Acrylic painting, Arctic, Art, Beauty, Culture, DIY, Duodji, Everyday life, Finnmark, Heritage, Indigenous, Jewellery, Knitting, Landscape, Outfit, People, Photography, Saami, Sámi, Sápmi, Self portrait, Tromsø

The darkest, most colourful time

My latest painting 🤍❄
A little hare lives close by…🐇
2021 in paintings 💙
My winter solstice and Christmas outfit. An Alta/Loppa/Kvænangen-kofteinspirered Sami dress. Sewn by Nadezda Johnsen, colours and fabric chosen by me 💙❤🧡💛
“New” wall decor.. My old sweater made by my grandma for me when I was little, and my old skaller.
Knits also by my grandma. This was before the polar night.
Amazing mosaic by Marit Bockelie in Tromsø.
A few sunrays below the horizon. Midday 💙🧡💛
Lights in the city.

December went by fast, only a week left of 2021. Today is Christmas eve, and we get to celebrate it with fresh snow, but most importantly; with our son, whose first Christmas it is. Wishing you all a peaceful and magical time, with lots of rest and good meals. Xx

Arctic, Beauty, Buddhism, Dharma, Everyday life, Landscape, People, Photography, Saami, Sámi, Sápmi, Self portrait, Tromsø, Uncategorized, Uralic, Vajrayana, Yoga

Namo Isha Ja – Guided meditation

A heart opening guided meditation session led by Kim Rinpoche.

October night sky a few weeks ago 💙🍂

If we know our hearts and our own natural state, we will also simultaneously know how to love and care. Not only for others but for ourselves and our difficult emotions. Life is so full of difficult emotions, as we know. Compassion and forgiveness is always with you, like a silent friend.

Thank you for reading and still following my blog. It is most appreciated. My posts are very sporadic, as time flies by with the new baby. Long days but short weeks. Not enough hours to get it all done, and not enough hours to just enjoy him – this new little person that runs our lives now. Motherhood is equally hard as it is wonderful. I hope to get more painting and other artsy projects into my days again.

Adventure, Arctic, Beauty, Buddhism, Dharma, Everyday life, Indigenous, Landscape, People, Photography, Saami, Sápmi, Self portrait, Tromsø, Yoga

21 photos from my summer

Håja and Hillesøy
Håja mountain. We drove up and got the best view ever. Very happy with this photo!
Arctic July.
More furry neighbours.
Rainy summer day.
Ilo, a cute little dog we met at Reinøya.

Early morning at Reinøya.
Seal at Reinøya.
Summer swim.. Me and my boyfriend’s mother. 8-9°c!
Tromsø centrum, the pavillion.
At the Arctic-Alpine Botanical garden in Tromsø.
Blue Himalayan poppies. 💙 In the World’s Northernmost botanical garden.
So many beautiful colours and shapes.
Midsummer, 23rd of June.
Tiny Arctic dolphins.
Sunlight over Lyngsalpan.
Rainy evening at Spåkenes.
Kali 💚🖤
Picked a small bouquet.

“I love the Arctic summer, it’s the best day of the year!” Short but sweet. How was your summer?

Acrylic painting, Arctic, Art, DIY, Landscape, Photography, Sámi

1 of 6 in a small series: Sky on Fire

20 x 20, in daylight. Looks glossy from the wet varnish. No filter here, just sunlight 🌤🙏🏻
Indoors lighting, before I added a few more white details. I know it’s “bad luck” to make adjustments after signing it, but it was missing something! The top photo is the finished result 🤍

This is # 1 of 6 in a small series I plan to make, all same size.

Arctic, Awareness, Beauty, Everyday life, Landscape, Photography, Sápmi

The same stillness that exists in nature, exists in you

Allow yourself to be yourself. Close your eyes and feel the stable mountain-like presence of your own being. Indestructable, isn’t it? Your own light, your own intuition. Keep returning to yourself. To home, to where you are safe and where you belong. The same stillness that exists in nature, exists in you. There is no seperation, and it cannot be taken away or destroyed. Allow yourself to come home, over and over, until there is no doubt. xx Monica

A few snowy peaks shots from beginning of May. Spring is here! Camera used: Panasonic Lumix.

Acrylic painting, Arctic, Art, Awareness, DIY, Everyday life, Health, Landscape, Meditation, Yoga

How to relax

For the past 11 years or so, I have been teaching myself how to relax and be calm.

I have always been quite a worried person, so I feel I had to learn this in order to simply have a better life with more control. I still sometimes forget how to, but each time I remember, I do the following:

An easy quick way to instantly relax the mind and muscles, causing bloodflow to spread more evenly in the body, is to do three things simultanously: relax the jaw and eyes completely, breathe deeply into belly for at least 8 breaths and move the inner gaze/attention to the feet or ground below. Get a sense of the Earth. Notice the effect.

Another way, if you have the oppotunity, is to lay down flat, do the same with jaw and eyes, and to focus on the in and out breaths in the belly. Take deep slow breaths. Imagine them as waves ebbing on the shore.

