Brooklyn-born Ingrid Torjesen grew up surrounded by the paintings of her grandfather and great uncle, likely sparking her studies of fine art. Using both traditional and imaginative approaches in her work, Torjesen creates compositions that resonate with the viewer. Ingrid took some time to tells Hamptons Monthly more about her style and some of its connections to those works by her grandfather and uncle that inspired her.
You grew up surrounded by the work of your grandfather and great uncle, both Norwegian seascape painters. What are the similarities and differences in your work?
The most significant similarity is a Nordic sensibility and approach to Nature and expression through art, as well as a love of plein air painting and hiking to distant locations to capture untouched land and sea.
The difference in my work is that I love to work with found objects, gold leafing, texture, screen, and mixed media. And I love color quite passionately.
Your style has been described as being “the link between imagination and intuitive painting”. Can you explain what that means?
When I work creatively I give my intuitive imagination free rein. I’m never disappointed with the results, and am often pleasantly surprise.
What are your three favorite beaches in the Hamptons to depict and what about each of them are you drawn to?
Shagwong Point in Montauk is one of my favorite locations to paint. I love its raw, untouched beauty and quiet desolation.
North Sea, Southampton looks and feels like home in Southern Norway.
Haven’s Beach area in Sag Harbor: parts of this stretch of sand and sea remind me of a Monet painting.
You’ve worked in many different mediums, everything from traditional oil paints to Lomography photos, which is your favorite style to portray the East End?
I have two, Lomography photography and oil or acrylic paint.
You have a series of seascapes but also a collection of portraits. Why do you separate the two never depicting people in your beach scenes?
I prefer to focus on one subject at a time in my work. I view both my paintings of rocks and driftwood, as well as paintings of people as portraits.
What’s on the horizon for you and where can we see your work this summer?
I’m a poet as well as a painter and photographer – my current work in progress is a series of life size outline paintings of people.
I’m also writing two books as well as curating local art shows with my favorite artist friends. I will have a solo show at Ashawagh Hall in East Hampton in January.