Furu|vandring = pine (fir) tree | wandering

Artists in Residence, Folldal hosted a furuvandring this spring. The evening event took place near my house, and I decided to walk there. It was raining hard as I prepared my hiking pack, and I wondered what I had gotten myself into. The skies cleared before I was five minutes into my walk, and I removed my rain poncho for a summery stroll.

I left early so I could do some exploring. I found big bumblebees happily buzzing around in tiny white blueberry flowers and big fluffy willow catkins. I followed sheep and moose trails as I wound over bogs and through birch forests. Some were new, some I know like the back of my hand. I wound my way up, around, and back down the mountain, trying to stay in the sunshine. 

photograph: white clouds over blue mountains. trees on hill in foreground. Over the Mountain: Rondane, Norway. Photograph ©2022 Marie Preston
Over the Mountain: Rondane, Norway ©2022 Marie Preston

My friend Nini invited me to this event. She was the only person I knew in the group, so I took a deep breath as the first car pulled into the parking lot. I reminded myself that I didn’t need to impress anyone. I told myself that Nini already knows and loves me, and she’s a newcomer to Folldal, too. We were here for a stroll and a chat about fir trees, two things I enjoy. 

And that’s what we did. We had a lovely evening talking about trees—what they mean to us, how they grow, why we paint them. The artist in residence, Bodil, paints fir trees and attended the evening adventure. She spoke about her creative process and where she finds inspiration.

We each found our own tree(s) to sit and admire. Some of us looked at roots, some focussed on branches, one of us climbed the fir tree of the day. We drew, we shared, we drank tea and ate biscuits. We nodded our heads in agreement as others told their stories about the evening’s creations and the trees that inspired them. 

Together: Two Trees. Pastel & pencil drawing ©2022 Marie Preston
Together: Two Trees. Pastel & pencil drawing ©2022 Marie Preston

As the event came to a close, we said our thank-yous and goodbyes. The others turned left toward the parking lot. I turned right, walking home into the late sunset. I had new friends, fellow furuvandrer, here in this tiny mountain town I currently call home.

My new friends are helping me learn and grow. I’ll be the artist in residence in Folldal this autumn. You can purchase my artwork at Nini’s local art shop, Hjertefryd.

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Published by Outspoken Images by Marie Warner Preston

Creating illustrations for sustainability, stewardship, and science communication.

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