Color the Emotion

Pick a few colors and create without stiffness.

Mid-Century Modern Style for Art Journals

Modern Mid-Century, a mini-course about making an art journal spread in mid-century modern style

This spring, I have published a new art journaling mini-course each month for Imagine Monthly. May’s mini-course is called Modern Mid-Century. This mini-course is all about mid-century modern style. You can use it to create decorative art journal pages that are not only flowers and hearts but show a wider range of designs.

Discovering a Magic Formula of Mid-Century Modern

The main inspiration for the Modern Mid-Century mini-course came from Annikki Hovisaari’s ceramic Peacock (“riikinkukko” in Finnish). Annikki Hovisaari was a designer in the Finnish ceramic factory Arabia in 1960s. We have the peacock on the living room wall. I look at it each day, admiring. So much can be expressed with simple shapes and thin lines! The mini-course includes plenty of samples.

Annikki Hovisaari, Riikinkukko/Peacock, Arabia

When I begin examining a new style, I try to see what’s essential there. What could be removed without changing the impression. And also: what could be added without loosing it. It’s like calculating a formula for a certain style. The secret is not trying to solve the whole big equation. It would be too difficult and highly argumentative. Even the experts of 20th century styles argue whether something is mid-century modern or not. I try to avoid that and just pick few of the central features. Then I focus on their relationship, forgetting the rest.

The best art classes give you ideas that you can expand and adjust to your liking. Whether you like mid-century modern or not, you can use the basic formula. With that, you can move forward towards your own ideas and aesthetics. This kind of conceptual approach will bring focus to more personal than to the style itself. Instead of trying to follow the style, you will be making new discoveries through it.

I made a couple of small pieces after finishing the mini-course. The first one, on the left below, is a birthday card made for my husband’s nephew. The second is a digital piece combining the idea of mid-century modern and the concept of a watch.

Mid-century modern inspired art by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

Create Your Own Mid-Century Modern Art

Sign up for Imagine Monthly!  You will not only get Modern Mid-Century, but all the mini-courses published so far, immediately after the purchase.

Imagine Monthly, a set of art journaling mini-courses

Imagine Monthly also has a private discussion group at Facebook. It’s fun to see what everyone has created from the mini-courses. In the middle of the month, I also lead a discussion topic related to the month’s theme.

Paivi from Peony and Parakeet in her mid-century modern living room

I believe that every art journal needs pages that are handpainted and handdrawn. It is joyful to browse pages that are more like illustrations than just layers of paint. With Imagine Monthly you will get new formulas for stretching your skills and discovering new techniques. Sign up now!

4 thoughts on “Mid-Century Modern Style for Art Journals

  1. The one style that I’ve never been attached to is mid-century modern. In fact, I just flip over pages or fabric, or scrapbook paper that even slightly seems like it. I don’t like the colors, the clean uninviting furniture, the graphic sameness of the designs. I don’t like anything about it UNTIL I saw your video. Then I saw how your home is decorated with it BUT was warm and inviting unlike anything I’ve seen before. You had wonderful warm red walls to make it come alive. Just like Sleeping Beauty, a kiss woke her and your walls woke the art for me. I watched you work your magic through the process of creating the graphic images and all the parts and pieces of our lesson. For the first time I was excited to try this. I realize now that color played the key role in awakening my brain to the possibilities. Your living room is warm, inviting, and glowing with happy friendliness. Can’t wait to begin this months lesson and learn and grow. I think I can make it my own and my fingers are itching to get busy. Thank you for all the possibilities that are stirring inside of me. This month is going to be fun.

  2. I’ve been looking at a photo of a peacock that I took a couple of months ago and wanted so badly to paint it – but imagined that it was way out of my comfort level. Reading this article and seeing the wall hanging peacock in your home, makes me think that this is a way that I could do this. Thanks for sharing – I’m not able to take your class now, but will look forward to one in the future.

  3. Your story about the cute shed cracked me up. I wanted my husband to build a gazebo in our back yard. But he said we already have a deck and we would never use it. That is true, but I would love to just look at it when I stand at the sink and romanticize even if it don’t actually use it. Perhaps it is a “woman thing”.

  4. I am a student in your Imagine Monthly class, which I love-I’ve learned so much! Thank you for showing us your lovely home, filled with beauty and artistic creations. I, too, love the peacock, and have decided to use it as inspiration for a 12″x12″ art piece I’m doing to showcase 12 archetypes I have chosen for myself and will place their names along the circles of the peacock’s feathers.
    I loved seeing your home, and felt I was a guest there.
    Thank you, Paivi.

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