Jonna Valtner - Capturing Simple Moments

21st May 24 - By Nikolai Kotlarczyk, Writer

Artist PortraitsInspirationPeople

Paper Collective chatted with Stockholm based designer and artist Jonna Valtner to talk about her use of colour and medium, and how she utilises composition and cropping to create unique emotions within her work.

PC: Hi Jonna. Thank you for chatting with Paper Collective. Can you tell me a little bit about your art practice, your background and where you are based?

Jonna: I live and work in Stockholm, Sweden, and I have a background in fashion design at Beckmans College of Design. I have worked in the fashion industry for almost 10 years, but for the last couple of years I have mostly worked with my own business.

PC: A lot of your work is inspired by photography, films and advertising - with many of your motifs having a sense of being staged or positioned. What techniques do you use to achieve this feeling, and what do you think it adds to your compositions?

Jonna: I have always been interested in art, both figurative and abstract and even as a child I painted a lot and could spend hours with art books, photo books but also with old photo albums. It is something I still like to do today. It's the history that fascinates me, and the time in which a person lives.
The same applies to photography and stills from films. It's about the moment and the present. It is something I want to bring into my paintings, by cutting away or cutting out parts of a photo, the image takes on a different meaning and a more direct feel.
I mostly use oil paints on canvas. But I also paint with gouache and oil pastels.

PC: Your use of colour is quite unique - focusing on a quite muted colour palette with occasional hits of colour. How do you use colour to reflect the world around you, and how does colour contribute to the atmosphere of your work?

Jonna: Since I have worked as a product designer in the clothing industry I have worked with colors in many different ways. After all, color is part of design and I have brought that with me into the art. Color is very important to create the right feeling, and the colors that I use and mix are something that also reflects who I am. For example, I never use black directly from the tube, but mix it with brown and blue to get the black shade I want. There are so many shades of every color and you have to put some energy into finding the right color tone that suits the subject.

PC: I know you work across a variety of mediums and techniques. What are you drawn to in each, and do you have a personal favourite to work with?

Jonna: It is definitely figurative oil painting that I do most, but I like to explore and to challenge myself. To never stop and settle for one thing. Then it gets boring and I start searching for new paths, by changing materials to incorporate fabrics or sculpt in clay for example.
I'm a rather restless person so it suits me to switch materials when creating. Sometimes when working on a painting I get stuck and pause it, and start on something completely different. After such a detour I can work on the painting again much more easily.

Artworks by:

Jonna Valtner