Color the Emotion

Pick a few colors and create without stiffness.

Out in the Open – Feelings from the First Solo Show

This week I talk about my first solo show called Linnunrata (The Milky Way)
and share thoughts and feelings that being out in the open has evoked in me.

Here’s one of the last paintings that got finished for the solo show.

Court of Uranus, Uranuksen hovi. An oil painting by Paivi Eerola. Adventurous time traveling.
“Uranuksen hovi – Court of Uranus”, 70 x 120 cm, oil on canvas
Click the image to see it bigger!

I started it in April when there were too many water puddles in Finland.

Water World

walking in spring

Water blocked roads and filled fields. It was frustrating and ugly and at the same time, magical and beautiful! I realized that I could watch the mud or look further and see the sky and the trees. Their reflections created a miraculous underwater world.

Puddles in spring

Just like the planet Uranus, this imaginary world had no solid matter – only gas and water!

Pressure Rises

Because I wanted to present my best work at the show, the pressure for bringing out the best of my skills was high. When I started the painting, its identity and colors were weak and the composition weird. I was worried if I get it finished in time.

Starting an oil painting

It took many layers before the painting was finished. Because I like to keep the layers thin and fairly separate, lots of time was spent on drying between the sessions. My studio got too small, and there were paintings drying everywhere!

Paintings drying for the show

I find it quite nerve-wracking to handle wet paintings!

Unexpected Turn

I usually never change the orientation of the painting in the middle of the process, but this time I did. I felt that I could open the space more by doing that. However, I think this piece works in both ways, what do you think?

Court of Uranus, an oil painting by Paivi Eerola, upside down
Upside down
Court of Uranus, an oil painting by Paivi Eerola
Actual orientation

Hanging Plan for the First Solo Show

One of the most challenging things when painting for the show is to keep the overall selection coherent. I had a hanging plan right from the beginning, and I updated the plan after each painting. Here’s how the plan looked before the actual hanging.

The problem with the last paintings was not only to create unique artworks but ones that would also complement the overall collection. I formed small groups from the paintings to give visual rhythm to the exhibition.

We mostly stuck with the plan.

Hanging an art exhibition

I wanted it to be noticed as a main piece of the right side wall. But Court of Uranus was such a strong piece that I wanted to move it to a more central place.

Paivi Eerola's first solo show Linnunrata - The Milky Way.

I left some space around it so that it stands out. This painting causes bittersweet feelings in me, being both beautiful and spooky at the same time. It has been interesting to hear how people see it.

Gallery Space

My show had four walls on the lower level. The building is from 1957 and the walls and the floors are protected. The wooden walls did not bother me, I think my art goes well with them. Here’s a better picture of the gallery space.

Paivi Eerola's first solo show Linnunrata - The Milky Way.

The two big paintings on the white back wall At Home in Pluto and Jubilee in Neptune were painted when I was middle of the series. I think it’s best to paint some smaller pieces first before making the largest ones. I used Neptune for the poster of the show.

Galleria K, Vantaa, taidelainaamo.

When the main pieces are done, there’s more room for something unexpected. That’s how Court of Uranus was born.

Court of Uranus feels like the painting defines me rather than I would define the painting. It seems to display my future and show what more I could do.

A detail of an oil painting called Court of Uranus. By Paivi Eerola, Finland.

The big yellow flower is perhaps the most beautiful thing I have ever painted, and still, it makes me uncomfortable, like I have gone too far, revealed too much.

A detail of an oil painting called Court of Uranus. By Paivi Eerola, Finland.

I like how light-weighted the flower is. Like she has no worries at all!

At the Opening of the First Solo Show

Riika Anundi‘s show was also her first, and we had an opening together. I gave a speech, we had nice sparkling wine and delicacies, tens of guests, and a very enjoyable atmosphere.

First solo shows of Päivi Eerola and Riika Anundi, Galleria K, Vantaa, Finland

I had invited both relatives and old friends from the past decades. It was wonderful to relax and enjoy after the hard work that the show required.

At the first solo show

Every series has a painting that looks forward. In the picture above, I am talking about Vanitas, the painting that I made last year.

