Interview with Bente Sandtorv

November 25, 2020
Bente Sandtorv in her studio
Bente Sandtorv in her studio



How old were you when you started to draw?

My mother was very keen on drawing.  She loved art and introduced me to art when I was about 7 years old and very soon I loved drawing.  I started to experiment with pattern and lines, and as a girl, I often had big exhibitions in my bedroom when I covered the walls with drawings.  From then on, I was always thinking about art and about different ways to express myself.


Where do you take your inspiration from? Do you have a favourite artist?

Without a doubt, I would say that my big inspiration is Pablo Picasso. I love his art and sense of expression; his beautiful lines that appear so simple move me greatly.  The bold colours and straight lines fascinate me, and I can see a little bit of that in my own art.  The great Norwegian Expressionist artist, Edvard Munch is also an inspiration.  The rawness of his work goes straight to my heart.


Your drawings are often messages about feelings and emotions and how they are expressed and dealt with.  Do you think thay your own mood on a certain day affects your choice of subject for that day?

I am a sensitive person.  I sense alot from my surroundings, and sometimes I feel too much. Since I am not a talkative person, I have to express my thoughts in some shape or form.  It might be that my art is more transparent than I realise, and that I wear my heart on my sleeve, but it is natural for me to express myself through drawing, painting and writing.


How is the planned book going of a compilation of your poems and drawings?

The book has been put on hold for a short while owing to COVID 19 but it should be published in 2021.  I am using my drawings in combination with poems to give an insight into my thoughts and feelings.


I think that your drawings would be great to illustrate children's books.  Have you thought about illustrating children's books?

I agree that many of my drawings would be suitable in a children's book.  I have already written two scripts for a children's book but never seem to find time to complete them with working on the illustrations as well.  But I am sure I will get there!


Is your Norwegian/Nordic heritage important to you.  Do you think that it has any effect on your work?

The Nordic, in particular the Norwegian nature and light are often naked, raw and simple so is my art.


About the author

Christina Cadogan

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