March 30, 2016

Danish painter, Silke Bonde creates beautiful pastel-hued watercolours that are inspired by her love for nature. Her art clearly draws inspiration from the clean lines and structured aesthetic of Scandinavian design. We caught up with Silke about her daily routines, finding calm in the bustle of daily life and what she loves about working in watercolour.

UO: Tell us a little about your story so far.

When I was little I really enjoyed my own company, especially when I had something creative to work with. I could sit for hours and work on the same thing; I guess I had a good imagination. I was the creative one in my class and I enjoyed having that role. While studying entrepreneurship design in Copenhagen six years ago, I started blogging. I mostly blogged about my creative projects and paintings at home and suddenly one day someone asked if they could buy some of it. I was really surprised and also really happy. Shortly after that, it all started. I now work from my own little studio in Copenhagen.

UO: What does a typical day look like for you?

After breakfast I take my dog out for a walk. Then I ride my bike the usual 8km to my studio, which is located in the center of Copenhagen. Before lunch I check emails, social media etc. In the afternoon I’ll work on a design project, try out some new ideas or write down some new thoughts. Before I leave the studio I pack orders. I tend to bring the orders in my bicycle basket so I can drop them off at the post office on my way home. I spend my evening with my soon-to-be husband and our little dog, watching some series or other on HBO.

UO: Can you share with us your creative process? How do you approach one of your pieces?

I usually find a theme that I find interesting. It often has something to do with nature. I explore this theme and transfer it to my sketchbook. Then I start working with water and brush to try out different ideas. Most of my creative process happens on watercolour paper, which gives me an idea of the final look and makes sure that I get the expression that I am looking for. I will have used tons of watercolour paper before I am satisfied.

UO: How would you describe your style in three words?

Handmade, natural, minimalist.

UO: You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that you are inspired by nature; how does it play a role in your work?

Yes, I am a huge fan of nature and all my work is based on this fascination. I even moved outside the city to be closer to nature. I love its patterns, structures, colours, movements and details. There are so many fascinating things about it and it deserves attention.

UO: You work largely in watercolour – what is it about this medium that fascinates you?

I love all the opportunities that occur when working with water. First of all, the water has its own life and creates its own organic shapes and structures. Then you have the opportunity to control the water and create more stringent shapes and patterns. It’s the combination of these that I love.

UO: What are some colours, textures or shapes that are inspiring you right now?

I just launched my new collection “Under water” which is inspired by all the colours, textures and shapes you see under the surface. I was diving in Indonesia this fall and it felt like I was looking at an ever-changing piece of art. There are so many beautiful patterns and shapes made by nature in the coral reefs. It was very inspiring.

UO: What is the piece you are most proud of, and what is its story?

I have this huge piece hanging on my wall at home. It’s made with watercolours and shows a pattern made with stringent lines. It is so calming, simple and Nordic at the same time. I just like it. There is no big story to it really.

UO: What or who inspires you, both personally and professionally?

My boyfriend inspires me a lot. He works as an engineer and he has a fantastic drive that I really admire. He has a really innovative brain that comes up with great ideas almost every day.

UO: What are some of the ways you find quiet, living in a city? What are the best ways to disconnect from work and daily life?

Every day when riding my bike to the studio and back again, I have my quiet moments. With music in my ears I just fly through the city while daydreaming of things other than work. It doesn’t sound calm, I know, but riding a bike in Copenhagen is easy if you just go with the flow.