Stig-Ove Sivertsen Watercolors Explore the Mutable Medium

Working in watercolors, Norwegian artist Stig-Ove Sivertsen recalls the Pablo Picasso print that hung in his childhood home—a reproduction portrait of Picasso’s muse, Sylvette David. The work shows her in full profile; while representational, it betrays a primitive abstract quality that recalls his earlier Cubist-inspired works. The work’s lasting impression on Sivertsen is telling. Picasso explored a wide range of styles and subjects throughout his career—nothing was exempt from his search. Moving easily between abstract and representational modes, Picasso fearlessly sacrificed one reputable style after another in pursuit of a genuine and “in-the-present-moment” expression.

Sivertsen does, too. “I find it difficult to talk about genre or style in today’s art world,” he says. “Picasso was light years ahead of his time. Today, there are almost no rules. Maybe that ‘everything goes’ attitude is the current movement? For my own part, I, too, have a ‘schizophrenic’ expression that ranges from abstract to photorealistic. The times I feel most successful in my painting are when I work intuitively and start without a preconceived point of view.”

The overriding consistency in Sivertsen’s watercolors is an exploration of the medium. “I suppose I like watercolor because of its challenges and difficulties,” he says. The mutable quality of watercolor and the random nature of its chance effects complement his adventurous spirit. “The medium forces one to work more freely; it’s how an artist should approach work: curious and playful. You must be bold to succeed, especially on a large format. You need to force some bravery into the painting.”

See more of Siversen’s diverse work in the June 2017 issue of Watercolor Artist, available at and on newsstands April 18.

watercolor_landscape_mountain_stig_ove_sivertsen |

Mountain (watercolor on paper) by Stig-Ove Sivertsen

watercolor_still_life_melancholy_stig_ove_sivertsen |

Melancholy (watercolor on paper) by Stig-Ove Sivertsen

watercolor_landscape_a_rock_through_space_stig_ove_sivertsen |

A Rock Through Space (watercolor on paper) by Stig-Ove Sivertsen

Absence-of-Presence_Stig_Ove_Sivertsen |

Absence of Presence (watercolor on paper) by Stig-Ove Sivertsen

Get inspired! Jean Haines shares a watercolor challenge:

Learn more from Haines at

The post Stig-Ove Sivertsen Watercolors Explore the Mutable Medium appeared first on Artist's Network.


Published by


I am obsessed with water colours and have been painting since I could hold my first brush, I have a huge passion for my own work and others, I love to teach and inspeier others. I'm a very proud Dad with 3 girls and amazing wife who shares my passion for painting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s