easy to know what is the best way to behave when someone you know is having a hard time. For some people it comes natural what to do and others acts completely wrong. I read a very good article about this subject today. It is called the Ring Theory. If you draw a circle and put a small circle in the middle the small circle represent the person that is not feeling well. Around the small circle you can draw a lot of other circles. The first circle represents persons close to the person in the small circle, husband/wife, children, parents etc. Next circle represents persons a little bit less close to the person and then it goes on like that for each circle. The idea is that you always shall give comfort to persons that are on your level or on inner levels of the circle. The negative thoughts you may have in the situation are you only allowed to tell to people on levels outside yourself in the circle – comfort in, dump out. This is such a clever and simple description and so true. I will try to have that picture – comfort in, dump out – in my mind.

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Above are my sketches from the last week. I have now done this for 17 days in a row. Tomorrow I will be in a meeting directly after work so I will take my sketchbook to the office and hope to be able to make my sketch during a break.

Today I have seen a short series of videos about how to build Creative Strength. My problem is first of all TIME. I feel that I have to do a lot of other things before I am allowed to sketch. The sketching is my reward for what I have done. And often the things I have to do takes so much time that there are no time for sketching. This is crazy. The sketching gives me so much positive energy and gives me peace of mind. So maybe I should put it on top of my to-do-list instead of a lot of other things. We will see next week if I succeed.

 

 

More sketches

  My coach for doing my habit, sketching, had this text as the motto for today EVERYDAY BEAUTIFUL. It can be interpreted in a lot of different ways. That you and I are beautiful, that we do beautiful creative things or that there always everyday is something beautiful around us. There is even more possibilities to understand these words. I liked them so much that I did my own little page with them in my sketchbook. 

My sketchbook habit has now survived for 10 days. I intend to post my efforts here once every week during the weekend. The last three days of this first week 2016 is therefore here today. 

  

One sketch a Day

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I am not much for New Years promises or wishes. The only time I wished something, the opposite occurred!

But when 2015 was coming to an end, I felt an urge to do some changes for the new year, 2016. One thing that I for long have wanted to do, is to do a sketch every day. It can be sketching, lettering or painting. Just something creative. It gives me both joy and peace to do such things, almost a form of meditation. I have begun this sort of challenge a couple of times but have always failed to fulfil them.

So this time I thought I should get a nice start with some help. Somewhere (I don´t know how) I stumbled over such a helper, tammie bennett. She is an illustrator but also gives an e-course named Tiny Daily Habits. It can be any sorts of habits, creative, sports or whatever you want. I thought I could give it a try.

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So then I knew what habit to establish and my coach. But I also needed something to draw in, a sketchbook. To choose a sketchbook is a very serious thing. It can take me ages to find out which one to use. Mostly I also think that I will have to make the sketchbook myself and then I have to choose the right paper, the right size, the right cover …. I could go on like that for an infinite period of time. It is a sort of procrastination. As long as I have not decided on sketchbook I can´t start to draw.

This time I have chosen a ready made sketchbook from nuuna. It has blank papers with small dots. Not exactly the sort of sketchbook I often use. But it feels perfect just because it isn´t a regular sketchbook. To make drawings in it is not so prestigious as in a nice book with watercolour paper.

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With a coach and a sketchbook I was on a way with no return. So I started on January 1, 2016. And now I have made a whole week of drawings. It gives me so much joy and peace of mind to do this. I hope I will carry on. Hopefully there will be more drawings to see on this page in the future.

Tammie has been a perfect coach so far and I don´t think I would have fixed this on my own.

week 1

 

Christmas sadness

liljekonvaljWe are leaving the dark times behind us. Instead of Christmas flowers I have given myself a present that gives hope that the spring soon will arrive.

Christmas is a very special time of the year. I both love and hate it at the same time. I have no brothers and sisters and my family has therefore always been rather small. We have many very good friends but just at Christmas you are supposed to be with family and not with friends. Here in Sweden the ideal picture of a happy Christmas is to have a big gathering with a lot of relatives. Since I always have been a part of a small family I have a longing for that kind of celebration even if I deep inside know that those big meetings, with relatives you seldom see, can be all but happy meetings. But still I have that picture about what it should be in my head and at Christmas I can therefore feel a bit sad. The sadness also comes from the fact that there are relatives that no longer are with us at Christmas such as my father and my mother-in-law. In Denmark they have an expression for this “Julesorg”. I think it is a nice word.

With this said you can get the impression that it has been a bad Christmas and that it not the case. We have eaten what you should eat at Christmas, had more time than usual for dogs and horses, had to much sweets and chocolate and had time to read some books. So it has been a good time.

Letter from Paris

 

PARIS – a week on my own, on a course with other creative people. A week I have looked forward to. And now I am here on Saturday 14th, the day after the black Friday 13th. Is it right to go when the city is up-side down or should I have freaked out and stayed at home? Not an easy question. But here I am. The course starts tomorrow. Today I have had some time of my own.

On my first morning here I was nicely surprised by the lovely breakfast. It had all I could wish for. Fresh fruit, orange juice, yoghurt, good bread and a nice pot of tea. I live at a small hotel/B&B with only five rooms. The name of the hotel is Le 1er Étage, probably because it is on the first floor. It is situated in the Marais area of Paris with a lot of  nice cafés and shops. Today I discovered that a interior shop named Fleux´is on the same street. It had four connected stores with different things, furniture, lamps and a lot of things for the kitchen and garden. It is a pity that I can not take furniture with me because I saw a lot of things I would like to have in my home.

The weather has been lovely and took a long walk to the end of rue Rivoli: on my way I passed many shops with fruit, flowers, chocolate etc.

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But my goal was to get at the end of Rue Rivoli where  WH Smith has a bookshop with English books. I was a bit early and stayed at Place Concord and could see the Eiffeltower in a distance. I am not so found of looking at tourist sights but the Eiffeltower is a very peculiar landmark. I have no wish to go up there, I have been there once, but it has a certain charm.

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For me it is possible to spend lots of time in a bookstore. it was a lot to look at in the store. On my way back to the hotel I stopped for lunch and enjoyed a nice raspberry-lemon tart as dessert.

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When I have spent a whole day only with myself I get a certain feeling. I can almost hear my own thoughts in a way I do not do in my daily life. It is not unpleasant, more like meeting a friend, myself, and my mind is concentrated on whats here and now. Maybe that is what called mindfulness, who knows!

The start of my creative journey

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Are you ready to start a creative journey with me?

I have tried to start a blog before but newer been successful. Mostly technical stuff have been hard to override. This time I have taken help. I am following a course named Blogging from the heart with Susannah Conway. I hope that the course will give me tips and courage to do this to a habit. My goal is to make a post once a week.

Creative things are important to me. But I also need to get some sort of order in my life. Declutter our home is one thing on my wish list. So if you follow me it will be a journey with creativity, about out animals, journeys in the real world and decluttering.