Calming Mountains by Silja-Marie Kentsdottir

Silja-Marie Kentsdottir is a filmmaker who became obsessed with painting mountains. She is driven by making colourful creations, usually motives of mountains, inspired by her childhood home – Northern Iceland. Silja-Marie infuses her creations with playfulness and positive energy, carefully blending different colours to achieve harmony. Her goal is to convey a sense of tranquillity in her paintings, mirroring the calming effect Icelandic mountains have on her. "Mountains are often portrayed as a bit overpowering and almost threatening. I find them calming to look at. I simply paint them less macho."

Tell us about yourself and how you got started with art.

I have always loved to paint and express myself visually. Still, it wasn't until my first parental leave that I decided to dream big and started showing my paintings to an audience on Instagram and applying for exhibitions. In that period, I also started to find my own style and realised I wanted to paint colourful, abstract mountains. 

What are your main sources of inspiration?

My main inspiration is northern Iceland. I'm half Icelandic, so I go there every year to visit my family and our old family house. It's located next to a mountain, surrounded by magnificent nature and breathtaking ocean views. I spent my childhood there and dream about living there again. I love being close to the mountains and having them around to look at. 

Who are your biggest artistic influences? 

There are so many artists I get inspired by, mostly women painting with passion and emotions and not the brain. I love watching paintings that create emotions within you.

Tell us a little bit about your latest collection.

"I Paint mountains less macho". My latest collection is colourful mountains that make you feel at ease. For me, mountains are not huge, scary things I wanna climb (kind of scared of heights, actually). They are your friends who are unshakable and always there for you. Filled with colour combinations that are powerful enough to own the wall by itself.   

"It motivates me to never stop experimenting and developing new creations ... That keeps me developing, and I must do that to keep this fun"

Did you follow a specific theme? 

Abstract Mountain theme.

What motivates you to create?

It motivates me to never stop experimenting and developing new creations. I love experimenting with colours, and I always try new colour combinations. That keeps me developing, and I must do that to keep this fun. 

What does art mean to you?

I think art exists when a society is doing well. But it could be an expression of both good and bad. For me, art is a feel-good activity and pure joy to create. It's a happy place and gives me the energy to handle life.  

What is the biggest challenge of being an artist?

Everything has to do with pricing and believing in your own value. But it gets easier with time. 

How do you manage a work-life balance as an artist?

I run my own film production company and have been doing so for the last few years. Being able to decide what I do with my time has been the solution for me to have time to paint. I also have two kids and have been on a long parental leave, and I love to paint during that time. 

Describe how art is important to society.

The society is doing well if there is room for art and culture. It means we people are able to have the possibility to create for a living and consume creative work. I think every society should aim for that. To let people stay creative and express whatever they want in their artwork. 

Where do you live/reside? 

I live in Stockholm, but I am not planning on staying. I dream about living in Iceland or in the countryside. 

Does your residential place have an impact on your art? 

I love my studio in Stockholm now, with great light, cosy decor and hanging with other creative souls. It helps to get the right vibe from the place you are creating in.  

When is your favourite time of day to create?

Haven't thought about that! When I get a flow, it is hard to stop, even if the sun is going down and the light is getting bad. 

How do you see your prints in an interior setting? 

I think they look good above a cosy sofa or over your bed! It will give the room a cosy vibe and a warm feeling. But also, they are "all-around art" that works well in both the kids' room and the kitchen. 

What do you like doing when you are not creating? 

I love swimming, climbing and being outside in nature. I also like to spend time at flea markets and second-hand shops. Buying decor and dreaming about a house. And, of course, hanging out with my family and friends.

What will we never find in your home? 

A kettlebell.

What is your current obsession and why? 

Except painting? I love watching house building and home decor TV shows. It's such a cosy feeling on an autumn evening to sit down on the sofa when the kids have fallen asleep. 

Do you have a hidden talent? 

I can spot a famous person from a very long distance. 

Would you say you are an introvert or an extrovert? 

I think I'm a social introvert person. Love being social and hanging around people, but I always need a rest from it after a while. I can really enjoy being by myself and have no problem with that. Maybe cause I have many siblings and kids. Alone time is precious!

What are you focusing on right now?

I am focusing on the next exhibition to have a good balance in life with work, art and family. 

Do you have any future projects you would like to share with us? 

I will have a small exhibition at "Midsommarkransens konstrunda", a cosy concept where artists exhibit their art at their home or studio in this specific area. Then, visitors will have a map and walk around to see the art. 

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Annie's song by John Denver.

Discover the full collection

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