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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Painting the Norwegian Woods with a Surprise Spice

'Norwegian Woods'               10.5 x 15.5              pastel             ©Karen Margulis
available $350
It was really a bonus. I didn't expect to stumble upon this magical place. I got off the ship in Bergen Norway with no agenda. I didn't plan to take a tour. I figured that I would wander around the town looking for photo opportunities. I had read about the funicular that went to an overlook on Mount Floyen and thought that might be an option. Fortunately I was off the ship early....even before the town shops were open. So when I found the funicular it had just opened and there was no line. I got on not sure what I would see at the top.

It was definitely worth the trip! Not only was the view of Bergen and the surrounding mountains and fjords spectacular, the wooded area at the top was laced with walking trails.....and goats! It was wonderful. The air was crisp and clear and everything glowed with the early morning sun.

I took a detour up one of the trails and quickly came across a little path that led to a Troll Garden. It was a wonderful and magical place that had hidden troll statues among the trees. It was a wonderful place and I could have spent the day there! Below is one of my photos and you can see the troll. I know I will be painting a lot more of this forest!


For this painting I wanted to capture the light in the forest. That was my WHY. I was afraid that the troll would not read like a statue and instead look like a badly painted figure! So I left him out this time and added a small tree in his place. But the painting needed something. I let it sit for awhile and came back to it with fresh eyes and an idea!

Laying in the Art Graf and the Derwent Inktense for the underpainting

I did a wash with some rubbing alcohol. 

I took out my dry erase board and wrote down my thoughts on what I needed to do to finish the painting. I decided to leave out the troll even a hint of him and add some of the wonderful red mushrooms I saw in the forest. Have you ever seen a red mushroom with white spots outside of a story book? I had not! They were simply charming and I decided they would be the perfect spice to complete my painting of this little slice of Norwegian woods.

My finishing thoughts

These red mushroom really exist!!

Doesn't this look like a fairy tale forest?

A close up. 

1 comment:


Very beautiful painting !!!