Artistic Excellence 2016 | Honorable Mention: Cecilia Thorell


Cecilia Thorell, Green Glass, oil, 18 x 23.

Cecilia Thorell, Green Glass, oil, 18 x 23.

What inspired your winning entry? It was springtime when I painted this, and the colors and textures of nature were the biggest inspiration. I had fallen in love with the color of the green glass vase and began to arrange objects that would complement it and give the painting some contrast. The lemon, the branch, and the rough stone provide organic elements to balance against the smooth, hard glass.

What attracts you to contemporary realism? It has always felt like the most natural way of expressing myself, so I’ve just tried to become better at it.

How did you first get interested in art? My grandfather painted seascapes. I grew up spending time in his studio, and it made him happy and excited to see the same passion in me.

Where did you study art? I studied at an art school in Sweden and later at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy.

What inspires you to paint a scene? It can be a place, an image, an object, a face, a color arrangement, or a mood. I look for things around me wherever I am. You never know where inspiration will come from, but once you have an image in your mind that you can’t forget, you know you have to paint it.

What do you love most about being an artist? I see beauty in places that my friends and others never notice. It’s like living in a secret world.

When you’re not painting, what do you enjoy doing? I love to walk in the forest or near the ocean. I typically go with my family and our dog, and we bring a picnic along to make a day of it.

What galleries represent your work? Galleri Scandinavia, Gothenburg, Sweden; Abend Gallery, Denver, CO.

This story was featured in the December 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  December 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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