Keep leaving my heart in Norway

Another summer in Norway is over. It’s been now a tradition of four years of me spending the never ending days among the Fjords to work and to paint. Kind of a two job situation. in a café as an excuse and my passion squeezed in. It was good. It was a lot. It was beautiful. It took determination. 

Here are some of the works I got to do this summer! Some are still for sale and currently exhibited in Ålesund. You can purchase them also by contacting me directly.  


I‘m going out of these days with the resolution of living of my art. Honestly, so far I’m terrible at it, but so far, I also haven’t yet dared fully, haven’t tried fully and haven’t created much of just my own work. I am SO EXCITED TO LIVING THIS OUT NOW. Scary and daring and stupid. But this is where a life of passion has to be, at least, where it has to start. 

A good read at the moment has been Steven Pressfields „Turning Pro“ and I can only recommend it. 

I cannot share any amazing success story yet, since really, this is only the first week of me being a full time artist. So what have I done? I made sure I continued with good habits. I get up early, I do my routine and I work. I force myself to keep a list and to cross stuff of. All those things that I might not be prone to as a creative chaos brain. But no excuses. If I don’t put down routines and create space and time to dedicate my days to work, it’ll be over. And I’m loving it. Muse and inspiration don’t great me gently first thing in the morning. But they do show up eventually after I’ve had my coffee and quiet time and put my hands to good use. I’m confident something must come of it eventually. Time will tell ;)

Another resolution: blog wednesdays shall be a thing and I will update some more here on a regular basis and hope to grow this into something more fun soon


I'm done. Well, with the Academy that is. Now the real school starts.  I am now officially graduated from the Florence Classical Art Academy👩🏽‍🎨 👩🏽‍🎓

I finished my diploma end of June and during that time and right after it's been a whirlwind of events and I needed to find a breather to update this page. So here I am, sitting down, in the café where I work this summer, with my paintings on the wall. 

So, here is my diploma drawing


"Shipwreck on Malta" - Silvia Ilona Klatt under Prof Sergey Chubirko 2018, 2m x 1,20m, Sepia on paper. 

It's been an amazing process to develop this. I learned so much and really would love to continue with new compositions in this scale. But I am not sure, when I'll have the opportunity next. 

The drawing was then transferred in a canvas the same size and I started to paint the whole thing. Unfortunately there was not enough time to finish the painting before we had to. So I have an unfinished painting for you. The Academy still kept it for their fund and let me keep the drawing. I am planning to redo the whole painting once I have the space and time again. Which hopefully will be in September.

This is how far I managed (two weeks staraight, painting 8-10 h a day 🙃) 

Shipwreck on Malta" 


 "Shipwreck on Malta" Silvia Ilona Klatt under Prof Sergey Chubirko, oil on burlap canvas, 2 m x 1,20 m


The day after I already continued my journey, my brother had driven down to Lforence from North Germany and we packed up my stuff and had an epic roadtrip up north, with a pit stop in Germany of 24 h, through Denmark and up to Norway with destination Ålesund. I love when you get to travel a bit slower, especially, when it's a transition. It helps to leave and to start. 

I had so much fun with my brother and hadn't laughed that hard in a long while. 

so, now I am here, in beautiful Norway and will update you soon on what's next. Exciting things only. 


Time to finish the race

the finality of a thing is both devastating and clarifying. My time in Florence is running to a close. I want to soak up the moments with the views of the city. The strolls in small alleys. I still discover new places every time I am downtown and I can't get enough. I know there is more to explore, more to miss out on and more to live.

A week ago I went to see David again. The second time in a span of two weeks. By now I get no weak knees anymore when I come around the corner from the entrance and see him standing there under his coupola. As I went out, I turned to cast one last glance and I even audibly said: "Bye David, I love you," and totally bumped into someone in the crowded museum. Embarrassing. I've been wondering if it's terribly ridiculous to have these feelings for a marble piece. It almost feels like a crush. But it simply is the most amazing marble piece I have laid eyes on. I imagine Michelangelo - so young, so determined and probably afraid and terrified but also raptured and obsessed - a genius, an artist has to feel those feels when attempting a coloss like this. What am I trying to say? Simply it's really hard to say good bye to this city. I've started to work on my diploma work now with full swing and that means time is running out. That means, i soon won't just be able to walk up to David, go to the Uffizi or hang out in Boboli garden. Not that I actually get to do those things constantly. They are still special, because my time is rather taken up by work in the studio, but it's this thing of having something close, or available and then not having it.

