Color the Emotion

Pick a few colors and create without stiffness.

Fall or Fairytale? – Creating Your Forest

This week, I talk about the colorful bridge that art can build between real and unreal.

Toivomusten metsä - Forest of Wishes, 40 x 50 cm, oil on canvas, 2022. By artist Paivi Eerola, Finland.
Toivomusten metsä – Forest of Wishes, 40 x 50 cm, oil on canvas, 2022.

This is my latest oil painting called Forest of Wishes. My fall is filled with those – wishes! Wishes that can’t be fulfilled.

I wish winter would only last a day or so. I wish there would be regular life for regular people – not war, not suffering, not lack of anything. And while I am thinking about these melancholic thoughts, it feels like my creativity ignores them and lives in a fairytale. I want to draw you in this fairytale too. I hope these pictures inspire you to create and make life more magical!

Hello Fall – Hello Colors!

In art, colors can make a fairytale. My oil painting brought this older watercolor piece to mind. Like “Forest of Wishes,” this one uses blue in a similar way: to create a connection with the viewer. It’s a reminder that blue can be strong and soulful and approach the viewer, not just stay still in the background.

Hello Fall, a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola. A forest scenery.
Tervehdys, syksy! – Hello Fall, 38 x 28 cm, watercolor, 2019.

There’s also a video of painting this!

This painting started with the reference photo, but once the painting process got further, the expression replaced it. And splattering with a brush is a lot of fun!

The Magic of Growth

When I look at our garden, the wonders of summer become visible when trees prepare for fall. They have grown a lot, for example, this monkaburi – a pine tree that we planted a few years ago. Back then, it felt like it would take forever for it to form a gate over our heads, but now it already has a branch that grows over the path.

Monkaburi in the fall

The magic of growth also happens when filling a blank paper or a canvas. First, there’s very little life, but by adding more colors, shapes, and layers, we can grow a forest.

Fairytale painting in progress.

Sometimes the forest comes in one piece, and other times in many little pieces.

The same applies to artistic growth: sometimes it happens quickly, other times more gradually. I like to break the rules of being a serious artist only and allow play to show me the magic.

A beagle and a ball in the fall.

I want to learn from Saima, our youngest beagle. She is obsessed with the ball, but when we mention that to her, she seems to laugh: “It’s only a hobby!” At the same time, fetching the ball seems to be both her passionate work, but also a tool for imagining and playing.

Fall Fairytale

In the forest of wishes, we want to use a different mirror for ourselves – not to see the limitations but imagine the potential. It’s an exciting place that has many dangers as well.

A detail of Toivomusten metsä - Forest of Wishes, 40 x 50 cm, oil on canvas, 2022. By artist Paivi Eerola, Finland.

Going deep can take us deep down, but when combined with play, the humor steps in. Here’s my wish for a winter that would only last one day!

Playing with handdrawn and handpainted scrap reliefs. By Paivi Eerola.

Ask: “Is it the fall or is it a fairytale – real or unreal?” And then answer: “Today it’s a fairytale, a colorful escape!”

A detail of Toivomusten metsä - Forest of Wishes, 40 x 50 cm, oil on canvas, 2022. By artist Paivi Eerola, Finland.

Art can truly add magic to our lives. I feel that life isn’t real without the unreal.

Paivi Eerola and her painting in the fall garden.

What do you think?

14 thoughts on “Fall or Fairytale? – Creating Your Forest

  1. I love your blog! The changes of the seasons often bring up emotions and shifts in perspectives I think. I tend to feel a bit sad when the weather gets colder (I am in Ohio) but I also enjoy the changing colors of the leaves and drinking warm beverages and bringing out my pretty sweaters (jumpers) to wear. I feel less guilty when crafting and working on art when it’s colder outside – don’t feel as though I should be out enjoying the weather – and can simply enjoy things through my window as I craft. I sort of feel sorry for people who live in places where it is warm and sunny all year long – I would miss the change of seasons and the various feelings the changes evoke. I think all that can be inspiring.

  2. Hallo liebe Päivi, ich liebe deinen Blog und deine Videos. Mit deinen Bildern und Worten inspirierst du mich sehr. Der Herbst fasziniert mich jedes Jahr aufs neue. Ich bleibe dann auf meinem Weg einfach stehen und schaue die wundervollen Farben der Pflanzen an und bin fassungslos vor der Schönheit der Natur. Ich möchte sie dann einfach umarmen und für immer an dem Ort bleiben. Ich laufe dann weiter und muss mich nochmal umdrehen, um zu schauen, ob das wirklich real ist. Liebe Grüsse.

  3. Today I can really relate to the magic as I color with Neocolor II on a gessoed cardboard box that will have moving parts while turning a handle. Also I am listening to a genre called AfroCubism. I am lucky that I feel the joy and magic today. I don’t feel it every day. Another excellent post Paivi – I wish …I wish you will make an illustrated memoir .

  4. Hi again Päivi!

    What an amazing and inspiring post. I can never decide whether or not fall is my favourite season. Perhaps it MUST be! Anyway, I just love your “Forest of Wishes” and the idea of growth in a garden being connected to growth on the page or canvas! Fairytales seem very suited to the fall season: Cinderella and her pumpkin and the children in Hansel and Gretel pick ripe berries in the forest. As I have mentioned before, danger and darkness are important parts of our lives even if we would prefer to ignore those aspects. But the magic of the unseen world will always be there to “rescue” us!

    I am always enchanted with the deep colours in the fall season–they always take me into my own personal fairy story. Yes, the “unreal” is become more and more important to me as I grow older.

    Thank you for these uplifting ideas!

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