Color the Emotion

Pick a few colors and create without stiffness.

Longing for Freedom – An Intuitive Floral Still Life

This week, I have an intuitive floral still life! It’s the biggest painting that I have made so far – about 47 x 39 inches.

This post is also about artistic and spiritual freedom and enabled by Arts Promotion Centre Finland. This is the sixth blog post of the project, see the first one herethe second one herethe third one here, the fourth one here, and the fifth one here!

About Flying and Freedom

"Longing for Freedom - Vapaudenkaipuu", oil, 120 cm x 100 cm - an intuitive still life by Paivi Eerola
“Longing for Freedom – Vapaudenkaipuu”, oil, 120 cm x 100 cm
Vapaudenkaipuu is one of the most beautiful Finnish words that I know. Listen to me saying it by clicking the audio!

Our back garden is a mall for birds. We get to see many species and, if lucky, some butterflies too. I became interested in birds in the early 90s when I shared an apartment with a friend who had budgies and a cockatiel. Living with the birds made me notice them outside too. And what a great ability they have – flying!

“Free like a bird,” they say, and yes, flying and freedom do belong together. But when a blue tit enters a small bond under our dining room window, I see worry. Worry if he manages to clean himself before my beagles run out of the door or before bigger birds take their turn. His freedom is limited like anyone’s in this world. Even a dove couple who I jokingly call “the owners of the spa” are frightened by their surroundings. Last summer, a dove was killed near our home, maybe by a fox, and it took some time for the couple to reappear.

Flocks, couples – we are born not only to be free but also dependent on each other. When we have each other, we are safer than alone.

But birds have taught me that the longing for freedom is also about safety. The blue tit feels safe enough to wash on the ground because he is free to take off. Insignificant dots, that’s what we all are to him. And still, he also enjoys that we do exist – we who keep the bond clean and pretty.

Intuitive Version of 17th Century Floral Still Life

Starting an intuitive still life. A studio view of an artist Paivi Eerola.

I wanted this painting to be my version of 17th century still lives. They had black backgrounds and were filled with things that had hidden meanings.

17th century Dutch still life, a detail. Jacob Vosmaer, 1613.
Detail of Dutch Jacob Vosmaer’s still life, ca. 1613. Tulips for nobility, butterflies for transformation, a withered flower and a salamander for decay and death.

Nowadays, we can be freer and let the colors and shapes hit straight to our souls. We have the artistic and spiritual freedom to create intuitively and also, feel safe enough to open our inner world to others.

Two big intuitive floral still lives by artist Paivi Eerola.

Freedom – What are your thoughts? Does it show in your art?

16 thoughts on “Longing for Freedom – An Intuitive Floral Still Life

  1. I’m so excited to see this big painting ! I’m looking fwd to seeing a photo of you standing next to it one day , for scale. Bravo!

  2. Hi Paivi, I am still enjoying all your emails. From when you first started posting until now. I am now 80 years old and although I have really slowed down I still can look at you paintings and dream and wish I could do them. You are still so
    amazing and one of the best artists I know of. Have a great Holiday and wish you the best always. Hugs. Nancy

  3. Gorgeous work of art! Your blues give me a sense of depth and freedom, while the warm colors give me a sense of safety. I appreciate your insight that freedom and safety are linked. It seems that without some limits to our freedom (enough to preserve us), we are not truly free.

  4. I always enjoy your commentaries and see things that I might have missed on first viewing. I appreciate that you share so much of your process with us.

  5. I love both these paintings so much and they are both about movement. I too envy the birds and wild animals for their ability to fly and roam freely. Cockatoo’s, Lorikeets and Kookaburra’s come to my balcony almost daily, and I welcome them, but I tell them they are better off in the trees. The contrast and colors of the blue painting are so rich, yet welcoming, and the white highlights feel like rays of light from heaven.

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