Nanna Sjöström – Lilla My, 40x40cm, akvarell FP-gravyr
By Jacqueline Stare
Nanna Sjöström has met Arne Isacsson as well as Anders Wallin, among many other teachers. Anders Wallin, above all, played a decisive role for her.He made her dare to be herself! She had started as a black/white graphic artist and blackness was a matter of course to her. Black does not exist for an orthodox acquarellist but Anders Wallin encouraged her to go her own way, to start from black if it felt right. Today, Nanna Sjöström belongs to Åland´s and Finland´s established and well known graphic artists. Watercolour painting actually exists to all artists, a technique they use more or less often and deliberately. Nanna Sjöström really discovered its width and possibilities when she was invited to become a board member of the Nordic Watercolour Association (NAS). Her feeling for the watercolour technique deepened through her work with NAS. Nanna Sjöström´s stay in Hungary in 2003 on a one-month scholarship and the meeting with the people there had a deep impact on her, humanly as well as artistically. It also resulted in a number of graphic sheets with motifs fetched from the Central European world. Some are downright colour prints but, like so often, Nanna Sjöström makes use of watercolour when she wants to deepen a colour or complete a printed sheet.
By Jacqueline Stare
To talk with Ylva Ringqvist and her husband Alf ten Siethoff is like taking part in a small glimpse of Swedish history of art. In 1949 she had her first separate exhibition in Stockholm. Ylva Ringqvist and her husband have made many trips to France and already during their first stay there in 1948 did she start to work with watercolour painting. It was easy to bring the watercolours and the paper along and to work with it everywhere. She also found that it was a technique that suited her temperament and way of working the more she penetrated into it. She fetches, like always, her motifs from the nature and from the lives of people and surroundings. For many years, she and her family spent long summers on the Öland Island. The special nature and light of the island was one of her most important sources of inspiration. Since 2005, she seeks colourful environments in Stockholm where she and her husband now live. Motifs that are essentially different from those on the Öland Island. Today, the health sets bounds to Ylva Ringqvist´s possibilities to seek new motifs but that does not mean that she has given up painting.
Trond Einar Solberg Indsetviken
By Jacqueline Stare
When you hear Trond Einar Solberg Indsetviken talk about watercolour painting he sounds like a classical, orthodox acquarellist. He does not allow (purchased) black colour in a watercolour painting and neither white. But if you see him paint, well then he is to the greatest extent a contemporary, experimental watercolour artist and, yes, something of a savage! Trond Einar Solberg Indsetviken is a new member of the NAS board since the annual meeting in 2007 in Ronneby and he has taken over as our international contact person. Trond talks about his landscape painting: his “brainscapes”, landscapes of his inner world, come alive in his acrylic painting, while his “landscapes” in watercolour are based mainly on pure nature inspiration, sometimes extracted to downright colour fields with perhaps just a few lines that refract. There are many contrasts in Trond´s painting. He started quite realistically and has then developed many different roads, from daintily ornamental forms to the purest, seemingly simple watercolours. He likes to work with a special pressure technique, colography, where often there are so many elements in a picture that it feels like horror vaccui, a fear of the vacuum!
By Lasse Sandström
There are many who appreciate Lena Ekman´s watercolours. She enjoys the directness in the painting and what is concentratedly spontaneous. She hopes that the onlooker will be surprised by what breaks the calmness. Lena Ekman, age 62, grew up in Överkalix and Kalix, northern Sweden, worked as a teacher for many years before she went over to painting. Her art can be divided into two categories: the Swedish, the light and transparency painted in earthy colours, and the tropic, which requires a quite different palette. The advantage of painting in the tropic zone, whereto she goes with her husband who is interested in butterflies, is that it is so warm and humid that the paper does not need to be moistened in advance. The paper also dries in an instant in the sun. Lena Ekman has trained the movement of her hand when she paints people walking along the shore. It gets almost a graphic effect. She speaks about her painting as a language without grammer, but with incredibly many adjectives.
By Lasse Sandström
Seen at close range it looks as if the colours have flowed into each other, at a long distance the picture becomes almost three-dimensional. Mats Lindh in Hässleholm has in an exquisite way combined the watercolour technique with what is called monotype. Mats Lindh works mainly with earthy colours that are somewhat granular in their structure for his landscape and nature paintings. The monotype technique gives the pigments a big freedom to express themselves. Here the colours are given free scope, the pigments create accumulations, thin as well as endlessly transparent. Many of the watercolour pictures are painted directly in the landscape, others in the studio. They become intuitive summaries of impressions and feelings of light and shade which he experienced in the landscape. – I peel off details, isolate the motifs. The important thing is not to make portraits of the landscape but to try to depict the feeling of the light. To me, the process is the most important, Mats Lindh says.
Dafen Oil Painting Village
By Peter Vilhelm Nielsen
The Dafen Oil Painting Village is situated in the Shenzhen area in China, by the border to Hong Kong. In 1989, 20 artists chose to settle down in this provincial village and sell their pictures via Hong Kong. Today, no less than 8000 artists live in the area, and there are 350 shops that sell their products, i.a., via Internet. What is it that these artists can do, and what is the background of this unbelievable growth? The artists make first and foremost copies of classic paintings. Chinese artists have a relaxed relationship to copying. They are, firstly, via their work with calligraphy, used to copying writing and at the same time adding to it an extra artistic quality. Secondly, copying of traditional Chinese art is a part of the development. It is said that there are copies of famous traditional Chinese pictures that are better and cost more than the original.