Today, we get the opportunity to talk to Swedish artist, Krister “KriB” Björklund (who uses oil and mixed media for landscape and abstract art). Born in Viskafors, but ever since 2005, he has been living in Sundsvall. It all started in 1997 when the self-taught artist made his first acrylic brushstroke. Later, in 2018, he became the owner of his own gallery in Timra with exhibitions in various places in Sweden. From research we know his biggest inspiration is nature and his own experience, which is visible in his artwork.
“KriB (2)“: Follow. Krister “Krib” Björklund © 2021. All Rights Reserved.
I know you have your own art studio in Timra. Have you always wanted your own art studio?
Until 2018, I have worked at home, but it is a balancing act to work at home. You have to pick up and pick away, as we do not have a room to spare for the studio. Since 2018, I paint everything between 30-60 hours per week. My studio also gives me the opportunity to showcase my art and my painting in a much freer way.
If you weren’t an artist what would you be doing?
If I hadn’t dedicated my life to art, I would probably have devoted myself to some form of creative profession. I have sung in a choir, played amateur theater. It probably stems from the fact that I am colorful and outgoing to my disposition.
“Green Summer" : acrylic, oil on canvas. Krister “Krib” Björklund © 2020 All Rights Reserved.
How long did it take to paint at the skill level you’ve showcased?
Difficult question ... When I started painting in the late 90s, it was like therapy. … A way for me to deal with my mental chaos. Other than my therapist, 2016 was the first time I showed my art to others. From 2018, I have exhibited my art diligently and am happy to show it on Facebook and Instagram as well.
What do you want others to know about your artwork?
Nature as a place of recovery is a key to approaching my artwork. I often move in the woods and the nature. It’s an experience I appreciate having for myself. In the works, I return to this state of mind and my motifs are usually painted from memory.
“A Winter Day”: After a walk a really cold January day. A winter day in northern Sweden. Mother Earth is so wonderfully beneficial for body and soul. Krister “Krib” Björklund © 2018. All Rights Reserved.
Do you ever get painter’s block?
It happens that I have periods when the inspiration is not at its peak. Then nature is a great asset I always find that starts a process. It’s like seeds that start to germinate.
Can you tell me your most favorite piece you’ve painted?
I'm my own biggest critic, I never show a painting that I don’t feel I can stand up for. Then there are of course paintings that I hold closer to my heart. If I now have to highlight a painting, it must be Summertime. I have walked that path 100 times for sure and it is a place that gives me so much mental energy and a feeling of harmony and balance.
“Winter rest”:oil on canvas. Krister “Krib” Björklund © 2020. All Rights Reserved.
What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you?
“Just be you, don’t let anyone close-minded affect you”
What’s the least color you use when painting? It's black, I almost never use pure black. I always season black with, for example, red, blue or umber. It gives a vibrant black with nice luster.
What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a painting?
If I have to take the whole process into account, the answer will be 3-4 months. When I have started the actual painting, it takes at most 7-8 days before the painting is finished.
“Summertime in The Woods, 2020”: Acrylic, oil on canvas. Krister “Krib” Björklund ©. 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Do you like to paint your own room?
To be completely honest, I rather spend time on my paintings, than repaint the walls here at home.
Did you learn to draw or paint first?
As a child, it was mostly drawings. As an artist, is painting. A painting starts as an image for my inner vision, then my subconscious begins to process the image. Once I start working on the easel, I have painted the picture in my head a number of times. I almost never sketch, because I have gone through all the moments in my subconscious. For me, creation/ painting is a form of meditation, a way of processing thoughts and feelings, and finding balance and harmony in life.
“Summertime, 2018”: “Blandteknik” Krister “Krib” Björklund ©. 2018. All Rights Reserved.
Are there any artists you’re influenced by?
An artist I really admire is Hilma af Klint (1862-1944). Not least for her great devotion to art. She put art before a family life and the great love of her life. Hilma is one of the really great abstract artists among her successors are, for example, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Kupka. Hilma af Klint was convinced that reality was not limited to the physical dimension, but that there was also an inner world that was just as real as the outer.
Do you do custom paintings? What do you think about printing your artwork?
I do commissions. A few carefully selected paintings are available as giclée prints in a small limited edition. I see prints as a complement, it gives the customer a choice, do they want an original work or a print.
For inquiries, you can contact Krister “KriB” Björklund via email or follow him on Instagram.