“Plein air painting” was the term used when artists began taking their palettes and easels outdoors to paint. Jannicke Schønning follows this tradition as she goes out to the woods to record her fleeting impressions of nature on paper, but she has developed an idiosyncratic technique that uses the woods and nature as a studio. “I want the river to seep into the paper,” she explains. “I want to bring some of the river back home.”
For this work, Schønning put large sheets of paper onto rocks in the middle of a river. The instant she guided her brush across the paper, the water that streamed over the sheets washed the colours away, so that only small fields of colour remained. The paintings are full of chaotic whorls and converging colours, as though she has literally captured the river’s movement.
While many artists seek to paint nature, Schønning makes her art by collaborating with nature. In her paintings, traces of moisture, rain, cold, mud, soil, and insects are just as essential as the traces of her own hand. SJH