Color the Emotion

Pick a few colors and create without stiffness.

New Free Mini-Course for Subscribers

Great news! I have updated the free mini-course “Paint the Emotion” and it’s now called “Color the Emotion.” I have added a new project with colored pencils and more talk about how to approach art-making. The mini-course is about 40-minutes long and it’s available for all the subscribers of my weekly emails.

Here I am talking about the free mini-course in a video:

>> Subscribe here!

P.S. If you are already subscribed, no worries! I will send you an email today with the link to the mini-course!

Your Rembrandt – Thoughts from the Documentary My Rembrandt

This week, I have a short story for you. I hope it inspires you to cherish your creations.

Paivi Eerola and her oil paintings.

I saw a fascinating documentary called “My Rembrandt.” It was about collectors and dealers of Rembrandt paintings. Rembrandt’s masterpieces were lovingly touched and carried from one place to another. Carefully but still confidently, they moved through castles and galleries.

While I watched men taking Rembrandt’s painting out of its elegant frame, I thought about a sight I saw as a child. In a supermarket, a woman was picking groceries from the cart to the checkout. She handled every item graciously like a simple can was a newly-found treasure that she claimed to own. This woman from a small distant town was my history teacher. Maybe her profession gave her a different perspective on things.

My teacher’s behavior taught me that the way we look and handle art matters. My creation can be my rembrandt. You can even have a postcard that has rembrandt-quality in it if you treat it with similar respect.

Painting of Paul Peter Rubens in a box of oil paints. Old art can be inspiring, and if you love it, do watch the interesting documentary called My Rembrandt!
One of my favorite paintings in a postcard: Consequences of War by Paul Peter Rubens. I saw this in 2017 on Palazzo Pitti, Florence. A blog post about the visit to Palazzo Pitti

This is one way for me to bring up the spiritual side of life and maintain artistic inspiration.

I also made a little video to accompany this blog post.

What do you think?
Do you also have rembrandts in your collection? Have you seen the documentary?

Colored Pencils – Intuitive Approach

This week, I have a video for you! It’s about painting freely, but not with paints but with colored pencils! In the video, I talk about intuitive coloring and painting and their similarities. I also make a page for one of my art journals. Lots of art inspiration – enjoy!

Color Like a Painter – Watch the Video!

Intuitive coloring with colored pencils – isn’t that fun?!

Classes Mentioned in the Video

3 Tips for Bringing More Life into Your Art

This week, we look for what’s natural and lively in a bit different way than usual. I share three tips for bringing more life into your art.

"Unchanging" - an oil painting by artist Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.
“Unchanging – Muuttumaton”, oil, 65 x 80 cm

I just finished this green painting. It’s called “Muuttumaton” in Finnish, but this time, the translation “Unchanging” fits it better because the English word has a more active tone.

This painting was in progress in the video that I shared a couple of weeks ago.

Here’s the video again so that you can see me working with this in practice and compare the middle and the end!

So, that was the video, but in this post, I want to give you ideas on how you could bring more life into art.

These ideas are not technical because I think that my classes are better for learning the techniques, but more about changing the way you get inspired and observe what first appears on paper or canvas.

Tip #1 – Let Weeds be Weeds

In my painting, the main character and the focal point is a blooming weed. It appeared on the canvas right away and reminded me of Fernando Pessoa‘s poem that talks about a crop bending with the wind and then straightening once the wind stops. This kind of natural resilience that weeds also have is inspiring. In art, we usually make weeds look more like a flower. But could we loosen up and bring more life by letting the weeds be weeds?

A detail in the first layers and after finishing. Read more tips about bringing more life into your art.

So, I just made the big plant look a bit more defined and let it be the star of the show.

Tip #2 – Try to Ignore Color

Even if I took pictures of the painting in our garden, I have been more inspired by the untamed side of nature lately.

Photographing a painting in the garden. Oil painting "Unchanging" by Paivi Eerola.

With my beagle Stella, I have been exploring banks and woods that look ugly but are full of layers. For Stella, layers of smells, and for me, layers of shapes and textures. I have tried not to seek the most beautiful spring flower, but develop my eye to notice other than colorful things.

Walking the dog in nature.

What looks ugly first can be beautifully free.

A detail of a painting by Paivi Eerola. Abstract shapes, muted colors, and a lively feel.

Subtle changes in color can make the painting look more lively than if you throw in a bunch of strong colors.

Tip #3 – Embrace Destruction

When bringing life into art, it’s not that we have to start with life. We can look at broken and deserted things like fallen or chopped branches. They can then have another life in our art. Imagine branches falling further down and breaking the cover between the outer and inner world. What kind of life could you give them there?

Fallen branches can inspire for bringing more life into art. Read about how to handle inspiration to make your art more natural and lively!

Admire how the grass grows, but also, how it withers!

Growing and withering grass.

When we create, we can start with destruction and then use colors to make all the ugliness bloom. This way, we build a bridge between the garden and the wilderness – between the traditional beauty and nature’s aesthetics.

A detail of an oil painting by Paivi Eerola and tips for bringing more life into your art.

I don’t use references for my half-abstract paintings like this one. But I believe that things that we see and appreciate find their way to our art in one way or another.

So when you want to bring life to your art,
look for life as it is in the wilderness, not only as it is in your garden.

"Unchanging" - an oil painting and the artist Paivi Eerola.

When looking at this painting, I want to be like that weed, stand tall where I happened to fall. I want to believe there’s something unchanging in this ever-changing life that keeps us creating. I hope we can be Pessoa’s crop that straightens right away when it gets the chance!

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