Also it's a terrifying thought leaving and knowing how much more there is to learn. These past weeks I have seen my limitations so clearly. I am focusing on drawing now. No painting, which is heart wrenching, but I have to get my drawing skills tuned. Working with a teacher is both so good but also so difficult. The teacher helps you, where you get stuck and helps you finish a work. I am scared I won't be able to do anything like it without this help or crutch. So often I don't feel ready to leave. But simultaneously I know it's time to go. Maybe my drawings won't have the same quality for now. But they will be mine. I am excited to start actually creating more. Being an artist.

In the summer I will be in Norway and Germany and afterwards I will move to Nashville in Tennessee for a season. Maybe a couple months, maybe a bit longer. For now I want to have a good community around me and focus on creating a body of work. I have many hopes and dreams for the coming year and all these feels make these weeks bitter sweet. 


My diploma work is on a biblical story in the book of acts, inspired by my travel to Malta in December. On this island the Apostel Paul got shipwrecked with a roman boat on which he was a prisoner, headed from Israel towards Rome for trial. Two weeks they were in a storm until they finally got stranded there. The process of developing the idea had been a painful one, I just had to lay my ideas down and learn from my teacher. It's a cowork really. He basically gave me the solution and now I am working it out. And he will help developing it. I am working now on my drawing, which is done on paper with Sepia. This is 2 m x 1,20 m. When this is done I get to work on colour studies and finally do a separate painting on canvas. I am very excited to have a brush in my hand soon. For now it's hard discipline with sepia pencil. I enjoy that as well, but it doesn't come as natural.


This is the status quo of today, it still needs a lot of polishing, developing and changing. Still very sloppy and rough. I keep you posted.

Fore more updates, follow my instagram stories! 

Perdue en France - the tour

Sometimes you just gotta venture out and do something that might seem a little stupid at times, maybe a little risky and something you dreamed up in the moment. Still young, single and free, then what stops you?

My "adopted" little Norwegian brother, Rolf (check him out on instagram @rolfhellem_art) and I ventured on a trip to France during our Easter break, that had us drifting down the Atlantic coast on the hunt for waves. -To surf and to paint them. 

I have had this dream to someday own a camper van that I can turn into a plein air companion. So I can live in it, travel and paint where I go. Instead of the surfboard and wetsuit spaces, I would build in drying shelfs for canvases. (And maybe I would pick up surfing eventually, since it intrigues me much.) So, again, Ryanair sales and the whim of the moment and we had tickets to Paris. We rented the smallest camper van we could get, called him Jaques and drove him to our hearts content eventually even into Spain through the outskirts of the Pyrenees.

The weather was tricky and sometimes it was just raining and hard wind which made painting and even surfing difficult. But we still used our time well and I ended up with six small paintings and lots of good memories and camper dreams.

You can find some of my paintings now on for purchase!

Which one is your favourite?

Last weeks results

As I am writing this I am rolling down the road from Paris south west to the French Atlantic coast, where a friend and I will spend our Easter break traveling with a tiny camper van surfing and painting. (More surfing on his part I'm afraid) the weather forecast looks awful, and I am praying it'll clear up. Painting in the rain is difficult. 

Finishing things up before the break had us busy at the school and I just want to share in pictures what the results are.

In painting we had a clothed model set up this time.

I honestly didn't like it too much but tried to do my best. It's still drying and I will take a better picture later as the glare didn't allow it now. 


  "At the foreign café", oil on burlap canvas. 100x95 cm

 "At the foreign café", oil on burlap canvas. 100x95 cm

I finished early and got to jump over to the drawing set up of the second year students. I've been eyeing it from the start with the urge to paint it,because it was such a funny Russian looking set up. When I finally got to it I had to be very fast and did this one in 4 hours. But I managed to do a quick big sketchy portrait of her and I am quite happy with it. It was so much fun to do it. I also need to take a better photo once it's dry.


For drawing I got to do quite an interesting one. I had toned the paper with coffee, that gave it the warm yellow tone and then I drew on it with sepia, charcoal and some chalk.

I think it looks like a retro ad for art supplies, haha.

  "The disillusioned artist" sepia and charcoal on toned paper, 100x 80 cm

 "The disillusioned artist" sepia and charcoal on toned paper, 100x 80 cm

I also finished a little early here and then did a free one after. Very different. My teacher liked it and said "for a sketch, not bad!" It might be the one drawing I actually like, even though technically it's not developed enough. I sim,y like the mood and expression of it.


