Magne Myhren

Magne Myhren paints outdoor paintings and sketches along streams and riverbeds. These form the basis for studio paintings. When Myhren lacks information for the studio paintings, he goes out into the woods to draw or paint details that he can use in the larger works.

In recent years, Myhren has had a research focus on a project on water that he calls Sjikt. The project is still ongoing with Sjikt Part II – Bekkefar / Creek. He tries to reveal some of the secrets of water. Layer Part I was completed in 2021 and the result of forty paintings was shown at a solo exhibition at Såpass Galleri in the autumn of 2021.

Myhren investigates how the layers of water behave? What are we seeing, and how can we see it? Can what he finds serve as metaphors for meetings between people? With oil paint and brush, Myhren has made a coherent phenomenological investigation through several series of forty paintings each. The metaphors are discussed with three therapists throughout the process.

"The surface of the water reflects, covers and reveals. The human surface reflects, covers, and reveals. Art and therapy – a common language?"

Myhren wants to find out how different layers behave when looking down through water. From above the surface, where objects encounter the water, further their rupture with the water membrane, the refraction of light that changes its direction. Reflections can be clear and completely obstruct the view, but these can also transition seamlessly to a clear view of the bottom, only to be broken up into endless mosaics when waves and rapids stir up the water. Myhren's phenomenological investigations are inspired by the American professor and philosopher Lester Embree (1938-2017), who wrote about how we encounter different phenomena and how we can think about this.

“It is rather the case that when we observe, whether it is based on nature or culture, we look, reason and try to analyze something. "Analysing" means looking for the expression, the structure, and the components, i.e. the properties, the relationships and the positional features within the totality, the whole thing.” (Embree, 2013)

Myhren works alla prima, a technique where he works wet and wet. He paints quickly and spends 1-2 hours painting small paintings that are finished on site, so that he can capture the moment. The sunlight and shadows come on and off again all the time on cloudy days, causing reflections in the water to disappear and reappear constantly. Myhren tries to memorize a lot. The starting point for the studio-painted work Sjikt bekkefar røtter / Layers creek rotes is observations and sketches by a forest stream as well as memories and imagination. No reference photo has been used.

Myhren calls himself a natural person and a ponderer. He is always curious about new knowledge, skills, and insights. He is inspired by small things in nature such as a small water mirror, a small stream, backlight, and shadow effects, and how the speed of the water in the stream is greater in an outer bend. To investigate a natural phenomenon, he sits down for quite a while just to look, look, and look.

"I often find it difficult to find the exact colour to illustrate reflections of the sky while the bottom is visible. When the sun breaks through in some places, spots of gold are created in the mud. The straws also have many colours - in shadow, translucent, reflective, overlapping."

Magne Myhren lives and works in Kristiansand, Norway. He is a member of the Norwegian arts organization NBK and Fellesverkstedet Myren Grafik (The joint workshop Myren Graphic). He has a broad education in many fields and has worked as a teacher and artist for the past 30 years. He has had many solo and group exhibitions in Norway.