Skillingtryck – bilder och ord

Kärlekens tröstefågel må vila – trött som längtans budbärare mellan världar. Lägger sin vinge mot kudden -flyger kärleksbud åter  när det grönskar, flyger igen då det blir vår. 


Hon sjöng sin kärlek evig – med fågeln flög hon ut

Han bar all hennes längtan – tills vingen tagit slut

Det stora havet släcker – all kärlekspar i brand

ty alla måste hålla – i lilla vännens hand

Hon spelade sin harpa – för liten och för stor

flätade av tårar – all sång sen dan han for

– all sång sen dan han for.

Hon sjöng sig över havet – bort till sin kärleksvän

bad lilla fågeln vila – och flyga snart igen

– Och flyga snart igen

– Hon tvinnade till sånger – en bro av pärletår

må vännen komma åter – med fågeln nästa år

När jag målade Emigrantviseboken, var det som om hundra små människor verkar stå runt omkring mig och berätta sin historia.

Jag hann inte sova –  inte äta. De viskade sina dikter, visade brev, hårlockar och pärlor.

Målade sånger från våra förfäder. Gripen. I fors. Kunde inte styra vad jag målade.

Maria samlade visorna men det hördes parallella världar i mitt huvud och nya verser dök upp… flera stycken…  Sov en natt, vaknade förbryllad.  Jag visste inte varför vingarna låg i bädden på bilden när illustrationen var klar.

Sen fortsatte det.. men på annat vis.. jag körde bil och långa verser hasplade ur min mun…

Det är  den texten som sen Maria sjunger.. som förklarar vingen på kudden… ”kärlekens tröstefågel må vila – trött som längtans budbärare mellan världar.”

Jag verkar inte måla berättelserna utan de målar mig. Var är de här människornas röster nu? Så påtagligt pockande så att rummet glimmade.

Detta var 2015 då min och Marias emigrantvisebok kom ut.

Nu kanske de får de tid igen.. dom som väntar och vill.. att skapa genom min tunga och mina händer…

När jag sätter fingret mot glaset för att måla .. då börjar allt på nytt igen…

English translation

While painting our song book it was like someone was knocking on my shoulder, asking me to share their story. Quiet words came whispering through the air and I wrote what I heard Sometimes the stories came as pictures, and I was like trapped in paintings I didn’t understand.

– One morning, while driving the car, an explanation of one of the pictures of a girl playing the harp came like a rhyme out of nowhere. Well, that’s not so strange, it often happens to writers… But I was so surprised that the fact that I was painting stories of emigration suddenly tuned me in to another channel in my head.

There was like a crowd of people asking me to tell their story and that all those words came like new tales out of my own mouth. I wrote it down and sent it to my song colleague Maria Misgeld.

She returned the words as if the song and the painting I just did with the bird resting its wing on a pillow made sense.  If you would like to hear the song, please listen here.

Song Maria Misgeld, Lyrics & Paintings Malin Skinnar, Melody Trad Gästrikland

Jag och Maria gjorde en emigrantvisebok 2015; ”Thousand’s are sailing” och jag fortsätter nu vidare med allt sidomaterial som uppkom och skapades.

Malin Skinnar video creator, storyteller and visual artist

Animerat skillingtryck 

Animerat skillingtryck 

Malin – the Swedish song explorer in Romania

Husbilen Chausson Flash 510, med milsvid utsikt


Doina singer, gospodina


– I am a digital nomad who depicts folklore through my iPhone and via YouTube. I have my studio and atelier in a camper van and I tell the stories of different countries by their folk songs.

My vision is to travel around Romania and make a book about the women’s songs and about the self sustainable people. Romania has a richness when it comes to village life and traditional lifestyles still kept in use.

Those are things that I find unique for Romania and  desirable for us in Sweden. I dearly wish to depict that and tell the stories from Romania.

I always travel with the help of my friendly network on Facebook and I am always met by kind and hospitable village people. I often get the question if I am not scared to travel alone.

No, I am not.  Friendliness and hospitality are extensive all over the world and in Romania it was omnipresent.

I was embraced, guided and welcomed as if I was a niece, the child of a cousin or a dear, old friend.  Multumesc, Romania !

