I just came back from Stockholm and I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Nina, someone’s whose art I’ve been admiring for a long time.

We took off in the cold, into the old town and found a warm spot to have a cuppacino. The coffee shops and bars are so full of atmosphere late afternoon and they have candles burning everywhere from early afternoon. It is here where you would meet up and have long discussions and debates and romantic glances over the flickering candle light and tell whatever story you wish to tell, without worrying too much about the truth or the sense of it all. It is made for a slow sipping of your cuppacino or hot cocolate or wine or beer, stretching those good moments to last a little longer. It isn’t made for sketching though….or maybe the dim light is exactly what we need to silence the critic inside of us.

Nina and I did succeed in doing a sketch or two while sipping our cuppacino’s. She is a lovely person and it was a delight getting to know a little about her! She had dreamed of living in Stockholm since she was 15 years old and after all this time, she is still inspired by it. Her love for Stockholm is portrayed in her sketchbooks. I feel so honoured seeing her sketchbook, recognising some of the sketches from her blog, and they are FAR more impressive on the page! She is an amazing artist and her sketchbooks deserve to be published or exhibited. They are handmade by her and each page is just beautiful in its composition. I was also in awe of the ease with which she works! She simply took her pen and started drawing and a few minutes later, she had this beautiful sketch, while I was talking to myself and erasing and running off the page and starting over and trying to focus in the dark and wondering if I wouldn’t want another coffee…..Meeting Nina was a highlight for me and the next couple of days I criss-crossed Stockholm on foot, seeing its beauty through her eyes.

Both sketches in moleskine, done with pen, pencil and watercolor.



22 thoughts on “Sketching in Stockholm with Nina

  1. Ronell these are so beautifully rendered, illustrating the magic of a day spent with a blogging friend. I can only say how much I treasured the day I spent with you also. Today is Thanksgiving Day in the US and my art and art friends are one of the blessings I am thankful for today. I am curious……have you put pen to the sketchbook I made you yet? I do hope it’s still not a virgin!!!
    PS: your paintings on my new computer screen are even lovelier…I am facinated by all I’ve been missing!

  2. Wow, that’s a lot of talent in one room! Your sketches are beautiful and I have long admired both you and Nina for your wonderful paintings.

  3. These are gorgeous sketches, Ronell. It sounds like a fabulous day. Is that second one a drawing of Nina? It sounds like a wonderful trip – I can’t wait to hear more about it!

  4. Hi Ronell. How wonderful and lively these sketches are. I’m so glad could meet Nina and had a great time together.
    let’s see when it’ll be the day some of you (including Casey) come to my country….

  5. Oh my gracious! All these meet-ups — so so fun!!! Super sketches, Ronell — and I can imagine that Nina is every bit as wonderful in person as she is in her blog …. what a great opportunity for both of you!!

  6. I love the description of your approach to these sketches, Ronell. I can relate to your anxious technique but could never produce such lovely fluid work in a coffee shop while chatting to another person! I think you are having way too much fun lately – first Laura now Nina. How delightful and I’m sure it was a delight for them both to meet you too. I’ll have to make an appointment 😉

  7. Ronell, I’m so glad to hear that you met Nina in Stockholm! Last year, I was in Oslo in November and I had the same impression and observed nearly the same things there ( candles outside of coffee bars and restaurants, burning in the evenings etc.) I liked it very much, too!
    You did some fine sketches there! And it’s a nice blog entry!

  8. Ronell, it sounds like you had the time of your life in Stockholm. These sketches are fantastic. You really have a fun blog, I’ve enjoy the scroll. Thank you.

  9. That coffee shop must have been bursting at the seams with the two of you and your talents! Such beautiful sketches and it sounds like a heavenly experience.

  10. Funny how we become so self-conscious about our own methods of working when we’re with someone who works differently, and whom we admire… sketching with either one of you would have left me paralyzed! I can’t tell you how fabulous that sketch of the table is – it positively glows! The colors, the loose lines, it’s simply gorgeous. I could sit there sipping coffee all day and never go home.

  11. Lovely work, Ronell. It’s such fun to see different interpretations of the same place by different artists. Your work is so warm and relaxed.

  12. What a wonderful day it sounds like you had with Nina. I had to go over to her blog and check it out too! You both did some great sketches!! What fun, its sounds like you made Nina’s day!

  13. It sounds like you both had a great time, Ronell. How wonderful to capture the occasions in your sketchbook. Beautiful sketches! I’m now off to check out Nina’s blog. 🙂

  14. Your sketches never fail to amaze me. They are so warm and inviting.
    And how wonderful that you got to meet up with Nina. It sounds as though the two of you had an unbelievable and relaxing time together as depicted in both hers and you sketches.

  15. First of all, lucky you for having been to Stockholm! I can only imagine the energy between the two of you, sketching away at the café. I love the results.
    And i do hope that you and i will meet up some time (with Casey Toussaint perhaps?!) in France. 🙂

  16. I envy Nina’s sketching with you! I’m still pouting at the universe for not giving us more time together last week. Your table sketch is just fanatastic, Ronell–so tightly and beautifully composed. It’s fun to see you drawing strickly geometric things in your gorgeous, loose style!
    Stockholm is one of my favorite cities in the world—wouldn’t it be great if we could stage a sketchcrawl there with all of your commenters!

  17. Oh, your drawings turned out so fantastic with the colours! They are glowing! I´m amazed at how differently we draw, I think we mentioned that when we browsed through each other´s sketchbooks there in the café. I love that drawings are such a personal thing, two people can never capture the same subject in the same way. I love your loose style, and how you let the watercolours do their own thing on the page… Beautiful!
    I truly enjoyed meeting you, Ronell, and I´m all for Laura´s idea of a great sketchcrawl together – in Stockholm or wherever – so we can meet again and also see the rest of the wonderful drawing bunch here!

  18. I am SO jealous!! In my dreams I would be there in the coffee shop with you two! Oh my YES! the internet is a fantastic place and the global art community is the best!! I, too, love how your watercolors just seem to flow . . . so uniquely YOU and a delight for all of us to enjoy.

  19. I really must stop reading blogs. Because the wonderful descriptions have me adding to my list of places I must visit someday. Thanks to your post, Stockholm is on the list and it never was before. I will have to live to 100 to take all of my trips. 🙂

    Your sketches are beautiful Ronell! I see none of your described hesitation. I also enjoyed your charcoal sketches in the last post. You’ve said so much with so little, and I admire how you change the weight of the line and add smudges of value in just the right spots. If this is rusty, I can’t wait to see more!

  20. Chock up your lack of focus to the excitement of meeting a friend. 🙂 Your sketches are wonderful. I really love the table and chair, so loosely rendered and oh so inviting. I loved reading about your day and about Nina. Great work!

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