Stockholm sketches 3

When I woke for our last day in Stockholm, I was welcomed by a bitter cold wind and rain when I stepped outside. Luckily this was my “national museum” day, so I would be inside most of the time. I was way too early for opening time, so I tried some sketches of statues, standing in the shelter of the museum…well, I only did two, the others were done on other days.


Pen and Schmincke WC in handmade sketchbook(handmade by Marta)


Pen and Schmincke WC in handmade sketchbook

The second sketch is of the old water “pump” in the old town, Gamla Stan, which dates back to the middle ages, then the only supply of water availbale.


Pen and W&N WC in handmade sketchbook.


Pen and W&N WC in handmade sketchbook

The national museum had an exhibition on design (Dreadful delight), covering interior design and trends in design from the early 18th century to our modern society….exquisite antiques to wonderfully kitch, it is all there. And a huge exhibition on art work with a special exhibition of Alexander Roslin. I went through the whole museum which took me far over two hours and by some stage I couldn’t care less about Roslin and which royal face he captured when. All his portraits started looking the same. By that time, my back was killing me and my head was pounding and I was thirsty, not to mention ravishingly hungry. I couldn’t get out of the museum fast enough! Into the rain. Searching for food and water. Into the mall. I hate malls. Nevertheless, I found food and sheler there.

And then I decided I was also done with culture and history and sightseeing. I felt only like sitting. Doing nothing, except maybe shamelessly stare at people. So I stayed in the mall and only moved from seat to seat. At the same time making it my mission to discover the best carrot cake in the mall. Which I did. Fantastic! It seems like tradition to decorate a slice of carrot cake with a Cape gooseberry in Sweden, just in case you’re wondering what is sitting on top of this carrot cake in the next sketch. It is accompanied by hot chocolate, which unfortunately seems to look more like Coke!


Pen and W&N WC in handmade sketchbook

While I was feasting on my third trial of carrot cake and waiting to go to the airport, I captured a little of the optimistic and enthusiastic spirit of the young Swedish mothers and babies …..everywhere…. lots of them! Only in the coffee shop I was sitting, I counted 6 pretty mothers with their cute babies! Could it be the long dark days, all the candles and the cold weather?

These two strollers turned out real wonky and definitely wouldn’t keep any baby safe, but thankfully as a sketch it doesn’t have to be safe.


Pen and Yarka  WC in handmade sketchbook

Stockholm sketches 2

After meeting Nina in Stockholm the Sunday evening, I took to the streets the next day. Unfortunately she couldn’t join me, since she had students waiting for her…why does work always interfere with pleasure? But she did give me directions to art stores which I had a ball visiting and buying some paints and “stuff”. I love small art shops, where you dig for everything. It is a little like treasure hunting. Because Nina’s work looks so beautiful with Schmincke and lately Laura and Bec had done marvelous work with them, I also wanted to try them. And so in this little treasure store I was given free reigns to the Schmincke drawers by the cute store owner. So cute that he even had me pay “old-method-swipe-credit-card-machine-way” because I didn’t have enough cash AND he even threw in a very nice colour catalogue.

Here are some architecture drawings of Stockholm, inspired by Nina’s love for her city. The day was too short to my liking and evening draped itself around me too suddenly but quite pleasantly, as is the case in Stockholm with all its tea lights and candles burning.

I gave these sketches watercolour washes back at the hotel, while waiting for Hartman to go out for dinner – a HIGHLIGHT every evening; I love having people serve me!

If ever I felt stupid in life, this would be one of those times; the first sketch is done in Schmincke and the other two in Winsor and Newton, which I mostly use in sketching. I have been comparing up and down, but don’t see (or feel) the difference between Schmincke and W&N. If anything, my first sketch looks messy and opaque(with Schmincke). Or maybe I was over zealous in playing around with it, which is probably closer to the truth. I’ll have to experiment a little more.

If you’re interested in knowing about these buildings and history and architecture and all things nice about Stockholm, you can google it. I am enjoying my glass of Bordeaux wine too much now to be accurate in factual recounting. What I can tell you, is that Stockholm is a magical city, I love it and my memories are magical.

All my sketches in Stockholm were done in my special WC sketchbook, with Fabriano WC paper; handmade by Marta. I am inspired to try my hand at making my own, I never knew working in a handmade book could give so much satisfation and delight, not to mention pride.


See Nina’s very different approach to this second sketch.