Color the Emotion

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Libraries, Trees, Skies and Seas – This Year so Far

Paivi from Peony and Parakeet and her library room

While building new classes and updating the web site (see the new Create page!), I realized that I have over 450 blog posts in this blog. I have been blogging for a long time, but still, it’s a big number! While going through those posts, I realized that more than a diary, this blog is like a manual, lot’s of instructions and tips on how to start creating and keep on creating. I have no intentions to change it. However, I feel I have left out many things that have happened during the spring, so this post is a bit different.


As I work from home, most days during this spring have been spent in the library room of our house. While creating new mini-courses for Imagine Monthly Spring 2016, I have also visited public libraries examining art history where I get most of my ideas from. This “library time” is one of the best things in my job as an art teacher. I love the feeling of control that I get from seeing all the books around me. It’s very different from browsing information on the internet. Internet is like a tube or a bunch of tubes, while libraries are like arenas, bringing more information visible at the same time.

Imagine Monthly Spring 2016, January's mini-course, Doodled Luxury, inspired by Alphonse Mucha

I have not only visited the usual local libraries, located near my home, but “the library”, National Library of Finland.

The National Library of Finland, one of the most beautiful libraries

I tried to capture its’ beauty to one panorama photo but it doesn’t quite show all the wonderful details the building has.


When working from home, garden views become important. Our back garden has old trees that had grown too big and they had to be cut. We hired arborists to do that and the trees looked like sculptures first, now there’s lot’s of green already.

Trees in spring, Finland

Another tree-related event was when our apple and cherry trees blossomed. It was more beautiful than ever before, the spring had been so warm. Like creating this William Morris inspired spread for one of the mini-courses, would predict a warm weather to Finland!

Imagine Monthly Spring 2016, February's mini-course, Flowing Greenery, inspired by William Morris

Speaking of trees, I visited the center of Helsinki to see a famous Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama‘s instalaltion. Again, I tried to get a panorama photo of it!

Yayoi Kusama in Helsinki, Finland

Small and Surreal

Spots came to my mind already earlier in the spring when I spent a lot of time examining Hundertwasser’s surrealistic way to build big pictures from small structures.

Imagine Monthly Spring 2016, March's mini-course, Painter's Ecstasy, inspired by Hundertwasser

No wonder I have not only taken panoramas, but used macro lense too. When we took care of our long spruce fence, I saw small dew drops that looked like mini worlds! Who wouldn’t want to go there and see what treasures they carry!

Dewdrop, spruce, nature photography, Finland

Taking photos is really important part of my creative process. The camera challenges me to see further than the obvious.

What a Movie!

In May, after publishing the mini-course on Claude Monet’s style, I went to a movie theatre to see a special documentary. It was called Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse. Anybody who likes flowers, gardening and painting should see it!

Imagine Monthly Spring 2016, April's mini-course, Strokes of Energt, inspired by Claude Monet

Mid-Century Magic Box

June’s highlight was Rut Bryk’s exhibition Magic Box and the inspiration I got from it.

Rut Bryk, Finland

Earlier in the spring, I had already examined mid-century modern designs. My mini-course for Imagine Monthly Spring 2016 was about how to make your own mid-century modern art journal page.

Imagine Monthly Spring 2016, May's mini-course, Modern Mid-Centiury, inspired by mid-century modern style

From Expressive Skies to Seas

After examining Claude Monet’s style, I became more and more aware of how beautiful skies can be. There were some beautiful sunsets this spring.

Sunset in Vantaa, Finland

These glowing sunsets made me think about landscapes and how expressive they can be – how we can create fantasy landscapes and use them as a tool of self-expression! Then I saw a couple of art exhibitions that had seascapes and felt drawn to them more than ever before. So the last mini-course of the spring is about seascapes.

Imagine Monthly Spring 2016, June's mini-course, Stormy Scenery, inspired by seascape painters Ivan Aivazovsky and J.M.W. Turner

When I make recordings for my classes, I must confess that it’s terribly exciting. It requires extreme concentration to produce the artwork in front of the camera and take care of all the little things that make a good video. Every brush stroke has to be educational as well as exact. I intend to get better and better at this, showing how you can create with less fuss and more expression!

Cosmo – My Dog

My beagle Cosmo has had health issues for the whole spring. It has been stressful and I have worried about him a lot. He is already 11 years old so I have feared for the worst. But luckily the cure was found finally and he is now happy and healthy again, enjoying the beginning of summer.

Happy beagles, Finland

Imagine Monthly Continues

Imagine Monthly Spring 2016 closes in the end of June. Before that you can still sign up and receive all the 6 mini-courses immediately after the purchase + get access to the discussion group to see what other students have been creating! These courses will become for sale individually sometimes in July-August, but as self-study classes, without the access to the discussion group.

Imagine Monthly Fall 2016 will start in August 1st! Get 5 new mini-courses, 1 per month from August to December, sign up now!

20 thoughts on “Libraries, Trees, Skies and Seas – This Year so Far

  1. Thank you for always sharing your knowledge and skills so generously. Your blog is such a wealth of information and resources. And your classes! They inspire me and expand my skills pushing me out of my comfort zone. I’m really looking forward to the fall Imagine Monthly.

  2. Thank you for being a great inspiration! And this blog post inspires even more! I have created beautiful gardens at my house, but I seldom stop to take pictures of all of the glorious flowers and plants. Hey, that’s what I’ll do today! Thank you!

  3. Enjoyed the photos and your insightful paintings so much! Thank you for sharing. Good for your vet for finding what Cosmos needed to get well. I’m a huge animal lover and have 2 dogs myself, and always enjoy hearing about and seeing others fur babies. Blessings, Joyce

  4. Congratulations that Cosmo is healthy again!
    And thanks for all the work you do to inspire us!
    The more I discouver on your blog about Finland, the more I’m longing to see your country with my own eyes………..
    Greetings and enjoy summer.

  5. This is a fabulous “insight” into the process that explains the way you fabricate life into your lessons! It is both beautiful and instructive and I love your use of the black and white photos–such an appropriate touch! Continued good health to little Cosmo! Thank you!

  6. I’m so glad your Cosmo is doing well. I wish you and Cosmo many more happy and healthy years together.

  7. Your paintings and the generous knowledge you share are, as usual, an inspiration. I am so pleased for you that Cosmo is doing well, dogs are truly ‘mans best friend’.

  8. Hi, I visit often your blog, I can always find here beautiful things, today you share with all of us part of your life, love to look at your paintings and your pictures, what a wonderful time Spring is, glad Cosmo is doing better,
    Have a very nice day.

  9. Beautiful summary of the real life reflections in your art. Your classes provide me with the instructions so that I can feel my own reflections in my art and for that I’m so grateful for you. Very glad you were able to find the help that Cosmo needed – our pets are genuine family members that provide us with so much love.

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