A charming pile of rust

July 19th, 2014

galaxie500_140717

Might as well keep going with the cars here, I seem to bump into them everywhere right now. Must be the great weather we are having. :)

I loose all sense of scale with these huge american cars. It´s as if I kind of can´t believe my eyes when I´m drawing, and I should – you should always believe your eyes when drawing from observation. I loved capturing all the little details on this one – along with dents, broken parts and rust – but I kind of lost the overall proportions. I hope it´s still there next time I pass by, so I can give it another try.

20 x 14 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolours in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.

SAAB 96 un-turbo

July 15th, 2014

saab_kransen_140715

Another old car in the neighborhood. Better catch them now while they are out, in winter they are usually tucked away in some cozy garage out of sight for sketchers.

20 x 14 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.

Meanwhile in Stockholm…

July 13th, 2014

volvo142_kransen_140713

… someone´s Volvo broke down, and is now standing still. Absolutely just begging to be drawn.

20 x 14,5 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolours in Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook.

Last days of Naples workshop, part 4

July 13th, 2014

pignasecca_montesanto1_napoli_140607

pignasecca_montesanto_napoli_140607

I am back from a bit of a posting hiatus – or vacation in a slow internet environment, honestly. Trying to catch up with scanning and posting now. These are the last sketches from the Urban Sketchers Naples Inventory workshop days. After the fantastically strange Cimitero delle Fontanelle (see previous post) we took on the challenge of the busy market street Via Pignasecca, where I held my workshop session. The challenge was to sketch in the street among lots of people, and to try three different ways of collecting what you see around you in such a complex place – we tried the chaotic way, the grid style and the focused collection. I only made two line drawings myself, and added colours later, because I was mostly walking around to see how everyone was doing. But I would have loved to sketch more in this busy environment, there was such an abundance of visual information here, messy, colourful and always moving, and although it was difficult to capture it, it was totally worth the effort.

pignasecca_montesanto2_napoli_140607

In the second part of the workshop, we were all drawing from the platform of the Montesanto funicular and train station, which meant we had a slight bird´s view over the street. I didn´t manage much, but the participants made some fantastic work here!

view_fr_montesantostation_140607

montesanto_drawing_140607

After a feedback session on the very hot station roof, where the kind station manager brought us several bottles of ice cold water, we headed on to see the workshop exhibition in the Ramaglia art supply shop, where both instructors and participants exhibited sketch work during these four days. (Photo below by participant Massimo Messina – thanks a lot for helping me out with the camera!)

feedback_montesanto_140607

Then, on the last day of the workshop, we headed into Quartieri Spagnoli, where street artists Cyop & Kaf have left a trail of fantastic paintings on doors and walls, and Simo Capecchi had us all trying to unfold the lost story of their imagery. Drawing in these blocks of Napoli was a really special experience, where some passers-by were at first a little apprehensive of us capturing the work of their fav artists, and then, after understanding what we were up to, showing us where we could find more! :)

cyopocaf1_140608

I was so thrilled by how these guys have developed their very own world of imagery and stories, and managed to make it something that the local inhabitants seem proud of having on their walls. Very inspiring indeed!

cyopocaf2_spread1_140608

cyopocaf2_spread_140608

cyopocaf2_spread2_140608

After lunch, we found ourselves at the very last point on the workshop schedule – the collective sketchcrawl afternoon around Palazzo Reale. I tried my hand at the smashing view of the harbor and Mount Vesuvius from the terrace behind the palace. I was so tired here – happy tired! – for four days of constant seeing and drawing takes it´s toll on both instructors and participants, even if it´s in a positive way. I kind of felt like I squeezed out the last few drops of paint and energy in this view, and I didn´t quite finish it, but I´m happy with it anyway. It was the end of an incredibly inspiring four day experience, where I had the luxury of being both instructor and participant in workshops all evolving around the fantastic place that is Naples.

naples_harbor_1400608

naples_harbor1_1400608

naples_harbor2_1400608

After this, a long sleep, and then the return flights to Stockholm. And of course some airport sketches to go with it. :)

flyinghome_naples_140609

Cimitero delle Fontanelle – Naples workshop, part 3

June 20th, 2014

cimiterofontanelle2_text_140607

Cimitero delle Fontanelle is one of the most peculiar places I´ve been to. One of Simo Capecchi´s workshop sessions during the Urban Sketchers Naples Inventory workshop took place here, in this old tuff quarry-turned-graveyard. Skulls and bones are piled neatly along the walls in the many rooms of this place, and even though there is lighting and candles in some places, the overall impression is darkness and stillness.

cimiterofontanelle1_text_140607

cimiterofontanelle_text_140607

These caves have been used as a graveyard during the plague in the 17th century and the cholera epidemic in the 19th century. Over time, a cult emerged, where local people started “adopting” skulls, giving them names, building little houses for them, and laying down little gifts on or around them. Eventually, the church banned this cult, and the little houses look age-old, but some of the gifts look curiously new…

3skulls_140607

Surprisingly enough, I didn´t find it especially scary or eerie to walk around here, but it is a bit mind-boggling to think that all of these skulls were actually once real, living people. It would be interesting to hear their stories.

skull_fontanelle_140607

All drawings: drawn on 21 x 15 cm Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook pages.

