The Jury prize at the Artistes du Monde in Cannes is one of a handful of recent awards – despite the success, Dana Ingesson remains grateful to anyone choosing to live with her art.
”My watercolors are not the kind of soft-flowing watercolors that people are used to see,” says Dana Ingesson.
Describe your feelings when your art is displayed in an exhibition?
– I’m incredibly happy, humble and grateful that someone takes time to look at my art. And how should I even describe the feeling when someone chooses to have my paintings at home?
– My wish is that a painting of mine will comfort during difficult times and delight during joyful moments. As I see it the artist is always present within the painting and my paintings are pieces of me that get to live in people’s homes.
What do you want to create through an abstract painting?
– Art usually comes to me in abstract form. I want to achieve a dialogue between the painting and the viewer and I want to touch something deeper within people. To achieve that the painting should never be completely figurative. It should be something that is alive and something that changes depending of the mood of the viewer. I’m not interested in painting beautiful pictures, instead I want to convey, reflect and wake up feelings.
– At the same time, there are elements in my paintings that do not have to be abstract. Those who know my images know, for example, that dragonflies are recurring in my paintings. I once had a cat called Picasso – one summer he died and later that year in the fall when I was out, a dragonfly came and sat down on my shoulder. I took it as a sign and since then, there are often dragonflies hidden in my paintings – they can be more or less abstract.
Your painting is also unique when it comes to technique. Tell about the way you work.
– The way I paint with watercolors is unusual because I exclusively use a pallet knife. I start off by sketching my motive with very fast movements and then I use the the knife to add water and pigment. It is very similar to someone who works with oil or acrylic.
– I have no desire to follow the current and I want to convey things the way I see them. The best advice I ever received was from a colleague who said I must do it my way. I really appreciated those amazing words. Today, when people see my watercolors, they do not understand how they are made because I go against all laws – my watercolors are not the kind of soft-flowing watercolors that people are used to see.
Where is your studio and what does it look like when you paint?
– My whole house is my studio – where the cats and the dogs go slalom, but for some reason they never step on my paintings. It’s a bit much sometimes, but if I suddenly became a millionaire I would not want to change the way I live.
– When I paint, I listen to music such as Janis Joplin. Hopefully, the palette knife will dance on my canvas, and when I look at it all afterwards I ask: ”what have we done together?”
2016 you became the citizen of the year in Tidaholm and you have received both national and international awards for your art. How does it feel and where will we find your art in the future?
– When I go back to the moment when they say ”the Jury prize goes to Dana Ingesson Sweden,” I find it hard to believe it’s true. Marina Picasso was in charge of the exhibition – these are huge things to me.
– After I exhibited in Paris, I received more offers to exhibit abroad. In March I am going to New York where several artists exhibit at the Agora Gallery. Yesterday I received notice that I will also be exhibiting in Stockholm this spring. It means a lot.
A selection of future exhibitions – Dana Ingesson:
530 West 24th Street, New York