On the Island Runde, on the west coast of Norway, my grandparents live.
It’s a very small Island, and the most western Island in the area. Which means that it’s closest neighbour in the west is Faroe Islands.
I’ve taken some photos there during the years, but clearly not enough.
For example there’s lot’s of houses – and a harbour – which I can’t find in any of my photos. But you can see more photos from Runde on this norwegian tourist site if you want to.
These are the ones I could find from my own collection, uploaded to my site:
The Island is known for it’s rich birdlife, and you can see creatures there like puffins, white-tailed eagles, gannets, cormorants and skuas.
It’s also known for a great treasure found in 1972 by three sports divers, after a dutch trading ship named Akerendam capsized outside the island during a storm in 1725.
The total value of the treasure was estimated to about 30.000.000 – 40.000.000 norwegian krone. In US dollars that would be about 3.500.000 – 4.600.000 USD.
The treasure included about 57 000 coins, whereas 6624 of them were gold coins.
Having spent countless family visits in Runde, especially when I was younger, I think I’ve been overlooking how mysterious and intereseting the Island actually is.
I’ve heard the stories about the treasure, and I’ve seen all the birds I’ve mentioned. But I guess I’ve been so spoiled with it that I haven’t been able to appreciate it as much as I should.
Quite a sad fact though, is that the birds have started building nests in the cliff sides using plastic parts found in the ocean. Which just looks horrifying.
Maybe that’s part of what made me realize how vulnerable nature is to human impact.
So, when I went there on another visit this summer during our vacation, it was like rediscovering the Island again.
I don’t know what made it special this time, but I felt that I experienced it all in a new, more attentive way.
This also made me want to include the Island in more of my paintings.
So, (now to the point) as a start I decided that I wanted to do a watercolour painting of my grandfathers boat called “Rossen”.
Having spent all of my life by the ocean, growing up in Ålesund, the marine life means quite a lot to me. And I think I’m starting to realize just how much.
I’ve been on Rossen for several trips, as my grandparents used it as a feature on the school camp they built and ran until they retired and sold it.
It now lies in the harbour quite unused.
I’m a bit ashamed that I haven’t actually got any photos of the boat myself. So if you want to see it in real life you can see it on this google search I made.
Well, as I’ve ramble on for quite a while now I’ll keep the rest short and simple.
This is the pencil sketch I made using a 3B pencil seen from the harbour walk:
I then did a wash:
And ended up with this finished painting:
There’s something about it that don’t look quite right. But I’m happy with the fact that I managed to paint it in a more loose style than recent attempts, which I’ve been working hard to manage.
One of the key features to make me loosen up (even though I’ve heard the tip quite a few times) was to stand up.
Simply making me see the whole painting more clearly, and forget about the small details right in front of my face.
A brilliant tip if you actually use it, I find.
And now, on to the next!