By likemindblog



LENA  RYDSTRÖM is from Gotheburg, Sweden.  This multitalented artist is as much at ease on a piano as she is behind a camera, a pen or with a paint brush in her hand or teaching.  In her own words:  “I grew up with my Father (and Mother), always carrying the Camera. He was a skilled Photographer, even if he did not work as one.

I loved to be in his darkroom, watching the Images come alive on the paper, slowly taking shape in black and white. He was bathing the photos in several liquids and then suddenly…the image was clear and beautiful to watch. I also watched my Father choose what part of the negative image, to become a photo. Sometimes he’d just choose a face, sometimes the whole body and the houses in the background. To me it was Magic, a Magical Mystery, performed in this secret dark chamber; the Art of freezing a moment of time, saving it forever.   

To me painting or drawing is like making a photo, but there are no limits at all…  I can choose whatever I want to project onto the paper or canvas….but there is still this Magic feeling of saving a moment of time.

My Mother was very good at sewing and knitting.  As a child I went to theLENA Town2 stores with her, to buy fabrics in different colours and patterns. I loved to watch all the magical colours and the patterns, which came alive in my mind…  My mother had a great sense of colours and of how to combine them.   I think this is where it all started, how my mother and father enjoyed expressing themselves….

I have always enjoyed painting and drawing but first as an adult, I started to do it full time.  I am piano and music teacher, so my life has always been filled with music.  I was working as a teacher for many years and also as a part-time musician, playing all sorts of genres, from classical music to salsa, pop and jazz.  I have always had the need to express myself.   I have been using music, writing and painting/drawing to express my inner self, since I was very young.  

I am also very fond of animals.  I spend a lot of time, helping stray cats to new homes, raising money selling art cards, prints and paintings.  I love Mother Teresa’s work and I follow her advice: “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” …and that goes for animals as well…  A friend of mine is helping me to start this blog, where I sell art cards and other items for the homeless cats.  (Under construction-see link at bottom of article)  

Lena, welcome and thank you for participating in this project.  Your article being quite long, I will publish part one this week and the balance next week if you don’t mind.  What you have to say is enlightening and I am certain readers will appreciate your wisdom greatly.  Let us begin:

No. 1)  What is art to and for you? (generally and personally)

Art to me …

… is a human expression in colour and lines, in symbols and images, that gives us a chance to get in a deep contact with ourselves. 

It is a way to open up our mind, to see the world from within, through another persons perspective and expression.

LENA skanna0283Art speaks to the subconscious mind and uses images instead of words.

It´s language is being “decoded” mainly by the right half of our brain,  which is visual and processes information from images and patterns.

Art triggers our imagination, intuition, emotions and dreams; a world inside us, which we need to keep alive, to be truly human.

Art is a human right, just as any other human expression is, like for example music and literature.

Art for me is:

(while painting)

to go deep inside myself, visiting places unseen

to be able to create

to let my inner self speak

to refill my energy…. sometimes like colour therapy

to be like a child again, free and playing

to use my intuition and imagination

to let go of everything else but painting

to enter another world, where no time and limits exists

a stress releaser

a necessity to keep my inner child alive.

No. 2)  What inspires you?LENA skanna0012

My need to express myself, is my biggest inspiration.  I have always expressed myself through music, painting or writing.  I can be inspired by almost anything: 

something beautiful like a shell or a flower 

something ugly or absurd 

people I love and people I don´t like

something I have been reading about 

something I see in a new way as I look upon it 

a need to show an idea or make a statement

patterns and connections – concrete or abstract

other cultures


a song

a poem

a memory 

a thought

a feeling

LENA blog15a dream

a vision…

anything that I need to express.

I like to see connections and patterns in things, that we usually don´t think are connected to each other. I am also very interested in how symbols have been used throughout the times in different cultures, since we always interpret a painting in a symbolic way subconsciously.

For example, a painting of a tree can be looked upon as a beautiful piece of a scenery. We enjoy the colours of the leaves and the shape of the tree.  We can also look upon the tree as a symbol of a human being. The tree doesn´t seem to be rooted in the ground, the leafs are trying to reach the sky…

The painting gives us the feeling of a person who doesn´t feel at home on Earth, who is longing for something else and wants to reach another world or consciousness. We can feel the longing….

There are always many layers in a painting, many images to see and to take in.  One thing, which really inspires me, is to see what the painting is telling me about myself, after I have painted it. I often can see things about myself in the painting, that I was not aware of when painting it.

I believe I leave a print of myself in everything I paint.

You can always see a part of me, in my painting. The cat I paint is also me. The ugly face I paint is a part of my own ugliness and the beautiful flower is a part of my own beauty.

