Swedish artist Annika Vretinger has been creating for as long as she can remember. In addition to producing her colorful paintings, Vretinger works as a school art teacher, inspiring young minds by teaching them about the art world and traditions in handicraft. In today’s increasingly digital world, Vretinger finds pleasure in sharing the physical techniques of artmaking she employs daily with her students. Her paintings are self-professedly “strange,” as she leans into shapes and figures the viewer might not understand at first glance. Vretinger’s paintings are, above all, playful, retaining the same youthful spirit as the students she cherishes.
When Vretinger paints, she does not aim to portray anything realistically, nor does she limit herself to the bounds of logic. Instead, Vretinger flexes her imagination with each new piece, choosing to remain lighthearted and goofy rather than take anything too seriously. As a result, her acrylic paintings emit an overwhelming sense of joy and often even make us laugh. Vretinger belongs to a Swedish artist’s group called Penseldraget (“brushstroke” in Swedish) and has sold her work to charities in her home country in the past. In each painting, Vretinger expresses both body and mind, following her natural hand movements as she works and channeling her merry outlook onto the canvas. Her unique take on reality communicates a sense of unencumbered happiness and positivity, radiating joy with every stroke of her brush.