And lastly, going into nature of course has a calming effect too, even just for 10 minutes. If you cannot go outside, perhaps painting or drawing nature is an idea.

Hope this helps! I truly believe knowing how to relax and calm our selves is an important skill. Getting carried away by the storm can be both painful and result in regrets.

Acrylic on canvas, gift for a friend 💙
Adventure, Arctic, Beauty, Everyday life, Health, Landscape, People, Photography, Pregnancy, Sámi, Sápmi

An eventful, colourful January

It’s the last day of a very eventful January, and I am spending it curled up on our big sleeping couch with our newborn baby boy who is about 2 weeks old now, in his little baby nest and my partner who is sitting on the other end writing away on the computer. Outside, it’s already dark again. Polar night is officially over here but I have not seen the Sun yet. I am not outside so much, hardly at all as all time and energy is spent adjusting and taking care of this new amazing creation. I did however manage our first little walk with the pram!

Life is new and different and surreal as parents. Giving birth was intense and hard work, and unfortunately not how I envisioned, but nontheless a very powerful experience. A rite of passage of sorts.. At one point during delivery I felt like I connected with all other Mothers giving birth naturally, experiencing the same pain at the exact same time. When he was born, there was an incredible silence and love that I have not experienced before 🤱🏻

January is also my birthday month, and this year I celebrated at home with my little family and my friend Katharina. 29; last year in my twenties, first year as a mama! 🎉✨

How was your January?

Acrylic painting, Arctic, Art, Beauty, DIY, Landscape, Sápmi

Be more of an amateur!

My favourite painting from last year 💙🧡💛💜 Acrylic on canvas.

“An amateur (literally means ‘lover [of something]’) is generally considered a person who persues a particular activity or field of study independently from their source of income/does not persue it professionally or with an eye to gain.” 🎨

#amare #amateur #amour ❤


Be more of an amateur this year ✨

Acrylic painting, Adventure, Arctic, Art, Chronic illness, DIY, Health, Landscape, Neurological, Photography, Sámi, Sápmi, Shop

First painting of the year finished

First painting of the year finished!🌟🌟🌟

Visited the beach in Sandvika twice in oct and nov before polar night; once to take the photograph and once to try and paint outdoors, but it started raining so finished it finally now in the first day of January 😁

Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 cm 🌅
Colours used: blue, yellow, orange, purple, gold and white. Varnished with waterproof UV protection spray.

Arctic, Everyday life, Landscape, Photography, Poems, Sápmi

Ei strime av lys over tindan

“No sløkkes en dag som så vidt rakk å gråne
og vise fram landet ei skjømmingsblå stund
og gjømt attom fjellan i aust står en måne
som snart skal strø sølv over fjorda og sund.
I sør ligg ei strime av lys over tindan
der dagen blør ut før han slokne førr godt
og vi står igjen med oss sjøl og med minnan
i mørketidslyset der allting blir blått.

Så kom og vær nær meg – vær sol i desember
når midtvinterstanka tar rom i mitt sinn
førr året må føle sin kurs og kalender
og stian blir tungtrødd når lyset førsvinn.
Men hold meg i handa og lær meg å vente
på solkvervingstimen då allting skal snu.
I mørketidslyset e varme å hente
førr den som har mot tel å trosse og tru.

Ja, streif mine strenga og løys i meg tonen
tel landet som kvile ved midtvinterstid
la mørketids-tankan og haust-depresjonen
få vike førr strofe av blå poesi.
Vi leve med rest av en sommar i minne
i lengting mot daga vi ikkje har fått
men kjem du meg nær skal vi solvarmen finne
i mørketidslyset der allting blir blått.” – Helge Stangnes 💙💛🧡

Litt mørketidspoesi nu når sola ‘har snudd’ 🤓

Arctic, Beauty, Dzogchen, Indigenous, Landscape, Meditation, Outfit, Photography, Saami, Sámi, Sápmi, Sewing, Vajrayana, Yoga

Pastel coloured skies

My favourite shawl. Head dress I made by hand.
A tantric Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal statue I helped repaint for a friend. The union of wisdom and compassion. Wish I had a similar one! Hopefully one day I will afford one 🙏🏻

You know how you need to pretend to sleep in order to fall asleep? And at some point it just happens. Maybe it’s the same with other areas of life. Fake it till you make it, kind of, not in a bad way – just a dedicated one. I have noticed at least that the same applies to yoga and meditation sometimes. If I feel stressed, anxious and restless, I force myself to do the practice anyway. And at some level it still does its magic, of that I am 100% sure. In between the sleepless thoughts and rough emotions – they become like clouds in the pastel coloured sky.

Wishing all a lovely calm Polar night, and remember that it’s in darkness you shine the brightest 🌌✨🎆

Acrylic painting, Adventure, Animals, Arctic, Art, Beauty, Indigenous, Landscape, Photography, Sámi, Sápmi

Always shifting

“Just like water, snow and ice, life is always shifting, changing forms.” (This photo is from february 2017).
Beautiful texture and shapes in the frozen water.

