For the oldest and first posts they start at the bottom. That way the newest will be always at top, like a blog ;)
Commitment to a better World
Today I made the commitment to use profits from my art and photography to help different causes. This way if you order a calendar or sign up for a shoot or purchase any artwork you also will be helping out a cause other than just helping a poor artist. 15% of all my profits, donations for art/photography I'll use to donate to the Plastic Bank(poverty and plastic clean up), the Ocean Cleanup (large plastic clean up system), missionaries working in unreached people groups that also help with literacy in their own languages(Christianity and literacy, development), A21(freeing slavery and human trafficking) and International Justice Mission. (Freeing Slavery and human trafficking). If you want to make a request how the money you spend on an order goes I'll try to honour wishes. On orders if you wish to add extra donations in order to support these causes I'll give a bigger percent per requests. Donations for my Svalbard trip are available on GoFundMe and PayPal is also an option. I'll calculate 15% of my previous sales also to make small donations to these different organisations. I'll also accept donations for staying in igloos I'll make this winter. The paintings I've made and sold before will be a bit harder to calculate, sorry.
My Time in Peru
The Region I Explored
My flights were arduous and long.
it was the same about both ways with starting in Ålesund, -> Amsterdam -> Panama -> Lima -> Cusco. 19 hours in Panama on the way there and 10 on the way back, the Flight over the atlantic took 10 hours. But Flying with KLM is quite nice.
While in Peru I stayed in a little town called Yanahuara which is in Sacred valley close to Urubamba. About an hour away from Cusco. Many get altitude sickness in Cusco and when traveling over the mountains from Cusco to Sacred valley where Cusco is at 3300 meters and going over the mountains we approached pretty close to 4000 meters altitude.
Downtown Machu Picchu
Today april 29 I spent 4 hours cleaning up 3 big bags og plastic worth.
doing my part to help this world be a better place to live.
The Creative Process of Creating Art
To make great artwork an artist usually needs to be systematic and not just impulsively slap paint on the canvas. There are some exceptions but I'm working on a new piece so I thought I would share the process. This process can be transfered also to photography.
Step 1: Decide on an idea
Step 2: sketch at least 2 or three compositions or variants
Step 3: Transfer to media platform
Step 4: Decide on order of Execution
Step 5: Execute
Step 6: Tweak, fine tune, critique and get feedback, and repeat.
Step 1: So this time I was planning on painting a nightscapes but took a look through my old sketchbooks to see if there were any ideas I haven't used yet. I struck gold in my archives and found a depiction and symbol of fleeing temptation/snares and escaping depression.
It was soldier flying away from a dragon symbolizing my fight of escaping depression and the power I have in christ to escape the evil ones.
In the bible we are given the helmet of salvation, belt of truth, shield of faith, boots of peace, breastplate of righteousness and the sword of the spirit. That shows the importance of protection and putting up safeguards and not only relying on offensive strategies. There are many depictions of the battlefield in the spiritual realm. So I have found my idea/concept for my next artpiece.
Step 2:So I found an old sketch of my concept but I cant trust that impulsive sketch to be the best composition for my idea. Therefore I need to sketch different patterns, poses and compositions to figure out the best way to convey my Idea, make it more interesting or grabbing. I might even show it to someone else to get input from someone not too close to the project and once a design is chosen I will transfer it to the canvas.
Step 3: Transferring it a canvas, paper or computer sketch can be prove hard especially if you want to keep the same composition or proportions as your sketch. Free handing this stage can be hard to do successfully and this stage you might walk back and forth and use your finger or pencil to measure distances in order to blow it up larger. You might trace it or maybe use a type of projector. I dont have a projector so I had to eyeball and free hand it, but didn't manage to successfully do it on my first try, So I had to start over with a blank canvas and draw it again. This time I got it right so I can start the next phase.
Step 4: In order to not ruin parts I've already painted and make sure the layers overlap in the correct way I plan how to texturize and color my background. I still need to see my reference sketch underneath of my soldier and dragon in this case so I can't just paint over my sketch. The Dragon is behind the soldier and therefore will have to paint it first and the soldier last.
Step 5: Then I can start with the various layers and also work from simplest tasks to the more precise movements later.
Step 6: is usually the most annoying because it can drag a project out much longer and doesn't make huge changes but some small tweaks can make all the difference. So though annoying is the most important stage and might even mean repeating part of steps 3-6. Because even after some tweaks are made you might need to make even more, redo or undo something. Sometime you might even take a break from a art piece and try not looking at it for a few hours or days so that when you come back you can see the mistakes and things you can do better, more easily.
For photography I would substitute step 3 and 4 as planning the light and poses and the order of shots in the photoshoot. and step 6 would be retouching but still getting feedback and tweaks.
Its not a great graphic but more of sketch that I hope you like anyway and get reminded of the reason for the season. I hope you find yourself at a service preaching the message of easter or worship praising him for the resurrection.
If you dont celebrate the holiday i wish you experience joy and peace anyways hope you didn't feel any disrespect.
Empty Cross, Empty Grave, but full of Grace
Making an Igloo
So I have successfully managed to make a complete igloo.
It took two tries. So I had to wait two weeks in between attempts and the first attempt I was with my brother David and a friend Per Håvard. Then on my second attempt it was with Per Håvard and his wife Marie.
You can see the gallery with BTS pictures and of the other beautiful scenes around the igloo. Making-an-igloo which the slideshow is from.