 "James' late night creative rush" 50x70 cm, charcoal drawing on coffee toned paper

And this one is also of James, the steeled version, done during the evening course. I'm supposed to finish something on the calfs and will see that I get to it. 


seated figure drawing, sepia on toned paper, 80x 90 cm

Spring is just around the corner

Yesterday I was still freezing in the studio but today there was a sense of spring in the air and the sun even showed up in the courtyard for a little. I can't wait.

Do you ever have those days where you feel like you are so exhausted and tired you are going to break out in tears? Yes, just like a child? That's me tonight. I remember though hating my mum say "oh, you're just tired, I know!" when I was upset and crying, because clearly there were more pressing and distressing reasons then lack of sleep, which made me even more mad, because it adds the feeling of being misunderstood. When I've been pushing myself so hard that I get so emotionally exhausted I find myself wanting to break out in tears. But that's what you don't do as a grown up, right? 

Anyway, this week we started new set ups, since it's a new month. This time the models are dressed. As if the arriving warmer temperatures would suggest that. No, it doesn't make much sense... maybe there was a reason why our model last month was so purple? Kidding. No, we are not torturing them, not quite. They have little heaters blowing hot air on them, but it still feels odd, when you even wear long underwear and a beanie inside, while painting someone nude in front of you. I often feel so bad for our models. Try keeping still and in one position 45 min at a time and that for three to six hours! They are champions.

I thought, I share the process with you, I really like starting new works. I still struggle with finishing. One of my teachers said to me last week, that I do so well until a certain point and then I stop. I have to figure out, what that point is and how to push past it. 

The painting set up is a good example for,, having to do something that does not necessarily inspire you. I would not have chosen this, but let's see, what I can make of it.

we always start with a compositional sketch, like a thumbnail, that solves the solution of format and colour and tonal relationship.


 Yes, seems like a Easter decoration... I'm going for the one on the right.

Yes, seems like a Easter decoration... I'm going for the one on the right.


Me in the studio at work today. Thanks for the capture, Felipe Salsano ❤️ I'm first drawing with charcoal on my canvas and will start with paint tomorrow. I just got into painting on Jute or burlap canvas. I really like the rough texture. Let's see if I stick with this.

You can see my teacher, Svetlana Kurbatskaya there. She is so awesome and I work very well with her. I'm learning a lot and she understands exactly how to help me. I am so thankful to have her.


In the afternoon we have drawing and started an interesting set up. I'm curious, how this will turn out.



Tuesdays and Thursdays I'm joining again the figure drawing class also with my drawing teacher Sergey Chubirko. He is a great teacher and I've grown lots with him. 

tonight was pretty funny. He's been pushing me to be bolder and faster and push through my weaknesses in drawing. Repetition helps, and frustrates. 

I had stretched and toned my paper, but while it was drying by the heater it unfortunately had ripped. I was very annoyed and didn't have time to restretch it. Sergey didn't like the look of it and asked me to rather bring a new streteched board on Thursday. After half an hour I was done with the sketch, so he challenged me to start on the big one and use it as a big sketch and see what I can do in one hour. I think I sometimes need this sense of freedom and to be able to just go for it and not be so afraid. Since I didn't have to care so much about this outcome I actually got really far in this one hour.

(Maybe I feel so exhausted because I really pushed myself hard just these two past days, haha) 

so, here is that giant "sketch". I'm happy with the result and I see where I need to improve. 



you can see the wrinkly corner where I taped the damage. 

Well, Thursday will be a new start. 


im gonna have some more tea and curl up... not sure if I'm up for more homework now 😵✌🏽 

New works and one white day

It's already march and for us in Florence it started off with a day of snow, a very rare occasion.

Naturally, if you've been living here (growing up in Germany and living in Norway put aside)and wake up to a white blanket covering your view from the window, you get dressed and leave the house immediately to meet your hilariously excited friends from warmer places in the center to see what the Duomo, the David and Ponte Vecchio look like with that pretty powder on top. After playing I managed to speed walk back through the Italian snow chaos, which by then was slush, to our Academy. Naturally the only school that did not get snow free in Florence (hint: it's Russian). Red cheeked I finished another painting I had started with our model for February and also my third drawing of the same in the afternoon. I am happy that I now get to start new works, when I'm done and don't have to overwork the other stuff. In February we had a nude model. But this coming month it will be costumed 


These are my drawings of this past month. 


Two paintings of the same girl. The first one is the one I worked on longer and it's 90x70 cm on burlap (jute) canvas and the second is 50x70cm on the same material.


