Copyright Kerstin Pettersson, Visionshuset, Laxnetorpsv. 6, 64691 Gnesta, Sweden
You do not decide to become an artist if you are not rather stubborn. Everyone will tell you to think twice and then consider something else. There are so many nice things to be: civil engineers, doctors, mathematicians, agronomists, farmers. And all of them make more money than artists.
I was nine when I decided to become an artist…. and an animal keeper. Some years later I thought of writing books as well and still later I started to study for being a civil engineer, only as a sideline, of course. I continued to study languages.
I am very stubborn and I walk my chosen path, for better or worse. I love words although I don´t need them. If you can paint and draw you can always make yourself understood, you just need a paper and a pencil. You can open doors. Or you can use your drawings as weapons, either way very useful.
When we were children we made a magazine -
When I was fifteen I painted the horse to the left, already bigger and with the new acrylic paint that my father brought us from London. At this time in Sweden we had not heard about mediums and I mixed my paint with water and later with sand.
I was cutting out photos in newspapers, drawing portraits and caricatures, just practising. I still do that sometimes. Suppose it´s like doing scales for a musician.
I went to upper secondary school, learning hard, having fun and spreading my caricatures at school, pasting them on convenient walls. You don´t need a pistol when you have a pen.
I went to RMI Berghs School, surprising my teachers by preferring to learn painting, painting, PAINTING instead of the graphic form that the school was famous for. So second year I got my own schedule, having more caricature and perspective drawing and very much painting.
I started working as a freelancer when finally out of school, doing this for some years.
I went to Germany to learn to speak German and not just to write. I traded drawings for wine bottles and had a great time.
I went back to Sweden with wine and peanut plants, not being sure that Stockholm was the place for me. I spent two years at KTH learning mathematics, doing sports and drawings.
I travelled to Hungary by chance and fell in love with a small, complicated, dirty and dark country, full of numerous tales and with a hopeless language. I bought a book: Ungarisch für Ausländer. I did not understand much so I went back: Again and again. I learnt Hungarian and I finally found all the mystery and excitement I could handle (or not). I lived my dream and to my surprise I survived. I went home, although I did not want to, and back again. And again and again.
I wrote a book and gave it a title: “And the horse was looking for its wings”. I squeezed the tackiness of the black market and the glittering art world into phrases. I lost my soul and it took many years until I found it again.
This is from the back side of the book, in Swedish: “Från Budapests skådespelar-
Want to know more about the book; email me!
Suddenly we were three, plus the cats, and we moved from Stockholm, not to Budapest or Paris but to Laxne. And we stayed. I learnt to like the countryside again.
I planted my trees and my flowers, moved stones around and bought Király, my huge, black dog. I built a house, Visionshuset and put my suitcases aside, for the first time not on the move. I wanted to see the Hungarian walnut trees grow big, in this tiny village with a view of the lake.
My sisters built another house, in Spain, close to the river Alberche. She planted her trees and flowers as well and moved the stones around.
For me, these are the places to be. And Budapest, with my friends. You can read more about our worlds in my blog. You will find a link to it if you click Länkar, on the button above.