• Per Ove Sleen

  • STUDIO45

    Studio45 is a one man outfit supplying art illustrations and design on a high and professional level. Besides publishing all sorts of art and graphics (print & web), I also write, perform and publish music. Studio45 Produces and publishes graphic novels and subsequent video productions of the same novels for web and the commercial print market. Podcast and vidcast are in the workings.
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South Atlantic groove party in Bar Central El Paso

Last night I went out to have some fun with a friend, and we decided to go to Bar central and watch VRANDÁN play African inspired salsa and Latin.
A good Idea I must admit. That band was cooking and burning hot. In other words, we loved it.

Vrandan-in-Bar-Central_El-Paso_La-Palma

Vrandan-in-Bar-Central_El-Paso_La-Palma

Another reason I went to see the band, is that the guitarplayer Jonny Acosta is a guy I already have met and heard.
I like his playing and hes real good.

Jonny Acosta on guitar with Vrandan-in-Bar-Centra

Jonny Acosta on guitar with Vrandan-in-Bar-Centra

Jonny Acosta on guitar with Vrandan-in-Bar-Centra

Jonny Acosta on guitar with Vrandan-in-Bar-Centra

 

They did a real good concert and it was obvious that people was having a good time.
My man Benno did a brilliant job on the sound. He hit it right off without a minute of sound check……I mean that’s extreme sport.
Go benno Go Go!

Benno Knauer doing sound for Vrandan

Benno Knauer doing sound for Vrandan

 

It was well worth the 5 eoro they charged at the door.
Thank you guys and gals for a brilliant night.
The only thing on the minus side was nobody in Bar Central knew how to serve tequila, but then again they were only two girls running the whole bar alone with only the cook to help, and he was even more stressed out with everybody ordering food.
The food in Bar Central is an experience to itself.
If you ever find yourself in El Paso La Palma, you should treat yourself to a snack or two here. Prices are very nice and the food and the service is major good.
Now that’s it folks, I’ll be back tomorrow…..see’ya

Excited about too many things at the same time

One thing keeps me grounded and grinding these days, and that`s my graphic novel “The St Pauli Blues”.
I am like a horse pulling a wagon. Bent neck, and focused mind, no stop until I am there.

The St Pauli Blues_2010

The St Pauli Blues_2010


I am not just a little bit proud. First I spent a year and a few month doing a graphic novel about Europe under Napoleon, then I scratched it (will pick it up again at a later stage) due to low quality art and script.
But one learn as one goes along (hopefully), so then I did a spell of 10 month where I only drew.
I went on for at least 12 hours each day.
Doodles and sketches I did during the training and experiment period

Doodles and sketches I did during the training and experiment period


For this period I played around with techniques, materials and tools.
I did just abut anything I could come up with in order to achieve the look and feel I was aiming for.
In the first 9 month I worked strictly with paper, pencils, ink pens, ink and brushes on everything from the finest drawing paper to scraps and bits I`ve found all over the place. I must have gone through every ink pen brand ever imported to Norway. I ended up a little different though. Because I couldn`t figure out how to get it scanned in to Photoshop without a loss of ink line quality.
So after scratching my head for a while, I went back to trying a tiny wacom tablet (A6) with only pressure sensitivity and nothing else. I am positive this tool was mostly meant for retouching photos, and not for drawing and painting

Wacom Graphire4 A6

Wacom Graphire4 A6

But as you can see, It has actually served me well so fare, but I am getting trouble with my arm and elbow.
So I am bound for a new and bigger one…

One of the first pictures I redrew, before I went ahead and inked everything over again for the 4th or 5th time. But it payed off, Now I am finally getting somewhere

One of the first pictures I redrew, before I went ahead and inked everything over again for the 4th or 5th time. But it payed off, Now I am finally getting somewhere

One very cool thing is that now I paint whole panels in one go, as opposed to before where I did single pictures (pencil first and then inked over on a new better paper with help of a light table…home made one) and composited them in Adobe InDesign. I save a lot of time like this.
I still do the sketches and pencils on paper one by one, then I stick together a muckup of all the ones on one panel and this becomes the sketch layer that I ink over in Photoshop.
Here is an example, It`s actually the first one I did as one whole page/panel.
It is without text and speech bubbles yet

Panel 27

Panel 27

These days it is rather hot, and I have slowed down a lot. But I also think this is due to the fact that I keep going back and improving stuff all the time, and it is only getting more stuff to improve on all the time.
Also my son And I are doing some travelling these days. Just scooting around in the car to get some change of environment. Staying in little hotels and such.
Last weekend we went to Oslo and saw my old busking friends and that bunch, it was a gas.

