Till Mormor

Hi everyone. The rest of this post will be in Swedish, as this is a letter to my grandma. She is way too cool for email, and I’m too uncool to figure out how to send photos in the regular mail or over the phone.
Sorry english-speakers, and y’all who’s only interested in the art. I’ll make it up to you sometime. But right now Grandma has requested photos of my “house”!

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Practice and practice and nothing is working out.

Hello my dear imaginary friends. It’s been a long while since I wrote you guys. I haven’t really had anything to write about.
I want these posts to have some sort of meaning. If it’s to document my own progress, voice an opinion or share some information doesn’t really matter, as long as there’s some sort of meaningful content. But right now I don’t really have anything like that. So I guess this post is all about the lack of those things. And I hope that expressing it will help me get past it.
I’ve been feeling very stuck lately. My motivation is down and the inspiration is failing me as well. This is nothing new. Both inspiration and motivation are things that come and go, and honestly, the lack of them are more usual. Mostly you just have to force it.
Painting is not like bicycling, and you have to keep that stuff alive. And the way to do that is going back to that canvas and make something. Every. Single. Day. No matter how much it sucks. It is essential for improvement, and for discipline.
But yeah. It really sucks. When you are frustrated with your work and it seems like you’re going nowhere, forcing a painting can be depressing.  But you still just have to get through it. And don’t forget that it won’t always be like this.

So here’s how I’ve tried getting out of my rut.

One way that can sometimes spark some motivation in me is to explore my colors. I don’t do color tests nearly as much as I should, but when I do, it’s not unusual that I find some fantastic color that I feel like I need to make something more with.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work this time. I actually hate these:tests
The least awful, however, is the yellow and purple. These tests looks pretty bad, but it’s usually a color combination that I like, so I tried making something out of it:

Some form of abstract landscape? Still, this had no effect, except for a little more frustration.
Maybe making a color chart will help?  Even if it doesn’t, it’s always a good idea to get to know your colors better.chart
Nope. No effect here either.

Ok, let go of the color stuff. Lets try and practice something more concrete. I still need to work on houses and environments, so let’s do that. I lack the imagination to come up with something myself, so I just google and pinterest for a while to find something to depict.

Some very lovely houses somewhere in eastern Europe that I made look pretty terrible. Man, was this a bad painting day.

Let’s do a few more:
Ok, so these aren’t completely terrible. I’m actually pretty happy with the right and left one.
And here is when something starts to happen. Even if I didn’t come up with the motives myself, as soon as I manage to paint something that I think looks good, the urge to paint more starts to grow. And finally, I got motivated enough to make something out of imagination:
scan0113It’s just a tiny (8 x 8 cm) study of color and composition, and while I’m not particularly happy with the result, it’s so much better than nothing at all.

I’m still not completely back on track, but I’m getting there.

This deep dip in motivation didn’t come out of nowhere. It’s not coincidental that my lust for creating goes down together with my mood. I’ve been down in other areas too. The old depression has paid me a visit again(that happens sometimes), my workspace is far from ideal, my schedule has been messed with by things I’m unable to control, and I’m pretty stressed out in general. But again, it’s so important to keep the painting going. It’s hard, because painting is emotional work, and it can feel impossible to get into that state of mind that is needed to create the things you want. But it’s easier to get out of it if you try.
Gosh, I wish I was one of those people that can channel their bad moods into great art. I guess it’s something one can learn, but I’m not there yet. For me, I just need to force it for a while and remember that things always get better. Then worse. And then better again.

Keep on painting (or doing that kind of creative stuff that you do) y’all!

A little PS.
While I’m not updating the blog a lot, because of the intention to have some meaningful content here, I do upload a lot of my daily work on other places. For example, I recently became so modern that I got an instagram-account! I try to update that at least a few times a week, so if you’re more interested in seeing the paintings than reading about them, that’s the place you want to go.  https://www.instagram.com/emblagranqvist/

So much travelling

Here’s a little self portrait from my diary.
scan0049.jpgThese days there’s a lot of going back and forth between Sweden and Denmark, as I’m still working in the park every weekend. I really love that job, but the dog really hates commuting.
Now I’ll have to consider if the job is worth it putting her through six hours of panic each week.
I could do fine without it. The money I make doesn’t really cover much more than the trips back and forth between the countries, and I don’t like public transport any more than the dog does. But it’s the only way I can afford visiting the boyfriend, and also it’s forcing me to socialize, which is something that I need.
I’ll see how it turns out. Since we moved to the country, the dog is much calmer, and soon I’ll only be working every other weekend.
If it get’s better, I’ll keep at it. If not, the boyfriend is going to have to visit me instead.

