Author Archives: MaTo

National romanticism and my contemporary mood

How do we choose what we pick up and get influenced by in this huge flow of information and impressions? In my watercolour paintings during the first half of 2018 I see a flavour of national romanticism. Is it a response to the current political mood in Sweden of rising nationalism and callousness? It has not been possible to ignore when who is a proper swede and who is not is debated in a language reminiscent of the 1930’s.

But why has that given me a taste for classic nostalgia instead of something moving forward towards a bright future? It might be a lack of faith in that bright future and perhaps that is what national romanticism really conveys. We all know everything changes so just let us cling to what we know for just a moment longer.

My inspiration comes from Anders Zorn but also contemporary Swedish painters like Nick Alm and Benjamin Björklund which I think have a sinister mood very much in tune with mine.

With new flavours comes new recepies. I used to struggle a lot with watercolours  but now I am enjoying this medium more and more. Three very different painters made me question the way I paint. I stumbled upon a video on how to use white gouache as a base which makes it easier to lift off mistakes. Here George Pratt in action.

Then I watched this video of Sienkiewicz which really took away all my preconceptions I had that a watercolour needed to be meticulously planned and perfectly executed not allowing any spontaneity.

After this I took another look at Zorn. I do not know of any other artist who can paint so many hues of white. His watercolours seem to have a broader range of hues and tones than his oils.

After all that inspiration I have dared applying paint then adding water again and lifting of paint with a sponge. Repeatedly. Good watercolour paper can take a lot of beating. One has to get to know which pigments stain more than the others . Being scared of making mistakes is a terrible inhibitor of creative flow.








“Kamp om vit strumpa”


Title “Distance” 2018
Oilpainting and pastel on MDF board. 47×60 cm.

Landscapes are totally redesigned to our needs and still we feel out of place.

I did a sketch in oilpastels and the lines are visible through the paint. It is very liberating to sketch with oilpastels. Then I just thin it with turpentine so I won’t have issues with the paint on top.

A very short story

She is standing on the porch. The wind is cool against her cheeks and moves her hair. She watches the garden in front of her with the lawn and the flowers. But the wind wants her attention. Nagging. It comes with the intent to unsettle.
She looks up and the grey clouds cover the whole sky. They move fast. She turns to walk inside.
The whistling of the wind follows her into the house and tells her to remember. Blows off the lid. Stirs up the dust that has settled. She mustn’t forget. The wind is eternal and it has no heart nor mercy. It leaves her tumbling and moves on for now. Eroding her a tiny bit with each passing.


Malmö’s Burning / Malmö Brinner

Had a great time at the opening of the exhibition Malmö’s Burning (Malmö brinner)  at Moderna Museet in Malmö. I am participating with a piece called “As I please”  (som jag vill).

It is a 1,5 x 1,5 m mixed media painting, drawing & paperdoll thingy. Not my regular piece of art at all. The subject is a throwback to my teenage years but also a critique perhaps. We felt quite revolutionary in those days but in the light of the generations before us and those after us, we were quite lame I think. Born into one of the most well off post war decades what cause did I have to revolt properly? With a right to vote, freedom of movement and thought, access to flat, job and education what were we protesting?

Link to Moderna Museet’s page about the exhibition.


Det blev ett lyckat vernissage av utställningen Malmö Brinner på Moderna Museet i Malmö. Jag deltar med ett verk kallat “som jag vill”.

Det är en 1,5 x,1,5 m mixed media, måleri, teckning & klippedocka-grej. Inte min vanliga teknik precis. Ämnet är en tillbakablick på tonåren men kanske också en kritik. Vi kände oss ganska revolutionära på den tiden men jämfört med generationen före och efter oss var vi ganska beskedliga. Född i en av de rikaste efterkrigsgenerationerna vad hade jag för anledning att revoltera? Med rätten att rösta, rörelse och tankefrihet, tillgång till bostad, arbete och utbildning protesterade vi mot vad?

Länk till Moderna Museets sida om utställningen.