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Peony and Parakeet

New Beginnings

Has this happened to you?

I want to start a new chapter in art-making, change direction, and feel the excitement again.

Some say that this “new-beginning-thinking” is a thread for their artistry. That their problem is not to stick with one thing long enough so that the work is more coherent.

But new beginnings are built within creativity. Like nature, we need a new season now and then. In spring, trees begin to grow new leaves, and meadows new flowers. When nourished, they grow stronger and more beautiful year by year.

My new class Floral Freedom is this kind of creative nourishment. You will start building your visual language all over again. I teach both in theory and practice what I have learned from the two master abstract painters Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky.

Floral Freedom combines the intellectual and the emotional side so that you will wholeheartedly enjoy painting again. You won’t copy photos but use abstract techniques to express the flowers of the soul.

Yes, it will be a new beginning.

You will gather your paints and look at them from a new perspective.
You will paint lines and shapes with Paul’s and Wassily’s point of view.
You won’t see flowers right from the beginning but still end up with a floral painting!
You will stop dividing what’s abstract and what’s concrete,
and your art will grow from those insights.

The beginning that builds the foundation is never a thread but a strength.

We often wait for the right time to the new beginning. It’s easy to postpone it, I know. My mother passed away with too many regrets. The time never seemed to be right. A new beginning would always be somewhere in the future.

I have had a similar problem with Floral Freedom. I have wanted to build this class since 2016, after reading Paul Klee’s Pedagogical Sketchbook. But there have always been excuses – what I am capable of and what’s appropriate and safe. This summer, I even planned not to build a new class at all. I have made so many of them already.

But then I heard me saying:
“Don’t leave without teaching what you have got from Paul and Wassily! You’ll always regret not doing that!”

And yes, the better time for the class may come, but this is also a fact:
new beginnings don’t wait forever. 

As you see, Floral Freedom is a very special class. I hope you will join me, pick the paints and brushes, and give yourself the joy of a new beginning.

Black Friday Week Sale

Floral Freedom is 20% off. 
The sale ends on Monday, Nov 30, midnight PST.
The class begins on Dec 4.
>> Sign up now!

Impressionistic Floral Painting on Structure Paste

This week, I show how I made an extraordinary floral painting with acrylics and structure paste. See how I achieved the historical look!

Old Art Yearning, an acrylic painting by Paivi Eerola. She has used structure paste to make reliefs and a frame.

I call this piece “Old Art Yearning” because I desperately miss Europe’s palazzos and museums. It would definitely be the time to pack the bags for a few-day trip to Vienna or some other old city, but I chose differently because of the pandemic. But first, look at the interior of Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Rome. My husband and I visited the place on June morning in 2017, and it was pleasantly quiet, just suitable for dreaming about living there in the middle of luxury.

Interiors of Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, Rome.

So, what luxurious can you do when you are asked to stay home and be safe? I decided to create something that’s like a soft drink for the old art thirst: fake but sweet and consolating!

Old Art Yearning by Paivi Eerola. A detail of an acrylic painting which has structure paste.

The idea of using structure paste is from the summer, but back then, I didn’t quite see as far as I did this week.

Structure Paste Inspiration from Clay

This summer, my friend Johanna Rytkölä, a ceramic artist ran a flower pot class for a small group. My husband made a stylish and minimalistic bonsai pot, but mine came out quite different!

Ceramic handmade flower pot.

Even if my pot was not perfect, I wanted to experiment with a 3-dimensional surface for a painting right away. I dig out a jar of structure paste that some call molding paste as well. I have blogged about the paste twice before. In 2014, I made cardboard templates to create reliefs for a mixed media piece and in another project, I made surface textures with a variety of tools.

I decided to try the template technique again, and cut simple geometric holes to a thick cardboard.

Making cardboard templates for structure paste.

Then I placed the template on the top of the painting board and filled the holds with structure paste.

Filling cardboard templates with structure paste. Making reliefs for an acrylic painting.

I wasn’t completely satisfied with the edges of the structure paste shapes and put the board away.

Acrylic Painting on Structure Paste

But now, when I wanted to create something with historical feel, I remembered the board, and started painting on it. The small imperfections didn’t bother me so much anymore. All pieces can’t be so serious anyway. There has to be some room for creative play too!

