I have never been overly enthusiastic about bright reds, but now seems to be the time. I feel that in this black world, we need to salvage the delicious colors and amplify them with sugary decorations!
Finding Comfort from Delicious Colors
In the evenings, while waiting for the news around the world to be gathered, I paint in my little studio room. The more I think about the sad statistics, the more I want to create the opposite – a careless world with deliciously tasty and juicy colors.
My studio is now like a sweet bakery, and as the main cook, I have lots of motivation to create!
Delicacies from DecoDashery!
What first was just one little painting, has now grown to resemble a series that expresses an imaginary world. I call this world as DecoDashery, inspired by the old haberdashery from the movie Emma. DecoDashery will also be the next class that I am building, hoping to release it within a couple of months!
You Can Always Start Small!
As usual, I haven’t made paintings only, but also collage pieces to my boxes of joy.
Delicious Meringues, Lace, and Porcelain
Now when my husband is working from home too, we eat together more than ever. Fortunately, he can cook! I have never been into that so much. But my specialties are side dishes and desserts, and it’s been fun to make one good meal in a day and combine our skills.
I had never made strawberry meringues, but a recipe from a knitting magazine caught my eye. Strawberries, an old plate, and a hand-crocheted lace doily were all as essential as the meringues themselves.
My current oil painting has progressed well too. Even if there’s a lot of work left, I get a lot of pleasure from working on it. Salvaging all the deliciousness of the random shapes feels so good.
Doesn’t the painting look strangely similar to the meringues, lace, and porcelain? The world of Decodashery is expanding!
Meaningless Has Given Me a New Meaning
It’s kind of funny that when I decided to remove deeper meaning from my work for a while, I feel that my art the overall creative process has become more meaningful than ever.
It’s like I have released the beast that I have always quietly carried with me, and once I have seen it eye to eye, it has become my angel in the crisis.
This week, I needed colors that are so sweet that they almost taste on the tongue! I found a little watercolor notebook from my paper stash and made a gouache painting on the covers.
Painting the Covers
I used a limited palette of gouache paints – pinks, reds, and greens, and made pastel hues by mixing them with white.
After painting the background, I filled the covers with decorations.
Making all the little dots and lines was both calming and refreshing. The darkness of the world faded away!
Here’s how the covers look when the journal is closed. Isn’t that sweet?!
Inside: Decorated Papers and Flowery Shapes
I also decorated an inked paper and taped it on the inside of the cover. Flowers are easy to make with colored pencils!
I also combined gouache paints and colored pencils and made a mixed media drawing on the opposite page.
Inspiration from the Movie Emma
A couple of weeks ago, I watched the movie called Emma, and the beauty of it blew my mind. I love Jane Austen’s stories and had planned to go to a movie theatre to watch it, but they closed. Fortunately, it became available on iTunes, and within 48 hours of the renting period, I was able to watch it twice! I have always enjoyed examining decorative tapestries, furniture, clothing, and such, so I took my time, especially on the second time, stopping the movie now and then just to admire the beautiful sceneries, interiors, and dresses.
Here’s Emma’s friend Harriet and all kinds of decorative elements from my imagination.
Decorative Art Style – Fun to Design, Fun to Paint!
This year, I have been practicing pattern design, trying to make at least one pattern per month. I have used my watercolor paintings as an inspiration.
These design ideas go back to my paintings as well. I have really enjoyed making them more decorative now.
I feel like I am connecting the dots between the many styles that I am fond of. It’s like William Morris, Marimekko, and decorative Russian metal trays are coming together. My detailed style to draw and the intuitive style to paint seem to integrate, and it all feels so effortless and fun. I am going to do more of this kind of decorative art style projects – I hope they inspire you too!
These past weeks have been black. Social distancing, pandemic, the news … However, I want to share some things that have brought consolation, hoping that they do the same for you.
This first image is a watercolor painting created as an exercise for my newest class Magical Forest. It’s painted quickly and systematically, and it’s less romantic than many of my paintings, but I really like it. I put a lot of effort and thought into all of the class exercises, but I am especially fond of the last lesson where realistic nature themes meet abstract art in unconventional ways.
Expressing Hope – Art is Needed!
One of the carrying themes in Magical Forest is spirituality, and I feel that the connection between art and spirit is more timely now than ever. The need for art that soothes will grow. It’s important that we artists create images that illustrate the inner world when there are chaos and uncertainty in the outer world. This way, we don’t only take care of our sanity but spread hope for other people as well.
Moss, Stones, Clouds – The Comforting Side of Nature
We haven’t got much snow this winter in Southern Finland, so I have had lots of opportunities to observe stones, both in our garden, and in nature. When the world is in a storm, it’s comforting to watch their stillness, and how the moss is like a warm blanket over them.
Last weekend, my husband and I took the dogs for a walk in the forest. When the sun shined through the trees, the view was like a sacred chapel.
Last year, I got a wish to include clouds in the class, and I was able to fit that in. Clouds are surprisingly fun to paint! When the bad news came, little paintings like this became even more important. I want to look at my clouds now and then. The softness of the sky draws in and refreshes my soul.
My beagle Stella also likes sunny skies. She has her chapel on the porch of the old shed that we have in our back garden.
I painted this floral bouquet last spring, and with it, I want to wish hopeful news and hopeful weekend. Let’s take some time to create comforting art!
Nature is definitely expressing hope here in Finland. Let’s keep creating towards brighter days!
P.S. Weekend Sale! There’s a new presentation video about Magical Forest, and to brighten the weekend, I have reduced the price too. The sale ends on April 5 (PDT), so be quick! >> Buy here!