Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Reykjavík Tweed Ride - New Painting

Reykjavík Tweed Ride 2013.  One of the best day of the year.  

For the past two years I've taken part in this glorious bike ride of well dressed people, preferably wearing tweed.  The reference for this painting was taken by my husband (I was riding next to him taking a picture with my crappy phone and almost hit that photographer right in the middle of the painting).

Once again I fall for the odd sight of seeing a ship on dry land.  Add the sight of seeing all the tweed-wearing bikers heading towards the ship, the flags, the crazy sky,....it's and understatement saying I've been looking forward to paint this : I've been craving it!

A good friend asked me the other day, "What do you like doing the most", meaning what part of my job I liked the most.  At that moment I was painting this, so the answer was easy; THIS!  Painting this exact painting.  I loved every minute I spent on it, and that's not something you can say about everything you do.  It's a blessing.  I was almost a little sad when I was done with it, kind of like how you feel once you've finished a good book.

Here are a few photo's from the past two Reykjavík Tweed Rides;



 ...and here's the one where I almost hit that photographer!

Next tweed ride in Reykjavík is less than two months away.  Ride with us!!!  

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Painting of Flatey

I'm going on a little work trip this afternoon to my parents cabin in the country.  Just for a couple of days, a much needed time to focus from morning to midnight.  Above are just few necessary items needed when leaving town to work (the chardonnay and chocolate are in another box). 

I've been painting quite a lot lately.  Like always it's the best medicine for everything imaginable!

Here's a painting of Flatey in Breyðafjörður.  I took the reference photo when my brother took me on a flight around the West part of the country.  I've sailed (and flown) by Flatey, but never actually been there.  Something to add to my to-do list now that I feel like I know that little island like the palm of my hand.

Another thing on the to-do list is to paint more from that wonderful flight.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Last weeks event and new illustration: Commitment & Dedication

So this happened last week!  I handed the money I raised for SKB (Support Group for Children with Cancer) to Tjörvi Frey's brothers, Valdimar and Teitur (standing next to me on the photo above) at an event at Reykjavík City Hall.  Gheez, was I nervous or what! But the support from my family and friends who attended the event got me through it (thank you!) and boy did it feel good once it was over! I recommend doing such a thing :)  I slept well that night.  Not that my little friend in heaven isn't always on my mind, but I thought of him even more around this whole event, which felt really wonderful.

This piece here below was at a show on DesignMarch last weekend.  It was a group show where 30 designers where each given one word to illustrate.  The words where the 30 most beautiful words in the Icelandic language, according to a vote held earlier this year.  The word I got was "einurð".  In English it means "dedication" or "commitment".  So it was quite the challenge.  But since I'm not capable of illustrating anything unless there is a story around it (at least in my head), this is what I came up:

This gentleman's name is Einar.  He was not a tall fellow, but he didn't let his height get in the way of him doing what he loved the most: to cut out paper dolls.  He spent his whole life with great dedication and enthusiasm to cut out these little creatures, for his own pleasure.  That's how Einar rolled.  That's what made him happy.  Now that's commitment, right?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Giving back

Every year I make the effort on using my art to give back to the community.  Frankly, I'm just so incredible grateful that art is such a big part of my life and that now I make a living out of it, it's my job!  It's a dream come true really.  So if I can do something good with my art other than to make myself and my client happy (hopefully), that's just the ultimate kind of happiness!


When I'd finished the first set of five stamps for the Iceland Post I thought to myself if I could make some use of the original paintings from the series and not just let it pile up somewhere in my messy studio.  So in collaboration with the Iceland Post I decided to offer all the towns that now have a their own summer festival stamp, to buy the original painting to support Styrktarfélag krabbameinssjúkra barna (Support Group for Children with Cancer).  Every single króna I'd get would go to these great organisation,...and that is because of this little guy...

Tjörvi Freyr Freysson

...isn't he just the most beautiful little thing?  Tjörvi is the son of our dear friends, Elfa and Freyr.  He was a beautiful little soul which sadly only got to be 2 and a half years old.  He was diagnosed with cancer when he was only one years old and died in 2007.  The saddest day of our lifes.  But his parents, brothers and family are such strong and wonderful people, they are simply amazing and I know they have both gotten great support from and given great support to the organisation I decided to donate to for this project.  

ok....tissue please!  