Painting on structure paste with acrylics.

I decided to paint something loose and impressionistic that would still look decorative.

A floral acrylic painting in progress.

On the reliefs, the strokes were sharper and more controlled than on the background.

Painting a florals on structure paste.

But before I made the finishing touches, the piece looked too bare to me.

A floral panel that has structure paste shapes.

It needed a frame!

Making a Frame from Structure Paste

I still had some structure paste left and I found a piece of cardboard too. I traced the outline of the painting on a soft foam board and used that as a template for the center.

Making a frame for the painting from structure paste.

It’s not easy to make a smooth surface of the paste so I didn’t even try. Historical frames had all kinds of textures so the hills and valleys would look ok when painted.

A structure paste frame left to dry.

I painted the outer edge of the frame black and the inner edge with gold paint.

Painting a frame with gold and black acrylic paints.

The transition from black to gold became lovely when smudging the paint with fingers. I also added some gold mica flakes on the top of the gold parts and near the edge.

Adding gold mica flakes to a handmade frame.

Then the painting got some finishing touches and gold paint too.

Painting golden details on a structure paste reliefs.

I also added some acrylic paint on the frame.

A Mini-Monet for Old Art Yearners!

The finished piece is a bit clumsy, but I love the historical feel.

Old Art Yearning, an acrylic painting by Paivi Eerola. The frame and the reliefs are made of structure paste.

It’s my mini-Monet!

A detail of Old Art Yearning, a floral impressionistic painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

The unevenness of the structure paste in the edges looks quite good with the gold paint.

A detail of Old Art Yearning, a floral impressionistic painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

The frame was intentionally placed so that it’s not quite in the middle. This way I could make the piece more interesting. I really like how these painted spots look like nails or blueberries!

A detail of Old Art Yearning, a floral impressionistic painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Just cardboard, structure paste, fake gold, acrylics, but I enter the gentle world of old art by looking at it!

A detail of Old Art Yearning, a floral painting with a handmade frame by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I display this piece in our library room which has more old-fashioned style than my studio.

Paivi Eerola and her paintings.

My painting has simple strokes but it’s still romantic. I have bent the principles of abstract art to serve the impressionistic style. It’s so much fun to paint freely like this!

Paint Dreamy Florals to Free Your Spirit!

Floral Freedom – the floral class based on Paul Klee’s and Wassily Kandinsky’s insights on abstract art – will begin on Dec 4, 2021. In this class flowers are not just passive decorations, but they fly, sing, and dream! >> Sign up Now!

Floral Freedom, an online painting class by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Floral Freedom is 20% off for the rest of November, so now is a good time to sign up!
>> Sign up now!

Painting Poems – Watch the Video!

This week, we’ll continue the theme of painting poems from a couple of weeks ago. I create a small painting from a poem in a video and also talk about overcoming perfectionism.

Mennyt tulee takaisin - Past Comes Back, an acrylic painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet. Watch how she creates this in a video. See her examples of painting poems!

Here’s the acrylic painting that I created from Saima Harmaja‘s old poem “Olkoon niin!” I also include some examples from the class Floral Freedom at the end of this post.

Painting Poems – Watch the Video!

In the video, I show how a poem can make a painting more finished and meaningful. I also talk about why I thought I can’t paint Finnish poems and how I have realized that aiming for perfection doesn’t always help.

More Poetic Paintings

I created these two paintings for the class Floral Freedom. The first one is inspired by Anna-Maija Raittila’s poem Ruiskukkaehtoo (Cornflower Night).

Ruiskukkaehtoo - Cornflower Night - an acrylic painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

And the one below is inspired by Katri Vala’s poem Kukkiva maa (Flowering Earth).

Kukkiva maa - Flowering Earth, an acrylic painting by Paivi Eerola. Based on an old poem, watch Paivi's video about painting poems!

Paint Dreamy Florals to Free Your Spirit!

Floral Freedom – the abstract floral class based on Paul Klee’s and Wassily Kandinsky’s insights – will begin on Dec 4, 2021. In this class flowers are not just passive decorations, but they fly, sing, and dream! >> Sign up Now!

Floral Freedom is 20% off for the rest of November, so now is a good time to sign up!
>> Sign up now!

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