Tollef Runquist takes an instinctive, exploratory approach to painting that supports his innate curiosity about the world. “Painting for me is an undertaking of appreciation and inquiry,” he says. “It is a means to engage the beauty and mystery of visual experience in an ongoing dialogue.” Each of Runquist’s works is unique in its subject, yet connected by his distinctive hand and intuitive, sophisticated sense of color. From dreamlike, visionary narratives to suggestions of place and familial scenes, he paints "things that deeply tug at you in a way that is imperative to follow them." Drawing upon his knowledge of art history and the cultural present, Runquist’s paintings are replete with warmth, humor, and discovery. Seamlessly blending remembered moments with observed reality and shifts in perspective, his paintings serve as tone poems, reflections on the wonderment of life.
Tollef Runquist “fell in love with Maine” in the 1980s when his parents bought land on the St. George peninsula. After receiving his BA in Studio Art from Dickinson College and spending a year in New York City, he returned to the state in 2004. His paintings are in numerous private collections, and he has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions throughout New England and New York. He currently lives and works in Rockland, Maine.