The smallest Culture House in The World,

Romania always pulled me. The folklore is strong and multi-facetted there. Romania is the core of Europe and has been crossed by historical epochs, cultures, people, throughout history, but in Sweden we hardly know anything about Romania.

I had heard about special, ancient  songs from Romania as I was making a book in neighbouring Bulgaria. I did an art book about Bulgarian women’s songs called : “Att klä sig i ett folks andedräkt”. 

I came to Bucharest without knowing anyone, but became friends with some people through a course I assisted, called “ The Liberated Voice”. By accident I found a STAR-video of a young girl from Cluj singing  a folksong.

The song was magical and captivating and I took the train north and played the video to everyone I met. At the end, the tunes could be tracked to Maramures and by a miracle I found the singer, who was now an adult. She is  fantastic Livia Neag.

WATCH LIVIA NEAG  as she sings for Malin

Horse and farmer

I noticed that every village in Romania had their special traits and the authentic songs  have their special place in the every day lives of the villagers.

As a folklore story-teller it is the variation of culture that makes a bridge  where there is usually national borders.

The human being and her songs, clothes, traditional costumes, language and every day life have similarities everywhere you go in the world.

All of us were born, need to survive and will one day die. In between there is joy, challenges , celebrations, hope, belief.  All our cultural expressions are like a human cape that embrace us. We carry a heritage with us, despite politics and national borders. The songs are  like an archaeological finding and consists of non tangible  values that can only be felt in our hearts.

The digital life we have today, with Facebook and YouTube ,makes the description of the lives of people pretty unique. I found a beautiful, old woman,  in Maramures and I sat down with her and we sang together.

I  shared the film on Facebook and all of a sudden  I was in contact with 15 of her grandchildren on FB, and they helped me with translations , explanations, connected  me with neighbours, other villages and sent me links with things they though I should do in the area  !


I have travelled almost all my life. I am a story-teller and an artist and started early at a radio station in Sweden where music production was my field.  Through music I found throat chanting and drum dance  from the Arctic and I went to Greenland and hitch-hiked with fishermen.

I   also depicted  hip-hopers and hard rockers in the small villages, between the mountains. Then I joined their grandparents for hunting and learnt all about their old traditions.

At home, in Sweden, I started an  exhibition and  I went out on a tour with it, for 8 years. A tour with  poetry and photographs. Between the year 1992-1998   I told  43 000 children and adults  about the Arctic.  I made 11 trips to Greenland and I have paddle in between ice bergs, met polar bears and crashed into a whale !

Malin Skinnar i sin husbil.


In Sweden I use a motto: ” Liten yta stor rymd ”  which could be translated to ” Small surface – big space” .

I left behind a beautiful house with an atelier, in the countryside, to move into the camper van. I gave away and sold almost all  that I owned, except for  an iPad,  an iPhone and  hiking shoes. I own a camper van with a solar panel. In my home I have made an atelier and studio where I paint art books.

At the moment I am painting a book for a vocal quartet that collected nursery rhymes from all overthe world.The book shall be finished soon so my whole car is full of sketches.

Last week I finished a Finnish songbook for a folk singer who wanted my illustrations for a book that comes with a CD.  I am always on the look out to be able to find ways to tell the stories of people.

Illustrator Malin Skinnar, Sweden


– To make borders into bridges.

 – The human being on earth and singing.

I love sitting with old women who wear head scarves and be in their kitchen and sing.

Last year I sat in Senegal with muslim women and they taught me old Mandinka songs from the 14th century. In between prayers they burst into laughter, danced and talked.


– To use my gift to connect people on earth.

–  My curiosity to tell stories and my trust to travel to places on earth I didn’t even knew existed.

– To continue with story telling through songs, films, drawings, paintings and words.

– That Europe continues to open borders and collaborate.  That excluding nationalism will never gain power again because no one goes out as a winner. Only regimes. Not the individual families. People need each other. We are all of the same kind.

Världens minsta kulturhus


To trust one’s intuition demands a certain degree of courage.

To be courageous doesn’t mean one has no fear. It is about how we values the time together, here on earth – and how to treat one’s neighbour.

