watercolorWEDNESDAY X

October 26, 2011 § 2 Comments

Ten weeks in Denmark already?!?  I have dearly enjoyed creating every painting and sharing them with you.  Look forward to many more!  Unfortunately, watercolorWEDNESDAY will be taking a short two-week break.  I will be traveling and without a computer but expect some new paintings after my trip!

Today we visit Lund Cathedral in Lund, Sweden.  I visited the cathedral last week in a school trip across Øresund to Malmø and Lund in Sweden.  Lund Cathedral was originally built in 1085 but has since gone through many remodels.  The crypt is the only original part of the building which was constructed in 1123.  The painting is showing the entry to the crypt and upper sanctuary.

The sandstone construction of the cathedral made some dramatic color and lighting effects so it was quite fun to paint.

See you in two weeks!


Tak for besøget!

October 23, 2011 § 2 Comments

Dad and me at Rosenborg Castle during Kulternatten

In the past two weeks I have been blessed by two special visitors to Copenhagen.  Last week my dad joined me for the week in this wonderful city I now call home.  He was in Europe for work and conviently joined me in Copenhagen for a couple of days.

His timing was perfect because Friday night was Kulternatten (Culture Night) in Copenhagen.  Kulternatten is a once a year event in Copenhagen where all galleries, museums, even then Parliment opened their doors to visitors for free for a crazy night of ‘culture.’  An estimated 75,000 people joined in the festivities!

The best part of the evening? THE SKY! The most beautiful sunset I have experienced in Copenhagen was last Friday evening.  Just take a look at those colors!

beautiful reflection on the water

My second visitor is an old friend I haven’t seen in 2+ years!  My friend Anna was passing through Denmark and we shared a much needed catching-up brunch Saturday.  Anna is a medical student studying in Uppsala, Sweden.  I met Anna in my senior year of high school when she was a Swedish foreign exchange student.  Four years ago I would not have believed you if you told me Anna and I would one day be eating brunch in Denmark!

delicious Danish brunch in Nørrebro with Anna

I love Denmark and all the new people I encounter, but its nice to get a taste of home.  I would love to have more familiar visitors and you are always welcome to Copenhagen!

Tak for besøget!

watercolor WEDNESDAY IX

October 19, 2011 § 1 Comment

Getting sick of the autumn colors yet?

Because I am clearly not!

Here is a shot from Woodland Cemetery in Stockholm, Sweden. I visited the site in my trip to Stockholm two weeks ago.  As mentioned in another posting, the Woodland Cemetery is designed by Gunnar Asplund and  Sigurd Lewerentz from 1917 continuing into the ’40s.

Coincidentally, I took a day-trip over to Malmö, Sweden today where I visited another one of Lewerentz’s cemeteries, Malmö Eastern Cemetery.  I am either fascinated by Lewerentz, cemeteries or both.

I can’t get enough of these autumn colors! 

 (I can do without the wind though)


October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hello autumn!  As mentioned in my previous post, the fall colors are AMAZING!  Clearly I am a little obsessed.

Here is beautiful Finland in the midst of autumn.  The painting is from Hvitträsk, the home (for a short period) of some of Finland’s greatest architects of the 20th century, Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen.  The trio lived briefly in the home before drama arose, couples swapped and all started separate practices.

The co-housing idea was a fail, but the home is a beautiful exhibition of Finnish National Romanticism.  The home is located on a hill overlooking a lake.  The shot is taken from the lake right next to the sauna.

 Mmm…if only it could be autumn forever!

the red paintings

October 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

“I will only look at the red paintings”

This quote comes from my incredibly inspiring and quirky Danish architectural history professor.  He says that to really experience a place (like a musuem) you must focus on one thing (like the red pictures) or you will see so much that you cannot absorb anything.

This was my motto for the past week while I traveled through Sweden and Finland.

Did I succeed?


There are too many beautiful colors in the world to only focus on one.

Enjoy the rainbow.

After an early flight Monday morning, we dropped our bags and headed to Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s medieval city center.  The street alleys here are the narrowest you will find in all of medieval Europe.

