Peony and Parakeet

How to Draw, and How to Enjoy and Keep Drawing

A sketch and the finished drawing by Peony and Parakeet. Watch Paivi's webinar about the joy of drawing and get her tips to enjoy and keep drawing!

Yesterday, I ran a webinar about drawing. It’s always a lot of fun to talk about the topic I love so much. Thank you all who joined me!

The Joy of Drawing

I wanted to include the word “joy” in the title of the webinar because, in the end, it’s what keeps us drawing. I shared ideas about what supplies to use, what to draw, and how to solve those situations when you don’t grab a pen even if there’s a chance.

Unfortunately, the recording of the webinar wasn’t the best quality, maybe the snowstorm that has just blown over Finland had some effect on it. But luckily, I had some extra footage and I also made some more to compensate the parts that affected the experience. The video has a lot of ideas and examples, so it’s worth watching.

Animal Inkdom – Come to Draw with Me!

Let’s draw wild animals and decorate them with fun motifs and patterns. My new class Animal Inkdom is dedicated to the joy of drawing.

Animal Inkdom, a drawing class by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. Draw wild animals and decorate them with patterns and motifs.

Animal Inkdom begins on Monday, January 21, sign up now!

Snow Bird – Drawing and Painting the Cold Weather

Snow Bird by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. Watch the video of how she made this one!

It’s cold and snowy in Finland, and I just had to get it out on paper. Watch the video blog post!

The Joy of Drawing – Register for the Free Webinar!

The Joy of Drawing, a free webinar by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

On Jan 17, 7 PM GMT/ 11 AM PST, I will be talking about the supplies and techniques that have made me get back to the joy of drawing during the years! Join us!  Reserve your spot here!

Guiding Word – Choosing and Visualizing Your Word of the Year

"Play" by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her video about choosing your word of the year and visualizing it.

The year 2018 was groundbreaking to me. I was able to include things that seemed separate from my art in my art and build a new foundation for it. It strengthened my visual voice and style, but also, it felt more holistic than just that. I would say that my artistic identity got updated.

As a former software engineer, I see it this way:

Peony and Parakeet 1.0 – intuitive circles and colorful patterns, 2012-2014
Peony and Parakeet 2.0 – from mixed media to fine art, 2015-2017
Peony and Parakeet 3.0 – fantasy illustrations, 2018 -?

Art by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

I am not quite sure how to label 3.0 yet, but it definitely started last year and went into bloom during the Inktober challenge in October.

What’s Your Word of the Year?

About a year ago, I developed a process for setting artistic goals. I introduced it to my art community Bloom and Fly back then. It’s called Guiding Word, and it’s about choosing your word and then processing it through art journaling – drawing, painting, and writing.

My word for 2018 was “Depth”, and now when I look back, it was related to my old desire to create fine art. But the process of exploring depth was like the symbol of yin and yan. It started a journey towards the opposite word “Play.”

The process of choosing a word and exploring it through art-making had a huge impact on me, so I decided to share it openly. Watch the video to define your word and to explore it more in depth!

Guiding Word – Watch the Video!

My word for 2019 is “Play”. I am looking forward to increase fantasy and drama in my art, and I hope you follow the journey with me.

P.S. As you probably noticed already, this website and my artist website has been updated! There are still things to adjust and add, but feel free to browse the new look!

P.P.S. I am running a free live webinar The Joy of Drawing on Jan 17, 7 PM GMT – 11 AM PST, reserve your spot here!

Happy Holidays from Finland

Happy, sad, deep, superficial, and recent news with holiday greetings!

Antonina by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

The year 2018 has been a big one for me. I have rediscovered my Eastern-Finnish roots and put everything I have learned into practice to express what I love and want to cherish. This drawing called “Antonina” shows this feeling of satisfaction. It is a gift that I didn’t expect but that I dare not to give back either.

“Be the Biggest Fan of Your Art”

Artists say this all the time: “Be the biggest fan of your art.”  If you create art, you know it’s one of the most difficult things in the world. There’s always something to change, improve, take further. It’s challenging to be the biggest fan or any fan at all.

But recently, I have had this strange feeling of peace. I see flaws in my work but still, it feels enough. My drawings are more superficial and representational than I had thought they should be. But surprisingly, it’s what was needed to become a fan of my own art. 

I want to write more about all this when I have more time. I often write long posts on Facebook too. Recently, I wrote a Facebook post about belonging to the art world, and another about my journey in learning how to draw. If you don’t like me on Facebook yet, please do and join the conversation there too!

Preparing for Christmas Art Fair 

The local society of professional artists “Vantaan taiteilijaseura” has accepted me as a member. The society has a part-time worker, a gallery, a working space to rent, and a lot of events. Because most of you are not from Finland, I often work a lot alone when I am not online. As a member, I hope to get to know more local artists and attend some events as well.

This Saturday the society organizes a small sales event, and I have a table there. Even if there’s not enough space to take the biggest paintings, it has been interesting to prepare for the fair. My style nowadays is surprisingly close to the style that I had about 5 years ago. My technical skills have grown but the old decorative stuff fits really well with my current drawing style. I still have some fabrics left, many from that time, so I am taking a selection of them to go with drawings, postcards and art prints.

Fabrics by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

Back then, I didn’t quite appreciate the point where I was. If I could speak to my old self, I would say: “Keep going, you are getting there!”

Tribute to My Bird Citronelle

A few days ago, a sad thing happened. One of my four budgies, Citronelle, died suddenly. She got flu, got weak very fast and we couldn’t save her. 

If I have to quickly name what I love and admire, I would choose peonies and parakeets. I admire their beauty and their bravery. Every spring, peonies begin their sprint to grow fast and bloom. And every morning, my little parakeets start singing and hassling like they would rule the world. The time that they both have is limited, but they make the most of it. If only we humans could follow their wisdom!

Citronelle, a drawing by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

I made this little drawing to process the grief and to show Citronelle in the way she would have liked to be seen. She was the leader of the pack, and definitely worth the crown. She was clever, sometimes annoyingly so if you ask my other budgies, and the star of every little event she organized. We all miss her dearly.

Happy Holidays with Rich Bunnies!

I have drawn or painted very few Christmas-themed pieces, but this year I just had to do this one!

Christmas Bunnies. A drawing by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

I got the idea of two white bunnies of a Christmas card. I liked that it had rabbits instead of reindeer (common in Finland), but the card was too simple to my style. I wanted to add a touch of luxury, and I can assure you that these two little bunnies are not the poorest ones in town!

I hope that you pamper and nurture yourself during the holidays like you would be the rich bunny of the town! See you again in 2019! Special thanks to all who have participated in my classes or bought my art in 2018, I really appreciate your support!

P.S. I am in the process of revamping my websites. Quite a lot has been done already at, but this site is bigger, and the renovation is much more challenging. It may happen that the site is unavailable for a short time after Christmas. I try to make everything go as smoothly as I can, but technology can be surprising sometimes, even for a former engineer! So if you have been planning to sign up for my classes before the new year, sign up before Christmas if you only can!

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