Monday, October 19, 2009

Norway II

I just got back from my second visit to this beautiful country. The autumn colours were again amazing and after the first week the weather was pretty much perfect. I got to climb the Rotsethornet which looms over the town and also visited the seaside one day. I sketched in pen - I work faster using ink and with temperatures near freezing this is a good thing.

Right, here's the first one - done at the airport in Oslo - where I'd just discovered my bag hadn't made it past Amsterdam - I wasn't surprised - it's the third time this has happened to me when getting connecting flights there. Whenever it happens I always think of how Holland has a famously relaxed attitude to drug taking.

Oslo airport is stunning - it's a bit like being in a Bang + Olufsen music centre - lots of solid wood, stainless steel and glass...

I had a great flat with a fantastic view over the fjord the mountains beyond - the weather meant that the view changed almost completely every 10 minutes...
Here's a couple of sketches from my day trip to the sea. I particularly liked the boat huts. I was to get a better look at these valleys on my flight home when the little propeller plane I was in flew through them for what seemed a good 10 minutes after leaving Orsta. It was very impressive to see the walls of snow and rock towering above us.
Here's the Folkestad ferry which goes back and forth across the fjord day and night...
... and Volda town centre - it's not a big place...
.. and I managed to sketch quite a few of the typical Norwegian wooden houses. They fit into the lnadscape perfectly - and are easy to draw...
I even managed to find a few cars to sketch...
This is the cairn at the summit of the Rotsethornet. I thought this would be the goal of my walk/climb. I took the steep way up which seems to go up a vertical face when you look at the mountain from the town but is actually not that bad when seen from the side. Still, there are steep bits, and a rope or chain in places and it's a scramble rather than a walk. After admiring the view I was looking forward to an easy stroll down the back of it to the lake below. The trouble was that there was a lot of fresh snow at the top - up to my knees in places - so I couldn't see the path. The only option was to follow the footsteps of a woman who passed me on the way up and who I knew lived in Volda and wasn't staying the night because she didn't have a bag.

To say she was a keen walker is a bit of an understatement. It took me five hours to finally get back home having trudged up and down every peak in the ridge behind the Rotsethornet. It was great though...
These are some buildings I found by the river - it seems to be Volda's first power station and some other industrial buildings using the water to power the machines. Here's a sawmill (the modern building is the school where I was teaching)...

Some of my favourite buildings are the farmhouses and barns. Always painted dark red with stone bases (or sometimes white painted concrete) I love their simplicity...

These are I think some of the best sketches I did and I made them a few minutes after slipping on a slimy rock, falling on my back and smashing my finger and camera onto the ground. As much as I like the drawings it's not some thing I'm prepared to try again. Perhaps that's what they mean when they say you have to suffer for your art...

Finally, the sketches from my last day. The harbour in Volda and a few planes on the way home. Hope you've enjoyed them, I'll be posting some photos on my flickr site in the next few days...

6 comments:

uauauiua said...

Great sketches! I admire from some time the simplicity and clarity in your works :D I looked few pages back in the history of this blog and i'm stunned.

Steven said...

Awesome!

stupot said...

serious stuff, man - if this was masterchef - they'd be saying "that's packed with flavour!"

stefan said...

hehe, thanks for the nice comments. The thing I find odd about masterchef is that the food 'expert' doesn't know how to eat properly. He holds his fork like a handlebar and then chews with his mouth open. With his experience he really ought to be one of the best eaters in the country.

Matt J said...

Wow! Lovely sketches Stefan-partic. the tumbledown chalet & the boat. I've always been intrigued by Norway-would love to visit in the future. Which airline did you fly with?

kane said...

Love those planes.