Tuesday, 25 December 2012

My Very Own Bear



One of my Christmas presents to myself last week was to buy an unpainted mini-mini-buddy-bear with six little mini jars of paint and a brush, and get creative.

I used to do more of this kind of thing back in the previous century… (Painting I mean… I don’t think I ever did it on a bear before, though.)  Nowadays I have difficulties holding on to small objects for very long at a time (like pens and brushes); which is one reason I’ve shifted some of the creative energy into photography instead. But occasionally I still get that handicraft itch…

Not easy to keep two kinds of creativity going at once so I was already well into the project before I remembered to take a “before” photo. The original non-colour was the greyish hue you see in the second picture. As for the creative process in my mind, it went something like this:

I think I like my bear to really be a bear. A brown bear… We do have brown bears in Sweden.

Problem: The colours in my little jars are black, white, red, yellow, green and blue. No brown! Well, red and yellow make orange, and if I add a little black… Yes, that will work.

I have a Winnie-the-Pooh bear I got from a friend years ago. He’s got a little red vest on… This bear too has kind of the right shape for such a vest…

Old Swedish folk costumes have little vests too. With long-sleeved white shirts under. And knee-length trousers with ribbons and tassels just under the knee.

The folk costumes do remind mostly of midsummer traditions… I’ll paint the back of the vest green, like a summer meadow. At midsummer, the custom is to pick seven different flowers and put under your pillow and then you’re supposed to dream of whom you’re going to marry…

Blue for his trousers, I think. Sometimes in summer you roll your trousers up to your knees (if you’re not already wearing shorts!) and wade out into the water. Why not hint waves and a couple of gulls on the back… And a lighthouse. Summer by the sea. A blue/yellow ribbon at the bottom of one trouser leg (the colours of the Swedish flag). The other leg… perhaps reminding more of rolled-up jeans? Mix of old and new fashion.

With the folk costumes they wear stockings and shoes… But no, I want my bear barelegged and barefoot – one paw in the green grass of summer, the other in snow. He’s got fur – he can take it… :)

Now the front of his white shirt over his tummy is a blank white canvas still waiting to be filled. I think we need a landscape… Trees. Grass. Water. Sky. Mountains… Snowcapped fells. Sweden in a nutshell.


  1. Excellent Monica, Enjoy the rest of the festivities.

  2. fantastic, i had no idea you were such a talented painter... these look every bit as good as the ones in the town square... i like your thought process to

  3. This is brilliant, Monica!! I am deeply impressed by not only how talented and creative you are but also by how you manage to get the creative process across to your readers.

  4. What a super bear, Monica! He pulls together so many things. I love painting things too. We once did all the kitchen door knobs with different things that we liked or were interested in. Unfortunately they've got all worn out now but a bear can stay pristine for much longer. Hope you have a wonderful CHristmas and 2013.

  5. Oh my gosh, this is good enough to have sat out with the rest of the big ones! You are very talented! Can you tell me how much it cost in American money? Just curious.

    1. The unpainted bear (ca 25cm/10" high) with six small jars of paint and a brush attached cost $46. As the profits go to local charity organisations I thought it was a fun way of getting a keepsake from the exhibition.

  6. Having little or no talent in this way I, too, am impressed. It was also good to know your thought processes as well.

  7. Thanks to all of you for your kind comments :)

  8. O what a cute little character! It's a great feeling making an object uniquely your own!

  9. Wow! I think you did a great job on that little fellow. Where will he be residing in your home?
    Maybe you should enter him in the mini-bear competition next year, if there is such a thing. I'm sure you'd win a blue ribbon....loved your creative decision process.

  10. Herlige bilder, - med svenske aviser som underlag!
    Ønsker deg et godt nytt år!


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