This post is about my current everyday life.
I was going to tell you that my life has been very ordinary lately: I wake up in the morning, take the dogs for a walk and start painting. In the evening, I practice my ideas with the ProCreate app or knit and let my subconscious work on art-making.
But if my dead parents heard about this life, they would claim that it’s not ordinary at all!
Last week, I went to the big exhibition presenting the work of Albert Edelfelt at the Ateneum art museum in Helsinki. When I sat down to listen to seminar presentations about his work, my parents came to mind. They would have liked to see the exhibition. And they would be amazed to learn that I went to see it because of my work. I wanted to examine Edelfelt’s brush strokes in real life because I’m currently painting works for the show called “Taiteilijat Edelfeltin tunnelmissa – Artists in the Mood of Edelfelt.”
It’s important to me to see what other artists have created. It makes me feel connected, discover new techniques, and it inspires me to do things a bit differently than what I see. I often ask: what’s lacking if this would be my work? In the painting above, I would have added abstract elements on the top, depicting music.
Pressures of Everyday Life
All work becomes mundane when you do it systematically and goal-oriented. There will be pressures that you didn’t even think about in your dreams. You have to remember to order the supplies in time, plan the sizes of the paintings, the subjects, and the schedule for each one, pick up dog hair from unfinished works at the time of shedding, clean the paint tubes, wash the brushes carefully, wonder if anyone likes the painting and worry if it’s finished or not. Making a series of paintings is always a financial investment.
But when I am washing the floor from oil paint stains or doing something else mundane related to painting, I want to remember how wonderful it is to work on this project.
After all, I love art history, and the very thought that my paintings go to the place where Albert Edelfelt spent his summers is inspiring.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about why I always deal with longing in my paintings. I easily lean into nostalgia. Albert Edelfelt depicted people and landscapes realistically, but he also sometimes dealt with history and went back in time.
However, the difference between me and Albert is that he was interested in how things could have really happened and did detailed background research. I’m more inspired by how things could have gone differently.
I don’t know how my parents thought my life would turn out. Many times it has gone differently than I would have guessed myself! Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. Life as an artist is very unpredictable. Just when you think you have to stop, a new project comes up.
Everyday Task – Planning for the Future
One of the hardest things in being an artist is to always move forward and think bigger. When this year’s plans are set, the next year begins to worry.
Artists are always in progress and very similar to gardeners. When a person says: “My garden is now finished,” you know that it’s the beginner speaking. Gardens are never finished!
It’s the same thing with art – you will find yourself, but then you will change and have a new you to find. I try to get the most out of this everyday life because it too is about to change for sure.