Mikael Hallstrøm Eriksen
by Marianne Gross
There is an element of time that runs through Mikael Hallstrøm Eriksen’s works whether they are watercolours, drawings, sculptures or other kinds of work. The watercolour paintings in the series Strata incorporates a double element of time: Strata is what geologists call the layers of earth that are differentiated by various sediments. These layers are used to research and establish climate changes and other natural events through time – and the actual painting takes time because he needs to wait for the underlying layer to dry completely before applying the next layer. Even though he determines the size of the work and the choice of which colours to use, Mikael Hallstrøm Eriksen does not plan how the actual layers of the finished work will end up – the painting is completed in a zen-like flow, almost as if it has a life of its own and the shifting layers grow organically in the process. His works are mainly abstract, but they are all inspired by actual phenomena: the sun, the earth, and the universe.

Hulda Stefánsdóttir
by Ingrid Ogenstedt
The art of Hulda Stefánsdóttir revolves aroundt the subject of time. She shows us how something can be perceived as well-known and strange at the same time and how the past and the present can be reflected. She sometimes makes “imprints” by applying paint to the surface of her plastic-covered work desk and placing paper on top of it. Imprints being to “mark a surface by pressing something hard into it” as well as “to fix an event or an experience firmly in the memory”. Every piece of work becomes a time map in much the same way one could imagine memory works. She describes her process as a search for a timeless essence. At one point she became inspired by the Swedish artist Ivan Aguéli (1869-1917) who was famous for his rendition of colour and light and for his fascination of spiritual elements and Middle Eastern philosophy. Being an Icelandic artist Hulda Stefánsdóttir often meets people who expect her to be a landscape painter but she is more drawn to themes of memory, history, and social movement

Johan Mauritzson Art Residency 2022 at the Nordic Watercolour Museum
by Ida Rödén
The Nordic Watercolour Museum in Skärhamn offers an annual artist residency open for members of the Nordic Watercolour Society. Johan Mauritzon was the first painter to be awarded a two-week residency which took place in May 2023. Along with his regular art materials he also brought more unconventional things to the residency such as chains and various metal objects, which he used to disperse the pigments and create marks in the works. Mauritzon is as his art: unpretentious but not necessarily simple. His mind is open and he does a lot of experimenting while painting, knowing that he will not be able to fully control the result. In his opinion the advantage of abstraction is that the work is open to many interpretations. He paints with joy and playfulness with an underlying maturity formed by the knowledge and experience accumulated through the years. But despite this maturity, despite all the knowledge that has come over the years, it is the playfulness and curiosity that shines through.

Testing Princeton synthetic brushes
By Björn Bernström
Björn Bernström has tested a variety of Princeton brushes from the two series Aqua Elite and Neptune designed to imitate the properties of sable and squirrel brushes respectively. He states: Even though I seldom use sable brushes I know what are expected of them, and the brushes from Aqua Elite match these properties. They absorb a lot of moisture and are wonderfully flexible, The Quill became a favourite: it has good elasticity and releases paint in an even and continuous flow and has a lovely pointed end. The Mop I found perfect for applying large washes. Even though the Aqua Elite series held considerable amounts of water, the Neptune brushes did so even more. Squirrel brushes are very much in demand for their ability to carry great loads of water – and the synthetic Neptune brushes are soft and flexible which make them very suitable for washes on top of painted areas without dissolving the underlying paint. Conclusion: The Aqua Elite and Neptune brushes closely match those made from sable or squirrel.