Thursday, 29 October 2015

Blog anniversary - 5 years of Nordljus

Last week, on the 24th, my blog turned five. I missed pretty much every anniversary so far, and I've been very slow with writing up this post, but here we are.

Collage and mixed media on canvas, 2012 (37x67cm)
When I started this blog, I wanted for creativity to become a bigger part of my life again. I've painted, mostly "on the side", for many years, but university, exams, degrees, job qualifications etc. somehow always got into the way of everything else. Then I got a job at a special library that involved 4 hours of daily commuting and, being out in the sticks, often got rather lonely. I bought my first DSLR camera and got into digital photography and post processing, which led me to the world of online classes, opening up a whole new world to me. I signed up for a scrapbooking class about colour and started this blog. I had never heard of scrapbooking before, and I soon realised that it wasn't my thing at all. But I liked some of the supplies (although I didn't really like the whole industry behind it, and all the "stuff" you could buy) and their possibilities, and, having become curious about what else there was out there, I found more classes, blogs, styles, techniques, supplies, possibilities. It was exciting and I tried out a lot of different things, many of which I found weren't quite me, after all, but all of which led to a more creative life and to where I am now.

I called my blog Nordljus - A Creative Journey when I started, and a journey it has certainly been. My photography and photo editing has changed a lot since then, as has my art. All the experimenting and learning and trying out new things have helped me to develop and to begin finding my style. It is still an ongoing journey. My blog too has changed a lot over the past five years, its design becoming simpler and simpler (below are a couple of old blog headers, and there were some much wilder ones too).

A couple of older blog headers
 I recently read somewhere that blogs are become less and less popular, are on the way out and replaced by other social media such as Facebook and Instagram. While I love Instagram too, for me, blogs are still my preferred medium to see and read about other people's art and their journey. I still find them a great place to present your work and style in your way, I still enjoy reading them, and I intend to keep my blog going too. I've been wanting to completely re-desing it, and even change platform, and hopefully that's something I'll get round doing next year.

I've often felt stuck, and uninspired, and that I'm not getting anywhere, but looking back through my blog post from the past five years have shown me that that is not true. Maybe my progress is slow, but it is a progress. And it has given me new inspiration and motivation to continue. That, also, is something I like about blogs. They are such a great documentation of your journey and progress. Below are some of the things I've been up to over the past five years.

Scribbler, a simple and free online drawing programme was very popular in 2012:

I discovered art journaling and mixed media, and in 2012, I enjoyed working in Moleskine sketchbooks:

I also started to draw and sketch, something I've always wanted to do more, and discovered new techniques and materials:


I started to apply more mixed media and collage on canvas, finding inspiration in my environment (such as in the library):

"Overdue", mixed media on canvas, 2012 (30x30cm)

In 2013, I started to regularly draw on the train, and often in my lunch break too. I filled almost two sketchbooks with my "train and lunch sketches".

In 2013, I also bound my first sketchbook, using pages which I had printed with my Gelli plate, which I also got that same year.

At the end of 2013, I took part in a postcard swap. I enjoyed creating these cards and sending them out into the world, and receiveing cards in return. And I'm still waiting for the 10th one to arrive...

At the beginning of 2014, I started my little project of A Whole Lot Of Collages. Of course the idea was to create 365 collages, but I only ever made about 20. I really enjoyed making them, though, and I haven't given up on them quite yet (even if it's been a while since I made one...):

In 2013/2014, I tried my hand at pottery, taking a few classes. I got quite good at glazing, but never really got the hang of wheel throwing and eventually took the hint that it was paint and brush that were my medium, not a pottery wheel.

In summer 2014, I did the 70 Day Drawing challenge. 70 days, 70 drawing, no pencil. It was quite a challenge, but also great fun, and I love flipping through the pages of the little sketchbook that I filled. A good reminder to draw and sketch more and regularly again!

In autumn 2014, I did something that I've wanted to do for ages but never dared. I took a life drawing class. It was one of my greatest challenges, but also a truly great experience.

In 2015, I started getting out my DSLR camera again, and spending more time editing and continuing to improve my Lightroom and Photoshop skills.

And I discovered instant photography, aquiring a little family of vintage Polaroids cameras. It's an ongoing passion.

My blog isn't the most popular, but it is my little space, to share my work and life, to grow and to document my journey. I've met some lovely friends on the way too, and they and their art enrich my life. And now for many more creative years to come.


  1. What a wonderful celebration of your blog! I don't have a blog myself, but I do have a long list of them that I like to visit and read... I don't think blogging will ever die out completely because then where would the wordy people go?! Some of us just need to write out full paragraphs and chapters even, and also there are those of us who want to read them! Congratulation on the five years, and the journeys they encompass, Carroll, in Vermont

  2. Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Was für eine tolle Reise ! Schön dass es Deinen Blog gibt !
    Ich verehre Deinen Stil sehr!
    Liebe Grüße

  3. I hope blogs never die out just like I hope hand-written letters never disappear. I will keep blogging also. I prefer them because they can be more personal and have more layers gradually revealed over time. I loved your retrospective view of your blog. This is why I like blogs--you can go back and see how you have changed, life has shifted, your creativity has grown...and you can make some friends along the way. :) :)

  4. I've enjoyed all the stages of your creativity over the years

  5. I enjoy your blog. Five years is an accomplishment! Loved the two mixed media pieces from 2012. The squares in the first one give it the look of a quilt. I've got some mixed media as well at saltairandpistachios if you'd like to take a peek.

  6. Happy 5th Anniversy of your blog! :) there are several things here you write about that I recognize myself in. So interesting to read. And you have really joined many things since you started. So nice to hear and see how your art work is expanding. I'm getting enthusiastic to read this post! :)

  7. I absolutely love the first mixed media collage. It would make a beautiful blanket! Check out I too have always wanted to sketch, but never done anything about it. You may inspire me!