Jag bor och är verksam som konstnär i Storjola, en fjällby i nordligaste Jämtland.
Efter många år som bildlärare lämnade jag Östersund och jobbet på bild– och formprogrammet, för att förverkliga min dröm om mer tid för mitt eget skapande.
Sambon och jag har renoverat och byggt ut vårt gamla fritidshus och jag har nu ett arbetsrum i husets nytimrade övervåning med sjö – och fjällutsikt. Det är en enormt inspirerande miljö som oavbrutet utvecklar min kreativitet på nya och oväntade sätt.
Inte helt oväntat hämtar jag inspiration från naturen i mitt måleri. Från fjäll, skog och sjöar. Från bäckar och myrar. Jag gillar att återge vädrets dramatiska skiftningar, vattnets omväxlande uttryck och årstidsväxlingarnas enorma kontraster.
I mitt måleri vill jag fånga och förmedla de känslor som uppstår i djupet av min själ, i mötet med naturen.
Det handlar om den energi som finns i allt -som en inneboende kraft i granen, stenen, myren, bäcken och elden.
Den kraften vill jag förvalta, förvandla och förstärka.
My name is Susan Lindström and I’m a visual artist who lives in Storjola in the northernmost part of Jämtland.
This small mountain village is located 13 km to the north-west of Borgafjäll, on the border of Västerbotten and about 20 km from the Norwegian border. There is a large area here of unspoiled nature without a road network. Storjola is a mountain village at the end of a road. Or perhaps the road starts here – it all depends on how you see it.
I was born in 1958 in Lycksele but moved to Hudiksvall with my family in 1965 and already during primary school there, my great interest for music, photography, arts and handicrafts developed. After music academy in Härnösand, it was however the creation of images that took over, and after 3 years training at different handicraft schools and music academies, I completed my training to become an art teacher in 1982. I also studied the history of art between 1999-2000.
The art teacher job led to a stay in Falun, then Krokom and a longer period in Östersund where Palmcrantz school’s Image and Design Programme was my last workplace. I taught different visual art subjects there along with art and cultural history. Sharing knowledge in these areas and following the students’ development is great fun, rewarding and important.
After 20 years as an art teacher, I left the academic world in Östersund however, together with my partner, to realize our dream of having more time for my own creativity in a natural yet magnificent environment. We both handed in our notice in 2007 and moved here permanently in 2008, and now live a clearly less hectic and stressful life.
We added an upper floor on what had been our families’ holiday home for many years, built and furnished most of it by ourselves and now have a studio with an inspiring view where I sit and paint in the cold months of the year. We are mostly out and about in the summer, rambling, fishing, jogging and replenishing our strength and inspiration. I have been running the firm ”Susan Lindström Art” since 2012.
The landscape up here captivates me.
It has inspired me to adopt a slightly darker nuance in my visuals, a little mysterious, doleful and melancholic ring that I appreciate a lot. At the same time, the light, lush summers and the dazzling, snow-white winters give rise to other sensations of ecstasy and euphoria. Nature offers both stillness and drama here.
I get my subjects from all of this. From the wonderful views as well as from the finer details in the hidden glades, from the babbling streams and sweet-smelling wetlands. I want to invite the art goer on a journey, both inwards towards their own feelings, and to the horizon, where sky and water are transformed into colours and contours.
I paint my nature subjects with oil pastel crayons – an underappreciated technique that I love, with its strong expressionism. I work in the crayons’ greasy, soft colours with one other, in different layers. I then rub, scrape and draw in the coloured layers to create different effects and can then, for e.g. use my fingers and nails, a metal nail, blending stump, knife or silicon brush. When the painting is finished, or between layers, I fix the colour with fixative.
I try to capture how the light, wind and weather forms water surfaces, clouds, sky and atmosphere – readily in a blue twilight or a shimmering dawn.
It’s the contrasts that I find so attractive; between light and shadow, cold and warm, the enticing and the slightly spooky, between joyful and melancholic.
My fire paintings are a series of oil paintings that I have worked on in recent years. I want to work in a slightly larger format than before, but also a little more abstractly – as extreme close-ups tend to be. I also love the colour scale that fire displays – from blinding white and warm yellow over orange and red tending towards purple in fire and embers, and as a contrast, the cold blue and green tones of ash.
Fire has always fascinated me and it’s something that most people, over space, time and origin, have some sort of relationship with. Tales have been born, told and transmitted around countess fires. All of our senses are locked on when we sit around a fire; it’s a captivating sight, the smell is titillating, you hear the crackling of burning wood and hissing flames and feel the life-giving warmth from its glow. Time stands still.
I want to reproduce those feelings one feels when relaxing by a frizzling fire on a dark evening, perhaps a long way from civilization. The warmth, companionship and security that fire inspires. But also the fantasy experience that one gets when looking at the fire – its dancing figures, fantastic shapes and shifting colours that let our imagination run riot. It gives a feeling of peace to the soul which is healing and liberating.
We need it, even in our modern times. Perhaps we need it more than ever.