The Forest and the City

I’m currently feeling totally shattered! I was up and out promptly this morning to spend time in the beautiful Rya åsar (the forest nature reserve next to Ålgården). There are countless trails of all kinds. Wide hard tracks for cycling, smaller paths for walking and some lovely little tracks for wilder exploring. There is even a trail with streetlights along it for runners! In a glade of birch trees I found a lovely pond with an island on it and I love the pine forests with huge boulders and knolls covered in moss. I managed to do a few simple monotypes using my bit of perspex, roller and a tube of water soluble ink. Its a great way of sketching and getting some interesting textural effects and somehow seems less daunting than drawing in the conventional way although I did do a graphite sketch too.

The forest is so tranquil. Even though you can hear the cars on the highway as a sea of distant noise, the stillness of the woods with the gentle chirrups and tweets of the finches make it very restful. The forest floor is covered in toadstools and fungi and the leaves are beginning to turn so autumn is definitely on the way. Weather allowing, I intend to spend the day up there tomorrow and try to make some more prints and sketches. I’ll post a few on here if there are any that I’m happy with.

After eventually finding my way back to Ålgården (might take a compass & map tomorrow!) I was just in time for a lovely lunch prepared by Björn and shared by five of us. That was a nice surprise. I’m planning on cooking for everyone soon and am now wishing that I was more adept at creating culinary delights. Fuelled up and feeling confident, I braved heading into town and finding my way around the city. I have come to the conclusion that the Swedes have cracked making a busy town centre people friendly. All the way into town were subways and paths with separate sections for walkers and cyclists that kept everyone safe from the traffic. They also have numerous parks which are each themed for different activities, public ice rinks, swimming baths (outdoors and in), swimming lakes, playgrounds (including ones designed for autistic children) and lamplit running tracks (even in the parts of the forest!). The photo below marks a walkway but it has given me an idea for my bookmaking course at home. The theme is ‘worn surfaces’.

I’m very fortunate to catch the end of the Borås sculpture biennale and the city has some really interesting artworks to visit. I particularly liked ‘Kyss’ by Eva Markland:

I’ve seen a few different birds today including a nutchatch, some finches that I have yet to identify, a wren and a flock of fieldfares enjoying a feast of rowan berries in the city centre!

Anyway, after wandering up and down many streets and having a quick stop for tea and cake at the Kulturhuset, I managed to locate an art shop to buy some materials and headed back home.

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