Friday, 15 March 2019

Getting in Touch with Your Creativity

I realised I haven't blogged for ages! And that is not because there has been nothing going on to chat about, quite the opposite really! I've been so focused on my art and on building a course schedule at BVN Design, where I work a couple days a week, that I forgot to tell anyone about it, plus I was at my best mates wedding which was an inspiration for me...

So the really big news for me is that I will be teaching a course in how to access and activate your creative center...  It's called 'Discover Your Inner Artist' and it is a weekend course, one held in march and one in May, in the lovely spacious BVN Design studio in Lidingö Stockholm.

Weekend Course:

Date 30–31/3
Saturday 30/3 – 10.00-16.00. 
Sunday 31/3 – 10.30-15.00.
Date 18–19/5
Saturday 18/5 – 10.00-16.00. 
         Sunday 19/5 – 10.30-15.00. 

As I get older and less interested in 'things', I'm getting more interested in making with my hands and my mind. I know how rewarding it is and I want to help other people find that feeling too. You can read more about that here

There are also lots of other courses coming up in different paint techniques for furniture and sculpture and over the summer there are going to be lots of courses on things like learning to make soap and healing herb ointments, felting and other crafty stuff. You can read more about all that here:

I'm also having an open studio for the Sollentuna konstronda (Sollentuna Art Weekend) April 6-7 so anyone can wander in to my studio and have a look at what I'm doing in here... This is my latest painting which is called 'Within Adversity Lay the Seeds of Opportunity' and it has a meta significance for me because it was only through making lots of 'mistakes' and ugly marks that the final painting was able to emerge.

As you probably already know, I have been learning how to do upholstery and I really threw myself in the deep end with this old broken chair... I fixed the wooden scrollwork at the back and gave it a right fancy look! It was the first time I did buttons and I definitely learnt a lot from this one!

Well that is about it from me... until the next time...

Thursday, 20 December 2018

A Huge Thank You to All My Customers!

I haven't done a blog in ages, been too busy learning how to do upholstery and painting like a crazy person, not to mention everything that goes along with running Van Asch... But I just wanted to take a moment and say a massive 'Thank You to everyone you bought something through my Van Asch webshop this year. Together with Framtidsjorden we have managed to generate nearly 20 000:- this year (nearly €2000) in donations for the charity CIRHEP in India... and that was possible because of all my lovely customers.

Through the orders that you make, we take 5% and we give that money to CIRHEP who invest in women's empowerment programs and financing for starting organic farming businesses.

You can read more about what CIRHEP do here...

But just to give you an idea how far that money has gone... €2000 is enough to start 40 women up in business... or buy 3 solar panels with batteries or 3 computers and printers and office supplies.... or 8 water purifying systems.

And it wouldn't have been possible all my lovely customers!

Monday, 12 November 2018

Learning Upholstery

You might've noticed that I have started to learn how to renovate old furniture, I'm always posting pictures up on Facebook and instagram and stuff, but if you missed it, then let me tell you what I've been up to...

I started about 6 weeks ago learning from  the pros at BVN Design...
On my first day, my teacher was showing me how to cover an armchair, kind of a difficult one, not least because it was supposed to be covered in white fabric which can get grubby very easily. Well my teacher cut herself, bled on a bit and so I asked if I could be her hands and she could tell me what to do. I ended up doing it all, and not half bad for a first attempt even if I say so myself...

My next project was to learn how to do another kind of armchair, I used one of my cushion covers and a bag to cover it. It's a bit rough up close...

I wanted to get better at that kind of chair so I did another one and it came out much better.

I also wanted to learn about painting different kinds of cupboards and cabinets so I got this huge cupboard, was in a right state, really needed some love...
So I painted it in alternate stripes of mat and glossy black paint. Painted the interior a bright coral pink and finished it with gold leaf edges and new handles

I'm having so much fun breathing life into these old bits of furniture, there is so much quality craftsmanship in the original pieces and all they need it a bit of a freshen up and they can go on being useful for decades more to come... It's particularly satisfying to me because I'm very into sustainability and I love the idea of working with what we already have. If you want to learn how to do this sort of thing then join one of BVN Designs weekend courses and learn how to give old furniture the appreciation they deserve.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Street Libraries...Loaning Out Good Vibes

I love the idea of street libraries. They are little good vibe stations just giving out happiness, learning, fun and good vibes. What's not to love?

I got thinking about these recently when I was visiting a local town of cuteness called Sigtuna and they had a lovely old street library...

Sometimes they can be political like this art installation by John Locke, repurposing phone booths ...but they didn't last. Probably because they were illegal and put over working telephones...hmmm might be an artistic statement but as a solid concept for a street library...useless.

But I think they work best in residential neighbourhoods where access to municipal libraries is not so available. Plus such a cute way to repurpose old crap. Check these up cycled newspaper vending boxes..

Sometimes street libraries can be huge, repurposing things like bus shelters..

And sometimes they can be tiny weeny...

Is your street crying out for a cute little street library?