Naples Inventory, part 2

June 18th, 2014

museodizoologia1_140606

The beginning of day 2 of the Naples Inventory workshop was spent in Museo di Zoologia in Naples – a museum so hidden that I doubt I would have found it even if I was looking for it. We had a look at Franco Lancio´s exhibition of three  little zen animals, Tza, Tzi and Ki, that he found and put together. Then Federico Gemma asked all the participants to capture eight different species of animals in just under two hours, in different techniques. I´m not a fast sketcher, but I managed, even if I had to hurry with that poor ermine. And I even squeezed in a ninth, the caracal, just before leaving. :)

museodizoologia2_140606

museodizoologia_140606

The afternoon was spent at Museo Archeologico, where Caroline Peyron had us working in layers again. She brought us to the “scrap statue room” (feels a little blasphemous to call it that, but it seemed to be just that – the place where they put all the statues that are broken or misplaced, or just don´t fit in the exhibition). I found these two guys standing behind one another, and was intrigued by their difference in scale, and the drama of the blue guy sort of trying to stab the innocent looking fella. ;)

museoarcheologico1_1_140606

Then added another layer when we entered the actual exhibition – the incredibly calm faces of two marble women.

museoarcheologico1_140606

Another try:

museoarcheologico2_140606

museoarcheologico2d

And then another one, just because I couldn´t get enough of the marble ladies. They looked so serene and still so empty with their blank eyes…

museoarcheologico_3

In the evening, we went to see a tableaux vivants and live sketching performance by Teatri 35 at Riot Studio, where three actors made the paintings of Caravaggio come alive. The performance was very beautiful and dramatic, and constantly moving – and of course, the point of us being there was to sketch the whole thing. All I can say is that it is INCREDIBLY difficult to draw fast moving versions of Caravaggio´s paintings.

riotstudio1_140606

riotstudio_2_140606

riotstudio_3

All drawings drawn on 22 x 15 cm pages of a Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook, using various ink pens, pencil, fountain pens, coloured pencil and watercolours.

Workshop in Naples, part 1

June 16th, 2014

flyto_naples_140604

I have just returned home from Naples, where I had the honor of being invited as an instructor to Simo Capecchi´s and Caroline Peyron´s workshop Naples Inventory. I had such a great time, meeting so many incredibly nice participants and other instructors. I also experienced Naples, which is a city unlike any other I have visited – an intense, faded beauty, vibrant with life and full of surprises around every corner! Of course Simo and Caroline brought us all to the most varied, unaccessible and fantastic places in town for the workshops, most of which I would never have found as a ‘normal’ tourist.

napoli_nitschview_140605

The first workshop day started off with me and Federico Gemma doing a demo each on the terraces of Museo Nitsch. The view I had in front of me would have deserved a whole day of drawing, but having only one hour I went for a small part of it.

Next up was a stop at Bosco Capodimonte, where we all had a go at the fantastic Fontana del Bramante (or was it called Fontana Belvedere? Noone was really sure…) while enjoying a tasty veggie picnic that Slowlina brought to us. (I don´t usually put links to non-art related companies on my blog, but these guys really deserve all the attention they can get – I have never had such great picnic food and in such fabulous packaging. Kudos to you, guys!)

fontana_delbramante_140605

I haven´t seen a fountain like this before, it had kind of it´s own little eco system – much like the gaffophone of Gaston that I used to read about as a kid. ;)

In the afternoon Caroline Peyron had us drawing in layers of transparent paper, inside the restauration laboratory and the ballroom of Museo di Capodimonte. The themes for the drawings were Order and Disorder. VERY inspiring technique, I have to try some more of this layer work on my own, I almost couldn´t stop once we got started on this. There is something about the layers of different drawings that I really like.

laboratoriorestauro_layer1_140605

ballroom_layer2_140605

capodimonte_horse_140605

All images: 21 x 14,5 cm, slightly more for those who stretch across the gutter of the book. Mostly ink pens and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook pages.

Liljeholmstorget

June 4th, 2014

liljeholmstorget_140526

Shopping malls are not my favorite subject to sketch, but sometimes it´s a good challenge to draw stuff that is just a bit… boring. I have to overcome a certain resistance inside before I can really dive into lines and colours with my usual interest. It´s probably character building. ;)

20 x 20 cm, Namiki Falcon with Platinum Carbon ink and watercolours, on Arches cold press watercolour paper – not sure about the weight, and not sure I like it…

European Parliament Election

May 25th, 2014

eu-valet_140525

I did a quick sketch today from a nearby polling station, after using my civil right to cast my vote in the European parliament election. It feels good to see that the political party workers handing out ballot papers are chatting away in a friendly tone. I know that´s not the case all over the world.

22 x 15 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.

Gustaf Vasa kyrka

May 24th, 2014

gustaf_vasa_ka_140519

A few days ago me and my dear M ran some errands in town, and were caught by a heavy rain without jackets or umbrellas. We ran into one of the big churches of Stockholm, Gustaf Vasa kyrka, to avoid getting soaked. M moved on as soon as the rain subsided, while I ended up sitting in there drawing for an hour or so. So still, so quiet, such a complete opposite of the city´s noise right outside the doors.

Approx. 20 x 14 cm, UniPin fineliner and watercolours on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook page.


Copyright © 2014 Nina Johansson. All Rights Reserved.
No computers were harmed in the 0.431 seconds it took to produce this page.

Designed/Developed by Lloyd Armbrust & hot, fresh, coffee.