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  • Skribentens bildKarin Feltzing

Going the birch way

Some paintings take the long way, this is one of them. Actually I don’t remember exactly what it was that triggered this one. I have been into painting mushrooms for quite some years, so maybe it was just bound to happened.

Last summer on my walks in the wood I started to notice all the funny mushroomy things that growed on the trees, not under them. The polypores, the bracket fungus. Of course I know about them before, but never considered them for a drawing nor less a painting! But one day I brought one home for a sketch session. And a birch log came along!

One thing led to another, and with the help of some tape and some extra photos for the shadows they ended up together as a painting. One yellow leaf managed to sneak in.

I was happy with the outcome of this painting, but after a while I felt something was missing. There were an itch. I looked a lot at my painting. It went away on an exhibition and home again, and then back into the drawer. Slowly I decided that the log had to be longer, and it needed some sweeping twigs. And more golden leaves!

Of out in the wood again to collect the right twigs, yellow leaves and more polypores to choose from. This was not that easy task that it may sound, since I wanted to collect autumnal items in the summer. But I know just the perfect damp birch wood to travel to 😊I did not need more log, I hade kept a spare part of the original one on my balcony. Now it just had to dry after a winter outside (and Swedish winters on the west coast are mostly rain…).

Back to sketching and planning the composition.

And trying out colours. This is a peacefull occupation, no stress of doing perfect work. And when done in a sketchbook it is a nice record of what I’ve been up to over the years.

Finally time to paint, and all of a sudden I had a deadline in sight – allways a good boost!


The final painting came out as beautifull as I had planned. I am absolutly pleased whith it. I am allready plotting for another chance to paint birch bark. It has a mesmerizing value to me, I just want to be there!

This painting also made its way to an exhibition, it was selected for the juried trienial which The Nordic Water colour society runs. This year it is in Finland.

Size: 40*52 centimeters

And when all the painting is done it is time to collect all my faithful companions over the last year and finally say godbay. I’m gonna need fresh (!) (sort of…) specimen for my next polypore and birch get together.

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