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Education and Exhibitons
Garðabær, Ísland
28 May 2005
in the evening
Come In / Velkominn
I live and work in the town of Garðabær, only minutes west of Reykjavík. From my window I can look out and see Mount Keilir.
I was born the 6th of July l956 in Reykjavík, and grew up there. I was thirteen when I bought my own first oil-color-set. I was always painting something through the years. I went to and completed the Commercial College of Iceland in l974. I always wanted to study art and I then went to the College of Art and Craft. When I had finished the first general two years in 1976 my son was born so I spent a few years when he was little raising him, but started school again in 1983. I graduated in l986, from the graphics section. My studies were in serigraphy.

Soon after I graduated, I bought my own graphics equipment and started working in my own graphics-studio for a few years. I sold my work in a gallery in Reykjavík, had a few solo exhibitions and participated in joint exhibitions. I like working in serigraphy. It gives you the opportunity to use various techniques. (Andy Warhol's famous portrait of Marilyn Monroe is an example of a serigraph). Unfortunately serigraphy is not very good for your health. The materials are very toxic. You need to have a good air-conditioning, wear gloves up to your elbow, and also wear a mask. So, step-by-step, I switched from serigraphy to oil painting. It wasn't until 1992 that I first showed my oil paintings in a joint exhibition. In 1995 I had my first serious solo exhibition. Since then I have only worked in oils.

Gunnella in 2002 with her painting done in 1997

Painting done in 2001
My work today looks very different from my first work exhibited in 1992. However, the themes with people are similar in many ways. Today, I'm painting pictures from the photo-album of my mind, pictures that I have collected from my memories of people, especially of my grandmother, who lived in the north of the country. She lived in a town called Siglufjörður. I paint her and her house and the surroundings.

Click the painting on the right to
see more about the people in it.
I'm holding the Teddy Bear.

Afi og amma / My Grandparents
Click the photo on the right to
vist Gunnella and her grandparent's home in
Where do ideas come from?
Old photos, especially photos that show the daily lives of people at the beginning of the last century, also fascinate me. The Saga of the Icelandic people is quite amazing. I was so very difficult to survive here on this rocky Iceland in the north. My grandparents told stories of their primitive living from their growing-up years. That was only one decade ago, unbelievable. Knowing this Saga inspires me, directly and indirectly. I tell stories of the old-time-living but in my own way. I use some spices like flowers and trees from my garden and the powerful Snæfellsnes glacier.

My Cat
I've been told that my paintings show that women can do whatever they want. I like that.