a painter’s thoughts

His style always intrigued me. One day I ended up sending an email of appreciation. An email conversation ensued. Roger Akesson, a Swedish painter, sharing his thoughts on how he approaches his art.

Sometimes when I have spent hours on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter looking for after-dinner entertainment and still do not feel satisfied, I turn to Daily Paintworks. There, I find the quiet soulful entertainment of looking at a handful of assorted paintings in a tastefully designed simple website.

As I visit Daily Paintworks often, I have started recognizing certain painters and their signature styles. One such painter is Roger Akesson. Here are some of his paintings that I like:

Flower Abstraction 71
Bird’s nest abstraction 38
Forest Exploration 12

This is the link to his website/blog.

I find his style intriguing. “What is the ‘logic’ behind his technique?”, I wondered. How does he figure out what brush strokes to put where? Click on the images and see their full-size versions – to enjoy them more and to get an idea of what I mean.

One day I ended up sending an email of appreciation to him. An email conversation ensued which I rather enjoyed. I felt like sharing it with you. So here we are, with Roger’s permission.


Me: I have always been a silent admirer of your unique style – with this Forest Exploration you have surpassed yourself many fold! Sending a basket full of appreciation your way …

Roger:
Thank you for the basket and I am glad you like my artwork.
I aim to pursue my own style and it is so nice to get feedback like this.

“Forest exploration 12” isn’t perfect, none of my paintings are, and that is no goal in itself, but I like it a lot myself too. I try to push my limits, learn and grow as an artist. Thanks again.

Me: I have always wondered – just how do you know that you can put a stroke here or there and still not mess with the basic subject. Even with your simpler ones like of a flower. Of course it is a language that you have developed. 🙂

Roger:
All my artwork is a process that I do mess up at times, the key is to know when to stop and to balance different sizes of brush strokes, different kind of brush strokes.
I go with the flow and instinct, trying to see what the painting need, what I want with it etc.
I do want my paintings to give impact, just “being” is not good enough.

I think my way of painting is a way to enhance the object, make it pop, stand out, but as you say, it is a language I have developed. =)
I go more or less abstract and more or less impact (full effect or work with depth), the fun part is the process, it is a journey.

I hope I did make some sense! =)

Me:
Yes you did make sense. 🙂

“to balance different sizes of brush strokes”
aah nice!

“I think my way of painting is a way to enhance the object, make it pop, stand out”
yes, it does have that effect.

What you said: “the fun part is the process, it is a journey” is so true. The journey of every painting, everything that an artist goes through, is a thing which remains with the artist alone. People just get the end result. None of the richness of that journey. Though of course the painting starts a whole new journey with its audience because the way each person receives it, is that person’s very own.

Roger:
Yes, it is a fun journey (sometimes frustrating though), and I hope that I can surprise on some level. Artists that are too predictable and I am sure they know how the painting will look like all the way, is not my cup of tea. What is the point?

I stay true to my style of painting, but try to mix things up, not getting caught up in ways to do things. Keep it fresh!

Me:
Thanks. It is very helpful and encouraging to know that you approach your painting in this manner – keeping the destination loose, not tightly defined.

But please tell me – did you first teach yourself how to paint in the more traditional nice correct manner before journeying with painting in this manner? I hear many a times about the arts (be it painting, music, poetry whatever) – learn the system and rigor first – learn to do it “right” first – learn the rules, then you can break them. Did you take that route?

Roger:
I don’t think that one have to learn classical painting today, but there is things that you have to show/learn, composition, values, colors, shapes, proportions etc.
I did have some basic training/education when I was in my twenties (2 year art school), but I think I wasn’t mature enough to take advantage of that time. After that I didn’t pursue art, had some short artistic periods with long time between (up to several years). I produced paintings, didn’t create or pushed my limits. I knew what a painting would look like before I started.

Three years ago I took a decision to give art a real chance, and I have pushed and learned a lot during this time. I don’t think I have ever wanted to paint realism. I think one shall be true to ones character and use it in ones art. To stand out one has to be unique, to be able to add something to the conversation.

I don’t know all the rules, but I think I can tell if something works or not, but it is also a matter of taste, right?

Me:
Thank you so so much for sharing your journey and thoughts with me so beautifully. I really enjoyed reading it and felt very grateful for the conversation and connection and all that you have shared with me in the process.


Thank you once again Roger, for sharing your perspective so beautifully.