Stanislaw Zoladz – Stockholmsnatt, 76x105cm
by Jacqueline Stare
Stanislaw Zoladz first encountered the sea when he was 23 (about 35 years ago) on a voyage from Gdansk to Sweden and he has loved water ever since. Seascapes are among his favourite themes. He grew up on a farm in Poland where he spent much time drawing and painting. His teachers at school encouraged him and he succeeded in studying at the Art Academy in Krakow. He used to work in all kinds of media, watercolour being an all-time favourite, and the only media he works with today. When invited to exhibit at a new spot, he usually visits the area and prepares some watercolours from there in order to give the local audience a special experience. He paints outdoors whenever possible – on his boat in Roslagen by the east coast of Sweden or on one of his many painting trips abroad – and also in his studio from his own photos or sketches. He has now found a new way of painting, not focusing as much on details as he used to. He feels he has found a harmonic balance between technical skillfulness and the feeling for the subject. Like many other artists, he points out the need for life-long learning and constant development.
by Kelly Lindblom
Irina Novokrescionova was born in Klaipeda in Lithuania and was educated at the Art Academy of St. Petersburg. Lithuania’s independance in 1991 created many new international connections and in 1991 sculptors from Karlskrona, Sweden visited Klaipeda for a symposium. When leaving they gave a huge bunch of red roses to Renatė Lūšis, who was Irina’s teacher. The teacher, a gifted watercolour artist herself, persuaded Irina to join her and paint these roses. Irina had not worked with watercolour before, but was now attracted her to the media as well as to flowers as painting subjects. At a young age she had tried to become a florist and she is fascinated by the Danish florist, Tage Andersen, who started out as an artist and who works with flowers in an artistic manner. Irina’s contacts with the Swedish artists eventually led her to husband, child and a new home in Karlskrona. She is now a very keen watercolour artist. Apart from Tage Andersen and Renatė Lūšis as main inspirations she mentions the Swedish painter Lars Lerin. She paints, takes part in exhibitions, holds watercolour classes and helps organizing an annual international watercolour symposium in Klaipeda, but sometimes she wishes she had the opportunity to work more with oil paintings or sculpture carvings again.
Ninný – Jónína Magnúsdóttir
by JBK Ransu
Ninný’s work seems somewhere between the physical and the psychical. We are at one level drawn to the physicality of the images but on another level we enter a world of fantasy that only reflects the physical but looks more like a setting in a dream. In some of her works Ninný’s technique plays a vital role. The broken lines of ink, like monoprints in the low centre of the paper, ground the image and her way of scraping into the surface of the paper and layering it with tissue paper allows the colour to settle into the wounds and cracks, creating lines that appear like veins on a leaf. Undertones is a new series where she focuses on the layers that otherwise dwell behind the metabolite of her other paintings. We see these undertones in her colouring, scraping and her use of substances like salt and dry pigment that affect the behaviour of the watercolour. In this new series Undertones Ninny, however, creates the imagery without the figures and symbols, as if she is content with the mere birth of the process, not the finishing. It is simply another side of the process – another chapter in the artist´s spiritual biography.
Gregory Robinson – A marine painter
by Peter Vilhelm Nielsen
Gregory Robinson is a painter I came across by accident one day as a tourist at Portobello Market. I brought home two sketch books from 1903 and 1904 containing marine weather moods. The seller told us that the painter was represented at the National Maritime Museum in London, and later investigations have confirmed that these two books most likely do originate from Gregory Robinson. He was born in Cornwall as the son of a British naval officer and decided to become a marine painter early on. As part of his education he went on two long sea voyages, first with his father’s ship “HMS Wye” and later with the bark “Carradale”. In the sleeve on one of the books it states: Gregory Robinson, Ship «Carradale» HAMBORG towards SYDNEY N.S.W. 1903 and in the other one it says Pacific – S. Atlantic 1904. Almost all 28 sketches depict the changing weather at sea which would be the most likely subject to paint on a long sea voyage. Since the paper is held in a blue tone, Gregory Robinson had to use opaque pigments when he wanted to paint a warm-tone image. Five of the pages contain ships and even though there were steam ships on the seas those years, he only includes sailing ships. The books that he later wrote and almost all paintings he ever produced are concentrated on historic sailing ships.
The history of colour
by Lasse Sandström
The painting Girl With A Pearl Earring is painted by Johannes Vermeer in Delft, Holland in 1666. The girl is Griet, Vermeer’s maid, who helped him grind paints such as the bright ultramarine blue used for the turban around her head. The pigment is made from lapis lazuli, a very expensive semi-gem from Afghanistan. The first box of watercolours was produced in 1766 by Reeves & Son in England, but not until the artist Henry Newton met the chemist William Winsor in 1832 did anyone think of adding glycerine. This meant that the colours did not have to be grinded in advance, but could be used directly from the box, and watercolour painting became very popular. The first pigments made by cavemen 25,000 years ago contained vermillion, realgar, azurite, auripigment, and malachite. The Romans extracted purple pigment from a murex snail and green pigment from oxidized copper. The method of extracting the blue particles from lapis lazuli was discovered around 1,200 BC by the Arabs. J.M.W. Turner made use of the strong position of watercolour in Britain from 1830 onwards. It became modern to use white paper to paint on. Turner’s earlier watercolours are usually painted on blue-tinted paper.
Ottosson Färgmakeri (Ottoson Colour Production)
by Lasse Sandström
In the Nordic countries we now have the first manufacturer of high-quality watercolours, Ottoson Färgmakeri in Skåne, Sweden. The company offers a range of 14 tube colours. This is not a large number compared to the hundreds of colours offered by other renowned companies such as Winsor & Newton, but Gunnar Ottosson says that it doesn’t come down to the quantity of colours, but how you use and mix these colours. His company has a selection of colours that are closer to the light in the Nordic part of the world. Some twenty boxes of watercolour have been sent to leading Swedish painters to get their view and it will be interesting to learn what this test panel says. Gunnar Ottosson has travelled around the world to buy the best pigments: cobalt blue from Japan, lapis lazuli from Afghanistan and terra pozzuoli from Italy to mention a few. Gunnar Ottosson has an art education himself and he also employs artists in the company to give him new ideas. The company has sold oil paints for many years. Gunnar Ottossen experimented with paint-making for his own purposes when at art school and now, 25 years later, he is ready to sell watercolour as well as oil paints to other artists.
Summary by Marianne Gross