Thursday, 26 December 2013
It's that time of the year again! It' hard to believe and neither I or Simo has had any Christmas spirit this year at all. We didn't decorate the apartment at all since we knew that we would go to Norway in Christmas anyways, and that probably didn't make it any better. Also, both in Norway and Finland especially, there has been no real snow, and for any Scandinavian that's like OMG! SO we've just been trying to survive through the rough darkness of November and December, and I'm here to announce that WE MADE IT! The Christmas spirit got a little higher though when we arrived in Norway on the 20th and saw the decorated house, and even a tiiiiny bit of snow. Of course the deal breaker for myself was to decorate the tree. Another thing that gave a little fun Christmas spirit was that Simo got it as a job to dress up as Santa for our friend's children this year! Normally, he doesn't believe in tricking children in believing in Santa, but he did it anyways and actually quite enjoyed it when the kid didn't recognize him at all!
Sunday, 15 December 2013
Once again, it was time for the yearly dog show here in Helsinki, and as dog lovers, Simo and I even got up early (!!!) on a Saturday to make it in time to see our favourite breeds. I wasn't feeling to good yesterday though, so I took a pill or headache and got so tired by it that It made me feel like a zombie walking amongst hyper dogs. One of the first things we saw when getting inside the huge convention hall was a little corner for kids, where they could show off their stuffed animal dogs. Kinda silly, but also kinda cute. After walking around for a while, and the affects of the medicine we decided to go home. I pretty much fell asleep on the sofa right away and didn't get anything done for the rest of the day. But like always, it still made me happy to see some dogs.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Yesterday was the yearly Christmas party with my art club HIAA here in Helsinki, and we decided to go to my favourite restaurant called Santa Fe. It was a bit ridiculous, because although we were supposed to be 6 people, people kept cancelling, so we ended up being me and the club's founder. We were laughing so much at the scene while we waited for a new member who DID actually come although a little late. But that was fine, we had such a great time, and it was so much fun to meet a new artist! So as usual, I ordered my favourite salad; "Blackened fillet salad" I believe it's called. During my meal I noticed a long hair that I had to remove from my mouth. NOT my own...but my French personality was like "nah, I'll survive". When almost done with the salad, I got a second hair. After laughing our asses off at the not so laughable situation, my Norwegian personality decided to go and complain. The waiters were super upset and came to take my (almost finished) salad away and asked if they could offer me a free chocolate cake for dessert? Knowing the chocolate cake, I said yes even though I was full and felt sort of satisfied with the result of the complaint. When the waiter came he said "here you go, and no hairs this time", with a smile. I smiled back and we had a mutual respect for each other - the bald waiter, who couldn't possibly be the result of my hairy food, and I, the dissatisfied, but still smiling customer. The cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream was fabulo - OH! Lookatthat!! A hair! Having absolutely no more energy after laughing so hard my stomach was hurting, I totally let it go when the waitor picked up my FINISHED dessert from the table. But after coming to my senses, and thinking that I might not be the only victim of this in the restaurant, I decided to tell them anyways, that I had yet another hair in my food. The waiters reaction was a honest one: "I don't know what to say. What can I say?" So in the end I ended up getting a 40 Euro worth of meal for free. That's fine with me. So all in all this wasn't bad, we had lots of laughs, and even came up with some really creative ideas for our upcoming exhibition in May! It's never so bad that it isn't good for something!
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Saturday, 7 December 2013
OK, so I've done the ultimate cheesy sin... I've made my own fan page on Facebook. It had to be done though, it just had to be. And now I'm even lowering myself further and begging you to like me. Pretty please? https://www.facebook.com/elisegegauffart
...or did I? The last few days there has been a sale on Black Milk Clothing, and of course I coulnd't let it pass. I haven't bought anything from there in a long time, but I have been wishing for a swimsuit from there since I discovered them pretty much. So I finally got it. The C-3PO swimsuit. Then I got a dress that I have also been wanting as a Christmas gift and got another dress as well for myself. Ah. The hopping has been done and I can relax. Until their new collection that will be coming out soon. I hope it's bad. I will probably do a collection video next year by the way. http://blackmilkclothing.com/
I'VE GOT AEROSMITH TICKETS! In Norway, em and my friend got super disappointed to learn that Aerosmith is going on tour, but not coming there. After their last tour that I missed, I was super sad and really wished I had gone, and I felt like now I finally had the chance. We even discussed that we might go to Sweden to see them there. So I got so happy when I found out at the Elvis party that they are coming to Finland! Another friend there and I decided on the spot that this was something we couldn't miss, and now we finally have the tickets! So as a small group of 3 friends we are going to see Aerosmith on the 30th of May in Helsinki! I can't wait! Rock n roll!
The day I came back from the Elvis weekend I went by the center to notice that Christmas had arrived. It always does so and takes me by surprise. How is it that it is Christmas most of the year it feels, no matter if I want it or not? So far I have not been in a Christmas mood except for when working with the theatre. We haven't decorated yet and we don't even have an advent calender, which is very rare. Why is it like this this year? I can't say, but the fact that there is almost no snow doesn't help either. But I WAS very pleased too see these Christmas shops set up around town where people sell home made stuff and one of them even had a llama hanging around it! Now THAT'S what I can a jolly good time!
Last weekend I went to the Finnish city of Tampere for a movie night with the MJ Movie Club. I was especially looking forward to this one, as the girl who held it had been kind enough to change the dates of the event so that I could be part of it. Also, it would be a different kind of movie night, as we would watch a documentary about Elvis Presley. So we took the train to Tampere, which is about 2 hours from Helsinki and finally got to the appartment of Elvis action. The place had a really cool collection feeling of a mixture of Elvis and Michael Jackson, which isn't bad at all. I really love a well done collection, whatever that might be. After stuffing our faces with cakes, chips and whatnot, we still decided to have some junk food, and to honour Elvis, I bought a cheeseburger from a shady place. The cheese burger happened to be a bit shady also, especially the bacon bits which I seriously DON'T believe was bacon at all... We chit-chatted way into the night, as girls tend to do, and before we knew it it was time to get home. The weekend went way to fast to be honest.
Saturday, 30 November 2013
I've been back in Finland since tuesday, but trying to fight a cold that I managed to keep pretty much off, I haven't written anything. We'll be here for a few weeks before going back to Norway to celebrate Christmas. I have a few paintings to do before that, and today I'm going to Tampere to hang out with my MJ girls in the MJ movie club. We're gonna watch an Elvis documentary, so that will be interesting. I don't know much about him, eventhough I read Pricilla Presley's autobiography. It's good to be back!
Monday, 25 November 2013
And The Journey to the Christmas star is over! It's a play the local theatre, run by my gran mother shows every other year to bring some Christmas spirit to the people. It's a Norwegian Christmas story that almost everyone knows here and it has a tendency to pull a lot of public in. This year we had over 800 people watching us and we got great review from the local newspaper. Today we have the end of the year party with the kids and parents of the theatre and I can't wait to have some pizza and cakes and hear their thoughts on the weekend that was. The play just went GREAT! I was the assistant director this year and there was lots to do, which has made me sort of gone from the world of internet and updating, because after all, the only people REALLY busy, is the person NOT updating about how busy they are...
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Sometimes, when you've lived abroad or away from your "hometown" for so long, it can be difficult to keep in real touch with old friends. I'm not talking about Facebook as real contact, I'm talking about REAL meetings, where you can give your REAL friend a REAL hug. On Monday I met my oldest friend and we coughed up. I did everything I could to make this meeting happen even though it was a day with theatre and we met in a different town, (Lillehammer). I'm glad we did, cause we had so much catching up to. Sometimes, when I come to Norway, I can feel a bit overwhelmed by how many people I feel like I "have to" meet. Sometimes I forget why I should meet them. True - this time it's not easy, as almost every weekend have been filled up with rehearsals and that's when people can meet mostly, but when I can, I will always do what I can to meet. I think we are blinded by the media telling us how much communication we have these days, but when did you last meet your oldest friend that you were gonna keep in touch with forever? I even got in real Christmas spirit, I wonder why.
Last Satuday was a very cool day for me. Since I saw his exhibition in Lillehammer, Norway in 2005, I've been a huge fan of Einar Sigstad's work. I decided to write him a year ago to ask if he could give me some tips and have a meeting, and finally last Saturday I met him at his gallery vernissage. It was so cool to see his art "live" again and also to meet him in person. We had a nice long chat and I think I mght even have learned some things!
Thursday, 14 November 2013
I know that Christmas is upon us and that most adults will do ANYTHING to get that childhood Christmas feeling back into their life before it's too late and the Christmas tree is taken down. However, we seem to forget that Christmas spirit was not about how much you got in your advent calendar or how much money your family has spent on you, but it was about the little things. You got to stay up longer, the candy and flavours were different this time of year and you got a small treat every morning through your calendar to keep you waiting for the big day. Of course I have seen advent calendars getting more and more expensive over the years, especially the ones with a big brand name on them, and children telling me that they have 4 of them. I think that's very sad. I think parents are teaching their children that more is more, and there is no value unless the quantity and price is high. Before they know it, they will ask for calendars like this one that I saw the other day from The Body Shop, costing 1098 Norwegian Krone which is 177,90 USD or 131,99 EURO. That is outrageous and if it belongs anywhere it is under the Christmas tree. I'm shocked.
Saturday, 2 November 2013
Sunday, 27 October 2013
OK, so how many of you can put the words "treasure hunt" and "viking ship" in the same sentence? I can, 'cause I am in Norway oh glorious Nooorway! My friend Kristin and I visited the city of Hamar yesterday, after we heard that the Olympic games (of '94) indoor arena "The Vikingship" was having a antique weekend. I have been to these many times before so I knew that there might be treasures to find, as in vinyl and 7" singles for example. The Vikingship is a really gool building. It is used for ice sports mainly and is designed as a Vikingship turned upside down. After walking for a while without finding any interesting vinyl (I had all the things already, which is a common problem when you collect), I set my eyes on a really cool golden frame. It was quite big and cheap I thought. I saw many possibilities with it but when I heard that it wasn't wood I lost interest. After leaving empty handed, we went around the town to try to find a sushi place, and ended up sightseeing a little at the same time. We found a sushi restaurant that is very famous there, called Nagomi. Apparently, the main chef there is from New York and used to work for Robert De Niro's sushi restaurant there. He brought with him a maki roll he was quite famous for there called Crispy Salmon Maki. It was very good and unique that's for sure. All in all not a total loss in Hamar, but a really nice day treasure hunting.
Tuesday, 22 October 2013
When my best friend and I went to the gym yesterday, a very unusual sight met us by the entrance. By the outside shoes, there was a pair that looked to poor that we couldn't help but take a picture. Maybe it's time to go and buy a new pair of shoes? Or at least BLACK gaffer tape to match them?
Actually, I'm a littlebit late in wishing you a merry Christmas, because it started a couple of weeks ago already here. Overnight, the mall had christmas decorations, books, candy, soda, ideas, and don't forget; hurry up and get your Christmas shopping done BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!! Every year it's earlier. I'm sure it is to make it possible for us to stress less during the holidays? It has to be, right? Of course, I HAVE to have the Christmas spirit a little bit ready at least, since I am helping my gran mother to set up the children Christmas play in our town in Norway "Reisen til Julestjernen" or in English: "The Journey to the Christmas Star". Considering that I was surrounded by Santa and his helpers and other fairy tale creatures, it was hard not to sing "Jingle Bells" at the end of the day... Backstage Santa.
Winter is coming, and it's time to pack together the summer fun! Dad, Henrik, my goddaugther and I (oh, and Milla) went to the cabin not long ago to but the boat in it's boathouse and the little dock by the water had to be put higher so that the frozen water wouldn't destroy it during the winter. I couldn't believe how beautiful and serene the lake and the surroundings were when we came up there. It was truly autumn magic. So eventhough putting aboat into a boathouse doesn't sound very complicated, Milla made it very difficult for the men as she was so curious and even decided to hang out IN the boat. Just to make sure she was part of it all, and nothing would go by her approval. At the end of the cleanup (when my goddaughter and I found out that it was best to watch the cleaning and eat chocolate) my dad took down an old bee nest that was left hanging after he sprayed it in the summertime. We inspected it and thought it looked so cool on the inside that we couldn't help but take a few pictures. (Especially since I had a new phone...)
Tuesday, 15 October 2013
After all these years, being a faithful servant and companion, my iPhone was planning my mutiny. Messing up my ears with crazy sounds, even when not calling and turning off with "only" 20% battery left and not to forget just turning off, I felt a sneaking suspicion towards my old friend and his abilities. Also, after many sleepless nights over the sillyness of iTunes, I decided that some change of scenery was necessary and so I bought my lovely new Samsung Galaxy s4. The fact that it was on sale didn't make my choice more difficult either. I bought it in white and also a few extras like protective cover and a screen sticker thingy. I have to say that I LOVE the camera on this one!
Sunday, 13 October 2013
And I'm back in Norway for a little while. I am helping my gran mother with her children's theatre before the annual play at the end of November. It's nice to be here for a bit, and Milla is with me as well. The only thing I'm bummed out about is that I'm gonna miss the "Thrill The World" dance and movie night at my friend's place in Tampere. I was really looking forward to that. I'm sorry I haven't updated much recently, but there's been a lot to do after I came back. I will update a little bit more later today.
Wednesday, 2 October 2013
My first speed painting video with a commentary track has finally been uploaded to my YouTube channel. It is quite long, as this painting is one of my biggest projects so far, and I wanted to make sure that it wasn't too fast so that you could see as much details as possible. Please leave comments, that would always be helpful. Enjoy.
My first solo exhibition in a gallery is over and I'm sitting with quite a few thoughts about it. It was the first of many and a tremendous learning experience. I look forward to more in the future. The gallery had a great location and from what I saw from my guestbook quite a few people visiting every day. The gallery provided he staff and PR, posters and invitation cards, and the owner is super friendly. I sold 3 paintings. These are the paintings I sold: "Water Lily! "Touch" "The Feather" If there was anything negative to be said, it has to be that it didn't come very many people to the Vernissage (opening) that the gallery had invited, even though they sent out hundreds of invitations. Most of the people there were from my list. Also the sales I did were to people I know. Even though this is my first solo exhibition and it takes time, an artist always hopes to sell to unknown people. I think I've done that twice in my life before. But all in all it was a great exhibition and learning experience!
Tuesday, 1 October 2013
Monday, 30 September 2013
My friend Kristin came from Norway on Wednesday! This was particularly exciting, as she has never been to Helsinki before. We had some great days ahead of us, starting with us going to my exhibition on Thursday to hang it down. I will write another article about the exhibition and my view of it all, but all in all I was pretty happy with the result. The taking down went quite well and we even managed to get most of the paintings back home. Before we went there we had gone around the town sightseeing. Actually, we had walked all the way from my place to the center which is many kilometers and something I often do. The days to come we went shopping (I bought some really nice autumn boots), checked out my other exhibition, more sightseeing and even a game night with Simo's family. It was great, as I always love to have people over! *hint hint*
So again another exhibition! I am absolutely not complaining, I'm loving it! This was the annual Helsinki International Artists Association exhibition, this year called "Reflections". Unfortunately because of the solo exhibition, I didn't really have any art to spare, but I DID have 3 paintings that were experiments. I decided to add those to the exhibition which was actually perfect for the theme and area where they were hanged. The exhibition is from the 15.9. - 13.10. If you live in Helsinki and are in Itakeskus, take a trip to Galleria Stoa and check it out!
