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Disappearing Garden – About Transience and Creating the Best You Can

I’ve been painting for the exhibition “Taiteilijat Albert Edelfeltin tunnelmissa – Artists in the Mood of Albert Edelfelt”, which is in August-September. Now I want to present the main work of my new series to you. It’s about transience and called “Katoava puutarha – Disappearing Garden”.

Katoava puutarha - Disappearing Garden, 100 x 80 cm, oil on canvas, by Paivi Eerola.
Katoava puutarha – Disappearing Garden, 100 x 80 cm, oil on canvas

There is sadness in this painting. For years we had a neighbor who liked gardening. She fell ill and died and the rich garden has now been turned into a lawn. It made me think about how perishable we are, including our work. We are disappearing gardens, no matter how much we would like to think otherwise. So let’s enjoy our flowers while they still bloom!

Impression of an Old Painting

Disappearing Garden has many small details and a lot of work went into them. But because of the subject itself, it seemed important to spend time and patience on this work. I wanted to create the impression of an old painting that reaches across the eras as if overcoming its core problem: transience.

Oil painting in progress.
After the first painting session in May

I usually make paintings in pairs, but this time I had a pair already ready: last year’s finished painting Queen of the Night. It is a dark shade and I wanted to make a light counterpart to it.

Expressing transience: Disappearing Garden and Queen of the Night. Abstract floral art by Paivi Eerola, Finland.
“Katoava puutarha (Disappearing Garden) and “Yön kuningatar (Queen of the Night)”

Both of these works are inspired by bygone eras: the 18th and 19th centuries.

About Transience and Creating the Best You Can

While painting The Disappearing Garden, I thought about how important it has been for me to practice a lot. But recognizing my transience, I now want to paint as well as I can. Life is hectic and a new start is always tempting. I can make dozens and dozens of nice and small pieces and collect likes with them. On the other hand, I can wait for the perfect time and perfect vision: question my artistic core and taste and where my focus should be.

A detail of Katoava puutarha - Disappearing Garden, 100 x 80 cm, oil on canvas, by Paivi Eerola. Expressing transience.

But it’s also so that life is constantly changing. If I don’t capture this moment, will I achieve anything? That’s why it felt important to give this painting as much attention as it wanted.

Artist in the garden

Do these thoughts resonate with you?

18 thoughts on “Disappearing Garden – About Transience and Creating the Best You Can

  1. The painting is beautiful Paivi. It makes me feel that the flowers are being swept up by the wind and will soon disappear.
    It’s interesting what you say and I will take it on board. Yes we must make the most of what we have now as who knows when life will change again and what we have today will have disappeared.

    1. Thank you, Maggie! I aimed for that impression so it’s nice to hear that you saw it. I’m glad that you liked the writing as well.

  2. Päivi, I also love the painting. But I looked up the word ‘Edel’ and found it in a German dictionary. It means ‘noble, aristocratic’. Then I thought of the song ‘Edelweiss’ from ‘The Sound of Music’. ‘Weiss’ means ‘white’ in German. So I think, Päivi, you are both ‘Edel’ and you paint with some beautiful tones of ‘weiss’.

  3. I love this and the sentiment behind it. Last week I went to a coffee morning and there were some sweet peas in a little vase on the table. As I left, I was given them to take home…… and did a painting of them straight away. Just dashed it off! After reading about your latest painting I am beginning to appreciate my little painting more.

  4. Your thoughts always resonate with me-I have searched for your lovely art philosophy for a very long time-so grateful that you share with all of us.

    1. Thanks so much, Alice! I often feel I should write more light-hearted blog posts, but for some paintings like this one, it’s just impossible.

  5. i would like to see that as a large mural on the wall behind my bedroom.
    as always, so beautiful, thank you for sharing

  6. This is such a beautiful painting. your colors and all the white make it entirely enchanting to me. The movement feels so alive and it overflows with beauty and what I find inspiring and sweet about life. The dark one is beautiful in such a different way. I feel you have accomplished what you desired to do.

    Because of your lessons I am doing, when I look at this, I see lovely spirits living amongst your flowers in this painting.

  7. This is a stunning painting, it seems very ethereal to me, and I can feel the fleeting of time in the brush strokes. The pairing with Queen of the Night is perfect! Your work and inspiring philosophy have begun to make me ask myself deeper questions about my art. I’ve never found anyone else who talks about creating as you do! It is a completely new area for me, I have always drawn from direct observation, and I haven’t really used my imagination to draw and paint since childhood. I always thought I could not understand the abstract, but I have begun to see things in a different way now now , which I believe will enhance my observational drawing too. Thank you for opening a new door for me!

    1. Thanks so much, Jules! It’s also interesting to read your thoughts about your art and imagination. It’s wonderful that new possibilities have started to rise!

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