Also I finally got to sketch people with African decent on the weekends. I've been curious on the colour schemes for darker skin. This has been really fun. Both of these sketches were done in 1,5 h.  We often do these sketch sessions on Saturdays where we privately get a model to sit for us and we all crowd in an apartment. You know, what we do for fun, haha.



New composition! Girl on a foggy lake

This one developed from a spot sketch. I did it really quickly without going too much into the drawing. That wasn't so easy and I'm sure I've done some mistakes. But I do like it and it is one of my first compositions that I developed without teachers inout and that is very freeing. I feel quite confined at school naturally and as soon as I try to do my own stuff it's really hard to break out. There is still quite a long way to go... well, but it's a start. I'm not sure, if I'll continue in this manner, but this is where I am at now. 

Do you have a suggestion for a name? Comment below! 



Oil on canvas, 60x80 cm



 This was the spot idea from which i developed the painting. 

This was the spot idea from which i developed the painting. 

composition of diploma work

I have started to work on my Diploma. Which will be a big compositional work. We are working on it on our own during this month and by February I have to present a bunch of my research and ideas to my professor and hopefully, he will be pleased and not disappointed...  

This last year here things seem to finally fall into place in my understanding for lots of things... I used to do so much just from intuition and now I am getting the why's. It's a process. 

so finally,  I am understanding composition more, but I already have to come up with the diploma. So I don't quite feel equipped. But with lots of things in life, you got to jump into cold water from time to time. 

with my trip to Malta I got the idea to do it on a biblical topic, which is the shopwreck of the apostle Paul on Malta. That story is in the book of Acts in the New Testament chapter 28. I'm quite excited about it. It will be a bunch of people from different fields of society and ethnicity shipwrecked on the beach. A bunch of bodies, characters, some drama. Wet and cold... in my head it's awesome, but to bring that on paper and then on canvas... we'll see how it goes. Well, I will keep you posted on the developments.


 Random pile of my sketches to try to find a solution

Random pile of my sketches to try to find a solution

Malta with the brush

over Christmas break I took a solo painting trip to Malta. Which turned out really good - clearing my head and my palette with some fresh creamy ocean teals.  

I still want to take these sketches into the studio to make some bigger works with it. 



my first one just after arrival. The sun went down too quickly on me.  really would like to revisit this study and make a bigger one.


This was near Sliema, Malta



It was quite rainy and stormy during this one. My pleinair box was shaking in the wind. This was just by Valletta. Beautiful city. This was the second sketch after which a storm rolled in and I couldn't paint.



I relocated to Gozo, the north western island. Smaller and more picturesque. There could have been so many more things I could have painted. Especially in the towns. But I just kept wanting to go to the sea. Since I was traveling to my new location and then walking to the beach I had again the problem, that the sun was setting quickly. Not too proud of this one. But it was a beautiful place, so I should probably try something from this sketch.  This is at one of the few beaches in Malta, Gozo, called Ramla bay. Interesting,y the sand and the rocks had a more red hue and not the typical ochre limestone on the rest of the island.



One of the better ones. I actually took some more time, that's probably why. This is at a really cute little harbour town called Marsalforn. 



A cute windmill in Xaghra, the town I stayed in. 


 one very exciting thing happened. I rented a scooter. Oh my, what fun I had with that thing. I wish I could have filmed myself... I took it to the West Point of Gozo. Last year in April the Azur woindow here had collapsed unfortunately. That was a rock formation like an arch in the sea. Not there aniymore, but it is such a cool place to just explore. I was a bit too busy finding a composition and in the end, this was t really worth it. Well, worth a try, but not very well done. Beautiful place though. I wish I had more time.       

one very exciting thing happened. I rented a scooter. Oh my, what fun I had with that thing. I wish I could have filmed myself... I took it to the West Point of Gozo. Last year in April the Azur woindow here had collapsed unfortunately. That was a rock formation like an arch in the sea. Not there aniymore, but it is such a cool place to just explore. I was a bit too busy finding a composition and in the end, this was t really worth it. Well, worth a try, but not very well done. Beautiful place though. I wish I had more time. 




and finally this one! My absolute highlight and timely as well. I had a commission to paint a boat as I was there. I thought, I'd probably find one eventually, but most of the boats where on land due to the winter season , or very closely tied up in the harbour together, so I went around on the scooter, trying to find the right boat. Because the next day I was leaving to the main island again and the weather forbast was again storm and rain. Finally I got blessed with this location. It was such a joy to paint this.

this was in Mgarr on Gozo. 

and for this one I did a studio version, when I got back.


And this one is for sale ;)


Sailboat on Gozo, 40x50 cm