THE striking street scenes of Clare proved so inspiring for a Scandinavian artist that she returned to the town to hold her first UK exhibition.
Top Swedish painter Jennifer Saxell, who has displayed her work in galleries across the globe, is currently showcasing pictures of well-known sites from all over Suffolk at Sea Pictures Gallery in Well Lane.
Mrs Saxell, who was born in Canada but has lived in Österlen in southern Sweden for two decades, opened her debut exhibition in England last Friday.
Visitors were welcomed by a range of familiar settings and buildings, including Clare High Street, The Green in Cavendish and Lavenham’s Guildhall.
“I came to Clare last year, took some photographs and got inspired,” said Mrs Saxell, who uses bright colours and adopts her own abstract style in her paintings and pastels.
“I love it here and it is fun to be in a new place. It is fairly similar surroundings to where I live, but as it is all new it really contributes to an artist’s creativity.”
The self-taught painter, who recently held a show in Chicago, said she was looking forward to hearing people’s views on her work.
“A lot of people say my paintings make them feel happy and that is wonderful to hear,” she said.
“I paint very spontaneously and in the moment and my pieces seem to paint themselves most of the time. I am very lucky everything is going so well.”
Mrs Saxell’s work was spotted by gallery owner Sarah Pugh and her husband Alaric on a trip to Sweden – and they were instantly captured.
“We loved its vigour,” said Mrs Pugh, who has run the gallery for three years.
“It is so positive, has lovely bright colours and it’s uplifting.”
The exhibition will run until October 22.