ASTRID DRAGESET

 

To begin, could you tell me a little about yourself and your background?

I am a Norwegian female artist born in 1955. Educated at the art academy in Bergen. I live and work in Bergen, Norway.

Describe your journey to becoming an artist. Has it been easy? Natural? What has been difficult?

When I was seven years old, my school went to a wonderful exhibition with great European and Norwegian artists. What left a lasting impression was the abstract art. It gave me a joy I have never forgotten. It showed me a visual language I could understand.

How would you describe your work to someone?

My work is abstract, often with simple shapes. There are layers of egg tempera. I try to convey emotion, often peace and quiet.

What is important for viewers to note when viewing your work?

It is important that they trust their own insights and find their own stories as viewers of the painting.

What is your process like? How important is process in understanding your work?

The process is very important to me. I start with a raw canvas and build up primer in many layers, often with pigment. Eggs, linseed oil and water are mixed. This is the paint medium I use to mix pigment in. Then I have all the variations to choose from. Thin or thick paint and an infinity of colors when mixing pigments. I use layers or the lack of layering to express emotions or concepts.

What does your work aim to say?

I want people to stop and consider their feelings. That is what I want to convey. I want to give people a positive experience when they look at my paintings.

 

Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how they have impacted your work?

There are many, but Malevich and other russian avant garde artists were my first influences.

 

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in nature, historical material from our ancestors and in the manual labour of making art.

In your experience, what is the best thing about being an artist? What is the hardest thing about being an artist?

The joy of getting into a work of art and that the artwork can give others an emotional experience. The worst thing about being an artist is bad economy, and uncertain prospects for the future.

 

What piece of advice would you give to a young artist?

Don't give up if you have faith in your art and want to communicate through art.

 
Adam Reid Fox