*I choose to answer question 3 and 5 in one paragraph, because my mind and my feelings are so intertwined when I paint. I think I can explain better if I just let these questions merge.

 No. 3)  When you are painting, creating, where does it take you?LENA skanna0193  Where does your mind travel?

No. 5)  How do you feel when you are painting?

‘When I paint, I feel I am going into an altered state of mind, where time disappears.  Like a dreamscape …

I shut the other world out, or rather it just disappears totally.  People can talk to me and I won´t here what they say.  I am sure you could measure my brainwaves and see how they are changing, when I start to paint.  I think I am experiencing an increased activity of Theta waves, giving me access to the unconscious content in emotions and dreams.  Of course in a combination with Alpha waves, in which state we are the most creative…

My mind is not working logically when I paint.  My subconscious is leading me to places I need to go…   I follow my intuition and I just do what is needed to do.  It is like I am being connected to something bigger than myself.  I am no longer separated.  I just know what to do without any thinking.  I go into a flow and it feels like I am in another world.  I am nowhere and everywhere ….  I am everything I need to be… 

Sometimes I can even feel high…. happy endorphins dancing in my body! 

No. 4)  Do you think painting, music and health are related and if so, how??

I definitely think painting, music and health are related.  I think it is a human need to express who we are, to create something  and of course, you could do it in many different ways.  Some people make their home a beautiful place to be, expressing themselves in choosing furniture, colours and how to decorate.  Other people love to dance, to express their passion and feelings, with their bodies.  There are endless ways to express yourself and painting and music are just two ways to do this.  

LENA bloh57The moment we can´t express ourselves the way we need, we cease to be individuals and loose our uniqueness and also our sense of being connected.  We also get a feeling of who we are, when we experience and enjoy other peoples expressions in music and art. Music and art connects people with each other.  We share human expressions. We share a language without words, that touches our inner world and reaches into our imagination and dreams.  We connect with our inner child. It leads us to places we need to go inside ourselves; a refuge, maybe even a sanctuary.

To be healthy, we need to feel whole. We can´t feel whole unless we allow ourselves to be in contact with our inner landscapes, the inner child. Music and arts are paths leading here.  Using imagination, intuition, creativity and playfulness helps us stay healthy,  reduces stress and refills our energy.

You can actually measure energy in frequencies and both sounds and colours have different frequencies, so art and music really are energy.  Red is the colour with the lowest frequency and above red comes orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Above violet comes ultraviolet, which is not visible for the eye.  All can be measured in frequencies.

In music we have the 440 hertz A, which is used to tune instruments.  If we take the A an octave higher, we get the frequency of 880 Hertz.  There are both music therapy and colour therapy, used to improve health.  

I am sure both music and art can release happy hormones, like  oxytocin and endorphines in our bodies, helping us to release stress.  Maybe we should not just eat an apple a day, to keep the doctor away?  Maybe we should look at paintings and listen to music as well? 

No. 6)  Under what conditions do you work best?

I actually work best in my own kitchen, having a cup of tea nearby and my cats around me. I need to be in a relaxed environment, where I can feel at home.  The only thing I am really dependent on, is a good lighting.  I am sure I could work in other places as well, if the energy feels good th ere and I feel relaxed. 

What I need from myself is to be in balance and to feel spirited.  I reallyLENA skanna0008 can´t paint if I am tired. I usually  work very fast, so I give out a lot of energy when I paint. Therefore I always drink a lot of water and tea, while painting.  I also sometimes paint outside, when using aquarelles. Then I prefer to be on a meadow, close to a lake or at the sea. I also prefer to be alone, or with animals since they never interfere in a bad way, with my painting. They are good at communicating without words and that is what painting is about to me.

Lena, again thank you for sharing with such honesty and generosity.  We shall continue next week!


Be sure to tune in next week for part 2:

You are cordially invited to visit Lena’s links to find out more of this very talented artist.  Your comments are sincerely appreciated, thank you so much and enjoy!

This is the link to the future website:


My facebook pages:



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Filed in: ART • Friday, June 10th, 2011


how was it
it is good
as i always known u
u have deep artistic feeling

Dear Lena,

I love your art. Your art has god’s touch which makes it special.

Your work for innocent animals, kindness in your heart and many more angelic properties makes you really really special.

painting work is really extraordinary …… am happy and thankful to god for gifting me eyes to experience beauty of these great paintings.


By Lena Rydström on July 25th, 2011 at 5:56 am

Thank you from my heart Riad and Swanan.
You both make me feel happy and appreciated… xx


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My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours