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Vodka season

It’s Christmas and New Year’s time, but I must admit that the most important date for me remains the Winter Solstice. It happens around December 21st, the date of entry into winter on our calendars, and corresponds to the shortest day and therefore the longest night of the year. From there, the days start to get longer. For several millennia, humans have celebrated this date in many different ways and it is hardly surprising that in many religions and cultures throughout history and the world, the most important celebration of the year is around this date.

In the same way that it is always a bit paradoxical to see the days shorten as summer begins on June 21st, it is strange to see the days lengthen as we enter the heart of winter.

Winter has set in here in southern Norway and we’ve had a few weeks of constant cold, around -10°C. Under these conditions, the slightest bit of air in the absence of sunlight causes the watercolor to freeze on the paper almost instantly. So it’s time to paint with vodka! Yes indeed, it lowers the freezing point and allows me to continue painting comfortably. The behavior of the different pigments changes, some are less miscible than others. The wet technique becomes more complicated but this requires more direct choices, to go more straight to the point. Here, a field watercolor, of a young Common Gull, staying on the ice painted entirely with vodka, not a single drop of water!

Pale Blue Dot

Twenty-three years after launch from Earth, the Voyager 1 spacecraft reaches the boundaries of the Solar System. On February 14, 1990, six billion miles from us, it opened its cameras one last time for one final look back. Sixty images, sent pixel by pixel across space to be patiently collected on Earth. Then six planets

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With a great deal of patience and prudence

I open my eyes with all my strength. After an hour long nap, I wake up groggy, with a blurry vision and a heavy head. Laying in the grass with my head on my backpack, my eyes are filled with blue sky and my ears full of the silence of this heat. Even the sea

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At the doorstep

“Identification is only the front door to naturalism and I have the feeling of having remained at the doorstep. All my life, I’ve made lists. I identified, bird after bird, by the hundreds, by the thousands, learning along the way some facts about their biology. But what do I really know about the life of

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