House of art and magic

My friend Maritta is a sculptor, painter, and a spiritual being. Her home and greenhouse atelier are both filled with beautiful objects, charming energy, and magical light. I visited Maritta’s house a few days ago and when I saw her beautiful flower arrangements, I had to dig out my camera.

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Photography: Laura Iisalo

A portrait of a dog

I’m on holiday. That means that I’m not working on any commissions in July because I’ll be reading, painting, playing with my boys, and chilling. I just dug out these two paintings from last summer: portraits of our two dogs. They turned out so bad that I think they are quite successful. That’s the thing – and it’s not the first time I write this – mistakes are good. Daring to produce stuff by trial and error is great.

This is kind of sad but looking back it feels like the second I graduated in arts school I lost a big chunk of my creative force. I wanted to be established and professional, and I succeeded in it too. But I lost something really really important: the playful side of me that just wants to create out of curiosity, because drawing and painting makes me feel like myself.

But now, finally! I feel like I’m out of that horrid rut, back to enjoying doing stuff just for the sake of it. That feels really good.

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Above: Lulu and Jekku, 2018

Printmaking, part 2

Here are some more photos of the printmaking workshop I took part in a while ago. I had to revisit an old subject – the kneeling, screaming women – to get it out of my system.

I have a fascination about studios and workspaces, and it’s a shame that people usually only see the end-result – the finished artwork – when the process and the surroundings are just as relevant and interesting. All those paint splatters, tubes and stains. Oh my.

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Printmaking, part 1

I just spent a few afternoons in a printmaking workshop led by artist Pirjo Kankkonen. I was faced with my impatience yet remembered once again how my work (controversially) is often about trying to achieve something flawless when it’s the imperfection that makes stuff interesting.

For that same reason my first subject was myself. I’m trying to figure out who I am and what I look like instead of how I would sometimes like to be seen as.

I made four different versions and ended up liking the actual plate more than the prints.

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What inspires me right now

My man He spends hours each day photographing still lifes made of dolls, stuffed birds, half-dead flowers, oranges, and all sorts of ever day objects. I admire his endless imagination and uniqueness – he doesn’t source inspiration anywhere but inside his own head. The plan is to build a website and an Instagram account for him when our boy goes to daycare and we have a little more time. No rush.

My son He is now nearly 10 months old and super energetic and curious to the point of getting irritated when he doesn’t get what he wants or if there isn’t enough stimulation for his little brain. My life has changed a lot since becoming a mother and I just don’t have so much time to obsess over things that don’t even really matter.

Our home I’m inspired by what I see around me everyday. We are not Marie Kondo converts, we love stuff. Not for the sake of having stuff but because it’s interesting to look at it. And by it I mean paintings, books, colourful rugs, old furniture, plants, and obscure objects. I just bought a new painting, and we also purchased a deer’s skull and a stuffed dove. Our home is starting to reflect our inner worlds combined. And I have come to realize that great clothes can have a big impact on how I feel and I refuse to feel bad about that (loving clothes).

Spring The first time spring sun appeared I felt like newly born. Only after the winter was gone I realized how long and dark it was. Spring sun means better photos too.

Ink I used to paint with ink a lot when I was studying and then forgot about it for years. I’ve slowly started to practice my strokes again.

Old times I feel like everyone is so goodie good these days. Yoga, green juice, athleisure gear, good vibes only, blah blah blah. Yeah I’m into feeling good too but I miss old-times when people had the balls to show a little edge at least. Things just seems so polished (or boring?) now.

Art I feel that art is about the only thing (and journalism perhaps) that doesn’t have to please anyone – or so it should be. I’ve only now started to appreciate art for being unapologetic in that way. When I was younger I didn’t quite get it and I’m still learning. I’m learning to express myself and looking for ways to make myself heard and seen truly and I feel that art is the way. I’m actually happy to be a beginner.

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Above: Practicing my strokes, 2019