Mountains and Xmas decorations…

Well, it’s December already and every shop in town is playing Xmas songs, and have to admit that it is rather nice. It’s nice to have this festive season coming up at this dark month, and will reveal a little secret….I love Xmas and all that comes with it. But this year I am a little bit late with creating our Xmas card for this year, but finally got to do it today. I had a few illustrations to chose from and went for a picture that I created not long ago, by using some creative text.

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And here it is, I sort of like this one myself and here is the other one

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But voted against this illustration due to that it got cropped in the creation of the xmas card layout and it did not look too good. So the Xmas tree it is this year and was happy to finally put in the order of the printed cards. This is one of the perks about being able to illustrate your own cards, because nobody else will have the same card.

What else has been happening? Well, been busy being out in the mountains on various trainings and events, but love it. Yesterday I was out with a group where I am helping out and we decided to venture up on Scarr summit, from a different angle this time. It is a very steep climb at the start, and yesterday was a very windy and unfortunately misty day, so the views were not great, but at least everybody enjoyed it and on our descent we managed to see a little bit of the surroundings getting down towards Laragh.

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We had a few dramatic views heading back down, but it is absolutely gorgeous. After having spent the week in an office getting out on the hills is very rewarding. And this walk was no different, even though it was extremely windy at some places and we had to walk through the mist/fog, it was still great!! And in this group there is a variety of people, some I have known for a long time now and sometimes there is one or two new faces coming along.

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This month is going to be interesting as I will start a new course in Forensic Psychology and Criminology, during the past three years I have gotten into the world of Forensic Science and what I like about it is that it has so many different areas to dig into and learn. Why Forensic Science? Well, we all have something that we are interested in and is passionate about, this is my area of interest, and intend to learn as much as I possibly can. Nobody knows where it will take me, but I enjoy this path I am walking and will keep following this road. My next course in October next year will be CSI – Crime Scene Investigation and will really get into some interesting stuff.

My interest for this started a few years ago, when I heard an ad on the radio in the car, and I was like…hey that’s what I would like to do. And I started to do some research, and jumped on an introduction course to Forensic Science, mainly for the reason to see if I liked it or not. And lo and behold I am hooked, it is just up my street and suites my analytical mind and eye for details. This was back in 2015, and I started to build up my personal library of books in the subject (seen on the above picture). There is something special about having a proper book that references the various areas of your interest, to fall back on and read. You can find lots of information on the internet, but it does not always beet the sense having the actual book that you can get back into if you come across something you’d like to study closer.

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I have had this book now for some time, and will be using it for the new course, it covers the whole psyhology of Criminal Justice, not only the criminals but also everyone involved in a case including the court.

“I didn’t invent Forensic Science and Medicine. I just was one of the first people to recognise how interesting it is” – Patricia Cornwell

November is here!

It’s November and looking back at the year it has been a very interesting one. I have had to put my art to the side due to excessive MR training, but it has been an interesting year and learnt many new skills. And it is nice when you have found your place and do something that is very satisfying.

But, having said that I have been able to take out my illustration kit from time to time. In the pictures below, I have been inspired by the Scandinavian folklore a little bit. The Gnome was going around from farm to farm and helping the people with their animals, looking after them, the children were putting out food for the Gnome.

My goal for this month is to illustrate our family christmas card for this year. That is a tradition I started a couple of years ago.

This was the card from last year, I tend to work with lot’s of details and this illustration took me a good while to complete. And then I usually custom make it for the printing.  This year I want to make something different, am still working on it in my head and know that by time, I will have some good ideas to work on.

You can have a look at some of my art here: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-eva-ason.html

So, stay tuned… and see you soon!

Mist on the hills

I woke up all exited this morning. I have been out travelling for three weeks for my work, I have been to Poland and Norway (my fav country). And, some may think it is exiting to do those travels, but the truth is that when you’re travelling for work doing what I did., is not that exotic. Living in hotels is nice maybe for one or two days but having to stay in a hotel for a week is no fun at all.

My last week visiting agencies in Oslo was the best part of my trip, mainly because I really like Norway and Oslo is a nice city.

Here are some of the pictures I took this week. And as you can see the weather was nice and clear, temperatures a bit low. But I love that fresh air.