Vanitas, oil painting by Paivi Eerola, Finland
Vanitas, 65 x 81 cm, oil on canvas, 2021

This painting, especially the top left corner, led my thoughts to outer space and thus, it was essential to display it at the Milky Way show. I don’t know where the court of Uranus is leading me, but it definitely sets a new direction.

Court of Uranus, a detail of an oil painting by Päivi Eerola, Finland

Even if the colors are dreamy and pastel, there are also technology-inspired details in the painting.

Life After the Solo Show – Open Question

Lastly, I want to show you an old crayon drawing, made as a teenager at school. The subject was the underwater world. Even if I have always hated swimming, never been diving, and never liked water, the drawing came out naturally. Like I had known what I was made to paint already back then.

35 years before and after, developing an artistic style and skills

This post is perhaps more like an open question than an answer that closes everything. Time will tell where my journey goes next! Thank you for walking (or swimming) with me!

Linnunrata – The Milky Way is open from June 3 to June 19, 2022.
Last week! Thursday-Friday 11-17, Saturday-Sunday 12-16
Galleria K, Asematie 7, 01300 Vantaa, Finland

30 thoughts on “Out in the Open – Feelings from the First Solo Show

  1. WOW! Congratulations on your show!!! So exciting and your work looks so lovely in that setting. I wish I was nearer and could come to see it in person. I’m so happy you have this chance to shine and show your lovely work!

  2. Congratulations on this beautiful show, Paivi! I too wish I could have been there in person.

  3. Oh, Paavo, I’m so proud of you!! The paintings are beautiful and I loved hearing about each one and the challenges of the show. Sadly it sounds like the show will be over before I visit Finland in July. I would have loved to see them. But once again, congratulations!

    1. Thank you, Gina! Yes, the show will be over in July, but I always have a couple of pieces at the store of the gallery K, and I also have some paintings in Gumbostrand Konst & Form. That is a wonderful art center to visit if you come to Finland, a beautiful place and a big gallery with a gift shop and a cafe.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing the details of your show! I enjoy the setting up photo and seeing the the space you display in, also your studio full of drying painting.
    Warmest regards !

  5. Congratulations on your show! I love the painting Court of Uranus, but I prefer it upside down. It just speaks to me and draws me in. The half circle in the painting reminds me of a crystal plate, but when the painting is upside down it reminds me of a time piece, and I feel it pulling me toward another dimension. How wonderful it is to travel through art.

  6. Paivi.. you must be so proud and delighted! This is a magical and beautiful display of where you are on your art journey… I’m sure the exhibition was a great success! Well done 😍

  7. I am so happy that you have such a beautiful show and space. Congratulations! I love your Court of Uranus piece–even the title is so magical. ♥

  8. Could not be happier for you! Your paintings are layers of beauty upon beauty. You deserved this gallery showing. Well done and lovely as ever. Congratulations dear Paavi.

  9. Congratulations on your show! I love your work and the stories and emotions behind the pieces. Hope your show is a success (it already is to me)!

  10. The show looks so very beautiful and so coherent ❣️ A gorgeous series!
    I appreciate all the time, worry and angst that you went through to get the finish line of the big opening but my-oh-my it was so worth it.
    Congratulations 🎉
    Can’t wait to see the next steps in your journey- after much needed relaxation and recuperation 😍

  11. Such exciting, interesting, colorful pieces. Thank you for sharing this with us, and congratulations on your first solo show!

  12. First of all, congratulations to your husband who has a real eye for photography, as well as to you (or both of you?) for arranging each painting to its best advantage. As to the paintings themselves, I was taken by surprise to see your “predictive” painting above the one it eventually morphed into. Your inner self had much truth even then, hadn’t it? Seeing the way you’ve created this post and the sequence of superlative photos you’ve chosen, it’s so clear that you’re leading the viewer through 3 dimensions, whether by water or in space. Päivi, honestly, I truly believe this exhibition won’t soon be forgotten, and the paintings will live on long beyond you, your husband, the attendees and us poor souls who have to view on a flat screen. This is New Era work, for sure.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to top