One of my paintings inspired by the icy landscape:

My little pregnant polar bear. Wrote a post earlier about this painting 💜 Here she is framed.
Adventure, Arctic, Everyday life, Landscape, People, Photography, Poems, Saami, Sámi, Sápmi

Away, away..

Senja island. The pointy peak is Segla. Hiked it once, amazing view. Apologies for grainy mobile shot, it doesn’t do it justice.
I love driving. One of my happy places, for sure.

“Away, away,—to the mountains away,
Where the pine trees murmur and sway,
And the foamy waterfalls sing and spring
Over the boulders gray.

Hills—
Blue and green hills, near and far,
The farther they lie, the better they are.
The near ones I can climb and see
But the beautiful far ones call to me”

Unknown

Arctic, Beauty, Everyday life, Hair, Health, Indigenous, Landscape, Saami, Sámi, Sápmi, Uralic

Snart november

Fant meg en fin plass i fjæra til å meditere samt se på fargespillet på himmelen som alltid skjer nært mørketida.
Alle bildene er tatt med mobilen, så beklager kvaliteten 🙈
Frost 🍂
Pastellhimmel.
Regnbuefarger.
Kaldere vær betyr store jakker og ullsjal ❤ Er ikke så mange jakker som passer over magen lenger 😄🤰 Månedene flyr forbi, er allerede i siste trimester 💜🌌

Hvordan takler/liker du mørketida?

Arctic, Art, Beauty, DIY, Indigenous, Landscape, Outfit, People, Photography

Complementary colours

Did you know there is a reason why orange+blue and yellow+purple work together so well? 🧡💙💛💜 They are considered complementary colours! “Complementary colours are pairs of colours which, when combined or mixed, cancel each other out by producing a grayscale colour like white or black. When placed next to each other, they create the strongest contrast for those two colors. Complementary colours may also be called ‘opposite colours’.”

Animals, Arctic, Art, DIY, Landscape

Hibernation

32 x 24 cm, acrylic on multimedia paper
“Dvale”. Means hibernation. Only pregnant polar bears hibernate 💙 was hard to paint her intirely inside the den, so she is just laying at the entrance waiting for her cubs.

“During the fall, if a polar bear is pregnant, she digs a den into a snow drift. She then climbs into the hole and stays there to give birth and care for her cubs for the first few months of their life. She and her cubs will not emerge from the den until the spring. Male bears and non-pregnant females continue to roam and feed throughout the winter.”

One of the absolute top animals on my list I wish to see in my lifetime.. Guess I need to head up to Svalbard for that!

Adventure, Art, Everyday life, Landscape, Photography

Ask the mountains – blog upgrade, new domain

Me and my little racer car, Laura.
Grøtfjord beach.

Just updated my domain and header. All in all, still the same blog with same content; art, photography, occasional personal thoughts and ideas, adventures, health related stuff and maybe some tantra/dharma. The name Ask the mountains comes from my favourite song by greek artist Vangelis and swedish singer Stina Nordenstam.

Animals, Art, DIY, Landscape, List, Photography

World penguin day

Acrylic on canvas from last summer.
Photo by @tobiasvisuals
So cute. Widowed penguins in Melbourne.

Some cool penguin facts for world penguin day:

– There are currently 17-26 types of penguins, depending on definition (I read many conflicting definitions). Emperor, adélie and macaroni penguins being my favourites 😁

– Male penguins searches their habitat for the perfect stone to present their chosen female. They mate for life and they both take care of their offspring.

– Penguins are defined as birds although they cannot fly. Their wings are made for swimming. They are great in water, but a bit awkward on land.

– Penguin feathers are shorter and stiffer than most bird feathers, which makes penguins more streamlined in the water and traps more air to keep them warm.

Southern rockhopper penguin, native to the Falkland Islands. Amazing photo 😄👌🏻
Macaroni penguins. The most abundant penguin species.
Emperor penguins. Tallest of the penguin species. “These penguins nest almost exclusively on Antarctic sea ice, making them the only bird species that never sets foot on land.”
My little emperor penguin painting. Mother and baby.
Fairy penguins, native to New Zealand.
Adélie penguins, small and fierce.
Everyday life, Landscape, People, Photography

Spring in Tromsø, part 2

Hair dresser. Norwegian and sámi road signs.
People sitting at Solid café.
Bastard bar and Huken pub.
Taxidermy wolf with the cathedral in the reflection.
Shop window.
Sticker in window for a sámi publishing company.
The candy shop
Running girls statue by Italian artist.
Hampen.
Melting snow.
Skansen.
“One day everyone will die, every other day we will not.”
New restaurant by the bridge.
All the dry shampoo.
Utepils
Rakettkiosken.
“Alt blir bra” – “Everything will be okay”.