So you can imagine the reason for my excitement this morning…I was finally home and the Mountain is calling my name. Had a walk scheduled for today with Mike’s Hike’s where I often help out with the group.

The route for today was planned to start getting up to Croghainmoira summit and continue along the ridge over to Fananieran, but when we gathered at Glenmalure Lodge it was looking very poor, the mist was down and it might be hard because the guys would not get any views at all ones up.

And we had to make a little change of the plan, we decided to walk up two different summits instead, and we set to it.

We decided to venture up to Carriglinneen but unfortunately the mist was still heavy in places, but I did not really care I can be out there in any type of weather, it felt so good being out on the hills again to smell the nature and the colours were beautiful.

There was a big crowd out today, and very nice meeting them all again from being away for a while, due to various MR trainings and such.

As you can see on the above map, we had to backtrack back to the car park and continue up to Cullentragh. We wanted to make a nice walk of our day since we had to change route. But I will get up to Croghainmoira again, last time we tried we had to deviate and get down to lower grounds due to a blizzard.

The weather in the mountains is forever changing, you can not really plan, the weather is what it is here in IRELAND. But I truly love getting out in any type of weather hot or cold, and even drizzles.

The mountains are calling and I must go!

To Dad

I’m just writing a short post today

Today I’m honouring my Dad on his 20th Anniversary!

I have him to thank for what I am doing today – loving the outdoors!

He taught me a lot of things relating to the outdoors. He was also

a man of simplicity, a trait that I picked up early in life! I belive in keeping

things simple, why complicate things?

Thank you Dad, you were the best!!

September is here..!

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The evenings are getting shorter and the darkness falls quick. But it does not stop me from getting out and about on the hills of Wicklow. Got this shot the other evening being out doing our navigation practice in the woods. Got to this open area and the mist was sitting low and could not resist taking a snap.

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The autumn is the season having the most gorgeous colours, I love the contrast between the red berries, the green leaves and the brick wall in the background in this photo.

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A couple weeks ago I was out on the hills with some people marshalling at a charity race, and being out and about you get to see things like this. We had rain clouds coming from one side and the sun was setting on the other and the heather is so gorgeous this year. I love the purplish ‘carpet’ covering the grounds. And to tell you the truth the heather is a great cushion while doing the bivvy at night. Yep, have actually slept outside up on those hills. The experience is interesting, but have to say that I cannot wait til all the midges are gone. They have been really annoying this year.

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This picture was taken while heading out on one of the bivvy nights. This is taken standing above the Miners Village in Glendalough, after walking up the zig-zags (as we call it) and the lake in the background is the Upper Lake. It was a lung buster getting up here I have to admit. I love this place, and once you get up a bit you get a different perspective of the surroundings. On the way up here we came across a few deers that were looking at us like we were some ‘out from space’ creatures.

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Well, this is not the best picture but as close as I could get in these circumstances. It is quite rewarding when you see things like this, makes it worth while getting out. We were from here navigating up to the spot where we should stay for the night. The forecast was rain in early morning, but in fact we were very lucky. There was no rainfall during the night which you can imagine felt good. But, we woke to a huge mist coming over us so we had to raise early, get our gear together and start our trek back to base.

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The mist lifted once we got a bit lower, but then the rain started to drizzle and it got real wet. But still, look at this view, isn’t is gorgeous? No matter when you’re out on these mountains/hills it is just as beautiful (in my opinion). This was Saturday morning at around 6.30 a.m. and it turned out to be a very busy day, so was up and down the hills in various locations.

As you can see our backpacks were pretty big and might seem heavy, but it was not so bad. You need to be clever when packing for a night out, and not pack things you absolutely won’t be needing. Keep it to the minimum, but be safe.

  • Sleeping bag – in the Wicklow mountains you’ll need a warm one.
  • Bivvy bag to put outside your sleeping bag.
  • Extra warm change of clothes
  • Food and snacks, water
  • Ground mat
  • Stove (if you have one) if not, there’s always someone in the group that has one.
  • Plastic bags to keep your backpack dry and your boots.
  • Storm shelter to cover your equipment, also good to get under to get changed for ‘bed’. (this should ALWAYS be in your bag).
  • All your other outdoor necessities; map, compass, head torch plus spare batteries, hat, gloves, buffs, first aid kit, waterproof trousers and jacket, etc.
  • Basically, think ahead and be prepared for the unexpected, without packing too much because you have to carry all the stuff all the way – and rain and mist comes in quickly at times.