I trust individuals. It doesn’t mean that I am not attentive. It means that I am open and flexible towards  the situation that I am in.


Oh, all the meetings with people. There is a fundamental sense of friendliness and hospitality everywhere.

I always get surprised on how much help I get and how curious everyone is  and how much they want to show me their world !



One dazing day of luck and joy  was when  I sat with the women and sang in Ungureni. Their incredible traditional  clothing, their scarves, their beautiful and strong hands resting in their laps , was like  being in a fairytale.

When they sang I cried.

I had asked to hear laments , it is a tradition we forgot about in Sweden.

They sang so all of us cried. Afterwards we all ate sasuages, apples and drank horinca.  

– And we laughed.

I had been sad for a long period of time, for personal reasons, but all sadness disappeared in Ungureni. The laughter stays in my soul. Ungureni is the world’s most beautiful village.

Watch : Malin in Maramures


First of all the hospitality, that is pretty amazing.

Secondly, the expressions of the cultural richness that can be found in Romania, via the multi cultural tracks of people who walked the Romania plains and mountains throughout history.

The ambiance of the dances, the songs, the stories, the craftsmanship and the traditional clothing.


To arrive to those villages where eco-farming and selfsustainability goes hand in hand.  There, people knows all that is to know, what it means to be a human being. This is desirable and unique for everyone in Europe.

All Swedes should go to summer camps to the Romanian villages to learn how to live.

The beauty of the whole country is unique. The cities are exciting to visit, the villages wonderful. The wilderness incomparable !


In Romania nobody gives up. Everyone struggles and fight.

Everyone is connected to everyone. Nobody takes anything for granted, so culture has ambassadors everywhere.


Thank you to everyone who welcomes me in Romania. Thank you to the mountains , the rivers, the forests, the fields. Thank you  for your songs, treasures and fairytales.

For more articles about Romania please read The Bucharest Lounge

Malin Skinnar video creator, storyteller and visual artist

Paper Cut Poem

Paper cut poem, Malin Skinnar

While I’m wandering through the mountains and by the lakes of northern Scandinavia, I always carry a pair of scissors around with me to cut things out of paper.

/In Romanian, English and Spanish and Swedish  below/

– Sometimes I have to stop, because it’s like a story is whispering through the woods. I create my paper-cut poems out of anything I have with me or find in nature; old garbage, a leaf or a napkin.
Sometimes it becomes a video, a song or just part of a hiking diary.

The paper-cut poems often inspire me to continue painting and I dive into colours and lights.

Akka mountain, Laponia, Sweden

“Do you love me?” he asked, “for I will soon fall.”

“Could you bid farewell to the muddy lake bottom, the fish scales and the curious creature of the mountain rivers?”

“I’m swallowed by you – overwhelmed and falling – could you follow me instead?”

I saw them both.

I heard them. I stood by the waters of Torneträsk on the outskirts of Abisko waiting. The wind caressed my skin. The sky fell over me. The boat did not come. I stood in the moss, on a log by a rock. I heard the carpenter’s lament.

“Your ripples… you’re out of the depths, hair disheveled. Allow me to dry out your froth.”

He begged her to hold her breath. To step on land and follow him to the far woodlands. Perhaps even to come stay in his hut forever.

“Quench my desire”, I heard him whisper. “Rock me, my dear, rest against a woodcutter’s chest.”

Daybreak – hardly anyone awake on the whole mountain. A carpenter with a creature of the lake.

They met at dawn, alone, but I was standing so close. Quiet and still.

I cut out their meeting on a napkin from my backpack. I lingered there long after they disappeared. Then I put the cut paper on the ripples and stood gazing. Their silouettes were sinking to the rocks beneath until the paper dissolved.

I took a picture. I went on with my journey. I don’t have anything else to say for now.

•Told by Malin, translated by Alex Ilea

Paper cut poem, Malin Skinnar

Älskar du mig, frågade han, ty jag faller snart. Kan du ta farväl av tjärnbotten, fiskarnas fjäll o sjöns vidunder?  Jag slukas av dig – vältras och faller – kan du istället följa mig?

