Color the Emotion

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Artist’s Wishes and How Art Answers to Them

This week, I share a new painting and talk about artist’s wishes and goal-setting, but also about relaxation and self-listening.

Restless Heart

Restless Heart, oil painting by Paivi Eerola
Restless Heart – Levoton sydän, oil, 60 x 73 cm

During the past few weeks, spring has changed to summer in Finland. More colors have appeared in the garden, and there’s a color burst on canvas too. “For the readers of my blog,” I thought. “They love pinks, reds, and turquoises!”

Painting a Series and Learning to Breathe

Starting an oil painting. Read more about artist's wishes.
The first layers of “Restless Heart”

This spring, I have had an ambitious goal of painting a series of 9 canvases in oil, and I am coming to an end. There will be only one more after this piece.

Painting a series. Some finished, some in progress. By Paivi Eerola.
My studio is filled with paintings! The last one of the series is in progress – the big purple one on the bench. See all the finished oil paintings so far.

When I started the series, I entered a crossroads, and it was hard to see into the future. But after spending a lot of time in the studio and taking long walks, I have learned to breathe in a new way. Instead of exhaling only, I have learned to inhale too.

Setting creative goals for paintings. Read more about artist's wishes, a post written by Paivi Eerola.

My focus has been more on receiving, not so much on producing. This change of direction has given me new motivation for life.

A Beast Called Creativity – Or Is It a Pet?

For years, I was afraid of dying before I learn to paint. I have no children, and I wanted to create an artwork that would continue its life after I am gone. But now, I realize that my dream of leaving a legacy was improperly put. It defined the success that depended on other people. But creativity is a wild beast that doesn’t understand money, prestige, or hierarchy. It’s like my dog Stella. She loves me no matter what my title is. And she always tries her best to do what I want from her.

Stella the beagle.

I don’t think that the incapability to define my goal is unusual. Isn’t it so that often when we want to pursue art, we point to someone else’s work and say: “That’s how I want to paint, that’s who I want to be.”

Paul Cezanne and the Art of Wishing

On these warm and sunny days, I have been pondering why I paint, how I paint, and why it suddenly feels so good. “Take the painting outside, Paivi,” I heard a whisper. “Is this about Cezanne?” I asked.

Painting in progress. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and parakeet.

Paul Cezanne (1839-1906), a french impressionist, has said: “When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next to a God-made object like a tree or flower. If it clashes, it is not art.” I have found this definition distressing and demanding but also practical. I have used it many times to check if the painting is finished or not.

Painting in progress. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and parakeet.
Not finished yet – not enough liveliness! (Unfortunately the many flying bugs don’t show in the photo.)

Cezanne or not, I followed my inner voice and took the painting out several times. First, I had stress about insects and other flying objects. But then I heard my inner voice answering the question – why my paintings are full of movement and why I always want to add some uncontrolled restlessness.

An oil painting in progress. Painting details. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

The answer is: The liveliness is the level of immortality that my creativity can produce.

A colorful painting in progress. Liveliness as a goal. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

My images express the eternal life that I have yearned for!

Creating art. Painting in progress, by Paivi Eerola.
Restless Heart, oil painting by Paivi Eerola, photographed in the garden.
Nature adds one more layer!

Artist’s Wishes – A New Door

Now I see a new door. I can ask anything, and my creativity will do it for me. The only reservation is that the answer may be unexpected.

You, too, have this door. And you, too, have a restless heart that tries to understand your wishes.

Restless Heart, oil painting by Paivi Eerola.
Restless Heart – Levoton sydän, oil, 60 x 73 cm

Artist’s Wishes – What Do You Think?

Oil painting by Paivi Eerola. Read more about creative goals and how art  tries to match them!

What do you think? How does your art match with your wishes? I am always looking forward to reading your comments!

10 thoughts on “Artist’s Wishes and How Art Answers to Them

  1. I was a teacher for most of my life and don’t really stop even now.
    I chose not to have children for a number of personal reasons, and I too have thought about the legacy I might create.
    Your artwork is something that will be passed on, but the gift that you have given as you chose to teach others will resonate through the people who learned from you, and those that learn from them.
    A very worthwhile contribution!

    1. Thanks so much, Suzi! Teaching certainly is an important thing, and I can see that it’s a part of our legacy too.

  2. I am always so enriched by your blog posts. You are a courageous and inspiring woman and the heart and soul you express through painting and sharing your artwork, your creative process and your thoughts are already an amazing legacy that others aspire to emulate. I’m also at a stage in life where I’ve achieved goals and I’m wondering “what’s next?” A lot of big changes have happened in my life over the last few years and I’ve found that I needed to rest, reflect and receive. Your classes and posts have been giving a lot to me, even though I don’t get very far with the paintings. More than anything I enjoy your thoughts about life and art. Wishing you love and blessings always.

    1. Thank you, Cheryl! It’s consolating to hear that I am not alone, and I hope there will be exciting things for both of us!

  3. Your blog posts absolutely make my day. You put into words what so many of us think about. The painting is so beautiful, full of movement and as always the colors!! You write so beautifully, you should publish a book.

    1. Thank you, Yvonne! It’s wonderful to hear that you’ve enjoyed the posts. Many times, I wonder if it’s too old-fashioned just to write and share pics when the world is full of videos and all. But I enjoy writing a lot and have come to think that this blog can be for those who, like me, also enjoy books.

  4. Ditto to all of the above–you truly are an inspiration in your work and how you express it; the painting and the writing; thank you

  5. Dear Paivi,
    Believe it or not I came across this post whilst listening to Brahms emotive Symphony #2, second movement—so much passion and angst!! And so often when listening to classical music, I am involved in either observing art or actually doing art. These recent oils of yours and the questions you are asking about your life and painting seem to integrate so well with Brahms and the questions he was asking. Full of movement and the never-ending reaching out for more! You must be a very passionate person, for your work (especially recently) shows it!
    As for leaving a legacy, I would say you will not only leave wonderful art and be remembered–you will also go on! And you will continue! As the great poet Walt Whitman says in Song of the Open Road: “Allons! to that which is endless as it is beginningless.” I am so drawn to this line because we are bound to go on with whatever drives us in this life!
    Thank you, Paivi

    1. Lynne, thank you for the lovely comment! I often listen to classical music when painting these, and one of my favorite is a Finnish radio program that explains and plays classical pieces. I often agree with the composers that they talk about and find similarities in the way of working.

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