Ivan-&-Lawrence

An old friend and busker Lawrence Glaister & My son Ivan to the right

The photo above was shot during last weekend in Oslo.
Same goes for the six pictures I used to stick together the Photoshop manipulation beneath.
I turned them in to a Oslo post card.

Oslo-S

A Photoshop picture made out of six single shots

Now that was it for today, but I promise not to update as seldom as I have lately.
I am contemplating getting myself some server space and a real web name for my little outfit, so keep your eyes peeled and come along as I move, don`t miss out on all the fun here in Studio45.

Per Ove Sleen

Oslo a London in miniature?

To say Oslo is a small copy of London is more than just a fare stretch…It’s..it’s…ok it’s just to get people to read this post OK!?

Oslo City

So let’s get down to it :-)

Thursday was the highpoint of my holiday so fare. It was such a great and exciting day.
I met a lot of nice people and had long conversations, and I shot a full chip’o great pix.
But the absolutely wildest thing that day was me finding an ART SCHOOL! totally different from anything I’ve ever heard off.

“Strykejernet” Art school entrance

All my life I wanted to study art, but it never came too for various reasons.
The traditional art institutions has a much to rigid and “set in stone” attitude towards art creation and exposure for my taste.
The way the traditional art schools have dealt with the digitization of the art world, also leaves a lot to wish for.
After having employed a few artists out of the traditional educational system here in Norway a few years ago, I am more than a little shocked about how little they were capable of.
My impression is that our educational system are run by idealists, but it doesn’t work out the way it should.
They teach their students how it could and should have been (according to their “out of touch with the real world” philosophy), but in reality things are slightly different.
This render the students unprepared for the world that meets them when they leave the protective cocoon that a school is in many ways.

The school I found on Thursday does things a bit different, and the guy who runs the school (according to Eivind and Synniva) is himself a working and practicing artist.
I would presume this sees too it that things are a bit closer to reality, and makes what one learns a lot more valuable.

The school is called “Strykejernet”.
That’s Norwegian and means “The Iron” ( an iron as for ironing your shirt).

The school was brought to my attention simply by the fact that the buildings it resides in are decorated by the students with some of the coolest graffiti I ever saw.

This was the first and longest
wall of art I saw

I was just strolling along the river and decided to leave the path along the river and cross through town towards “Karl Johan’s Gate” and the “Busker’s pitch” to see if any of my busking friends was working at the time.

The river. Check the broken
trunk in the river. It was torn
of by lightening firing hundreds
of lightening strikes as quick
as a machine gun, breaking
hundreds of trees and branches
of trees.

I left the path through “Brenneriveien” and walked right in to a revelation…sort of.

Brenneriveien

There were the most incredible graffiti covering every inch of wall in sight.
My jaw dropped, and there is most likely still a dent in the asphalt were I stood.
I started taking pictures, and before to long I ran in to people and was dragged up in to this network of contemporary art.

I just love this urban guerrilla
sort of statement art.

“Strykejernet” is situated in “Brenneriveien” smack in the center of Oslo, and as such a natural place to take off from the river if you are strolling along “Akerselva”.

The moment you step in to the street you realize you’ve entered something very different.

If this isn’t the coolest…
A cutout

Dead end graffiti

There’s a lot of cultural related activities and business going down here, and also one of Oslo’s best profiled and most used alternative music/art/poetry clubs “Blå” is also situated here in this visual explosion of a street.
I also ran in to a small streak of luck.
I met two people that was really nice and including in their way.
They could tell me a lot about the school and how it is run.
One of them have been studying there for 1 year, and she was head over heels about the school and it’s facilities.

