Maria Wigge growing up in Stockholm. She graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle in 1996, moved to San Francisco and later on returned to Sweden, working with art direction within the fashion industry. In 2019 she decided to let her own creativity take space, evolve and grow and returned to a more focused studio practice. Today, she’s a full-time fine artist, translating the inspiration of the magnificent Nordic landscapes into watercolor and acrylic paintings from her home in a small town on the Swedish west coast.Tell us your story, why did you become an artist?
Growing up next to an artist mother has formed me in a thousand different ways. I have always been surrounded by art. I vividly remember sitting underneath my mother’s studio table, the air rich with the smells from the oil paint, making my own little drawings. Terrified of being compared to her, I went a route that felt like my own, becoming a graphic designer. I worked with design and Art Direction for more than twenty years, having painting as a hobby and a creative outlet - a place where I could let my creativity run completely free.
It’s only about five years ago that I begun sharing my work, I was immediately approached by collectors and have been doing it full time ever since.
When you create a new work, how do you go about it? What comes first?
I usually begin by adding paint randomly to the canvas or paper, a color scheme I’m drawn to, or even just some shapes and go from there. Regardless of what I do, composition comes first so I build the painting piece by piece, making sure it’s balanced.What can you tell us about your studio, what makes it special to you and how does it influence the way you work?
We built a house around the time I started painting full-time and built the top floor of the house as a studio space. Where I live, a large part of the year is quite dark so we covered the ceilings with skylights and daylight spotlights so there’s always good energy up there. I have a proper sound system and a door to close so when my family is around it’s a refuge. Stealing an hour to myself on a weekend is pure bliss. Is there a work of art in your life that has especially impressed you?
I saw a Turner exhibition in London when I was on a highschool trip and somehow managed to get the day there by myself. I was completely awestruck. The size of the pieces, the light! I still remember how it affected me on a physical level.
Reach to the stars: where will you be in 5 years?
I would love to have more collaborations with galleries and spend my days painting, exploring, expanding - working on larger sizes and in new mediums.Photos: Anna Lindblom
Learn more about the artist: