As I mentioned in my last post, when I was in Norway I was blown away by the wild flowers. They were in such abundance, lining every roadside and every path, popping up at the edges of the gardens, covering waste ground and generally making their pretty faces known wherever you went.
One day Anne, Jan and the gang took me to visit an artist called Einar Sigstad.
He lives in the countryside at the end of a bumpy lane (need I say lined with flowers?) and in this peaceful setting he has his house, his studio and his gallery. How lovely is that!
Einar is a prolific painter well known in Norway and they knew I would like him because as well as his huge portfolio of work he has written and illustrated a book on Norwegian wildflowers and is famous for a painting which translates as 'Alter to the Roadside' where he painted every single wild flower in the county.
I was so impressed by his obvious passion and his attention to detail.
He was a lovely man and we bonded over our love of the flowers. I asked him where I could find the best meadows. 'You mean here?' he said 'I have a meadow. I'll take you'.
So after he had finished wrapping some paintings for some customers (he was having a busy day) we went to see his flowers and skipped about excitedly at the edge of the meadow exchanging flower names in Norwegian and English.
Daisies. Scabious. Lesser Stitchwort, Harebells. Sorrel. Shepherds Purse. Yellow Rattle. Vetch. Speedwell. Ribwort Plantain. Cow Parsley. Clover. Yarrow. So many grasses.
Daisies translate as 'Prestekragg'. Priests Collar. I can see why that is but the local name for Cow Parsley is 'dog biscuits'. Wha????
I was sad to leave Einars place and grateful to him for sharing his enthusiasm and allowing me to express mine. He felt like a kindred spirit.
The visit inspired me to draw so I continued my foraging in the lanes near the house. There was even a 'Flower Road'.
Then I sat in the garden in afternoon sun with Anne knitting and the cats lolling, and I drew and drew. Happy was I.
Thankyou Norway for your flowery inspiration. You have given me much pleasure and a head full of ideas!