Why and Where

In the summer of 2012 I spent some weeks on an old dump in order to do assignment 10 on the SBA (Society of Botanical Artist) Distance Learning Diploma Course, "Working in the Field". An old dump may not seem to be a great place for finding flowers, but this heap of garbage hold some surprises for me.
It was used as a dump between 1938 and 1978, and after that it was sealed with clay and leftovers from construction sites of various kind. Before that it was a bog, but of that nothing remains. And now it is a rather high hill (maybe a hump even) which is used as a ski slope in winter. It’s about 700 * 300 meter wide.
The first time I set foot on this hump was for nearly 20 years, and then it was just a heap of clay and materials and some occasional tires. Nothing was growing there. But as the years passed on the vegetation slowly progressed over the bare wasteland, and now the entire place is covered

It is located in Göteborg, Sweden.

The spot I choose for my assignment 10 was at the south side, next to a small path. Clover, chamomile, buttercup and lots of different kind´s of grass was no surprise to find. Giant Hogweed was also a prominent occupant, taking up lot of room. The Hogweed was one of the main reasons why I devote this place for my assignment in the first place, even if I never succeeded to neither draw nor paint it. It is simply too big.

One day I spotted something blue in the high grass, to my total surprise a find not one, but many, Siberian iris. On the top of a windy, former dump … !

Below all the Giant Hogweed there are some sheds and also a small combustion plant for burning up the gas that is build up inside the hill. It’s really a dump after all.

But I find a good spot to draw and paint at, and most of the time I was alone. Some people passed, and there was also some wildlife. I don’t know which of them was most surprised, the fox that come walking up the path one day or the mountain bikers who came rolling by from time to time. None of them expected a person sitting in the grass eagerly studying a small flower.

I will do more excursions to this place and do sketches and paintings of what I find and observe. I’ll also visit the other sides – not just the south. The vegetation is different over there.

Because of its placement as a hump whit a mountain on one side and slopes with trees on the other – there are also interesting weather phenomenon’s going on which also will be investigated. It was not built like this by nature, it is manmade.


  1. Hi. I wanted to ask any comments you might offer regarding the SBA Distance Learning Program. I am thinking about applying for it and was wondering what was your experience with the course. Thank you for any helpful advice you may want to give.

    1. Hi!
      I really enjoyed taking the course, and it has improved both my drawing and painting skills in ways I didn’t expected. Most of all I do everything so much faster now :-)

      Some advice; if you take the course start with the assignments as soon as possible – they are demanding, attend the seminar in London if you can, buy the books that are recommended in the course material (all of them…), don’t look to much on other peoples finished work – you are only at student level and still learning.

      I had so much fun during the course, learned so much – new paints and new flowers. But it runs for over 2 years and I had to skip some social meetings along the way and at the end I was really tired. Try to schedule some time totally of painting, otherwise it will take over :-)


    2. Thank you so much Karin. I really appreciate your feedback. I am preparing to send off my application tomorrow. I will let you know if I get accepted. I like your blog!