Painting the Canvas Green – A Painter on Tour

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Part of our current package holidays include a trip to Andøya to visit Spaceship Aurora and Jill was the first guest we took.

This was a fitting last day to her trip spent with us. Having been so lucky with the lights it was great for her to have some perspective on what causes them and the folklore surrounding them. We had grown very fond of Jill. Aurora had picked up some art tips (me too) and they had all been spoilt by her buying them magazines and activity books. We were really looking forward to seeing her art work in full colour. So far we had been treated to some sketches which were awesome too but the lights need the colour to capture their energy.

As I’m publishing this so long after her stay I can actually include her paintings… What can I say about that? Life over the last year has just had a habit of bundling me along with it and this blog very much got left behind. Still… better late than never at all I suppose. It’s the best I can do anyway! So here are just a few paintings that Jill has produced of the aurora and amazing scenery. Click the small pictures to see them larger.

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Aren’t they just beautiful? She has absolutely captured the swirling movement of a fast display! The power and energy of bright light sweeping across the sky. A photograph often doesn’t do it justice but I feel these paintings do. It’s so hard to get the blend of colour and yet definition of detail just right. Jill has definitely done it and faultlessly too! Jill’s landscape paintings of the amazing locations we took her to are also equally amazing!

What I found fascinating in her aurora paintings was watching how when sketching she seemed to concentrate on the darker areas of the sky before the actual areas of aurora. When she transferred those into paintings it was a similar process. The detail of the dark areas makes the lights come alive off the canvas. Almost like they bounce out at you off the page.

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Check out her Facebook page to see paintings from her many travels to, well, everywhere! We hope you can find time to come back and visit us again Jill. Maybe we need to show you the Midnight sun next. 🙂

Martin and DaOnne called by for coffee and cake on their way past our house to Lofoten and we wished them well on their journey. We stayed in touch with them after they left and we were so very saddened to hear that Marvin lost his fight to cancer a few months after their trip to Norway. Our heart went out to DaOnne and the rest of their family in the United States. Marvin was a true inspiration to so many with his artistic photography and his loss will be deeply felt.


There were no Northern Lights for us that night. Sitting out under a beautiful moon with crushed diamonds sparkling all around is almost as good. There is something very calming about the crisp, cold nights where everything is so still. You feel so small, insignificant and yet a tiny part of something so massive! The fairy sparkle just adds to the magic moment. Its one of those sights that makes you do a double take and feel like there is nowhere else you would rather be in that moment.

It’s not always necessary to have the Northern Lights join you. I never thought I would say that but I suppose sitting out under the lights so often and feeling disappointed so often when they don’t arrive you start to appreciate the other things that create the Arctic beauty too. Sometimes just a clear night sky and the moon is enough from Mother Nature.

As we have learnt is often the way those calm, crisp nights can be instantly followed by harsh Arctic storms! And we were in for a corker the following day!

The storm had us mere mortals obscured by thick cloud all night. The activity was up (which was frustrating given the perfect weather the night before) but it makes no difference if you are totally enveloped by thick cloud. No chance of even seeing green cloud just dark, forboding pregnant clouds and a howling wind!

Even more strange was that as we all awoke at 6am to start the following day we looked out into the fjord and could actually see an aurora from our kitchen window! The storm had passed and Aurora (our 11 year old daughter) sat eating her porridge with the Aurora Borealis twinkling outside.


Life here is never dull. Its hard to imagine in just 2.5 months we will all relocate back to the UK. Whilst we are looking forward to seeing all our family and friends we miss, we have made a new life here now too. This makes us even more determined to live a double life, with us living in the UK but journeying from the South back to Vesterålen to run our tours and keep our ties here.

A few people have told us we are crazy to even think we can try to do something so crazy but then again those same people said we wouldn’t survive living the 6 of us in a 21 foot motorhome in the Arctic and beyond for 9 months. Those same people said it was ridiculous to then set the children up in school here for another 9 months. I guess we don’t compute the reality of “we can’t” and prefer to just “give it a go” instead.

What’s the worse that can happen if you follow a dream?

You either have a wild time and some amazing experiences……


you learn from the decisions you make and put them to good use when planning things in the future.

That can never be a failure.

Besides, given the green skies at breakfast, storms by day and sunsets like this one in the evenings how can we possibly just walk away from our new home here in Norway?

We are all certain now that our connection with this beautiful place will never be broken. The Aurora Addicts are here to stay in the land of the Vikings. We still have so many more adventures to have. While our full time life here is drawing closer to its end the next phase of adventure as a family-run tour company is just beginning. How wonderful to say we really enjoy what we do for a job? I mean truly love/eat/breath/become a part of it?

I reckon that makes us the luckiest family on earth!

By | 2017-01-26T14:08:33+00:00 January 30th, 2015|Life Under the Northern Lights|0 Comments

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