After more than a decade of working with snow as the focus and most prominent feature in my paintings, I came to a point where it seemed natural to explore a different approach. A photo taken on a hiking trip a few years back caught my attention, as it had the structure and clean patches of sand, gras and rocks that could step in for the discipline I get from patches of snow. I knew this would take me trough a much broader colour palette. The danger of ending up with a giant mash was imminent. So, this called for structure and discipline. Keep it simple, or …

The motif is a grand lake in the area I get most of my references for my works. The lake “Løkjelsvatnet” was used as the reservoir for a grand hydropower plant built in 1918, and the natural water level was raised by 11 meter with a dam, and lowered by the same measure by drilling. In total this lake has the potential of being regulated a total of 22 meters. This cause for huge changes in the local environment. However, the moon-like landscape has always intrigued me.

Well, I soon had to surrender my firm strategy. This could not be done without a very high number of visits with the masking tape and some fresh cut stensil to facilitate the enormous amount of small rocks and patches of moorland, gras, gravel (exposed by the lowering of the water level), ponds and further features. My hours at this piece were adding up, as did my frustration of never quite hitting the mark on some of the illuminated parts in the background.

I will now take you through a small part of this process. These images shows my third visit at the river and the lake. I had two different layers down, and I was not quite happy with the lack of reflection.

The azure blue was a little off.
I used a roller to create the reflections and highlights in the river. I also gave the lower section of the lake some shine.
This is before the masking tape comes off. Note how the paint is sitting on the surface. This is a titanium white from Lascaux with a slight touch of cobalt blue. I use their “artist” series due to the thick quality. It has an oil colour feel to it.
A close up of the result.
The current state after this visit. Hopefully the piece will be finished in a couple of weeks.

So, this is just one of many typical small operations that comprise one of my paintings. I will come back with a new post when the piece is completed. This experimental work has proven to be a tough one to break. It sure feels like some of those long walks home after a hike. You know you’ll get there, but the last hills are a bit of a climb.