The Lysefjord Project

Painting number 1 of the Lysefjord Project ~ Watercolour on 30 x 15cm Arches paper

Every time we have visitors we always dazzle them with the wonderful trip by boat up Lysefjord. If I’ve somehow become complacent about the beauty of Norway and how lucky I am to live here for a while, this trip always brings it home to me. With that in mind I’m planning a series of paintings in watercolour and in oil to celebrate this majestic region.

Last weekend my son came with his girlfriend so we went on our fjord trip, it was misty and the colours muted but the receding blues suggesting the mountains couldn’t be ignored. I took so many photos my phone went dead, so I borrowed my wife’s phone and snapped away until that one died too. The weather just lends itself to watercolour so much that I have to break with my tradition of using watercolour to sketch and take pictorial notes. I’m excited about it, there are so many photos that I ‘favourited’ that should I attempt to paint them it would take a year. I will be very busy in my studio for a while.

Studio work is totally understandable because the environment is comfortable and well equipped but painting ‘en plain air’ has a magic about it that cannot be imitated, you get a full sense of the light and the colour. My studio lighting is a superb help in achieving this, but I have a yearning to get on a boat and out on the fjord, to feel the cold, the wind and the spray of the wild and beautiful Lysefjord. As I write this, I am in seat 1A of a Norwegian plane about to take off for Oslo and I have no idea whatsoever how to get this rather romantic idea off the ground…

So, my feet are back on the ground and a lot has been going on, unfortunately not enough work on The Lysefjord Project yet. Yesterday I was in the studio, fully prepared and able to produce a watercolour on beautiful Arches Rough block watercolour. It’s gummed on all four sides which prevents the paper ‘buckling’ when wet. It’s a real treat to work on it and a nice change from canvas. My plan is developing into reality now with this first painting produced. The intention will be to produce a body of work including oil, acrylic, watercolour and linoprints to celebrate the beauty of Southwest Norways Lysefjord. A magical place and among the most beautiful in the world. I will be obsessed with this now until we exhibit in the late Spring 2020.

Painting number 2 was born on19th December in my cosy Stavanger studio. a larger (26 x 36cm) watercolour than number 1 and on beautiful fine grain Arches paper. As the Rodne tour boat from Stavanger to Lysefjord heads into the fjord are there are beautiful islands scattered about. They have little weekend retreat huts on them and boat sheds that have been passed down through generations and are very hard to come by. I would love to get off on one or two islands and paint, what a privilege that would be.

Norwegian Hutte at the entrance to Lysefjord. Watercolour on Arches 36 x 26 cm.

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