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Art by Annica Waara
"Light puts all colours in their right element,” Annica Waara describes.
Photo credit: Christopher Hunt

Paints from nature

With the spectacular backdrop of a frozen ocean, Luleå-based artist Annica Waara holds up one of her favourite paintings to the camera.

“When I lack inspiration I head to the forest and refill on energy.”

With the spectacular backdrop of a frozen ocean, Luleå-based artist Annica Waara holds up one of her favourite paintings to the camera. It resembles a reindeer that Annica and her cousin spotted among a herd of 3000. 

Luleå-based artist Annica Waara
Annica's grandmother was part of the last generations of Sámi reindeer herders. "I’m intrigued by how life has changed completely in such a short time,” she says. Photo: Christopher Hunt

“That particular reindeer had three generations of calves following her, which is pretty unusual. It was such a special sight and I decided to title the painting Individual,” says Annica, whose grandmother was part of the last generations of Sámi reindeer herders.

“My grandmother left me a book where she described her upbringing as a nomad. I’m intrigued by how life has changed completely in such a short time,” she says. 

In a place where people still live very close to nature it is easy to understand where Annica sources her motifs. Her signature style is clean and simple, using only a few bright colours to vividly express her feelings. 

Winter sky
Luleå-based artist Annica Waara captures the fragile light of winter in her work. Photo: Christopher Hunt

“When I lack inspiration I head to the forest and refill on energy,” she says, and despite the region’s lack of it during winter – light – is her biggest source of inspiration. “With such a dark winter there is a huge demand for it. When light shows I feel I have to catch it, light puts all colours in their right element,” she describes. 

Painting has always been a big part of Annica’s life, but it was not until reading a letter from her 11 year-old-self on her 30th birthday, that she realised it was more than just a hobby back then as well. 

“I had written that my dream was to one day work as an artist and to live in a house by the ocean. It was fascinating to realise that both things had become a reality at the time,” she says with a smile.