Eivind….a house friend and enthusiastic
advocate of the school so to speak

Synniva … A very promising student
of this
noble institution

I stayed and conversed with these two young ones for a good six hours, and I must say it was some of the most pleasant conversation I’ve had for very long time.
Before I knew, it was 23:00 and i had to go.
But I will call the numbers they gave me, and see if I might enroll in the program a year for starters.

Before all this I also had a long and relaxed stroll through the “Grunerlokka” part of Oslo.

“Markveien” on “Grunerløkka”

It’s an area that was built in the late nineteenth century, and has a very nice Victorian feel to its architecture.

Victorian inspired architecture on
“Grunerløkka”

Every two blocks you have beautiful little parks with grass and trees casting shade.
The parks were originally planned in to the city structure back then, and have been kept in the same style.

“Olaf Rhyes Plass” is one of the many
parks on “Grunerløkka”

It’s beautiful and very pleasant. Each park covers a block both ways.

This part of town was made with people in mind, and it is a perfect place for interacting with people. It beats the internet any old time.

Two young people enjoying the urban room

20 years ago you could buy very cheap real estate in this area, and a some of my friends made very good money buying flats for around 60 000,- (Norwegian kroner) and sold again 15 years later for 2 mill.(Norwegian kroner).

On the left one can see old buildings
that have been plastered up to get a
contemporary look…looks nice I think,
but too expencive.

Today this part of Oslo has been ruined sort of, by real estate developers.
Most of the original little shops and bars with personality and flair are gone.
In their place we get expensive, classy and hip coffee shops, disco, bars, night clubs and high fashion clothes and shoe stores.
And of course the price ore the rent fee of a flat is no longer realistic for average people.
But the place is still beautiful, and you can find decent places to eat, drink and shop.

“Markveien” on “Grunerløkka”

One of these special and very personal joints is a shop with the name “Birkelundens Lille Ostebutikk”, a cheese shop situated in “Thorvald Meyers gate”.

Cheese in “Markveien”

It’s in a bright and inviting little local with two storefront windows and an entrench.
In front of the shop there’s little tables and and chairs were you can sit and enjoy the nice and very special atmosphere this part of town has to offer.
And don’t forget the parks are for free, and so is the view.

Lots of atmosphere

They offer a small taste of heaven here in front of the store.
You can sample cheese, wine and even patè while sitting outside on the sidewalk enjoying the sight of young and lightly dressed people in this most beautiful part of town.
It is not an old shop with long traditions, but the concept as such is aimed at giving the impression of old traditions and well tested methods.
As such it is very well executed, both visually and conceptually.

A very cozy little shop

The people involved in this project seam to be very skilled in their trade, and determined to make the absolutely best facility possible under circumstances given.
If you find yourself in the surrounding of Oslo with a little time to spear, don’t let this opportunity pass you by…

On my stroll through Oslo and Grunerløkka I found the board shop “King of the hill Longboardshop”

“King Of The Hill Longboardshop”

The boarding scene is something that has made it’s presence more visible in the urban picture over the last 20 years.
Before that it was more of a underground phenomena.
It still remains a underground thing through that some of the people involved in the scene are very much anarchists, dope smokers, alternative life stylists and onwards in that general direction.
These people very often romanticizes the outlaw side of it.
Even though I personally think there is a stigma attached to the scene that never really was a true picture of the whole thing, and that most kids riding boards are cool and nice people like most of us.

I am also sort of drawn to this scene, even though I am shit scared of riding boards :-)
but as a designer and artist I am intrigued by the whole visual part of it, and I am also a sort of anarchistic directed person in many ways.

Oslo is a very divers town with a lot of environmental variations.
The population has also become international, colorful and diverse. This contributes to the all over fell of being a globally conscious city, were people care about each other and their city.

I can easily see myself spending a year ore two studying and working here.
Even though there is a huge difference between Oslo in summer and Oslo in wintertime.
In the winter Oslo is as cold and heartless as any old city, but I do have my family not too fare away when stationed in Norway.

After I departed from the art school I went down to the “busker’s pitch” on “Egertorvet” on Oslo’s main shopping and boozing street “Karl Johan’s gate”.

