Archive for the ‘Slussen’ Category

Slussen protests

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

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Spent a couple of hours at Slussen in Stockholm today, to capture some of the protest messages on the walls of Blå Bodarna (”Blue Stalls” – a walk tunnel that used to house an array of shops, of which only two or three are left, and soon closing). Handwritten messages are covering the tiled walls, protesting against the building plans for New Slussen.

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I only saw one voice positive to the City´s glossy new vision of this place. I guess those who like the plans are counting on the City to go ahead with their plans – no need to go out and demonstrate your point of view.

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45 x 14,5 cm, PITT artist pen, coloured Copic Multiliner SP  and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook spread.

Saltsjöbanan, Slussen

Monday, February 17th, 2014

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Noone walks all the way to the end of the platform at Saltsjöbanan, the eastbound train that starts from Slussen. The trains don´t reach all the way back here, and there is a big broad pillar in the way, and lots of pigeons swooping around above you, so this is a lonely, almost abandoned part of Slussen. The corrugated sheetmetal facade is wobbly, and looks like someone kicked it in anger here and there. The double doors don´t have handles anymore, and the window wall above is marked by years of rain, wind and rust.

But still. If you sit right near the edge of the platform you get this very cool perspective down the short tunnel, where you can see part of the beautiful construction that shows through here and there around Slussen. This is where the trains come in and leave on the same track, like they have done since 1936.

21,5 x 14,5 cm, PITT artist pen and watercolours (with vodka mixed in the water, because of the cold), on Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook page.

Golden arrow

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

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I always liked this yellow staircase at Slussen. It´s got such a Yellow Brick Road feel to it. It takes you from the bus and train terminal at the bottom floor to Gula Gången (the Yellow Walkway), which in turn leads you towards Gamla stan (Old town) or the city buses above ground.

This sketch is quite simplified. I left a lot of things out, such as people, lighting ramps (I decided to go for the fluorescent tubes only), some buses in the background, the bread seller right next to me. I had to stand up while drawing, and my back doesn´t quite agree with that for a longer period of time, which is why I decided to hurry up and not include everything.

Probably because of this simplification, I had one of those moments when drawing actually opens my eyes to things I don´t really see otherwise. See those yellow tiles on the pillar? I have passed this place a million times, but I never noticed that they are shaped like an upwards arrow, playing with the function and colour of the stairs. It is such an obvious design feature when you look at it like this, but I doubt that many people see it in their day-to-day commuting. The upper part of the arrow is almost covered by the lighting ramps, and the general dirty and stressed atmosphere of this place doesn´t really encourage the curious eye looking for nice design.

21,5 x 14,5 cm, PITT artist pen, Pentel pocket brush and watercolours in Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook.

First sketches of 2014

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

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With insulated pants on, and an updated warm seat (see photo below), I went out for my first sketching session of 2014 today. It was getting dark quickly, so I went for rather quick value drawings in ink and pencil. Came home with the side of my right (drawing) hand all messy with pencil dust. I still haven´t figured out how to use a pencil in my sketchbook without getting dirty.

Last thing I heard was that Kolingsborg, the oval building in the sketch below – a bit of a landmark in Stockholm – is going to be demolished this January, to begin the huge building project of a new Slussen. Don´t know how true this is, since a lot of building projects in Stockholm tend to get delayed by byreaucracy and politics, but I thought I´d better try to draw this place as much as I can before the mayhem begins.

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Lots of wool in my sketching setup right now…

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Both drawings: approx. 12 x 10 cm, Pentel Pocket brush ink pen, UniPin fineliner and pencil in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.

Kolingsborg

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

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Kolingsborg is one of those Stockholm classics that will disappear soon with the construction of the new Slussen. Built in 1954, it has housed the Stockholm harbour office, the harbour workers´ union, a shipping company and an architect´s office, but is probably most well known these days for the nightclub that´s been there at the bottom floor for ages.

27 x 21,5 cm, UniPin ink fineliner, PITT Artist brush pens and Koh-I-Noor Magic coloured pencils on Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook spread.

Norra Järngraven

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

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This road underneath Slussen is called Norra Järngraven, which sounds like a cool name in Swedish. A quick translation would be The Northern Iron Grave – kinda cool in a grim sort of way. But today, while sketching, I was thinking that the “iron grave” part must mean something else than the obvious – it is a bit unlikely that a traffic tunnel in Stockholm would have such a fantasy fairytale name. So, when I came home, I decided to find out it´s origins.