I spent the day wandering through Stockholm, the new and old, and ended the evening with a traditional dinner of herring and potatoes.  Dessert? A BOWL of hot cocoa.  The cozy cafe we found served the best hot cocoa I have ever experienced.

An afternoon was spent at The Woodland Cemetery (Skogskyrkogården) exploring the relation of site, nature and the cycle of life.  Designed by Sweden’s renowned architects, Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz, the cemetery’s most important characteristic is the landscape.  Design and construction started in 1917 and finished in the 1940s and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Another project by Asplund, Stockhom’s Stadsbiblotek.  The library is Scandinavia’s first public library that allowed the public to browse books on their own. The main space was the silo that was wrapped in colorful book bindings.  The hour we had to visit here was simply not enough!

Wednesday evening we took a cruise ship (The Cinderella) across the Baltic Sea from Stockholm,Sweden to Turku, Finland.  Let your imagination run wild:  30 college students on a cruise ship with a full buffet of food and alcohol.  Did I mention the casino, dance club (full of old folks) and karaoke bar?

Once in Turku we boarded a bus and had plenty of sights along the way.  Here we stopped at Chapel of the Holy Cross in Turku by Pekka Pitkänen, a contemporary funeral chapel.  The chapel is simply constructed by two materials: concrete and light.  Ironically, the duo of materials made a spectacular warm interior.

The highlight of Finland was definitely Alvar Aalto.  Aalto is Scandinavia’s most famous architect and my favorite architect. Aalto began designing in the 1920s until his death in 1976.  In Helsinki we were able to indulge in Aalto’s designs.  I got to experience his personal home, studio, Paimio Sanatorium,  Otaniemi Technical University and Akateeminen Kirjakauppa, just to name a few.  For a girl in love with natural wood and playful uses of light, I was drunk of Aalto’s designs.

(I had to include a rainbow somewhere!)

I got to experience my first Steven Holl design at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art.  Holl is one of America’s most famous architects known for his use of light, color, curves and crazy watercolors.

On the final afternoon we were given time to explore Helsinki.  In a mad dash across the city, we explored The Rock Church.  The church is carved out a huge block of granite right in the middle of Helsinki.  The cavity is covered by a giant copper coiled dome.  They literally stuck a ton of dynamite in a rock and blasted it apart to make the space.


Scandanavia is absolutely beautiful right now.  The autumn colors are so vibrant I could not believe it was real.  I talked about the colors so much a friend suggested they start a drinking game every time I mention the autumn leaves.  Oops.

As you can see, I could not just look at the red paintings.

I am still working on the art of being an architectural tourist and look forward to a future frenzy of travels.

You can bet there are some watercolors coming from the trip, so check back on Wednesday!

watercolor WEDNESDAY VII

October 5, 2011 § Leave a comment


A beautiful sunset captured while reflected upon Københaven Domkirke (Copenhagen Cathedral).  I pass the Cathedral daily on my bike back from school to the train station and the colors were so beautiful on this day!

The Cathedral has been through a lot- multiple redesigns, fires, lightening strikes, attacks from the Brits and more.  The original church was constructed by Copenhagen’s found, Bishop Absalon, in 1187 (that is old!).  Its current design in the result of a renovation in the ’70s.  The Cathedral has been through plenty through the millennium and is a prominent landmark in Copenhagen’s skyline of spires and towers.

Colorful Copenhagen

October 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

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A reason I am so excited to live in Copenhagen for the year is to truly experience the seasons.  Growing up in Northern California, I was deprived of true seasons.  Yes, there might be a shift of 20° (Fahrenheit that is) and some leaves change and fall, but nothing too exciting.

Copenhagen however boasts a full year of seasons.  Golds, oranges and scarlet clothe the tree leaves and the crisp Autumn air blows (a lot).

This past week has been the best weather I have experienced since moving to Copenhagen.  Blue skies, fresh air and the beginning of fall.  Autumn is upon us and the colors are starting to change.  Today I spent the day in Dyrehaven, a national park in Eastern Denmark, where I was able to witness the beginning of the seasonal change.  I am so excited for the Denmark to fully burst in a rainbow of warm colors.

I will keep you updated, but enjoy the pictures from the beginning of fall!


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