Forest Raven Art Studio - Western Canadian Artist
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   About the Artist
My first memory of a landscape goes back to when I was about five years old.  I remember seeing the forest and hills reflected in Lake Grycken in northern Sweden.  I have other memories of the Swedish countryside including picking mushrooms in the forest with my mother, berry picking on islands, and wandering over the hills by myself.  I did this a lot as a child--most likely my walks were not as far as I thought they were then.

I cannot remember a time, even as a very young girl, when I was not painting.  
In school we took many trips to galleries and museums.  Because I had no formalart training I was free to form my own likes and dislikes on these trips, and I was always drawn towards landscape art and the landscape artists.

 One artist that impressed me was Helmer Osslund.  I identified with him the most, with his powerful brush strokes and colors, and his rendering of the clear Nordic atmosphere.  I remember Prince Eugen’s paintings of dark brooding forests.  Another favorite was  (and still is) the Finnish artist Akseli Gallen Kallela. His paintings show the deep feeling he had for the wilderness of his homeland.

 In 1949, when I was 14 years old, my family left Sweden for a ranch near Valemount, British Columbia and, as life took over, my painting became sporadic. But the landscape was still very much part of me even if I did not paint. It was almost thirty years before I returned to painting in a serious way.  In 1975 I was teaching an art class for the Natonum Community College in Prince Albert. One of my students told me about canoe trips she had taken in northern Saskatchewan, and we made plans to take a trip on the Churchill River the following summer.

On that trip I felt that I had come home and I knew that this was the reason I had traveled life’s roads and all my previous experiences now made sense.  My place had never been in Sweden, or in the Rocky Mountains, or on the farming fields of Saskatchewan, but it was in the wilderness of northern Saskatchewan.
I know that I was born to paint here. It took a long time for me to reach this place, and the things that I saw and loved as young person were only seeds planted in my mind to grow. This is where I was meant to be.  I love to be part of this land and have no need to go anywhere else. There has always been in my heart a need to record this land of solitude and peace.

I have thought of painting other landscapes in Saskatchewan and even other provinces, but my thoughts and longings call me back to my own painting grounds, my own lakes, rivers, and trails.  I think that that first impression of the reflections in Lake Grycken set my painting vision for life. They are why I was attracted me to the Scandinavian landscape painters, and what has created in me my attachment for the solitude of wilderness.  I see the influence Scandinavian landscape painters had on my way of feeling and painting the landscape, their colors, their bold brush strokes, their love for a larger then life romantic rendering of the Nordic landscape.  My paintings have been compared in style to the Group of Seven painters, and I can see the resemblance. I believe that they felt the same influences as the Nordic landscape artists I saw as a child.  
My painting style has gone through many phases, but in looking back now I see that the way I felt for the landscape as a child, is the same way I feel for it today. Of course my skill and knowledge of painting has increased and matured, but the joy and wonder of beauty is the same.  I don’t know where my art will take me in the future, but as I grow older, the meaning of it becomes more spiritual, and I feel gratitude for the gift of art, and what it has brought me.