One of the facades towards “Egertorvet”
on “Karl Johan’s Gate”

It was late, but I could hear Doc beating out those low down blues riffs.
You could hear him thumping out his rock’n roll gospel from three blocks away.
It was a mighty picture with that old street giant up against the lit Oslo Castle.
It touches an old anarchists heart to see this king of underground entrepreneurs, as a victory statue against the last remains of a feudal past.

Dr Harmonica

Lance Wakely it says in his passport, but on the streets of Europe, Asia and US of A he goes by the noble name/title of Dr. Harmonica. And that ladies and gangsters, is a tittle earned the hard way.

Dr Harmonica on Karl Johan’s Gate 2008

Doc has been a steady guest in Oslo and also the rest of Norway just about every year since the late 70’s.
We will do a later post on Lance on a future busker’s blog ore web page.
There will also be future possibilities to hear Doc’s music.
Lawrence and I are still anticipating doing a podcast, and Doc would of course be a very sought after interview object for us in that context.
Doc’s been there and done it all, I know for a fact he’s got lots of great memories and anecdotes he could share with us if he chooses to do so.
It’s worth it to hook up too our feed just for that….so don’t be stranger’s my beloved and apreciated reader (‘s …?).

I met two more old friends on “Karl Johan’s gate” namely Jim Pizza an old and good friend who spends his time busking and traveling the world

Jim Pizza

I also met another friend that I just met on the busker’s festival up om Beitostølen last year.
I only remember his first name, it’s also Jim.
But I do remember he plays a mean guitar.

“Jim Guitar”

Motty was there as well

Motty

POS

Oslo, Friends, Photosession and low down Blues

There has been some lazy nice days lately.
We’ve put the vid on hold for a spell, and concentrate on getting everything ready for a problem free release for the first and long awaited Tassili album at the end of the summer or in the fall.

Tassili

I’ve had time to take a look at were my friend Nina Schliemann lives these days.
Nina is a very talented photographer among others (she is also a very accomplished singers/composers in her own rights and a good graphic designer), and as such Ketil and I agreed it would be a great input to the project if Nina did the “Band photos” (also to be used in many other contexts), so Ketil hired her.
We all met yesterday in “Noa’s Ark” (long time since I had a client meeting in a bar :-) at the very top of “Grunerløkka”.
Nina took us down to the river (Akerselva) only a few 100 meter from the bar.
To be smack in the middle of a capitol city (OK one of the smaller ones), this river is something special.

Ketil & Izza

The photographer in deep
concentration

Nina are readying Ketil
for the shot

Like most cities around the world, Oslo has grown up around a river that runs the total length of the city.
Most modern cites today have these old waterways and power suppliers covered up for the most part, but Oslo not so.
You can actually follow the river all the way over land, and the entire stretch has for the most part trees and nature around it.
It is a genuine piece of nature, a green lounge in the middle of the city that continues way in to the deep Norwegian woods before it becomes hundreds of little creeks and streams.
There for us all to enjoy.

Akerselva… the river in the city

You can even catch fish there now after they cleaned it up I’ve been told.
Most of the old industry that used the river for power supply and as a waste dump, are gone and the buildings are either torn down ore in many cases they have been fixed up and are now used for different cultural purposes and/ore rented out as very expensive office space.
Akerselva is a beautiful piece of Oslo that you experience the best on foot.

I stayed with Nina and the guys for an hour and shot a few dents in my chip as well. Some for later press package maybe, and then I shot a few of the occasion as such ( for you my readers only), then I had to split for an appointment.
Later I ran in to Nina, Ketil and Izza again down by the “Eventyrbrua” where they were doing some last shots.
I am looking very much forward to see the results of Nina’s work.
Everybody seemed to have had a nice and relaxed few hours together (I can state that for the time I was ther), if just a fragment of the good vibes from this afternoon photo session are captured on chip…it was all worth it.
I’ll post as soon as I can lay my hands on those pix….

Before I left from down “Buskers pitch” on Karljohans gate Lance “Doc Harmonica” Wakley rolled in on his blues rig, But my camera was at my room by then so I didn’t get a shot that day.
Nina did though, so I got one from her..
Doc is something else and must be seen as well as heard.

As I write this it is about 00:50 here in Oslo it is still nice and bright outside, so I think I’ll just curl up and call it a day…It’s been a long one…see’ya.

POS