Björn Bernström

Björn Bernström
by Jacqueline Stare

Björn Bernström is first and foremost a landscape painter and in his landscapes he often places buildings. It took quite a number of years before art was to be predominant in his life even though he had been drawing and painting since childhood. He took the sensible route and worked in banking for 10 years until he went to art school with the ambition of becoming an art teacher. However, his talents lay elsewhere, and alongside his own artistic profession he started working part time as a “location scout” for the film industry. This is a means for him to find new painting subjects as well as to earn a living. Lars Lerin and Arne Isacsson are artists he admires for their skills. Björn Berström makes fully use of “backwash” effects, seldom painting the formation of clouds or shrubbery, but instead he makes the colour pigment do the work. He still has full control of the process and may help it along, perhaps with a hair-drier. It takes time to learn to master this technique and one has to be completely concentrated and know precisely when to intervene and when to let the combination of pigments, paper and water do their job. He needs focus points in the painting and uses cables, posts, and fences to divide and define the picture. There must be harmony between the flowing colours and strict formations. He may never have become a school teacher, but he is still keen on holding courses. He teaches landscape architects, print designers and advanced watercolour painters with great enthusiasm.