Friday, 22 June 2018

Artist Lars Lerin at Liljevalchs Gallery & Midsommar

Yesterday I had a lovely afternoon looking at art with my mum and my girls. It's summer holidays now so we have to fill up the days with fun things to see and do...and cake..there is always a lot of cake during the holidays. But the cake is quite necessary to have the energy to traipse around the galleries and museums that I drag my family to,  I assure you ;-)

We went to Liljevalchs Gallery to see the Lars Lerin exhibition and I really loved it... Each room had a different theme, very varied in subject matter but all done with his beautiful moody painting style, where it is as much about what details he chooses to leave out as what he puts in.

Some of the paintings were epicly huge, with so much going on...only a very observant, obsessive  and meticulous type of character would have the patience to paint these types of works.

I was particularly wowed by the library room, where he has painted life sized libraries of books and folders. It's a statement about the digitisation of things I guess but what I love is that whilst the books look totally real at a glance, you can't actually read one single word on the spines. They are all like incomprehensible meta books...bizarre but cool.

And I also found the room of interiors paintings kind of funny, to paint such banal things seems so strange...
This is what accompanied these paintings...

And it kind of made me smile inwardly because I do find this type of decor very common here in Sweden, and so totally boring. Lars absolutely captures this sense on sameness and tedious conformity.

The paintings of ornate architecture were also beautiful...

There is so much more to see and it's quite fascinating... I also highly recommend the cakes and pastries in the cafe. I sampled several different things and all were delightful!

On the wall in the cafe are hundreds of photos of stray cats and dogs which was quite sad really... sweet and sad. As a massive animal lover, I find it a bit upsetting to see the look in some of their wee faces. Only the unspeakable deliciousness of the pastry goods took the edge off ;-)

Well it is midsommar weekend here in Sweden, which is quite a big deal here and we have appalling weather for it. So I won't be going out and dancing around no pagan totems this weekend but rather staying in and baking naughty treats with my daughters... YUM

Friday, 15 June 2018

Letting Go of Ego Without Becoming a Gigantic Bore

The last few months have been a bit of a trial for interesting time, a challenging time with many dark hours and many bright moments of insight...

At my age, it might be called a mid-life crisis but that is too much hyperbole and sounds more dramatic than it really has been, although it does feel momentous for me.

I've always had a problem with naming myself... I sang in a band for 10 years but I've never considered myself a 'singer'. I've been making art in one way or another all my life but I never called myself an 'Artist'. I think it is some kind of lack of self belief or doubt in my abilities or something like that, but that has undergone a radical shakeup in the last few months and I'm finally ready to step up and own it. Now I call myself an Artist. It might not seem like a big deal, I mean what's in a name right? But it feels like a big deal to me and that is because I've finally found my voice.

Part of the issue  is definitely to do with ego and that is what I've been contemplating recently.

There were too many things in the way before..fear of not being good enough, fear of being judged and the ego getting a right kicking and also not having a direct line of communication to my creative centre...
I've been slowly but surely letting go of the ego and then the fear of being judged abates and the fear of not being good enough doesn't exist anymore... no status, no arrogance, no bullshit, no walls, no defences, no ego.... well it's a  journey and I'm not there yet but I'm on my way baby!

But I don't want to drag you into the multi faceted epiphanies I've undergone in the last few months because I don't want to be a gigantic bore.

Everyones journey of discovery is a personal thing with twists and turns in the road but I realise now, everything can be worked through once you have the courage to turn the gaze within and really ask yourself who you are now, what makes you happy and what is holding you back, what are the fears that stop you moving forward and what do you keep doing in your life that doesn't serve you.

Whilst all that sounds very self involved and selfish even, it's marvellous to understand yourself and be at ease with who you are because then you are much nicer company... I like the sound of that.

So that is it for me today...have a lovely weekend

Friday, 8 June 2018

Smoothie Buddha Bowls From Surprising Sources

More often than not you'll hear me banging on about how I hate the internet, social media is a ball and chain of obligation and fakery, and things were better 'before' or something like that. But there is a thing that is happening, quite surprisingly, that I'm rather impressed by...

I'm the proud owner/wrangler/parent to a couple of girls, one is a teenager and did you know, they are obsessed with healthy eating? Well ok, maybe not all of them, but a surprisingly large number of them!

My daughter comes home every day from school and spends an hour in the kitchen making smoothie bowls of unspeakable deliciousness and beauty.

Ok, this is not a picture from her, it's just a random one I found on the internet that looks like what she does, and she is not alone in this...the internet is full of such yummy wonderment!

I would've pulled a picture from her instagram but she doesn't put the pictures up there, she actually just loves doing it and eating them, so I'm happy to report, it isn't just 'look at my perfect healthy life' showoff social media bollocks.

 I'm so proud.

And I bet lots of other mums and dads are too, because my daughter is just one of very many health obsessed teens these days and that is thanks to the internet and social media.

Sometimes the evil internet can actually be an it's not all rubbish then ;-)

Well, that is it for me today, I'm off home... I'm going to eat things my daughter has made...

She makes healthier food than I do now.