Born in the northern part of Sweden in the mid-eighties, as a third generation artist he loved drawing creations from his surroundings. 

And soon his passion was on fire, drawing, and painting, the tools needed for creating worlds and emotions became his.


When growing up he was surrounded by paintings and the materials needed to give birth to them. He was introduced early on to the process of making paintings and how to create a symbiosis between making and living them.


Wanting to express these emotions through nature was the key, always looking for contrasts and their balances. Creating a space where the viewer can visit his visions and where he can process the many viewpoints of the world. 

Being ever observing and present with his surroundings has developed a creative space where Per Elof can create and explore his ideas on nature and poetry. 


Today his exploration takes form as dialogs based in his Sami heritage, history, and cultures, drawing knowledge and inspiration from archeological, ancient and classical art. Spending his time working between wilderness and civilization, the north of Sweden and the living museums of the world. Through this Per Elof found a way of internalizing how art has been translated and conveyed in the world throughout history










Interview and thoughts


Q - How long have you been drawing for?

A - Unlike most people, I never stopped. 


Q - What made you continue pursuing painting?

A - The reward of giving birth to a feeling and a vision. To create and translate something that wasn’t there, something I felt I needed to share. 


Q - What was your drive and inspiration during your childhood?

A - To visit and explore worlds. I remember being a kid drawing dinosaur skeletons from paleontology books and then learning to mix that knowledge with visual impressions I found around myself.   


Q - What was it that gave you the true encouragement to become a painter?

A - Somewhere early on, when I was lucky to feel that acceptance that it was ok to constantly draw, to draw my own things. Things I saw or things I felt. There was always that support to explore on my own and go in my own direction. 

Most of it was thanks to my parents and grandparents. But also by my brother who joined me on crazy linear adventures with pencil on paper, creating that playground where we could explore our games through drawing.  


Q - What is the motivation behind your creativity today?

A - Wanting to see what’s on the other side of the idea, from the beginning of a painting and through the investment of yourself in the project. Searching through all those levels of unexpected things that happen when painting, the things that to me make the painting come alive in its own right, not just a flat image. 


Q - How would you like to describe your style of painting?

A - Painting every day and keeping on widening my experience through experimentation. Through themes, alchemy or perspective. I feel that still is just another word for habits. 


Q - What do you feel is your strongest attributes as an artist?

A - Exploration and curiosity.  


Q - Do you have any real dream project you’d like to do?

A - My collection of ideas and compositions is ever growing in my sketchbooks, it’s just about finding the time and space to execute them in the way I imagine in my mind. Getting to entwine it with reality, the question to me is just how many levels you want to intertwine it. How many paintings are there inside of that vision. 


Q - How would you encourage new artists that have just begun their journey?

A - To keep on renewing themselves, feed their curiosity. This to me is the best way to learn. To be hungry not just today but also to build their hunger for tomorrow.

Go out and meet other artists, you never know whom you will meet that’ll show you the path to the place that you will call home. 


Q - Is there any technique within the arts you would like to develop/learn? 

A - I’m very curious and love trying out new techniques and mediums, I feel that every medium speaks in its own voice, working with them teaches you how to listen to how they work best. 

Some of the ones I would love to have more conversations with is wood carving and etching. Eventually.


Q - Where do you find your inspiration?

A - By walking around in different environments, asking questions, giving myself restrictions and new perspectives to see the world through. Reading is always a safe bet, filling your mind with thoughts that float around in there while you draw and paint. Subconsciously I think those thoughts you are thinking while working will show up in the decisions you make in your work.


Q - Where will you be in five years?

A - Hopefully collaboration with other artist and still be pushing myself to face new challenges in painting.


Q - How would you like to influence/develop the art world?

A - Personally I would like to see fewer concepts and more humanity, more work that invokes emotional interaction with the viewer. I feel that there’s enough talking and writing about painting. But more need to happen in the process of creating the pieces. Basically a bigger collaboration between brain, heart, and hand, we can use all of those, it’s the collaboration between them that shows the human behind the work. There are many beautiful ideas out there, we all have them, present them in the manner that they deserve, make them beautiful. Let them become an inspiration to others.

© 2019 by Per Elof Nilsson Ricklund