 

Enjoy your time on the Hills!

The mountains are calling and I must go…

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This picture was taken during one of my many walks, and this particular day in late 2016, we had a little bit of frost when we were climbing up Scarr in Wicklow. We started our trek from the Oldbridge and walked up towards Carrigeenshinnagh (528m). It was a bit steep  and there were many false horizons before we finally reached the summit (641m). And, it was cold up there so we didn’t stay very long, we had a quick nibble break and continued our journey down towards Dry Hill and the forest line where we linked up with the Wicklow way and walked back to the cars.

I haven’t done much art in the past week, but planning on getting back into it soon again. I am being pulled between so many things these days, but they are all good though, and very fulfilling. But most of all I simply love getting up on the mountains, and Wicklow is a lovely place to live, having the mountains at our door step, what else do you want? Not much really.

Today I have been out on a ‘test’ run in my new trail runners, from Salomon. And, I must say that again I am positively surprised by how well these shoes fit my feet. It started when I bought a new pair of boots, the one’s I had was really killing my feet, especially after some 26km walks and your feet feels extremely sore. I started to research to find a boot that fit my feet better. And after some searching I have finally found the type of boots that is really good for the type of activities I do in the mountains. And I must say that now I am flying up the hills (litterally) and it is such a difference on how I can move about and not having to even think of my feet, because they are comfortably supported by the new Salomon boots I have. It is extremely important to chose the type of boot that suites your feet. My feet are narrow and long so therefore my previous boots was not good at all because they were wide and a bit heavy in comparison. So my feet were abit wobbly and this caused a huge discomfort while I was out on the hills, because my feet did not have the proper support, it almost felt like walking on a line and constantly keeping the balance.

And the same was with my test run this afternoon, the shoes felt very comfortable and my feet were secured and they gave a proper cushion support from the hard surface that I ran on. I have usually bought Asics for my running but now when I am slowly venturing into do hill running as well as road running, I needed a shoe that I can use for both.

The mountains are calling and I must go ~ John Muir

 

Vintage cars and more

We have already reached the middle of August, the evenings are getting slightly shorter and the children will soon return back to school. The summer always go by way too fast in my opinion. But, I do like the Autumn very much, as I mentioned in my previous post. It’s time to get cosy indoors, well for some at least. I’ll spend more time outdoors than indoors at times, even if the weather is not so pleasant. It does not really bother me too much, as long as you use proper clothes and protection.

I am here sharing a little video I created recently showing some of my favourite artwork. And some of these originals has actually been sold to various corners of the World, which makes it worth the while.

Whenever I have a spare moment I bring out my pens and brushes just to make some doodles. And here is one of my latest snowmen which I have chosen not to colour, the details won’t be the same if I do I think.

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Sometimes what I enjoy most, is to just let my imagination paint it’s own picture on the paper. There are no rules or etiquette, just let it flow.

‘To be an artist is to believe in Life’   Henry Moore

Autumn is in the air

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Well, wether we want it or not, the autumn is slowly making it’s approach, I do smell the difference in the air and it feels more fresh (sort of). Spending as much time in the outdoors as I do, you notice the changes even if they are very small. I can sense a slight change, and to be quite honest I do like the Autumn. However, having said that, I ain’t so fond of the rain, but if it stays reasonably dry it is very nice.

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As an illustrator coming to the month of August, I usually get into my Christmas/winter mode, and all sorts of images are playing in my head. I am sharing a few ‘warm ups’ I’ve been working on in the past few days. Even though I am busy being out in the mountains and hills, I try to find time to do some art in between depending on the inspiration and mojo.

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This picture was taken at the zig-zags above the miners village in Glendalough, we were hiking up towards the Camaderry mountain to have our bivvy night (sleeping out in the mountains). I am fortunate living near the mountains and get out doing things like this regularly. We came across a few dears that were observing us curiously, probably wondering what we were doing there, at their turf.

