A Box of Chocolates
In researching local art history at Ringsveen, I came across the painter Frederik Collett (1839–1914), known for his winter landscapes realized along the Mesna River. Collett had commissioned a local company specializing in the construction of railway wagons to help him create mobile studios based on his own drawings. These studios included a heating element, which enabled Collett to work in situ in front of the motif, even under harsh winter conditions.
I also began to experiment with my studio situation outdoors. For Christmas I had received a box of Kong Haakon chocolates. As it happened, the precut boards that I used for painting outside were the exact dimensions of the box’s interior. I could use it both for transportation and as an easel by attaching it to a tree. This convenient solution allowed me to go on longer excursions into the forest and up along the Mesna River.
Like Collett, I became fascinated with painting water. The box acted as a framing device, which also produced a type of distance from the surrounding landscape. The border allowed for a more concentrated view on the painting itself and made me focus on particular details in the landscape. The extra linseed oil that I had added on cold days to avoid the paint from getting too thick allowed for more fluid brush marks now as it had gotten warmer. Studying the river had a hypnotizing effect. The constant repetition of forms and movements in the water stood in contrast to the snow standing still on the surrounding riverbed. The snow in this case fixed the position of the picture and acted like a frame itself. This separation contributed to an ongoing simplification of the motif, giving the paintings another type of formal appearance.
 See Ingrid Blekastad, Naturalisten Frederik Collett (Oslo: Lillehammer Kunstmuseum, 1997).