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Peony and Parakeet

Art is a Lemon Tree – How’s Your Lemonade?

This week, I talk about art and lemonade and share some news about the rest of the year!

I was going to make a cheerful spread on my colored pencil diary, celebrating a beginning of a period that I have never experienced so far in my life. But I started the drawing intuitively, and here’s what came up: a murky image with a bittersweet impression!

Life Gave Me Lemons - a spread in a visual journal by Paivi Eerola

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” they say.

I have never been fond of that kind of forced optimism, but I guess there’s also a seed of truth. In art, you have to make most of what you have.

What Kinds of Lemons Does the Tree Produce?

In 2014, when I became a full-time artist, I thought about growing my skills and how that would naturally lead to something good. But nowadays, my leap has felt more like changing a long CV in technology and service design to a very short, almost non-existent, CV in art.

Art is like a lemon tree. You can nurture it, but you can’t change its variety. Over the years, I have learned not only to teach but also to illustrate, make surface designs, and even draw ornaments and logos. But my heart has always been in fine art, and especially in intuitive abstracts.

"All In" - abstract art - an oil painting by Paivi Eerola
“All In” – oil painting on canvas, 92 x 65 cm

In my opinion, fine art makes the best lemons. But the weather is harsh, and the harvest becomes too small to be enough for the lemonade. So my passion for teaching has often been the lemonade maker, not the actual paintings.

Paivi Eerola in her studio with her puppy Saima.
Saima and I after the last recording of the new class Intuitive Coloring.

But now, things change for a few months. I have got a grant from The Arts Promotion Centre Finland to create a series of paintings and write about the process. I will publish the art and most of the writings here in my blog, so you will also get to drink this lemonade!

The project has a set theme that also includes a background study. I will also continue the colored pencil diary and document a part of the process in colored pencils. Later posts will reveal more.

I hope that my project will also inspire you to create – grow more lemons and make your kind of lemonade!

A colored pencil diary by Paivi Eerola. Art journaling in colored pencils.

P.S. You can still sign up for Intuitive Coloring! You will get the published lessons immediately after signing up, and can start having fun right away. >> Sign Up Now!

32 thoughts on “Art is a Lemon Tree – How’s Your Lemonade?

  1. I could look at this painting for hours and hope to discover more of you. I think it is very soulful. The lemon in the hand looks like a doorway to the universe. I see the struggle in your abstracted face. I wonder about the left brain, mechanical mind in conflict sometimes with the artistic you. I agree with you about forced positivity and the overuse of positive affirmations. I had years of this soul searching, thinking about, trying to be better, feel better and now in my last years I just don’t care about any of it anymore. I just express and be, creating and playing. I am so grateful to have found you. You are such an inspirational woman. Arohanui from New Zealand

    1. Thank you for your insightful comment, Jan! I purposefully made the face look like a part of the machine. I have discovered that I love drawing and painting all kinds of gadget-like organisms and portraits don’t always have to be so romantic. It takes courage to do things in own way, and open-mindedness to still keep learning. A challenge to everyone, you seem to be on a great route!

  2. Congratulations, Paivi!! I’m so happy for you – the grant is very much deserved. And I agree with Jan (above), you are inspirational!

  3. Keep it up! When I read your emails they always make me feel happy. I’ve been in artistic slump for a while now so thank you for sharing and inspiring me with your art journey. 🙏🏼💜✨

  4. Oh Paivi,
    How far you have come since 2014 and I couldn’t be more thrilled for you.
    This is just fantastic and I’ll look forward to seeing the work you share.
    You’ve certainly demonstrated your growth as an artist and teacher. We are very fortunate to have you guiding us.
    Sincerely, Cynthia, Jada k9

  5. Congrats! This is awesome news! Your work is absolutely beautiful.

    I love the “All In” painting. It envoked the feelings of a spiritual battlefield to me and I can really relate to that. I think many of us have faced this kind of thing in last year and a half.

    I can’t wait to start hearing about your new journey! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Allison! Sometimes it makes me smile when I try to create harmony and end up with a battlefield, but I guess it’s my temperament that shows!

  6. Congratulations, Paivi! I will forever be grateful for having been your student. Your teaching style is so special. Excited to tag along on this new adventure! Gina

  7. Hi Päivi, Congratulations on the grant! That project sounds right up your alley. I am enjoying the new class very much. Hugs to you and little Saima. What a sweet photo!

  8. How wonderful. You deserve all good things. Your art is outstanding and you as a person are precious, caring and loved by many.

  9. Wonderful news. Congratulations on your honor and I look forward to seeing your unique work.
    Saimi is adorable, he must be a good studio companion.
    I heard this jingle in high school.
    “The boys all call you 🍋 they say it just to tease, because you’re the kind of 🍋 the boys all like to squeeze!”

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