Måns Bergendal – A passion for painting


Sjalvportratt 2022


Måns Bergendal

My parents gave me a paintbox when I turned four. My first subjects were firetrucks and police cars but a couple of years later I started bringing the box and a drawing pad along when I went birding on the shores of the Baltic sea. Over time I developed a passion for on-the-go nature painting and eventually more elaborate studio work.

I am a member of Nordiska AkvarellsällskapetKonstnärernas Riksorganisation and Västra Skånes Konstnärsgille, a board member of Konstgillet Mittskåne, and a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists.

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I was born in Uppsala, Sweden in 1964. I spent a lot of my childhood drawing and painting with a special interest in nature subjects. I particularly liked to stroll the cattle trails of the uninhabited island Långaskär drawing plovers, wheatears and kestrels to learn to identify them.

In the 1980s I went on a long journey to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco that gave me unrestricted possibilities to paint the Mediterranean light and birdlife, and I started up a freelance career as an illustrator as soon as I returned home. Most of my pictures ended up in nature magazines and on signs for nature reserves and national parks as well as historic attractions and museums.

These days I stroll the beaches of Skåne, south Sweden. My love for nature has also taken me to Icelandic lava fields, the Scandinavian Fjällen mountain range, English estuaries, Californian redwood forests, the thyme fragrant hills of Crete, Australian gum tree woods and icy fjords of Svalbard.

I might find an oystercatcher foraging on a shoal of sand or a fox following a scent in the reeds. I keep a few sketches alive, altering between them to end up with a study that roughly reflects the animal’s business. Back in the studio I tweak and skew the shapes and colours destilling the appearance to match my first impression from the field. The result is never perfect and not meant to be. Rather than decorations, my works are snapshots telling a story from nature.

My Materials

Watercolor is my favorite medium as it is the fastest technique and the one that is easiest to carry around. Even in the studio I stick to materials that work in the field: usually cold pressed paper, a round brush and a handful of carefully chosen colours. I tend to use yellow ochre, burnt sienna, Paris blue, and lamp black a lot.

I prefer painting on site but I also bring a camera for photo references and often finish my paintings in the studio. My telescope is another important stand-by when painting birds and mammals and my binoculars for finding and identifying animals in the field. I stuff everything in a rucksack along with a lunch pack.

In 2020, I started trying oils – a totally new world! After half a century with watercolors, I tend to make transparent layers and go from light to dark. Next, I’ll take my stuff outdoors and do some plein air oil painting. To be continued …


Art teacher at LMG 2000 – 2002
​Art teacher at BMSL Preschool 2004 – 2006
Private watercolor teacher 2007 – 2009
Art teacher at BMSL 2008 – 2012, 2017 – 2018
Watercolor teacher at Folkuniversitetet 2009 – 2018
​Watercolor teacher at Mans Watercolors 2018 – 2022
​Art teacher at Kulturskolan Perstorp 2020
Watercolor teacher at Skapande skola. Svalövs kommun 2021


Skånes Djurpark, Höör
​S:t Olofs Gille, Falsterbo
​Svalövs kommun
​Driftless Glen Distillery, Baraboo Wisconsin


Bird Painter of the Year, Birdlife Sweden 1993​
Public’s Choice Award, the ECWS in Haapsalu, Estonia 2019
The Society of Animal Artists’ Award of Excellence, USA 2023
The Driftless Glen Purchase Award, USA 2023

The SAA Award of Exellency 2023
The SAA Award of Exellency 2023

Collection Exhibitions

Galleri Smedjan, Skabersjö 1994 and 1995
Skånes Djurpark, Höör 1994 – 2002
Fågelsträcket, Falsterbo konsthall 1994 – 2000, 2002 – 2010, 2014
Sveriges Ornitologiska Förening 1995
Getteröns Naturcenter, Varberg 1995, 1996 and 1997
Skansen, Stockholm 1996
Axel Ebbes konsthall, Trelleborg 1996 and 1997
Öster Malma jaktslott 1997 and 1998
Galleri Nykvarn, Enköping 1998
Galleriet i Holmby 1998 – 2000, 2002 – 2005, 2008
Lunds Montessorigrundskola 2002
Mötesplats Hällåkra 2006
Galleri Smedjevalven 2007
Galleri Svanen at Lake Tysslingen 2014
Ljus, ljus! Maria Thorlunds Galleri, Lund 2015
Konsten att ge – en konstbuffé. Thorlunds Galleri, Lund 2015 – 2017 
Wildlife. Maria Thorlunds Galleri, Lund 2016
The World in Watercolour, Kunsthuset Annaborg, Denmark 2017
Röstånga turistinfomation 2018
​The European Confederation of Watercolour Societies, Estonia 2019
Galleri M, Eslöv 2019
Svalöv’s library 2019 and 2020
The SAA International Online Exhibition 2020 – 2021
Skatter i Svalöv. Loarps gård 2021
Nordisk Akvarell, Krapperups konsthall 2021
Galleri Jardeback Art 2022
Madsen Härdigs Akvarellgalleri, Lund 2023

Solo Exhibitions

VME Excavators, Eslöv 1994
Galleri Tio, Lund 1995
Galleri Hjortahammar, Tromtö 1997
Gambro, Lund 2002
Store Mosse Naturum 2006 – 2007
Eslöv’s town hall 2007
Pauliskolan, Malmö 2018
​Ateljé Måns Bergendal 2018 –
Konstrundan Mittskåne 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023
​Ängelholm’s town hall 2019
​Svalöv’s town hall 2019
Röstånga Turistinformation 2019, 2023
​Åkerlund & Rausing 2020
​Västra Skånes Konstnärsgille 2021, 2022, 2023

Juried Exhibitions

Birds in Art, Woodson Art Museum, Wisconsin USA 2011
​Höstsalongen, Konstgillet Mittskåne, Höör Sweden 2017
58th annual Art and the Animal exhibition, SAA, the James Museum, Florida USA 2018
National Watercolour Exhibition 2019, Edsviks konsthall, Sweden
59th annual Art and the Animal exhibition, SAA, the Briscoe Museum, Texas USA 2019
The SAA Members’ Exhibition, the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, New Jersey USA 2020
Animal Impressions, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, USA 2021
Höstsalongen, Romele konsthall, Sweden 2022
62nd annual Art and the Animal exhibition, SAA, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, California USA 2022
63rd annual Art and the Animal exhibition, SAA, The Stifel Fine Arts Center, West Virginia. Then touring to The Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, The Dane G. Hansen Memorial Museum, and The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, USA 2023 – 2024.

Painting abandoned buildings in Svalbard 2017. © Anders Hansson
Painting abandoned buildings in Svalbard 2017. © Anders Hansson
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