Sembalot Day 2 arrived and I was excited this day because a fellow trooper was bringing her corset along so that I could have it on under my costume. I have always wanted a corset under the vest, which quite frankly I believe is the way it's supposed to look, but we somehow didn't make it so. Hopefully I can upgrade it at some point to make it look a bit more stiff. So my friend had no mercy in the morning when she put on the corset and although it sort of felt nice wearing it, it was shocking in the moment she "strapped me in". It was a painful business to put the corset on, and I swear I heard a cracking noise from somewhere deep inside my body! And how come my stomach was up my throat and my heart in my belly? Or at least that's how it felt like. So after I had gotten ready, I went to our stand and tried to get used to the new haute de couture I was wearing as well as concentrating on the people at the same time. It was fun, and I felt SO thin! Pretty much as soon as I got to the stand, I saw the girl that was there the day before, shaking all the troopers hand, and I knew the day was going to be rough. We were lined in behind the speeder bikes and the girl went to the first trooper in the left and worked her way to the end. Then she came back and this happened a few times. People were trying to take pics of their children during this time, and I'm pretty sure she was in most of them. No parent to be seen. Then she came to me and shook my hand again as I was talking to a fellow trooper. She looked me right in the eye and kept in shaking and wouldn't let go. I tried to "take my hand back" but there was no way. I had to physically open her fingers with my other hand while she was gripping as hard as I could. When I was released she quickly grabbed my hand, but then I had had enough. I felt like I was back to work in a kinder garden, but this time without pay as I said gently but firmly; "No. That's enough." Then she left. Other than this, the troop was great as usual, and we even got to take some promo shots of a future troop only with us girls for breast cancer. After an important troop of the year, we could all feel it in our feet, backs and minds (and in my case, waist) and it was time to call it a day. Oh, and for some reason, I get super happy when I get to troop with Darth Maul!
Wednesday, 25 September 2013
On Saturday it was time for the second biggest troop of the year here in Finland, called Sembalot. It's in a mall and I think sort of a yearly huge sale basically. We have been trooping for Unicef there for years. It's a very nice troop, my favourite probably, but this year it was pretty rough as the place we were placed now was sort of in the middle of EVERYTHING and the traffic was pretty big. Because it was so in the middle of the whole mall, many rude parents also just left their kids there so that they could shop, apparently believing that we were a free kindergarden for the day. This made it quite difficult for us I thought. So I decided to wear my Packing Gown costume for this troop, since I haven't worn it for a while. It's still my favourite, but it needs some major updates and work. Let's see if I can make it happen soon. I will definitely concentrate on doing that before thinking of new costumes at all. The were a LOT of children around us this year. And of course, that is the point and partly why we're doing this, but in my opinion, this became a littlebit of a problem in a way. Not the children's fault, but the parents who just left them there, or looked at them nearly breaking things without saying a thing. Funnily enough, the girls were the worst, and at some point I recognized a girl coming over SO many times during the day, doing the same thing, shaking all the troopers hands. At first it was cure; she was afraid of Darth Maul, and you could tell that she was really breaking her barrier of bravery by shaking his hand a few times. After a time it became a bit exhausting though, and being in a costume representing Star Wars you have to be careful of how you respond to children behaving badly. Many of these children were in the way constantly when other people had been waiting to take photographs or sit on the speederbikes. However, the day went pretty well eventhough it was quite exhausting. And of course I love to hang out with my fellow Rebel Legion and 501st friends, fighting for the same cause.
Monday, 23 September 2013
On Thursday I took the time to visit the big exhibition center here in Helsinki after getting a free ticket to the art and habitat fair that would be there from Wednesday to Sunday. The original fee to get in is an amazing 30 euros, absolutely insane, so I was happy to get it for free from the gallery I have my exhibition at right now. I went to the art area of the fair first to thank and say hi to the gallerist. I walked around for a while, and found myself sort of stuck in the antique section. I simply like old art and antiques and must have walked around there for even a few hours. I even passed a stand with christmas decorations. I have to say I thought that was a bit too early...but I guess not for business. Merry Christmas!
Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Monday, 16 September 2013
I told Hege about the lack of respect (and understanding of the house rules) from our new neighbours and we decided to to an experiment. I was gonna start to play piano around that time of the day when they usually do the banging in their ceiling to make me shut up and see about what time they would start doing that. So I started my piano playing, but not louder than I have before (I have an electric piano). Not ONE time did they say anything. I was thinking that it could be because it was Saturday, so I think I need to continue my experiment. I thought maybe they overheard when I spoke to another neighbour about this problem in the hallway the other day. Lets see...I hope they have researched a littl ebit more about the new house they live in though.
