Published on 28/03/2018
IT IS RARE TO SEE such a perfect image of an artist’s subject matter alongside the resulting finished painting.
See the well used brushes, the enamel jug splattered with paint, the abandoned painting used to test colour, the edge of a laden palette — this is a busy studio.
‘Gardener’s Chronicle’ is in our current Spring Exhibition and it is irresistible. Brita Granström seems to express the intrinsic beauty of deceptively simple everyday subjects. Here she wonderfully captures the colour of the tulips, the texture of the paper wrapper and twine, the inscribed edge of the dark ceramic plate. She has enhanced the blackcurrant buds; with the knowledge of how they will look in a few days’ time, the flowers are opening out with a dusky pink colour and fresh green leaves are beginning to unfurl. The ends of the twigs are clean cut and the tulip stems graduate to pale yellow.
These are evidence of intimate observation. But Brita’s paintings are always fresh, she does not include every deadening detail. It is the feel of the subject, the mood and emotion of the moment that they convey. Brita communicates joy and she lifts the spirits. The painting is full of promise and anticipation, affectionate but unsentimental.
Each element is carefully considered but not contrived. Brita has an exquisite sense of colour. Apparently effortless, this is a beautifully balanced composition. And The Gardeners Chronicle newspaper adds a timeless element, connecting back to earlier generations who have loved the natural world, flowers, gardens and domestic life.
This is one of four paintings in our current show, each of which embodies spring and new life.
Brita Granström was born in Sweden in 1969. She studied at Konstfack in Stockholm and since 1993 has lived and painted between the Scottish borders and her Swedish homeland. Her Nordic roots are apparent in her paintings. She is also well known as a book illustrator, particularly in collaboration with her partner Mick Manning. Their critically acclaimed books have won many awards.
"The landscapes of both Sweden and the British Isles feature strongly in my paintings; environments that are always changing, never still. Painting on location and in all weathers produces images that, for me, encompass and celebrate themes of hope, humanity, life and mortality.”