Turns out the “grave” part of the name comes from the Swedish word “vallgrav”, which means moat (you know, the water-filled ditch you´ll find around the typical medieval fortress city). In the sixteenth century there used to be a moat around certain parts of Stockholm, which was just Old town back then, the rest of the city was countryside. The moat was logically called the City Moat (Stadsgraven).
Also, from the middle ages and onwards, all the iron that was mined and exported from further West in Sweden, had to be weighed and controlled in Stockholm. In 1662 the iron weighing site was moved to this particular area near the City Moat, and eventually the name changed into The Iron Moat. And so, when the latest version of Slussen was built in the 1920-30s, the Iron Moat area ended up as two traffic tunnels at the bottom of all the layers of tunnels and walkways, and got the names Norra Järngraven and Södra Järngraven – Northern and Southern Iron Moat.

This is part of what I love the most about Stockholm – there is always a story behind everything you see. Sometimes a very long and old story.

13 x 12 cm, UniPin ink fineliner and PITT Artist brush pens in Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook.

Sketchcrawl #41

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

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We were only two participants at the 41st sketchcrawl in Stockholm this Saturday, would have been great to have more company, but me and David Meldrum had a good time anyway. The view from the top floor of Stadsmuseet (the City Museum) in Stockholm was our first stop, with Slussen beneath our feet (which suited me fine, of course), but I had severe problems finding any focus at all in this sketch, it turned out a bit messy. On the other hand, Slussen is a bit messy, so… ;)

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After that, the museum café sounded like a good idea, and for once, I actually drew with pencil. A mechanical pencil at that! Wish I had had some softer leads for it, the sketch is a bit bleak. But it felt really good to do a serious perspective exercise, should probably do that a bit more often – with of without pencil.

27 x 21,5 cm, top: TWSBI Diamond 580 with Platinum Carbon ink and watercolours, bottom: Kuru Toga mechanical pencil, both on Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook spread.

View from Katarinavägen

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

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I´m out drawing as much as I can before it gets too cold – and I try to draw as much as I can at Slussen before they tear it away. Today was a perfect autumn day, incredibly sunny and almost warm. But still cold enough for the Platinum Carbon ink to take forever to dry. I´m going to have to ditch my fountain pens during winter, I keep smearing ink with my drawing hand.

People were quite talkative and curious about what I was doing today, had some nice conversations with passers by. Otherwise people tend to be afraid to disturb me when I´m out sketching, in the corner of my eye I can often see them taking a peek at what I´m doing without coming too close.

27 x 21,5 cm, TWSBI Diamond 580 with Platinum Carbon ink, grey, yellow and red Copic Multiliner SP and watercolours on Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook spread.

Slussen is doomed

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Slussen från Fjällgatan

On the 27th of September, the decision was officially taken to tear down the old and build a new Slussen in Stockholm. Experts say the  whole area is sinking down into the mud underneath, and that the construction can´t take the heavy city traffic anymore.

The city plans to start this huge building project during 2014, and will finish in 2020 (plus the usual big city project delays, I guess). Some applaud this, and some are devastated. In spite of Slussen´s worn down and dirty appearance, many people love this place and the life that constantly goes on in and around it. Noone applauds the six years of traffic chaos we are heading for, though.

13 x 10 cm, TWSBI Diamond 580 with Platinum Carbon ink and Lamy Safari with Noodler´s Lexington gray ink, and watercolours, on Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook page.

Saltsjöbanan

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

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It is getting colder in Stockholm, but it´s still ok to be out drawing. Today was a little windy, though, so for my little sketching session at Slussen I chose to draw under a roof.

This is Saltsjöbanan station, a train that goes eastward, towards Nacka and the sea. I kind of avoided drawing this view before, because it is so complicated, and now that I finally decided to try it, I crammed it into one portrait format page. Crazy. I should have used a whole spread. I managed to put my hand in the ink (which dries slower now, because of the lower temperature) and made a mess of the whole thing. It was fun, though. I will have to try this view again on larger paper. And I have to learn how to draw pigeons.

13,5 x 21,5 cm, Duke fude nib fountain pen with Platinum Carbon ink, and watercolours on Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook page.


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