Have as a mission when the flea market season begins in Oslo, and that is to find mid century glass, old charming children’s books.  Didn’t find any books (actually gave up before I got that far – so many people).  But I did manage to find these super cool pieces – wish I knew more about the glass – no labels.  The bowl is Bjørn Winblad – fabulous Danish artist.  The egg cups are “Figgjo Flint, Norway” – the dishes we ate from as a child were from this Norwegian ceramic company – have always loved it!.

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Inspired by Alice in Wonderland today…

 

 

I used to stress a lot about not feeling balanced.  Started with not feeling balanced (usually from too much stress) then stressed about not feeling balanced and then had a hard time coming out of that cycle.  This continued when I moved to Korea, so much to find out about and get involved in or create, it was both exciting and overwhelming.  At some point, I decided I had to take one thing at a time. If my children were home, I had to put away my sewing.  If it was a creating day, I couldn’t lunch with friends.  Not that my life was so structured, but I had to draw some lines in order to keep my pulse down.

Now it January, back in Norway since June 2011,  finally the new house is settled, new puppy is settled, new job is settling and I am settling in to my Friday creating days.  Just being able to be in my cozy house, fireplace going downstairs, puppy asleep under my desk, dinner slow cooking on the stove – I feel really lucky.

Today we visited the family grave.  Norway has this lovely tradition of putting candles and flowers/plants on family graves on certain special days.  This graveyard at Haslum church is so beautiful, peaceful and so well tended.

beautiful birch trees

3 lovely people rest here

candlelight on graves

These odd creatures are framed in lacquered  colored frames, all ready to hang.
28 x 35.5cm / 1800,- nok
Information about my upcoming exhibition

 

 

 

 

Some weeks ago my mother and I took a short over-night trip to Trondheim to pick up our new puppy.  A city with less than 200,000 inhabitants.  It is a slow paced but active city – no one seemed particularly in a hurry.  All the lovely old houses are well maintained and house new shops, cafes and businesses.  It was a rainy day, but all the houses are painted lovely colors, so it didn’t feel so grey.

We had the chance to walk around a bit and here are some images from the city.







Time has flown by these last 3 months.  We’ve moved into our new house and settled into new everyday routines.  Children happy at school, Svein-Olav adjusting but content with his new position and me planning the next chapter of my life.

Being back home in Norway is lovely.  Perhaps the best is reconnecting with all our friends and family.  I have missed my mother a lot and have had the chance to get to know her again.  We spend a lot of time talking, she likes it best just one-to-one in quiet settings.  We talk about the past.  My father, the love of her life, comes up a lot.  We often imagine him sitting across the room with the newspaper and a glass of red wine.  Part of our group, but perhaps a bit on his own.  We talk about her mother, a fascinating woman I wish I had know better.  We talk about her childhood during the war and we talk about art.

She is getting older, I see, but she still the beauty she has always been.  A spunky, take-no-shit kind of lady, hugely touched by the beauty of life, a person very grateful for what she has and who she has in her life.   She loves her home and her solitude, but she has spent too much time alone these last years.   We are working on plans to create things together, she is a great painter but needs to get working again.  Cozy plans for Christmas are also in the works.

3 more days until we leave our Korean lives.  I have spent many weeks feeling really sad and have had a hard time accepting that I would leave this lovely country and all these amazing people I know here.

And although it is still really hard, I have finally come to the realization that, in the midst of all this loss, I have also gained to much – lovely friends, experience in the Korean art world, a wealth of knowledge about a country I never thought I’d get to know – and all of that makes me feel like a super lucky kid on Christmas Eve – I get to walk away with tons of presents!

I know Korea will be a part of our lives forever and we will return one day.

Here are some of my favorite photos this month of Korea (photography:  Svein-Olav Hannevik)

red onions finally in season

fresh vegetables at the Haeundae market

dried fish

tending her garden

street food - love the floating fish

fresh fruit

out with dad

our favorite neighborhood restaurant - Table 4

rooftop garden

my second home - the fabric market

our street

our apartment building

 

 

Master Park and Sarah

I started Kouk Sun-Do about 5 weeks ago.  I so wish I had started earlier, but feel grateful that I started at all.  Kouk Sun-Do is the Korean traditional method of training the mind and body which descended from the Korean founding fathers about 9,700 years ago.  The practice of Kouk Sun-Do involves lower abdominal breathing along with special postures.   There are 3 practicing stages – body training, spiritual training and practice to unify mind and body.

Kouk Sun-Do has helped me feel balanced, calmer and stronger.  I have always thought that I was too “busy” to be calm enough to do yoga or meditate and starting this class has really taught me something about myself and has slowed me down.  The peace there in the studio and with the Master himself is so beautiful and authentic – like fresh mountain air.

There is a lovely group of expat women in the class, all people I know quite well and that have welcomed me into the group so warmly.  Yesterday our friend Dawn received her yellow belt and we had a ceremony and tea together.  It was very exciting.

Berit, Dawn, Ana, Master Park, Sarah, Claudia

Doing Kouk Sun-Do has made me feel like I know Korea even more, that I understand Koreans on a deeper level.  I haven’t learned the language unfortunately and many customs we, as foreigners, don’t really understand and cannot participate in. But the practice Kouk Sun-Do and my appreciation and understanding of Korean art and craft have made me feel more at one with Korea.

I fell in love with the work of Youngmi Kim about 2 years ago.  A friend had a great collection of her work and then I started seeing her pieces in many galleries and art shops.  I have a lovely collection and cannot wait to find the perfect place for them in my new house.

During this last exhibition I met Youngmi for the first time and almost fell over when I found out she was the one responsible for these amazing ceramic pieces, I had hoped so much I could meet her somewhere before I left.  We had a connection right away – she loves my work and I love hers – it is beautiful mutual admiration.  We both want to promote and create affordable art for people to appreciate in their daily lives.

I have met a lot of Korean artists that put everything they have into their art and want what they create to reach people in their everyday lives and I have such respect for this.  I think just simply what it teaches children is an appreciation for beauty, color, aesthetics and warmth.

I really love to buy art from people I either know or have met, it makes the piece so much more special and today I bought myself a birthday present – a beautiful house.  So many of the Korean artists I have met have included me into their “club” and I will be forever grateful.

   

  

Over these last three years I have developed lovely relationships with some Korean people who have helped me and welcomed me here.  These last years have been a deep personal journey for me, especially a creative journey and there are several people who have helped me on this journey.  In this post I want to thank my lovely friends who have framed almost every piece of art I have produced – nearly 100 in the last 3 years.

Every time I go into this frame shop (I am there at least 2 times a month) I am greeted by the most lovely faces.  The quality of their work is great, a style I hope to get reproduced in Oslo.  And they always seem really pleased to see me and are always so helpful and accommodating to my sometimes short deadlines.

I will miss these kind faces.

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