Notes from my studio no.1

Notes from my studio no.1

photo: recent sketchbook pages "the light step of the open hearted"

How to share my story?

I am trying a new format for my blog and newsletter! Finally :) This first post is a bit long, probably won't be so wordy going forward. But telling my story felt like a good place to start.

We all have a story. Tales of how we got to where we are today, tales of loss and sadness but also tales of joy and success. I have wanted to tell my story but have struggled for a long time to find a way that pushes me forward rather than holds me back. My story effects the art I create and the person I am today. Finally feel that I am ready to put new words on my story in a way that could perhaps resonate with others but will also help me fully appreciate how far I have come. You will often see reoccurring themes in my artwork - ideas around resilience, identity, intentionality, strength and vulnerability, belief in one's self and empathy and kindness for others. Themes that feel more important now than ever before. 

I had a good childhood. I was loved. I was born an identical twin to parents that had both been married before and had romantically found each other after their divorces. It always felt that they had finally found "true love" in each other. As much as they loved me, they both had lives filled with unprocessed trauma, especially my father who's 18-year old son from a previous marriage had died in a car accident a year prior to my birth. No one talked about what was hard, no one even really acknowledged what was hard and looking back now, I understand that they didn't really have the tools to deal with what was hard. So, despite having so much love, when life got challenging, they didn't have the tools to navigate through it together and sometimes love isn't enough. Communication in our house was hard, harder than it should have been, dare I say "dysfunctional".

I became an adult early. I realized early that I had to fend for myself emotionally. My father, as empathetic and kind as he was, carried his grief with him all the time, although it was never talked about. Adding to his emotional load was something I couldn't do. My mother was not equipped to support me emotionally, she loved me but didn't know how to support me emotionally. So, I grew up fiercely independent. It took years to understand how to access my vulnerability and to not be afraid of it. Thank god, I did because it has really enabled me to grow as a person and as an artist. 

My twin sister and I grew up very close to one another. Sadly though, she chose to remove herself from our relationship eight years ago. Did not understand then and still don't why she did what she did. It totally broke my heart, nearly crushed me for years. Changed me profoundly. But I have finally found a way to accept it. I have spent years figuring out who I was without my twin. Alone. I now stand happily alone, proudly alone. Aware of who I am and what I am capable of. Thankfully, I have amazing friends that have filled this sisterly void and who have held me close and reminded me of who I am. 

I have become such a believer in talking about what is hard in life. In my experience, relationships struggle or fall apart when difficult conversations are avoided. My artwork is an attempt to make things better, an attempt to look at hard things, if you can look at it, you can take action to make things better. For me, creating art is a way to choose light, beauty and hope over darkness and loss. It is a way of connecting with others who also struggle and a way of healing my broken heart. I feel a bit weird being so open about my life, but I always really appreciate other people telling their stories, it always inspires me. I think that talking about what's hard is important because it makes us feel less alone and it helps us find ways to move on, to heal, to accept, to process.


On Sunday April 21st I will be participating in a Art Market in Drammen at Galleri Bohem - Høytorvet. 

I will be selling some recent small collages, plus art dolls, cards, art prints and my reminder boxes. 

Here is an article written about the upcoming event:

Lokalt Kunstmarked hos Galleri Bohem



At Home:

Spring is finally here, even though there was a sprinkling of snow this morning! We are reworking the deck above our garage. The goal is to make this exposed space more cozy, a place where you can hide away to read a book and flexible enough to entertain. So, we're building flower boxes on wheels so we can rearrange the space depending on what purpose we have. Will be buying a new cozy sofa, found the perfect one at IKEA. I'll keep you updated as we progress!


In the studio:

It is flea market season here in Norway! A great opportunity for me to find vintage books and fabrics. I am especially interested in old family books that record births/deaths, or old well used cook books or ledgers. Things that tell a story. I am also looking for antique, white linens - preferably with interesting embroidery.   

flea market finds, vintage book, vintage ceramics  


Are you familiar with the artwork of Maira Kalman? She is paints, writes and even embroiders. In her work she examines death and reflects on it's inevitability. She has a funny way of observing everyday moments, people, oddities. Her stories, written and painted tell of turbulent families, trauma and beautiful moments.

Maira Kalman's writing feels like floating in a dream. A feeling that you are getting close to some kind of understanding, but just at the last second it floats away and you are left in the fog, not really knowing - but yet there is a sense that you are not alone, someone else sees the world a bit like you.


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