Trees are a lot of fun to draw. I don’t have to think much, I simply let the lines dictate my drawing. This is another tree I painted on a bookmark. I was going to do a watercolour wash and make it a daytime painting. Then I saw the bottle of orange ink on my desk and ended up drawing an eclipsed moon. Once I finished painting the background with a recently-acquired blue ink, it became a completely different painting than my original intention.
A few weeks ago I mentioned about our trip to Sweden and I promised to share more. Special thanks to Lara and Mary for encouraging me to write about this journey. Before I begin, here is a little summary –
12 days ( includes 3 days for plane travel )
It will take me a couple of months to go though all the photos. However, I have the photos sorted enough to share a skeletal version of the trip. So here we go –
I am addicted to the North and I longed to see the Swedish Lapland. That’s what took my husband and me to the mining town of Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden. It was a very long journey from Northern California to Kiruna and there was the dreaded jet lag. We stumbled outside for some dinner and spotted the glowing sky. Neither one of us had ever seen an Aurora before. Our tired brains took a little time to realise what we were looking at. Still not really believing our eyes, I looked up the aurora watch sites for nightly activity. Surely enough, it was an Aurora Borealis. A mild storm, but a storm nevertheless. We hurriedly ate our dinner, bundled up with ample clothing to stay warm and headed out to find a dark spot armed with camera and stand.
This is the whole of Kiruna airport. There is a small Hertz centre off to the side where we got our pre-reserved car.
Kiruna mine at night
After a long rest and a lot of coffee, we headed out next morning to explore the Swedish Lapland in our car. We drove up to the Norway border on a beautiful road that stretched through lakes, mountains and wilderness as far as the eye could see. We stopped whenever we found parking, walking closer to the lakes, taking in the cold, desolate beauty of a generally wintry land.
It was September, but it was frigid already and storm clouds were looming. It poured the next day as we were leaving the Lapland.
We wondered if we would be able to see the aurora one more time before we had to leave Kiruna. We got lucky. The northern sky cleared enough for us to get another glimpse of the aurora and it was breathtaking.
We started our southbound journey the next day. After a nice lunch at Arvidsjaur we went to see the Sami Church Village. A group of people were playing treasure hunt in the open park.
The colours on some of these logs are so beautiful, I couldn’t resist taking a few detail photos.
We spent the late afternoon driving through the famous Swedish Blå Vagen, the Blue Road.
The road goes through long, beautiful lakes on both sides. We took a break to enjoy the sunset. It was late when we got to Umeå, where we spent the night before continuing southwards.
Hope you enjoyed the first part of our journey through Sweden.
Until next time,
Cheryl December 2, 2015 at 11:14
Beautiful pictures! May I ask what the mine mined? That is such a cool shot.
Cynthia December 1, 2015 at 12:06
Wow What a trip. It looks like it was worth the trip. Love your tree designs.
Carol December 1, 2015 at 09:39
Your painting looks amazing and your photos of Sweden were such a pleasure to see. Thank you for sharing! P.S. The fat quarters arrived…they are beautiful fabrics. Thank you!
Sandra December 1, 2015 at 06:45
I am so glad I came here this morning and started my day with this beautiful breath-taking post Soma! Much as I love to be warm, your photos do make me long for my home province of Alberta…we used to sit at night in our hot tub and watch the incredible, sparkling, this-can’t-be-real!-display in the black sky. Your photos have captured the ghostly glory perfectly. I love your scarf! I would totally wear it! That’s something I have never tried is silk painting…interesting how paintings like quilts, often dictate the direction they want to go!
Marti November 30, 2015 at 12:36
That’s a lot to fit into a short time, but it looks like fun too. Your photos are great and make me want to visit there too.
Julie November 30, 2015 at 10:46
Lovely! I have been waiting on details of your journey, and am fully satisfied! Thank you so much for sharing.
Lara B. November 29, 2015 at 20:38
Oh Soma, your photographs of Sweden are so beautiful…. it makes me want to go and see the country in person. I can’t get over the wide open lands and beauty. It reminds me of Alaska a little. Especially the northern lights and mountains and lakes. I hope you will show us more of your photos from the trip!
I love the trees you painted, both the silk scarf and the book mark. Your bookmark painting looks so natural. Perhaps that is because it happened with great spontaneity. It is so fun how it changed into a night sky as you worked on it. I have seen a red moon a few times before, without an eclipse. I think it is called a blood moon.
Kim Sharman November 29, 2015 at 16:29
Oh my, that’s a lot of miles and cities in 12 days!! How glorious is the Aurora Borealis. It must have been spectacular to see it up close and personal. Your silk painting is lovely. I love the photo of the trees on those mottled leaves; just lovely.
Claire November 28, 2015 at 23:30
How exciting to see an Aurora Borealis!! I have always wanted to see one, but never been far enough North to do so. Great travel pix! Have a great rest of your vacation!
Lorna McMahon November 27, 2015 at 06:21
Such gorgeous photos! Thanks so much for taking us on your trip!
Kaja November 27, 2015 at 00:13
Your trip looks fantastic – the landscape is just stunning.
Mary November 26, 2015 at 08:21
OMGosh, Soma. Your photos are so amazing. As much as you enjoy your sky viewing, I can imagine the thrill of seeing such a spectacular site – and more than just once. The scenery in your traveling looks beautiful. Now I want to go see it too!! ;-)
Your silk painting is so interesting too. I do love how the colors get absorbed on the silk fabric. I like the piece with the orange moon too. I chuckled at you liking to draw trees because they are easy. I always hate my trees. lol
Looking forward to reading more about your trip.
Carla November 26, 2015 at 07:09
What an amazing trip. What was that little church village all about? The old log homes look beautiful. Hope you get to slow down and relax some. : )
Janine November 25, 2015 at 16:42
Your trees look great on silk and paper and your holiday photos are wonderful. I’m glad the weather was clear enough for you see the aurora borealis twice. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your trip :)
Shasta November 25, 2015 at 12:21
Wow that scenery is breathtaking, and your photography is wonderful. Thank you for taking us along on the journey.
Ruth November 25, 2015 at 08:49
beautiful, thanks for sharing your lovely photos!
Kathleen November 25, 2015 at 07:49
Your photos are breathtaking. Looking forward to seeing more. And your pretty scarf needs to be hung some place where it can catch a gentle breeze.
krislovesfabric November 25, 2015 at 07:29
Gorgeous photos of your trip! The Aurora Borealis looks stunning! I would love to see that one day. That bookmark looks so pretty on the leaves :)
Dixie November 24, 2015 at 18:16
Glorious blues in the bookmark. Great background, too. I love it! Silk painting sounds interesting.
Your photos of the north are wonderful…captivating beauty. Thanks so much for sharing.
Wendy November 24, 2015 at 15:40
Your painting on silk sounds very interesting, and I like the inked image on the bookmark. You’ve got some beautiful photos of Sweden! I guess you got up there just in time before the snow came down. How exciting to see the northern lights!
Connie Campbell November 24, 2015 at 13:47
Your painting is beautiful especially the bookmark! Looks like you had a wonderful time and what beautiful scenery!
Susan November 24, 2015 at 11:45
Sounds like a wonderful trip. I would love to take a trip like this someday.