winter windmill skansen sweden
Traditional Art, Travel

Swedish Skansen Museum

Overlooking Stockholm, Skansen Open Air Museum is a walk back in history that every visitor should make when visiting Sweden.

Skansen is the first open-air museum and zoo in Sweden and is located on the island Djurgården in Stockholm, Sweden. It was opened on 11 October 1891 by Artur Hazelius to show the way of life in the different parts of Sweden before the industrial era.

In a few hours, oner can stroll back through time to pre-industrial Sweden and imagine life in the beautifully preserved collection of traditional buildings.

All levels of society are featured here from the humble bonded farmer to the wealthy Corn Chandler, a dealer in grains, whose quaint summerhouse is a postcard-worthy.

Summerhouse cottage of the Corn chandler

If you are visiting at Christmas and through early January, there are extra activities organized with attendants in period costume singing Christmas songs and dancing around the tree as well as reindeer sled rides for the children.

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Head coverings for.both men and women, were a practical and significant feature of life

The Old Church in Skansen is reminiscent of a turbulent period in religious history. The Church in Sweden was heavily influenced by the traditions of Martin Luther whose idea was not to start a new religion, but rather to reform Christianity. He extolled the virtues of finding, “Salvation through Faith.” Although there are very old Swedish Churches dating back to the end of the Viking era with heavily decorated ceilings, later buildings were more austere in decoration.

Photography is encouraged throughout the museum, but the interiors of many buildings are quite dark and in order to preserve any painted objects, such as a splendid Swedish Mora clock, the use of a camera flash is prohibited. The clock at Skansen was painted in Swedish folk art style similar to the one below and dated back to 1799.

In years gone by, it was customary for art students to travel to Stockholm in order to learn to paint and later, return to the countryside to decorate household items and furniture for wealthy farmers, in typical folk art style.

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Farmers cottage

Accompanying the collection of historic buildings is a small zoo, which would delight the younger members of the family, and features arctic animals such as reindeer, moose, lynx, bear and grey wolves.

Don’t forget to snap your panoramic shot, as the view from Skansen gives you an opportunity to capture the Stockholm skyline and city centre.

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Stockholm and Sami Hutsami Tepee

I recommend the various lunch options nearby. You could easily spend the afternoon here visiting other attractions such as Grona Lund Amusement Park, Vasa or the ABBA museums and the Art Gallery.

Lunch options in the area range from cafes to a la carte restaurants. One of which claimed to serve the best salmon in the world so I just had to try it. Served with potato and dill it was definitely a ‘melt-in-the-mouth,’ flavour and the freshest salmon I have eaten. In archetypal Swedish style, a simple dessert of fresh raspberries with ice cream and raspberry sauce was a fitting complement to the meal.

Velkommen plaque Rosemaling
Community

Order within Borders- Art for All Ages

Many people feel that they are not at all artistic. Yet there are many things you can do to create artistic flourishes or decorations, on objects in your world, with a few simple household tools and very little artistic technique. If you can hammer in a nail, you could paint a primitive, and delightful, border design.

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Dot Daisy Border

A border can provide structure to a loose, flowing design. It will frame the design which pleases the eyes’ sense of order. Not only that but a line or motif border can direct the viewer’s eyes to the rest of the design, whilst still allowing for “breathing room” – negative space around the design itself. This,  in particular, applies to primitive or folk art/ traditional art.

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Beginners can easily create borders by combining a few basic strokes with dots made with the handle end of a brush dipped in paint, or press a series of dots with a Q-tip cotton bud, or a worn pencil eraser to form a four or five-petaled daisy.

Here are a few ideas:

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Source: Jackie Shaw

 

  • Elongate the dots made form dipping the handle of a brush into oval shapes to make flower buds.
  • Place two dots of paint side by side, pulling each to a point, with a fine brush or brush handle, to form a heart. Use the chisel edge of a flat brush to make carefree straight lines. These irregular lines result in a more primitive look, less rigid and more free-flowing than lines carefully painted with a liner brush.

  • Children can begin to develop an appreciation of border art by dabbling decorative edges on photo frames or the cover of study books. Cover the books with plain paper or card stock and arm the kids with a q tip or paintbrush as a “dotting tool.”

 

  • Rule some lines in pencil as a guide and let them create patterns  in rows across the paper with Q-tips or brushes. You will be surprised as what they come up with. They are limited only by their imagination. And you can even incorporate apply a bit of mathematics at the same time, teaching division skills.

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Something to remember when painting strokes and border designs is to aim for a flowing design. Otherwise, the rhythm of the design will appear disjointed and the eye will not flow smoothly from one section of the design to another.

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Decorate an object with one colour and then add a solid, contrasting colour border design

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A solid contrast border colour can be further embellished with geometric shapes, dots, stripes or swirls.

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As your confidence and ability grows, build up each row upon row, to form an intricate border designs, based on basic shapes and form such as can be seen in this preliminary sketch below.

 

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Source: The Basics of Folk Art by J. Jansen

 

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Os Rosemaling

geometric border

 

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Something to Ponder About