Snow started falling here a few weeks ago – in mid January, it’s unusual for this to happen in the south west. To make this even more fun there has been around two weeks of clear skies and sunshine and temperatures around -10 degrees. Last night the temperature dropped to -17 degrees C. Both Stokka lakes are frozen and people are skating, skiing and enjoying a campfire with hot dogs on the frozen banks of the lake, the atmosphere is stunningly beautiful.
Morning walks with my dog Tanzie are also stunning and a short while ago I used our drone to record some video and take some still photos.
As the snow fell I made a sketching/photography trip to Svard I Fjell, Rogaland Arboratum and around Stokka lake. In the studio I produced a series of four oil paintings measuring 70 x 50 cm of those sketches, another is in progress of farmland around Rogaland Arboratum, I’m looking forward to finishing that next week and I have plans for a sixth painting in this snow series.
The change in surroundings is so inspirational for painting right now and snow scenes are a novelty for me. Before this gorgeous weather changes I will do a few more panoramic paintings in line, wash and gouache to compliment the oils. Who knows, I may even get the chance to exhibit this work before my time here in Norway comes to an end.
Walking at night has been an amazing revelation, I’ve never really studied the night skies but this has changed. Now I use an app on my phone to find constellations and my wife bought me a cute telescope to stargaze on beautiful cold, clear nights. I have ideas for nocturnes based on these and below you can see my first two.
So, the big Stokka lake is frozen solid now as is the smaller one. I’m off to pack a bag with a burner and some food, perhaps get an open fire going and walk over the ice to a small island called Storeholmen, usually only accessible by boat, I’ll take some sketching kit too!