To make a long story short, all the towns I talked to said a big 'YES' to buying the paintings so tomorrow I'm handing Styrktarfélag krabbameinssjúkra barna a check for 365.748 kr at an event at Reykjavík City Hall.  Tjörvi's brothers will be accepting the check in their brothers name.  I can't wait!
I want to give a big, huge thanks to those who helped out in making this happen, The Iceland Post, Innrömmun Kópavogs, the towns of Borgarfjörður eystri, Vestmannaeyjar, Ísafjörður, Dalvík and the city of Reykjavík.   :)

Below is a illustration I did a few years back and gave to Tjörvi's brothers.  It's called 'Englaprinsar'.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Characters come alive

 I think I've talked about this before, but as I am sure you've experienced if you are an artist, is that some of the characters that appear on your piece of paper are much more alive than others.  Sometimes the simplest drawings or even a tiny person in the background steals your attention.  Sometimes they resemble someone you know.  Sometimes their expressions are funny and sometimes it's like their trying to tell you something.  I know it sounds like I'm writing this after a few drinks, ha, but I'm telling you, even it it's Friday today, I've only had coffee.  

So I thought I'd share with you details from two pieces I've been working on recently.  They both have characters that I just 'heard' speaking to me (yes, still just coffee in my cup).  

The guy at the top I can just hear that he takes a deep breath and says with a lazy voice "Phew, I've lived a good life.  I know I'm weird and I don't give a damn about what others think of me".

The lady on the right on the drawing below is far in the background on the piece she's in, but still I can't help but to always look at her face first and laugh at her expression.  She's like the oldest sister of three at her youngest sisters wedding.  Being happy for her sister but at the same time thinking "Oh crap,..." realising she'll probable be a spinster for the rest of her life.

Well, that's my two cents at the end of a busy work week.  Happy Weekend!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

New Book: Krummahöllin!

Yesterday, the mighty fine Icelandic publisher Bókabeitan released a 3 book series with stories by the late Björn Daníelsson, who was a principal and a teacher as well as an author of children's stories.  I was lucky enough to illustrate one of his stories, Krummahöllin (in English it might be called The Raven Palace).  Björn's stories were first published between 1949 and 1968, and in honour of his 94th birthday, Bókabeitan re-released his books, two of those with the lovely original illustrations by Sigrid Valtingojer (who happened to be my teacher once a while ago) and then Krummahöllin with new illustrations by me.  

Once again I was fortunate to be able to work alongside my favorite designer Helga Guðný at SpoupDesign.  She and I recently wrapped up the stamp series for the Iceland Post and it's such a joy to work with her!  She managed the layout and design of all three books and did such a beautiful job binding those three different stories together!  

For every new project you put on a different hat.  Sometimes it's within your comfort zone and sometimes it's way out of it.  I really love drawing birds, so I felt quite comfortable and very excited about this project.  So this time my hat was made out of feathers, given the story is about ravens!

The interior illustrations are in Black & White.   Below you can see a few spreads from the book.  

Krummahöllin, Puti í kexinu and Strandið í ánni are available now in your local book store (in Iceland)!  

So what are you waiting for; run, bike, drive, swim or book a flight and get a copy!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Reykjavík Culture Night Stamp

Well, hello there!  Happy New Year!  

I'm back to my blog, finally!  Last year I decided I'd try to blog once a week (which actually worked most of the time) and I found out I really enjoyed it.  Even though I'd be the only one reading it, I felt like it kind of put my work in perspective, for myself!   I often feel that too many days are spent not drawing, which can make me incredible irritaded!  But, looking back on older posts, I see that I've actually been drawing A LOT the over the past year or so, even though I feel like I have to spend too much time on emails, errands and the most boooring part of this business, paperwork and finance, ha!  

After more than a month off my blog I'm happy to be back to share this illustration with you.  Last year the Iceland Post published five stamps in the Town Festival series.  This year they are adding five more to the list, releasing the series in May.  

So......let me introduce you to the first stamp in the series, my home town, Reykjavík Culture Night Festival!    

First drawing

Final Drawing experimenting with the layout

Final painting (the fun part)

And voila!  The outcome as it will look in the all the envelopes, postcards or love letters you will be sending this year!  

For every stamp sheet I create a pattern.  Below is the first pattern I made for Reykjavík Culture Night, and although it didn't make it to the final, I kind of like seeing Hallgrímskirkja repeated like that, on top of my favorite color ;)