Oskar Bergman (1879-1963)
by Håkan Bull
As soon as he finished 7 years of primary school Oskar Bergman had to help supporting his family. He became an apprentice painter but also started evening courses at the arts and crafts department of the Technical School. Here he experienced his first contacts with the art world and sold a drawing to the art collector Ernest Thiel (1858-1947) who became his foremost patron. Oskar Bergman is the artist with the most number of works represented (43) in the Thielska Gallery in Stockholm. Oskar Bergman was never part of the modernist painters such as his friend the Swedish Isaac Grünewald who studied with Henri Matisse in Paris in 1904, but he was very popular and had a successful career with many well-visited gallery exhibitions. His main subject matter was nature, especially trees and flowers. His style was mostly romanticism and symbolism and watercolour was his preferred medium. His art is sometimes called idyllic naturalism or maybe heavenly idealism in his attempt to capture the idea of the landscape. His works are very detailed as if each leaf and each flower carries the importance of a divine plan.
Anna Sörenson – the new magazine editor
by Håkan Bull
In the 3:2017-issue Håkan Bull wrote an article about Anna Sörenson and her husband Daniel Rydh. Anna Sörenson also took part in the Watercolour Day in 2019. Besides watercolour she works in many different art disciplines including sculpturing and public art. She has done teaching, art critique writing, and exhibiting as well as written her first children’s book which soon will be published. She took her master degree from Pratt Institute in New York in 2012 and stayed on some years working as an assistant for renowned international artists such as Pat Steir and Joseph Kosuth. The Swedish art professor Arne Isacsson has been a great inspiration to her; he seemed like a generous and enthusiastic teacher. Anna Sörensson is not too keen on rules, but she admits that one has to know the rules in order to break them. She was happy to have been educated in the USA where she was taught painting, art history, philosophy, and learned about techniques and materials. She finds the richly-illustrated akvarellen very inspiring but has of course some ideas for further development of the magazine, which she will implement along the way.
Kalle Turakka Purhonen
by Sofia Simelius
It has only been 3 years since Kalle Turakka Purhonen started painting with watercolour, but he is very enthusiastic about the medium. Since his education at the Art Academy he became fascinated with the usage of “junk” for collages. He has through the years collected vast quantities of pizza boxes, chewed-up chewing gum, tin cans etc for these collages and he has also worked with performance art and installations. In connection with an artist residency he wanted to capture the scenery at the places he was visiting, so he started to bring along paper and ink to capture the views. Later on he began adding water to create tonal values. The final push towards watercolour painting came when he moved back to his birth town Borgå. When exploring old and new sites in the town he did so using watercolour paint and created a series of 40-50 watercolour works in 2 years. All works are done plein-air (regardless of season) with maybe a small touch-up in the studio. Sometimes the paint would freeze or raindrops would fall on the paper visibly effecting the works. The result becomes genuine impressionist paintings where the weather reflects the work directly – often in a surprising manner.
By Anna Sörenson Rydh
Paper is the most important material for Meta Isæaus-Berlin. She is fond of paper with a background, a history and she collects sheets of paper on her travels. Her favourite sheets are the ones she has inherited from her father along with his other art materials. He taught at the Arts and Crafts School when she was young, and they had a special bond. Meta Isæaus-Berlin was educated as a textile artist as well as a painter. In 1997 she represented Sweden at the Venice Biennale. She has worked with painting, sculptures and installations and switches effortlessly between working 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional. Her paintings seem wavy and fluid and it looks like everything is moving softly and quietly. One is drawn into the contrasting darker or lighter areas where interiors glide into nature, that glides into animals and finally human beings. She still likes to experiment, play, and investigate. Some of her works seem to be portraits, but among the faces there are animals and other creatures I cannot place. Meta Isæus-Berlin says that they are porcelain figurines she started to paint because she found they had a special kind of personality
Conservation and preservation of watercolours – Mette Krag Nørgaard
By Marianne Gross
In the long run most works of art decompose, particularly the ones made of organic materials (such as watercolour paintings). The task of the conservator is to restore any damages and to delay the decomposition process while respecting the authenticity of the work and taking into consideration the original intentions of the artist as well as the wishes of the owner. Generally there are the following issues to be aware of: light, humidity, pollution, temperature, pests. Damages will occur either to the paper, the paint or the framing. Paper derives from plant material which may have a tendency to become acidic thus becoming discoloured or damaged. Paper also reacts to changes in temperature and/or humidity in the surroundings and will crumple if it has been kept in a damp area. The colours in paints may alter appearance or fade away if they are exposed to uv-light, especially old formulations of red paint are known to fade. One must also take care of framing the works properly. The framing must protect the work without damaging it. Whatever the problem, Mette Krag Nørgaard will most likely be able to help restoring works that have been stored or treated poorly.
ECWS member SFA, Société Française de l’Aquarelle
By Marianne Gross
The Société d’Aquarellistes Français, founded in 1879, ceased its activities in 1896. After more than a century of absence, the Société Française de l’Aquarelle took up the torch in 2003 and has since worked to bring together the artists who express themselves through this medium and to promote their work. Since 2006 the Société Française de l’Aquarelle has been a part of the ECWS and in 2016 the association hosted the annual ECWS watercolour festival bringing together watercolour enthusiasts from all over Europe. This event which was immensely successful took place in the beautiful city of Avignon. In 2023 the Société Française de l’Aquarelle and the Biennial Watercolour of Brioude will jointly celebrate their twenty years of existence. The celebration will take place in the French town of Brioude during the period 12–26 July 2023. The Biennial of Brioude has become the most important watercolour event in France.