By Håkan Bull
Helena Brunius’s paintings make me think of the word Nocturne (Night music) – a word describing shorter romantic musical pieces with a distinctive happy tune. The works of Helena Brunius can be declared nightly paintings – Nocturnus pictura. The night is filled with danger and we might be hauted by nightmares. But the night also induces peace and quiet and restitution as preparation for the new day. Helen Brunius’s paintings reflect nocturnal peace away from ringing telephones and the never-ending demands of daily life. Often her paintings will include memories from her childhood. Both her parents worked in art (her father as a painter, printmaker, birdwatcher and writer, her mother as an art scholar and museum guide). The family would spend each summer sailing, painting and observing nature in the archipelago of Stockholm. They would occasionally visit the family summer cottage on the island of Fårö. She has now taken over this cottage which includes a small summer studio. From this place she draws inspiration from the wild garden and the adjacent woodland
By Sofia Simelius
One of the reasons Rikka Sormunen has chosen to paint in watercolour is that she is then able to work at home without odours or other hazards in her two-room appartment. She spends many hours on the details of each work. From a very young child she was keen on becoming an artist and even though some of her illustrations were published in a magazine, she was not admitted to the Art Academy in Helsinki. She started studying fashion design but realized that this was not the way forward for her and tried other kinds of courses instead. However she maintained an interest in clothes and patterns which is obvious in her paintings. She has done a number of book illustrations for Penguin Books and Random House and some of her works have been published in The Guardian and New York Times. She is not interested in observations but more in the imaginations of the mind. She will start making notes of her ideas, then trying out various compositions and colours in Photoshop before actually starting to paint using a projector to trace the outlines of the motive. From then on it takes her up to six weeks to complete each work with all its details. Her need for total control of her work has not stopped her from experimenting with various kinds of paint and material.
by Ida Rödén
Transitions related to natural phenomenons have always been important in Leif Palmqvist’s opinion. The transition between light and darkness, things visible and hidden, night and day. His watercolour works seem tentative and searching and Leif Palmqvist is constantly experimenting.The finished works are the remaining traces of his experiments and ideas, for instance: what happens when rain water meets pigments? He has collected rain water from various places since 2015 where it rained heavily for a whole month while he was in Paris. He has since sometimes used dirty rain water for painting. Nature is a great inspiration and he spends a lot of time outdoors. He is interested in exploring the transitions of nature, as when water becomes ice or mist. These experiments have also found their way to his watercolour works. Impressions of light is of course important for him along with seasonal changes, space, distance and gravity – but he is also interested in the 3-dimensional geometric shapes of the platonic solids. A 20-sided icosahedron (which for the ancient Greeks was the symbol of water) has been an integral part of Leif Palmquist’s studio since he built the model 20 years ago.
Anders von Greffelstejn
by Marianne Gross
During his childhood Anders von Greffelstejn often retreated to the creative space of his room where he would spend time drawing and painting. Before becoming an artist he made a name for himself as a photographer, primarily within the fashion and music business. This might seem like a dream job, but he was not satisfied just doing commission works even though he put some of his own creativity into designing album covers. He continued to paint and draw privately and when he finally showed his works to other people they were very well received and he succeeded in catching the attention of the renowned Arden Asbæk Gallery in Copenhagen. He now paints only in watercolour finding the medium practical and suitable for his art. Presently he is working on a series called “totem animals” drawing on his fascination of fairy-tales, sagas and myths. Totem animals cand lend their special powers to its bearers and mythical creatures can belong to wizards, witches and myhtological figures. Anders von Greffelstejns watercolour paintings are quite large, often monochromatic but with many different values and very detailed meticuously painted with a small brush.