Orela Vokes

Category: sea

To the Lighthouse

I’m writing the final essays for my literature course at the moment and one of the books I’m studying is Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. It reminded me of this painting I made when I was little – one of those ones where you paint on half the paper and then squish the other side onto it creating a mirror image. For a long time I saw it as an apple, then a ribcage, but for the last decade or so it’s been a lighthouse.

The Lighthouse


Happy New…Zealand!

A few days ago I returned to Sweden from New Zealand, where I spent three weeks visiting my sister and her family. I watched breathtaking sunsets, felt a storm howling around me, gazed in wonder at the night sky, was bitten by a hedgehog, pecked by an ostrich, saw giraffes and monkeys, petted alpacas and goats, was entertained by my niece’s tall tales and dances, and charmed by my nephew’s smiles. I  swam in the sea on Christmas day, found masses of beautiful shells, drank loads of coffee and red wine, and ate the most delicious seafood.

Here’s hoping that 2015 brings even more joyful times. Happy New Year!

Waiheke from plane window

Summer – Swedish style

I haven’t posted for a whole month so I thought it was high time for an update! I have been spending the Summer working hard and playing hard. My job as a cleaner is far from glamourous but I’m really enjoying it. I travel all over Gothenburg and the neighbouring counties and get to see all sorts of interesting things. It’s very physical work which feels great after months of sitting at a desk studying. As for the playing hard…well, I’m fully embracing the Swedish outdoorsy-culture; with weather this fantastic it would be crazy not to! I’ve cycled to the sea, swam in lakes, walked in forests, picked wild raspberries, and tried to befriend almost every animal I’ve come into contact with, from wild hares to affection-hungry cats (okay, that last one might be a me-thing rather than a Swedish thing).

Summer '14 1

Summer '14 2

Summer '14 3

Summer '14 4

Summer '14 5

Summer '14 6


Full of the Joys of Spring

Spring has well and truly sprung here in Gothenburg, and I am in love with the city. I take the tram to uni, and the short walk to the tramstop and then up to the humanities campus makes me so happy as I pass the most beautiful trees and flowers. At the weekend I went out to the islands, just me and a book and the sun, sky and sea. Perfect.

Kortedala Torg





Stormy Sea

I miss the sea, both in  real life and in my paintings. There was a time,  long ago, when I was obsessed with painting waves and surf and spray, and now I remember why. It’s finally got really cold and snowy here so outdoor painting will have to wait until the Spring but I can still take a trip to the islands and get some sea-views before then.

Stormy Sea


The falling leaves and cold, cold nights show that Autumn is definitely here again and the last twelve months seem to have passed particularly quickly. This time last year I was painting naked trees in coppery colours but thanks to a late Summer holiday in Portugal I still have sunshine, blue skies and sparkling seas on my mind.

Faro 1

Faro 2

Faro 3

Every Sight Leaves a Trace

So here are a few images from the “Art Around the Corner” exhibition – a panoramic view of my space and close-ups of my favourite pieces.

AATC exhibition



Sad Words EP

Erik is playing an anti-racism event here in Gothenburg tomorrow and as I was gathering up some Last Box of Sparklers CDs I remembered that I hadn’t posted the artwork for the latest EP, Sad Words. (Last Box of Sparklers – Sad Words E.P.) Erik and I both had some pretty clear ideas of what we wanted to incorporate, including bubbles and the colour blue. Painting the sea and sky and experimenting with different techniques to create a bubble effect took a few days but the whole process was much quicker this time as I worked with the same layout I’d created for the first EP.

Sad Words front

Sad Words back

Night Owl

One of my favourite things is to stay up late doing art stuff and listening to music. It’s almost as good as snuggling up in bed. Tonight I’m working with a lot of blue.