by Håkan Bull
The art of Lise Lundgren is based on the principles of abstraction in a struggle between round/edged and soft/hard. She has chosen to create works that are square maybe because that the square format is the one that less resembles natural formations; the square is the most abstract form so to say. However, the titles – such as Autumn, Garden V, Landscape III – show that her works derive from naturalistic visions. Watercolour is a relatively new medium for Lise Lundgren; she used to work with collography: a printing technique using cardboard pieces on a plastic plate. Due to the covid-19 pandemic she spent the spring and summer season of 2020 in the Swedish Österlen region without access to her graphic print studio, so she took up watercolour painting. She painted two series called Garden and Landscape with inspiration from her local surroundings at the time. When looking at the paintings and being aware of the titles, it is obvious to discern the shapes and colours of the local farmland or the more composed garden layout.
Ann Larsson Dahlin
by Ida Rödén
For a long time Ann Larsson Dahlin painted only plein-air. Even though she oftens returns to nature as her subject matter, she nowadays mostly paints in the studio. She no longer seeks to depict a scenery directly but is more focused on expression and emotion. This focus also led her to paint many interiors with chairs and shelves, for instance, but these compositions are also mostly formed in her own mind. The large sheets must be allowed to rest and dry and then be elaborated further. This all takes place in her spacious studio. She has a deep love of nature and compares painting watercolour with growing vegetable in her 150 m2 greenhouse: preparations of digging, discovering, cultivating, then adding whatever is needed, dosing the right amount of water at the right time. Watercolours – like plants – have a life of their own. They must be approached with respect but with no fright. One must be attentive and willing to tread into uncertainty. Ann Larsson Dahlin seems to stand with one foot in the soil and one foot in watercolour art.
by Jacqueline Stare
Karin Boye (1900–1941) is one of Sweden’s most renowned poets and writers. From the age of 16 to 20 she painted around 70 watercolours which were found in her belongings after her death. Her subject matters are primarily inspired by fairy-tales, imaginative female figures, religious themes, and princes/princesses. They were neither better nor worse than works done by any other creative and talented teenager and she did not paint later in life. However, she continued to draw and many letters and birthday greetings would be illustrated with some of her own drawings. As a teenager she also started to write poetry and her first collection of poems was published in 1922. In Sweden her poems are much loved to this day and her sci-fi story Kallocain from 1940 about two totalitarian regimes fighting for world control in 2000 is still very moving and horrifying. She was a highly motivated person and engaged deeply in matters she found essential, but being bipolar and bisexual she had a diffucult personal life. Bisexuality was illegal in the 1940’s and even up untill 1979 it was classified as an illness in Sweden. Karin Boye committed suicide in 1941.
by Marianne Gross
Hardly a day goes by without Susanne Almquist drawing or painting in her sketch book. She is one of those people who started drawing as a child and never stopped. However, she chose a more practical education as decorator where she was able to combine her creative side with learning a trade and having a career combining the two. Each year she attends a longer annual painting course or painting holiday. She used to do a lot of plein-air cityscape sketching during travels, but today she has become more free and more experimental in her expression and subject matter. She still sketches a lot, but now the sketches are used as inspiration for further studio works – where she tries out various colours, compositions and techniques. Around 10 years ago she became a member of the Nordic Watercolour Society with the purpose of meeting fellow painters and getting new inspiration in the magazine and the offered activities. In 2020 she was elected to the board of NAS.
Presentation of our writers
by Karin Faxén Sporrong
I am an art historian and I write about art. When I was younger I was not at all interested in the creative process but only in the result. In time I have become more curious about the process. Where lies the drive and why do we humans act this way? Art challenges us to risk and to get new ideas. To see our life in a new light. I often contemplate on how people in hopeless situations have been very creative. Think about how much great art was created in the nazi concentration camps. I write about art because it gives me the opportunity to meet people who keep on creating art -sometimes in spite of everything. Because they have to.