Welcome to Spetters Gallery

About Steen Lersten Petterson

I am self taught as a painter and I paint because I do not know how not to. Painting has always been an obsession and I also wanted this to be my vocation. But I had my first solo exhibition at the age of 56 after practicising as an architect for 30 years and painting only in my spare time and only for my own amusement.

My approach to the task of painting is simple. The task must be solved on the surface, on the canvas, board or paper. It is not a question of depicting the landscape before you with as great likeness as possible. The task is to create a ”painting” that reflects my temperament with the tools at hand. And hopefully the viewer will recognize that temperament. Likeness is subordinate. I often add different materials to my paintings, pieces of cloth, tissue paper, sawdust and sand. Even though the inspiration to paint a particular picture comes from the motif I always start by trying to imagine an image of the “painting”, how I want the painting to exhibit itself, composition, color, texture etc.

I try to study the old masters and how they solved their “tasks” - i.e. the seascapes and forest scenes of the French painter Gustave Courbet, the clouds of Constable and the trees of the Canadian painter Tom Thomson. I am especially inspired by British landscape painters, past and present. I travel a lot in Britain and originally trained as an architect at Hull College of Art, East Yorkshire in the 1970s.

My main motifs I find in my childhood landscapes. Growing up close to the forests surrounding Oslo, Norway and spending every summer in the coastal landscape of North Jutland, Denmark have made these landscapes so much a part of me and who I am. I still live and do my paintings in these landscapes.

I love the flat half tamed landscape of coastal Denmark, constantly changing throughout the seasons and changing tides, with its overwhelming sky and windswept vegetation, and to contrast this dive into the forests neighboring my house in Norway with its tall majestic pine trees and dense spruces mixed with birches and other deciduous trees and multicolored undergrowth.