Tous Mag Interview


Words: Tous Mag | Image Credits: © Maria Lundström |


Hanging one’s hat in the far south of Sweden – in a small converted chapel – is painter Maria Lundström. Those moments of surprise, when a painting turns out in a way that wasn’t expected, is a feeling that Maria strives for. Over the years the artist’s work has changed as she has, forming a distinct style that’s so recognisably hers, today. A flow directly on to the canvas, no sketching or pre-planning.

Lundström plays with abstract shapes and ties this with an element of still-life, creating large-scale canvasses exhibiting funky shapes, daring colour combinations and iconic motifs which make the pieces so intrinsically Maria Lundström. With a strong eye for colour, and a playfulness towards composition, these freeing paintings will add energy to your life. They’re fun, joyful and striking; they’re one of a kind.  

“One single colour is like a voice or a tone, and colour combinations sounds like a chord or many voices in a chorus”

Maria Lundström

In awe of these extravagant paintings? We think so! For more inspiration, read the interview, below!

Tous Mag: Have you always been based in Sweden, and do you have any sentimentality toward Sweden?

Maria Lundström: I was born in the far north of Sweden, living close to nature, gradually moving south – as a result of art studies in Stockholm – and finally ending up in the far south. Sweden is a wonderful country in many ways, I appreciate our nature and climate even if winters up north can be long and dark. When I was a kid me and my family spent our summer holidays in a cottage without water and electricity by a lake. We’d go fishing, swim, play and go berry-picking. That’s Sweden, to me.

Tous Mag: What started your pursuit of such a distinct style? 

Maria Lundström: My way of making art has evolved over the years. After my studies at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design, I thought that as an artist you should be able to work in any style and rely on your drawing skills and knowledge of colour and composition. I think this gave me a good foundation to explore different avenues of artistic expression. Over the years my work has changed as I have changed, through life experience and a changing world. The point where I started the pursuit of my current style was about ten years ago after participating in a disappointing local show, which resulted in me deciding to target a broader, more international audience. Instagram made that possible and allowed me to focus on painting to please myself rather than the local community.

Tous Mag: What do you think makes your paintings personal to you? 

Maria Lundström: Painting is very personal to me. In the moment when I paint I work intuitively and never sketch in advance. My work is created in a flow directly on to the canvas and when I start I have no idea how it will turn out. I love it when the result surprises me.

Tous Mag: How would you describe your relationship with paint? 

Maria Lundström: My relationship with paint is both physical and emotional. Paint has a tactile quality, I find it interesting how it behaves differently depending on what kind of surface you paint on. For me, colour evokes emotions but also other senses as well. One single colour is like a voice or a tone, and colour combinations sounds like a chord or many voices in a chorus. I’ve had this ability, called synesthesia, for as long as I can remember. For me, letters and numbers have specific colours as well as form, and every colour has its own sound.

Tous Mag: Could you describe something that’s inspired you creatively?

Maria Lundström: When I moved into my studio. This was a time when a lot of things were going on in my life. I got my dream job at a great art gallery, working with other artists, curating exhibitions and contributing with my knowledge. I bought a small converted chapel that made for an excellent studio with a high ceiling and an ambiance of peace and joy. This is still my favourite place, ever, and I’m grateful to have a space of my own to create in.

Tous Mag: Could you tell us a little about your collaboration with Gorman Clothing? Who else would you most like to collaborate with?

Maria Lundström: My collaboration with Gorman clothing has been a great experience. They have a tradition of collaborating with artists and are very nice and easy to work with, I think. Having my paintings transformed to prints was actually a secret dream of mine come true. I would like to do more of that. I would love to se my paintings transformed to prints by Marimekko as I love their design and fabrics, and I wouldn’t mind a collaboration with a world wide company like Ikea – a brand that was actually founded not far from here – maybe a tufted carpet?

Studio view 3.JPG

Tous Mag: Is there anything you dislike about the art world? 

Maria Lundström: What I do not like in the art world is inequality in all its forms, unfortunately it exist there as well as everywhere.

Tous Mag: What’s integral to the work of an artist? What motivates you to keep painting?

Maria Lundström: As an artist I think it’s integral to have fun, to do what you like and please yourself instead of others. My motivation to keep on painting is finding that moment of surprise when a painting turns out in a way that I didn’t expect but, at the same time, fills me with joy. Those are the best moments.

Tous Mag: Do you think your work and spare time blur somewhat, as an artist? Or are you strict on ensuring you have a balance? 

Maria Lundström: My work as an artist definitely blurs with my spare time. A part of me is always in the studio painting, even if I’m weeding in the garden or spending time with family and friends.

Tous Mag: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, that you can pass on to our readers?

Maria Lundström: Keep doing whatever makes you happy and stick with it.

@maria_lundstromTOUS MAGVOLUME 02