Jag såg dem båda. Hörde dem. Stod vid Torneträsks vatten och väntade. Vinden ven. Himmelen föll. Båten inte kommen. Stod i mossa. På stock vid sten.

Hörde timmermannens klagan.

– Dina vågor – du väsen ur undre jord, brusande ditt hår.  Låt mig stryka ditt skum.

Han bad henne hålla andan. Kliva upp på land och följa till fjärran skog.  Slå läger i hans koja – rent utav kanske stanna för evigt.

– Släck min längtan, hörde jag honom viska. Vyssa mig min älskade, vila mot  timmermannens bröst. 

Det var gryning – knappt någon vaken på hela fjället. En skogshuggare  och ett väsen ur sjön.

Ensamma möttes det i det tysta, men jag stod där nära.


Jag klippte deras möte i en servett. Stannade kvar långt efter de försvunnit. Satt på en stock vid strandkanten. Fjällen höga. La sen ned pappersklippet i vågskvalpet. Tittade. Siluetterna rörde sig mot stenarna på botten till pappret löstes upp.

En bild med telefonen sen gick jag igen. Mer har jag i nuet inte att förtälja.

Paper cut and Digital Art by Malin Skinnar

The paper-cut poem often inspire me to continue painting and I dive into colours and lights.

Traducere în limba română Alex Ilea

“Mă iubești?” întrebase, “căci curând voi cădea.”

“Ai putea să-ți iei rămas bun de la mâlul tăului, de la solzi și știma apelor?”

“Sunt înghițit de tine, copleșit, răsturnat… n-ai putea veni tu cu mine?”

I-am văzut pe amândoi. I-am auzit. Am stat lângă apele Torneträskului la marginea orașului Abisko așteptând. Vântul mi-a atins pielea. Cerul căzu. Barca n-a mai venit. Am stat printre mușchi, pe un ciot lângă pietre. Am auzit văitatul țapinarului.

“Undele tale… ești scoasă din adâncuri, părul tău e încâlcit. Lasă-mă să-ți usuc spuma.”

S-a rugat de ea să-și țină suflul. Să calce pe pământ și să-l urmeze spre codrii departe. Să rămână pe veci în coliba lui.

“Potolește-mi pofta”, l-am auzit șoptind. “Leagănă-mă, draga mea, odihnește-te pe piept de țapinar.”

Zorile se varsă, nu e mai nimeni treaz pe munte. Un tăietor de lemne și știma lacului.

S-au întâlnit dis de dimineață, singuri, dar stăteam atât de aproape. Tăcută, nemișcată.

Am decupat întâlnirea lor pe un șervet din geantă. Am mai rămas acolo încă mult după ce-au dispărut. Apoi am pus hârtia pe unde și am privit. Siluetele lor se scufundau până la pietrele de pe fund până ce hârtia s-a topit.

O fotografie. Apoi am mers mai departe.

Nu mai am nimic de spus acum.



“¿Me quieres?”, se pregunta él.

“¿Tú puedes decir adiós a los bastos océanos, a las montañas de peces y a los monstruos de los lagos tan solo para seguirme?”

“Soy devorado por ti, paso y caigo pronto. Sígueme con todas tus ondas. Tú, novia del inframundo y llanto de sirenas.

Un millar de ondas en tu pelo. Agonía de las ondas, pronto caeré. Devorado – aceptado. Mantén tu espíritu, amada. Sígueme a mi bosque en la lejanía.

Calma el pecho del carpintero. Apaga mi deseo. Ven con consuelo. Tú, devorador del estanque profundo…….

Malin Skinnar video creator, storyteller and visual artist

Kärleksvisa från skogen

Kärleksvisa från skogen

– Kupade händer över spända vatten… lyfter upp himmelen och dricker..

En kärlekssång från fjällskogen då jag drack det vattnet jag vandrade genom, när jag såg himmelen speglas där jag kunde simma.

Skogen sjöng i min mun och jag spelade in den med Eva Kunda Neidek efteråt. 

Spanish translation below. 


Malin Skinnar, swedish storyteller in Romania

Sånger bor där man minst anar det.

