Peony and Parakeet

Strawberries and Inspiration – Watch the Video!

Strawberries - a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet. Watch her video about painting this!

This week, I have a new free video for you. In the video, I create this small watercolor painting and inspire you to create art as well, even if all you can come up with would be just a few strawberries!

With this video, I invite you to join my new class Decodashery where we paint beautiful art with delicious colors.

Decodashery will begin on June 29, 2020. >> Sign up now!

Art Inspiration from Flowering Trees

Dulciana, an acrylic painting by paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet. Inspired by flowering trees.

Here’s my latest painting, “Dulciana.” It’s inspired by flowering trees and their power to bloom year after year. This spring was special because I got to see blossoming cherry trees in a park that was filled with them.

Paivi Eerola in a flowering cherry tree park.

Embracing the Decorative Side of Art

This spring has also been different concerning my artistic endeavors. I have been building a new class, but a little slowlier than what I usually do. I have been really intentional about what I include in the class and how the class is structured. It’s has felt like it’s my life’s work even if it’s still a very light-hearted and fun class.

A floral collage painting in progress. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

The class is called Decodashery, and it dives deep into the decorative side of art. The projects that I have made for the class have given me new skills and ideas about including decorative elements in my intuitive paintings too.

Light Paints the Flowering Trees

Now when summer has come to Finland, I have also spent more time in the garden. I wouldn’t really have to because my husband is crazy about gardening. He has found his passion, and I am so happy for him.

Garden view with flowering trees.

But when I look out of the window, and the sun is shining, I can’t help going there, walking and weeding, taking photos, and admiring how light paints the view.

And when I start a painting, I can’t help thinking about light, and how essential it is for the magical atmosphere.

Starting a painting. Abstract shapes, shadows and light. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

So most times, when I paint freely, I start with random strokes expressing light and shadows.

Starting a painting. Abstract shapes, shadows and light. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Art, Cembalos, and Flowering Trees

To make the painting shine softly, I like to add washes whether I paint with acrylics, watercolors, or oils. Washes have just a small amount of pigment and plenty of painting medium. For washes, I use water in watercolors, water and glazing gloss in acrylic paints, and the mixture of dammar varnish, french turpentine, and linseed oil in oils. This one is an acrylic painting.

Intuitive painting in progress. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

When I paint without any assignment, I usually do it late at night. I listen to cembalo music when I start digging out the elements from the mess. Cembalos sound like the light I want to capture in my paintings. The sound is pompous and full of energy, and still, there’s something so delicate and vulnerable that it almost shatters.

The vulnerability is also in the flowering trees. They seem sturdy and unapologetic, but they know how bypassing the blossoming is. It looks like they miss the flowers already, and the dark trunks feel heavy and burdened by the upcoming work of making fruits of them.

Apple blossoms. A flowering tree.

I try not to make one painting at one go but take several sessions. Like trees, the painting also has seasons. It needs time to grow, and time to rest.

Artist Paivi Eerola and painting apple blossoms.

Often it feels that when I am not painting, the painting progresses best. Ideas come when I get out of the studio and talk to the trees.

Endless Flow of Swirls and Ruffles

After making the projects for the new class, Decodashery, I have enjoyed painting decorative shapes than ever before. I especially like swirls and ruffles.

Acrylic painting in progress. Focusing on swirls and ruffles inspired by flowering trees. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Similarly than old cembalo music sounds like a melody that never ends, all kinds of little curves can make even a small painting feel like it’s a world of its own. The eye travels from one place to another so that there seems always to be something to discover.

Dulciana, an acrylic painting by paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet. Inspired by flowering trees.

Here’s “Dulciana” with the last week’s painting “Ceruleana.”

Dulciana and Ceruleana, small acrylic paintings by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Decodashery – Registration Will Open Next Week!

The registration for the new class Decodashery will open next week, and the class begins on June 29.

Decodashery, sneak peeks, an online art class by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.,

In Decodashery, we will create a beautiful and comforting world that has some jazz too. We will enjoy painting flowers, lace, cakes, dollies, and break the border between vintage and modern art. When building it, I have been inspired by Jane Austen movies, old jazz clubs, Russian handpainted floral plates, and skillful crocheters and cake makers around the world. I hope you will join us! Until next week!

Abracadabra – Magical Watercolor Effects

Magical watercolor effects. A watercolor painting called Abracadabra by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

My latest painting called “Abracadabra” is a big one, 56 x 38 cm or 28 x 15 inches. It was a lot of fun to create so I want to dedicate this post to the magical effects that water creates when painting with watercolors.

Magical Mess

Right from the beginning, this painting had a mind of its own. And as you can see from the photo, I also used a lot of water to make the process even more uncontrollable. The more I paint this way, the more boring all the other mediums feel. Watercolors are magical companions, introvert when in pans but extrovert on paper!

Tip: Start with a plenty of water!

Magical watercolor effects. A watercolor painting in progress. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

In this project, I was testing Arches Cold Press watercolor paper, new to me. It has a weird smell when it’s wet but other than that I quite like it!

Fun Appearances

When I add some sharpness and control, I try to do that gently so that I don’t put too much burden on flowers that have born naturally. The idea is to bring out the best details.

Tip: Add dark shapes to bring out the magical watercolor effects!

Fascinating Translucency

Magical watercolor effects. A detail of a watercolor painting called Abracadabra by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

When painting with a lot of water, watercolor becomes magically transparent. I love how the colors get mixed when they are layered.

Tip: Let each layer dry properly!

Watercolors Can Draw!

Magical watercolor effects. A detail of a watercolor painting called Abracadabra by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

I also like to think that watercolors can draw. When applying water, watercolor blooms with sharp frilly edges. These lines can be more than just lovely outlines. In the detail below, I used one to make a stem!

Magical watercolor effects. A detail of a watercolor painting called Abracadabra by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

Tip: Use your imagination to make the most of what you have on paper!

Flow and Melody in the Safe Haven

I have had mixed emotions this spring. I have lost some old birds and my oldest dog has been sick. It’s been something that I have found difficult to share, it’s still so recent. But in the middle of all the worries, my studio has become a safe haven where I have been painting in the late evenings. The colors of the 16th-18th centuries and the pop songs of the 1980s have inspired me. Do you still remember Abracadabra by Steve Miller Band? A very superficial hit song but it has such a flow in the melody that it goes well with magical watercolor!

Paivi Eerola in her studio showing her watercolor painting Abracadabra.

Come to draw and paint flowers with me – Sign up for Floral Fantasies in 3 Styles!

3 Weird but Working Tricks for Portraits

Here’s the replay of yesterday’s free webinar “3 Weird but Working Tricks for Portraits”. There was a slight delay with some pictures, but I have edited the recording so that it won’t show there. I hope you will enjoy these ideas and mindsets!

Drawing Faces – Refresh the Way You Make Portraits!

In my new upcoming class Innovative Portraits, we will discover new paths to painting and drawing portraits. We will gather ideas, make sketches to process them and find solutions to the problems that have caused frustrations. This class also includes a 3-month membership in my art community Bloom and Fly so you will also get monthly live sessions and weekly feedback Tuesdays.

Innovative Portraits, drawing faces and portraits in mixed media. An online art class by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

Innovative Portraits – Reserve Your Spot Now!

The early-bird price is available when you sign up before Sept 16, midnight PDT.
>> Sign up NOW!

Scroll to top