Neighbor and cats

Ok, so I have time for a small one.
I realized after last post that I definitely need more practice drawing people, and especially animals, from behind. So here’s a sketch I made on the bus. It’s inspired by my neighbor, always seen carrying something, and followed by a bunch of cats.
Not too bad, right? What do you think?

Have a nice sunday!



In case you were wondering what I’ve been up to. This is it:
I guess there’s a possibility that this has a lot to do with the wet and cold condition of my home, but I still wonder: does this happen once a year for everyone else too? Or is it just me who can’t take proper care of my stuff?

More experiments

Hi again! I’ve been doing a lot of tryouts on my new papers, and I thought I should show you the ones that didn’t turn out too horrible.
This new paper does not handle the paint the same way my old papers did. It is actually a lot better in many ways, but it still means that I need to get used to it. So I cut out a few long pieces, and my challenge to myself was to make something completely different on each one. This is the result:

Long3.jpgThis was a lot of fun to make. Even though it’s a little creepy and depressing. I had to force myself to let go of that ink-pen and let it do whatever it wanted. I think it turned out pretty good. Especially with the color “flowering” like that, up in the right corner. My old paper couldn’t do that. Now I just have to learn how to control it.

Here I wanted to see how the paper would handle my masking fluid(it’s like a floating rubber, which dries when painted on the paper, and then you can paint over it, peel it off and it leaves a blank space) Many papers can’t handle it, and the masking fluid just rips up the paper, but this one does a great job! In case you’re unsure, it’s the white in the water and the trees that were “masked”. Again, that flowering-thing the color does in the sky, I love it!

And another creepy one. My first attempt ever to paint fog. It didn’t go just as great as I had hoped, but still better than I expected.

I hope you like them :)



Living in a camping wagon really isn’t so bad. You get used to it pretty quickly. The crowded space where only one person at a time can be up walking around, and climbing over each other to get into the sofa. The way of cooking a meal on a tiny space with only one hotplate and a tiny, tiny oven. The heavy chore of fetching water in a big can… Even emptying the toilet every third day doesn’t seem that gross after a while.
There’s just one thing that you don’t really get used to. The cold.
This is my second wagon. The first one I lived in was up in Sweden, where it’s a lot colder than it is here in Denmark. Up there I used to wake up to find my water frozen, so I couldn’t get my morning coffee. BUT, the one I lived in in Sweden was pretty ok when it came to insulation. If I heated it up, it stayed warm. This one, however, has wind running through every window, no matter how much tape we’ve tried fixing them with. This means that no matter how long the radiator is on, it never really gets warm, as the heat blows right out the windows.
So here I sit, struggling to paint because of cold fingers and big (obviously useless) mittens. Luckily I’ve got both a dog and a dude to keep me warm in the nights, so I think I’ll survive this winter too. Just a few more months to go!
Here’s my cold self portrait in ink and watercolor:cold.jpg

Have a great day!


Oh, and this is now submitted to the february #ccbchallenge
Join it and see what happens :D

My first website


Hello! Welcome to my first website ever!
My name is Embla. I’ve been working as a freelance illustrator for a couple of years now, and this website is my first attempt of getting out of the freelance-pages ,which has had the power over my career so far, and finally become completely self-reliant as an artist.
It is a big and scary step to take, and so far I’m only halfway across the treshold. I still work mostly via fiverr.com. But the plan is to make this website my base, from where I will do commissioned work, but also display my own projects and artworks. Now, I’m really not a technical person. I don’t know anything about running a website, and I’m still a bit lost when it comes to the internet in general. Heck, I can’t even use a smartphone! But I’m excited to learn! While I’m a very old fashioned person, and have always been suspicious of this new world we live in, it seems like a necessity to get more involved in the big world of websites and social media to make it as an artist today, and it’s finally time for me to join the game.
I know the site looks just awful at the moment. There is no order, and nothing really makes sense. But hang around while I’m getting it all together, and pretty soon this place will be overfilled with art and updates about upcoming projects!
Meanwhile, you can check out my flickr-page to find out what kind of work it is I do.
If you’re looking to have a custom illustration made, I work with those on fiverr :)
Have a great day!