Plötsligt sjunger munne något som inte fanns strax före.. eller ens existerade som tanke i ens inre. Visor bubblar upp ur mossen, ur barken på träd, ur gräset det fuktiga eller stigen.

Sånger finns  som bär om hösten, snöflingor i oktober eller forsen om våren för den som lyssnar med örat mot marken.

Så är det.

Tyresta Urskog Mossen hålet

När jag går till min tjärn

ska ja fylla mina händer

Med speglar till dig

i från lysande vatten

Jag samlar dig stjärnor

små himlar i min hand

Kupar och flätar

mina fingrar i vatten

Spegelblanka himlar

i skogen till dig

Samlar vatten – samlar himlar

speglingar till dig

Kupar över spända vatten

Jag fångar dig himlar

Jag fångar dig skyn

I handens

kupa allt som speglas

Du ska få allt jag har

allt jag ser allt ja vet

Du ska få tusenfallt åter

av allt som du ser

Ja vill ge dig av sjöar

Ja vill ge dig av hav

Alla skyarnas speglar

vill jag ge dig varje dag

Jag ska samla

dig himlar ur gryning min

Och när skymningen

brinner blir guldockran din

Ska jag tvinna

dig trådar av gullsolens garn

Samla tusen diamanter

hennes våg speglars barn

Kärleksvisa från skogen


Tyresta Urskog Mossen
Småfolk kan inte låta bli att speja på dig.

Spanish translation Omar Falero


Cuando vaya a mi lago,

he de llenar mis manos para ti

con los reflejos del agua resplandeciente

En mi mano recogeré estrellas

y pequeños cielos para ti

Trenzaré mis dedos en el agua,

espejo del cielo en el bosque, para ti

Recojo el agua, recojo el cielo

como una reflexión para ti,

mantente encima,

en la tensión del agua

Atraparé los cielos, atraparé el cielo,

en la copa de mis manos todo lo que refleje, para ti

He de darte todo lo que yo pueda ver

Todo lo que conozco tú has de tenerlo

Retorno mil veces más de todo lo que tú das

Quiero darte de los lagos, quiero darte de los mares,

el reflejo de todos los cielos,

quiero dártelos cada día

Te traeré la aurora de los cielos

y cuando el crepúsculo arda,

te traeré el ocre dorado

¡Es tuyo!

Del vellón de oro en el sol,

te daré el hilo que yo he trenzado

Recogeré mil diamantes en la ola, su ola,

los niños del espejo

Desde tu interior has capturado mil estrellas

en el espejo del lago

Y todo lo que guardas con tu corazón,

resplandecerás como un destello en el agua

Quiero caminar a tu lado en los bosques más oscuros,

en los más resplandecientes médanos

y recolectar los cielos, en la tierra

Tú has de tener todo lo que yo poseo,

todo lo que yo veo, todo lo que yo conozco

Tú has de tenerlo todo, retorno mil veces más

de todo lo que tú das


Catching reflections for you

Translation Alex Ilea

When I go to my lake – I shall fill my hands for you with reflections of resplendent water. In my hand I shall gather stars and little skies for you.

I’ll weave my fingers into water, a mirror of the forest sky for you. I gather water, I gather skies as a reflection for you, floating in the tension of water.

I’ll catch the heavens, I’ll catch the sky, in the cup of my hand everything that it reflects, for you. I must give you everything I can see, Everything that I know must be yours, giving back a thousandfold of everything you’ve given.

I want to give you the lakes, I want to give you the seas, the reflections of all the heavens, I want to give them to you daily.

I will bring you the dawn of the heavens when twilight is on fire, I will bring you the golden ochre. It is yours!

From the sun’s yarn of gold shall I give you the thread that I twined, gathering thousands of diamonds in the wave, your wave, the children of the mirror.

From within you are captured a thousand stars in the mirror of the lake and all that you guard with your heart will shine like a flash in the water.

I want to walk by your side in the darkest forests, on the brightest of meadows and gather the heavens on earth.

You must have everything I own, everything I see, everything I know.

You must have all this, a thousandfold of everything you’ve given.

Kärleksvisa från skogen

Malin Skinnar video creator, storyteller and visual artist