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We come across these fella’s quite often during our walks and at times being out practicing night navigation, they stay in the distance just observing and then we can only hear them. They have a very destingtive sound.

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In the early morning on Saturday, we had to get up early because the mist was coming in around us and we had to head down towards our base. In the mountains the weather can change extremely fast from one minute to the other basically. And you have to be prepared for it, and most importantly knowing where you are. We chose to follow the path all the way down to Glendalough village, but if you don’t have a track to follow your navigation skills are important, and knowing how to use a map and compass.

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Well, we finally arrived at our base beside the old Monastery village where this round tower is located. Shortly after this picture was taken, our day should turn out to be a very busy one, helping other walkers/cyclists/mountaineers in need.

The mountains are calling and I must go!‘  – John Muir

 

 

Summer travels part 3

On Thursday morning we started our long journey from Oslo over to Stavanger. It is somewhat 485km, so we better start driving. We got off to a good start with nice motorways and fine roads. I was the designated driver for the day, so that himself could relax and have a look around at the landscape and other things that we were driving by. One thing that we noticed is, that there is a lot of tunnels in Norway. Why you may wonder, and the reason is that there are quite a lot of hills and rocky mountains. And rather than driving up and down these hills/mountains, they have built tunnels that goes through instead. The first 250 km or so went smooth, but then when we were getting closer to Kristiansand, there were roadworks (of course), and the traffic slowed down to 50-60 km/h. So, that made our travel time a little bit longer, that Google maps hadn’t taking in to consideration giving the total travel time LOL!

We were driving quite a long time before we came onto better roads again. But, the speed limit was pendling between 50 to 80 km/h due to very bendy roads and at some places narrow. And the tunnels!!! Gosh, I completely lost counting of them all. Beside me himself were doing a lot of oh’s and ah’s and snapping like mad with his camera. The truth is that driving through Norway has that effect on you. Because no matter where you go, there’s always something spectacular showing up. You can drive through a tunnel, and when you come out on the other side you are greeted by a view that simply take your breath away. I have said it many times, and will say it again – Norway is one of my favourite countries, the landscape is fabulous! With all the hills, mountains and the fjords!! Absolutely AWESOME!

Anyway, when we had been driving for a good while and still had some two hours left til our destination Stavanger. This view came into play, we simply had to stop to take some snap, I did not care about the driving time. At this stage we had been on the roads for some 7 hours. But close to 9PM we finally arrived to our destination and the hotel we would be staying at for some nights.

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Stavanger is the capital of oil and is located on the south west coast of Norway. It is a typical harbour town, with beautiful buildings as you see in this photo. And, most of the houses were made in wood and the design was very interesting. I can say that I fell in love with this town, and it is here all the seriously gorgeous fjords starts. On our second day we went out on a boat trip up to Lysefjorden which was an hour away by boat. Lysefjorden is 42 km long but we would only travel 15 km in.

Norway is a big Viking country, many viking kings were from here and lived here. And you can get the idea when looking at the pictures above, there is a lot of water and those high cliffs are just amazing. All along the fjord the cliff raised some 1000m, it was absolutely fantastic. The landscape is very dramatic, and if you look into the horizon, there are layers upon layers of mountains, and they sort of differ in colour. From being darker in the foreground, and becoming more shady/smokey as further you see. The boat took us all into the cliff walls, and they played (at a few places) beautiful music by Edvard Grieg, he has written some beautiful classical music. And the music made the places even more dramatic, and there was an echo going around the high walls.

We made an interesting visit to some friends that were standing at the shore waiting for us, there were a few goats being at the green hills that were close to the water. We drove all the way in to say hello, and the crew threw some carrots to them which they happily accepted. The boat took us some 15 km in the fjord itself until we reached a waterfall that were cascading water out from the cliffs and the sound was defening but so beautiful. The boat drove us all the way into it, and it was just aaaaaa….so beautiful! We eventually arrived back into the harbour again to continue our sightseeing through the town.

One thing though, in Norway everything is ferosiously expensive, but it was worth it.  In my next post I will write about our journey back to the east coast again, it was the journey of our lives, so stay tuned…!

~A happy traveller~