Ida Röden – Öring (detalj), akvarallerad blyertsteckning, 2016
by Håkan Bull
During a 3-year art project, Ida Röden painted zoological fantasies by her invented alter ego, the unrecognized scientist Jonas Falck.These strange creatures seem to be composed of several different known species. The tradition of creating hoaxes by joining together parts from various animals goes a long way back in Sweden. Ida Röden created a whole story round the fictional Jonas Falck: His first scientific expedition was examining unknown species to have been the result of a previously undiscovered meteorite impact. The next expedition uncovered fossils of unknown species at a Swedish beach. Ida Röden made illustrations of the findings to accompany her stories along with reconstructions of the fossils and black&white photos from the sites. Her working method for the paintings is quite exceptional: using photos of different animal parts she makes a photo-manipulated image that she then copies in a drawing to which she adds colours using watercolour techniques.
by Marianne Gross
Apart from being a succceful artist Morten Gjul is also much in demand as a watercolour teacher. He used to be a school teacher before turning to work full time as an artist. Morten Gjul teaches his own pupils the value of continuous practice and experimentation. He uses a limited pallette: dark hues against the white paper and maybe a bit of light red or yellow ochre as a contrast. He is attracted to the graphic beauty of gloomy, sombre atmospheres, abandonded huts, bad weather, dark clouds, loneliness and melancholy. The paintings are mostly not renditions of real places or real houses, but can be perceived as a sum of his experiences through time. Morten Gjul spent his childhood in a remote part of Norway where shabby huts and worn-down roads were a common sight. He currently works in 3 major styles: clean and refined watercolours, classic glazing, and finally the “off-road” method where he scratches the paper, washes off part of the paint and maybe adds some text.
by Jacqueline Stare
At the juried watercolour show in 2016 at Väsby Art Hall, Ulla Nordenfelt was awarded first prize for her work “Many Thoughts”. Ulla Nordenfelt turned 90 later in 2016 but is still very active and positive. She attended the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London where she also became an elite gymnast and learned international folk dance. Back in Stockholm she studied ceramics and glass art and later worked at a glass manufacturer; she designed wallpaper and textiles and had other commissions for creative work. At one point she taught drawing and watercolour. Her favourite subjects are flowers, birds, landscapes, and people. Ulla Nordenfelt finds great inspiration in the works of the Finnish painter, Helene Scherfbeck, but also draws inspiration from the people she meet in her life or see in the public or in the media. She regularly does life drawings and paintings as well as portraits. She is driven by her interest in people and the urge to get to know them by portraying them.
Hasse Karlsson – Nobel Diploma in Watercolour
by Håkan Bull
The Nobel Prize consists of 8 million SEK as well as a medallion portraying Alfred Nobel and a 2-ply diploma in a beautiful leather cover including an original work of art – sometimes watercolour. One of the artists who have been asked to create pictures for the Nobel diploma is the well-known artist and watercolour teacher Hasse Karlsson, who has made 7 diplomas for 3 consecutive years (2013-2014-2015). There are specifications to the design as to size and paper quality and the colours of the artwork must match to the colours of the cover, which are fixed (chemistry: dark red, physics: dark blue etc). Hasse Karlsson has adapted his subject matter for each diploma with references to the works of the award winners. He had 11 days from the press announcement to the day his work must be complete and handed over to the calligrapher who writes the accompanying text in matching colours. Hasse Karlsson and his wife were invited to the ceremonies which was an unforgettable experience
Book review – Lars Lerin/Carl Larsson
by Jacqueline Stare
Lars Lerin was supposed to exhibit at the Carl Larsson Collection in Sundborn, but he was not unhappy when the project failed to become reality, since he was not too keen on Carl Larsson anyway. However he did feel some kind of kinship with this artist who died in 1919, so instead of an exhibition, he began work on this book containing collages, letters and paintings of both artists. They both did a lot of travelling in their younger days before settling down and they have both experienced personal difficulties. They have a lot in common, but are also very different. Carl Larsson is greatly admired for his works even today and Lars Lerin has obtained a status as an idol for watercolour painters. The book is an unexpected meeting between two great artists and writers and the time difference between them makes the book even more interesting.
Summary by Marianne Gross