My friend Hege came to visit me last week from Norway. Eventhough it's not that long since I had visitors because of my exhibition, I was happy to get more, as this would be a more casual visit in a way. I have been stressing way too much lately, and haven't really been able to relax completely as I'm part of ANOTHER exhibition also, coming up in a week. Luckily, this is a group exhibition that I'm part of every year. So we walked to the center on Saturday and it was a beautiful day! It was still warm and sunny, and even the beaches looked very tempting! I realized that between all my painting this summer, I had only been able to go to the beach once, which is really sad since the beaches here in Helsinki are pretty nice. It's a very nice and long walk from where I live to the center of Helsinki, and with a pace like ours and no rush, we stopped from time to time to just take in the beauty of nature. When we came to the center, we were so hungry from the walking that we decided to go to my favourite Chinese restaurant to have a little lunch, before heading to the gallery so that Hege could see my exhibition. No more sales for now, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I was a really nice day that ended with eating tacos and watching the films "Wilde" and "The Untouchables".
Friday, 13 September 2013
Thursday, 12 September 2013
I know it already happened on Saturday, but truth is I deserve this break. Since that day I've pretty much been laying on the sofa taking it easy, watching Sex and the City and other stupid things. Oh, and no painting, no gym and I can eat ANYTHING I WANT! Earned it I have. Yeees, mmm...*nerd* The opening went really well. I went there a bit earlier of course, to look over the price list and other practical things before people started coming. There was quite a rush of people which made me very happy of course. Many friends, family members and new faces visited, and there was Coke, wine and little delights served for the guests. I sold one painting at the opening which was really cool ("Flower Child 2" now called "Touch"), and one painting was reserved. Pretty good for a first timer. The opening was from 14.00 - 16.00 and I had to be there for the duration of the time of course, so I was quite hungry when the opening was finished. We went to my favourite restaurant "Santa Fe" for dinner with my family and Simo's sister. In the evening we, the younglings went out to Teerenpeli for a drink. The day after I sold another painting ("Water Lily") and another one got reserved ("The Feather"). It's going well. Here is a video from the opening:
Thursday, 5 September 2013
It's only two days and of those only a few hours more that I can paint before my solo exhibition on Saturday. It's my first solo exhibition in an art gallery, so who said I was stressed? Well I AM stressed, so much in fact, that I've had headaches, outbreaks in my skin and other wierd and unusual things happening to my brain lately. I can honestly say that I haven't been this stressed in a long time, and if that wasn't enough, I'm part of a group exhibition two weeks later that I have to paint completely new paintings for. All this and no pay. But still I can't complain. I'm doing exactly what I want and following my dreams. But it's quite clear that I have to look into taking my Masters degree in Fine Arts next year.
Monday, 2 September 2013
Even though Michael Jackson had his birthday already the 29th of August, we celebrated it on Saturday, since many fans came to Helsinki from other places in Finland. We were a bit worried when we woke up (I had guests sleeping over) and saw that it was raining, since we were planning to have a picnic. It got better thought and we didn't think more of it and headed to the center to meet the others. We BARELY made the boat that would take us all to the island of "Suomenlinna" where we have had a picnic for the last few years before hanging out and going out in the evening. It was fun - there was a tasty chocolate cake and even a rebus game where the pictures would make up a title of a song. Iida and I were on the same team and WE WON! She got a Captain EO badge and I got a pen and patch! After we had eaten and played the game, we had the chance to see some of the girls do the Thriller dance which is always fun to see! There were a lot of new faces there. MJ fans that were very young, and it was fun to sort of re-live their excitement to every picture they saw of Michael in a magazine. Everything was new. After the picnic we went back to a fans place and had a great time; MJ videos, talk of trips and memories, dancing and pizza, before heading to the center to PARTY! We decided quite early on that the only place to be guaranteed Michael Jackson music all night, would be a gay club. So we went to DTM, (Don't Tell your Mama) and true enough - as soon as we came in, they played P.Y.T! We had a great time and they played real disco music most of the night. The girls even got a chance to dance Thriller again on the stage to great applause! What a night!