We made them right next to one another and the first one was hidden when we arrived at our location on Frostadtinden in Skogje Kommune. The first attempt the walls helped protect us against the wind but not much warmth since there wasn't a roof. Our foundation was also quite big and went straight up so it made it hard to arch it inwards. So in our second attempt we slanted right away and made it smaller. At the beginning having a team is very helpful to have different posts making blocks, shaping blocks and then placing blocks. In a smaller Igloo 3 might be too many.
Before both expeditions I looked at tutorials which I'll link here.
Basically we need to start with a circle smaller than 3 meters diameter. With the first row start with as big blocks as you can. 50x40x20 is a good start and try to keep that same size for the next layer too and then go smaller as you work towards to the roof closing. At the beginning try to slant the block ever so slightly inwards and the the layers afterwards try to slant more and more. You should even the top of the blocks of the first layer before you start the next layer. After you completed the first layer cut an incline on several blocks so that you continue the first layer on top to start the second layer and make a spiral upwards and inwards. By the time you get to the third layer I would suggest having a 60º to 45º inwards so that you will manage to build a roof and close the top. The last row and the last piece becomes a type of puzzle but you shouldn't start the next piece until the piece before it manages to stand on its own and that happens by beveling the edges and having the pressure on the previous block. That is where a knife or machete come in very helpful to make the pieces fit nicely together. My machete has a small saw on the backside which is extra helpful sometimes.
I was inspired to do this trip from some videos I saw from Svalbard and even thought I couldn't travel to Svalbard yet this was a way for me to pretend I was in the winter wonderland up there.
It's a few years old but still inspires me on several levels the expedition I saw from the eclipse in 2015. Solar Eclipse in Svalbard
At the moment I dont have funds to go there but I really hope I can visit it before the glaciers and landscape up there forever change and it is no longer sustainable for the polar bears. If you want to help me visit the Arctic Archipelago. You can donate Funds to GoFundMe or via PayPal. I'd like to visit this summer or fall but maybe will have to put it off until I have funds so there sooner I have money to visit Svalbard the Sooner I can take the Photos before the Snow and Ice melts.
Trip and lessons learned
Both Trips were exhausting for me but also left me feeling refreshed and wanting more. It was my second and third trip up a mountain in snowshoes and was really challenging for me. My first trip with snowshoes I didn't take my camera or other luggage as it was tough enough and I needed to just practice first. These trips to make the Igloo I had my camera bag, 75l backpack with other stuff strapped outside and ascending roughly 600meters. If I was in better form I would've taken more with me as well. Such as extra watertight shoes and maybe something small sitting pad for my knees while working long hours on the show. Even "watertight" clothes and equipment wasn't always good enough when working with snow for so many hours. Drying clothes in minus degrees isn't very easy. This second trip I got more things wet because of precipitation coming down this time and the temperature was just around freezing and snow was melting and freezing.
Building the entrance is nice to do but should really start from inside and then work outside and dont start until you have one or two layers of blocks so that you get a strong foundation at first. Though having a big entrance is nice for getting in and out making a big entrance should be a priority after most of igloo is finished.
snowshoes/skis, staffs, gloves (and extra gloves, watertight, warm, thick and thin), watertight footwear, watertight clothing, fleece, wool full-body underwear, 2 or more extra pairs of wool socks, winter sleeping bag, sleeping mattress against cold ground, tarp, sitting pad, buff, tute, candles, camping stove, machete, knife, saw, shovels (if you can bring a big one as well as a small one, eating utensils, cups, thermoses (to keep drinking water from freezing), food, snacks, coffee, water, gas, matches, lighter, phone, powerbank, handwarmers, toothbrush and paste, sunglasses, extra-warm sweater.
If you want to work all at the same time bring a machete, shovel and saw per person.
Of course you can bring more but those are things you really should try to take with you.
Inside finished Igloo
The evening when I finished it was nice and warm inside but throughout the night the candles went out and my body warmth wasn't enough for the whole igloo. Make sure to make a vent or two and maybe more if the air quality is bad inside but be careful not to make to many right away. Candles should help warm up the air as well as provide light so you wont need to use your flashlight too much. Got any questions dont be afraid to take contact or hit me up on instagram or facebook and I'll try to get back to you asap.
Blogs and interviews, Connect with me
There is still a lot of work to transfer things to my website and make it more interactive and this will be a journey for me. So be patient but I think if you are still here than you are. ;)
So I thought I would share two interviews I've had with Phoblographer.
They are a great organisation if you want to get inspiration, photography news, gear reviews and tutorials.
My first is about my astroscapes "Iwan Groot's Astroscapes Beautifully Capture the Night Sky"
The Second "Capturing Better Landscape Photos with Iwan Groot"
Norway Travel Guide is great if you want to find locals, activities or trips here in norway and
I have several blog posts and information on my profile there if you want to check that out.
And you can find at youtube a interview from a local in spanish with subtitles Aurora Boreal about my experiences and advice with aurora hunting.
My next Blogpost will probably be about my attempts at building igloos.
Till next time, Thank you for reading.
Welcome to my Blog
Thank you for taking the time to visit the blog part of my website. Its still a trial run but I'm hoping it will take the place of social media platforms and for those that want to connect with my work, projects and updates you will be able to visit my website.
I'll spare you the details of my background since you can read about that in my about page.
Im a christian, trying to do my part of reflecting Jesus to others and also bring awareness to climate change and other forms of pollution because i believe we have a duty to be good stewards of the earth we live in.
Even before the fall God put us to work to take care of the earth. Gen 1.28, 2.15.
If you would like to help donate to my adventure to Svalbard by adding funds to GoFundMe.
Thanks for now, and Talk to you later.