by Ida Rödén
The artist Peter Köhler has learnt to listen to nature. He has been interested in nature, folklore, legends and superstitions since his teenage years and his art is seeped in a fairy-tale mood. The more sinister parts of the fairy-tales of olden days can be sensed in Peter Köhler’s works. It is not possible to write about the art of Peter Köhler without mentioning staircases. Even in the most dense and scrubby woodlands where parasite foilage has taken over everthing, among the wildest roads or in the theatre wings there is always a staircase. A staircase acts as a connectio between two places – for instance down to the cellar or up to the bedroom. But what about the stairway that has lost its purpose? The one that leads to nowhere? In Peter Köhler’s paintings the steps can turn into an immersive black hole. His miniature worlds are dark and chaotic but still calm and playful. He tells us of the undercurrents of life and of worlds that are impossible to understand.
by Karin Faxén Sporrong
In Eva Magnusson’s paintings one may find significant aspects of magic realism inspired by the various dimensions of reality and daily life. She evokes vibrant image worlds where her passionate interest for nature and vegetable farming is combined with poetry and imagination in a mesmerizing manner. She was educated at an art school in Stockholm in the 70ies but moved to a farm in Småland due to her longing for nature and therebye lost contact to the art world in the city. She originally begain painting with watercolour because the materials were light and easy to carry around on her excursions but nowadays her use of the watercolour medium is not due to practicalities. Now it is her main focus and demands large formats and plenty of space. Her present home is in the urban dwelling of Höganäs where she has replaced her whole lawn with cultivation beds. It is essential for her to grow flowers and vegetables, both for her well-being and for her painting.
Johan Thomas Lundbye (1818–1848)
by Marianne Gross
The Golden Age of Danish art and science is defined as the period 1800-1850. Johan Thomas Lundbye was one of the most talented and renowned painters of this period. At the age of 14 he was admitted to the Royal Art Academy where he met P.C. Skovgaard with whom he became close friends and often enjoyed painting “en plein air” in Danish landscapes. As a child Johan Thomas Lundbye had cherished his mother’s recollections of ancient myths and legends. He is famous for his monumental oil landscapes in the national romantic style, but he has painted countless smaller pieces and charming sketches in watercolour – effortlessly it seems. Even though he had two serious relationships he never married. He had a somewhat fragile mind and the sensitivity which led to so many beautiful paintings also seemed to cause him much anguish. At the age of 29 he was a volunteer in the war between Denmark and Schleswig but he died before reaching the front. The official cause of death was an accidental shot but notes from his diary suggest that he might have committed suicide.
Test of Winsor & Newton brushes
by Anna Törnquist
Winsor & Newton recently launched the new series Professional Watercolour Synthetic Sable. We asked Anna Törnquist to test these brushes and share her review:
My painting style is very wet, so I need large brushes that hold lots of water. I am obliged to revise my opinion of synthetic brushes for watercolour painting. My previous experience has shown that a brush containing natural hair holds and carries water much better than one made of synthetic fibres. To my amazement several tests showed that these synthetic sable brushes carry as much water as the mixed-hair brushes I normally use. Among the selection of Winsor & Newton’s new series I am able to find perfectly suitable alternatives to my usual brushes, especially if larger brushes are added to the series. The many small and fine brushes of this series will hopefully suit painters with a more fine-tuned painting style than mine.
Presentation of The Finnish Watercolour Society – SAY
SAY was founded in Finland in 1998 by a group of artists. Their aim was to raise the level of appreciation of watercolour and to create a network for artists and patrons. Main activities are promoting the initiatives for the advancement of watercolour, organizing exhibitions, arranging painting classes, handling public relations, publishing exhibition catalogues and building international contacts for the promotion of watercolour. The society has about 700 members from Finland and some from abroad. One of the main achievements of SAY has been to initiate the “National Painting Day” in Finland on 10th July to commemorate the internationally renowned Finnish artist, Helene Schjerfbeck. This date was chosen because it is the birthday of Helene Scherfbeck. In 2024 SAY will be hosting the ECWS annual exhibition and symposium in Tampere. SAY has been a member of the ECWS federation since 2003 and members have participated in the federation’s exhibitions since 2004
Presentation of our writers
by Jacqueline Stare
My initial contact with the Nordic Watercolour Society was in 2000. I have held various positions on the board and I have been a writer for and the editor of the akvarellen magazine. I have written about good friends, artists I only had a sporadic knowledge of, as well as people who were totally unknown to me. The articles are not reviews; the important thing for me is to convey living portraits of the artists and their work. I love writing, language is essential to me, it can be described as a way of “painting” with words. We are a Nordic watercolour society which I have in mind when writing also for readers who do not have Swedish as their first language. I have written about numerous artists – all of them people whose art I have appreciated. During this last corona-year I have been reminded of the great privilege to have met all these different artists who are all united in the love of watercolour painting.