Peony and Parakeet

Painting Through Difficult Times – 4 Easy Tips!

"Baroquai" - a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet. Read her tips for painting through difficult times.

This painting, called “Baroquai” is about painting through difficult times by discovering a secret place at home. A couple of weeks ago, I watched the movie Knives Out. It had a wonderful big house with secret doors, ladders, and all. I would like our house to have similar kinds of secret spaces, it would be so uplifting to change the scenes without leaving home!

In a way, art offers us those secret spaces. When I start a new watercolor painting with random splashes, it’s like seeking the hidden door.

Splashing paint to relieve stress. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

“What to Paint?” – “Wallpaper!”

Social distancing during the pandemic has made me reduce the requirements for my art. I try to paint what brings me the most joy and keep the ambition level low. If I ask myself “What to paint?”, I just answer “Wallpaper” every single time. It’s the easiest thing that I can think of painting, and the more I paint it, the more hidden doors seem to appear.

A decorative watercolor painting in progress. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

The thought of a wall of ornaments that come to bloom is both calming and inspiring. When I examine and alter the shapes with the brush, hidden spaces begin to reveal.

A decorative watercolor painting in progress. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

The space that I am sitting seems smaller, and the other space – that’s in my mind – gets larger.

Focusing on the details. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

How Does Your Art Sound?

It’s also inspiring to think about what sounds the painting evokes. For this one, it’s baroque cembalo music, Jamiroquai, and softly singing choir of colorful budgies.

A decorative watercolor painting in progress. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Mixing and Matching – The Reality Check

Painting wallpaper is also about creating something that complements and refreshes the reality.

Mixing and matching hand-made art. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I used a pansy – painted and cut for my box of joy – to test my “wallpaper.” The fit looked so perfect that I painted some pansies there too!

A watercolor painting in progress. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Here’s a close look at my finished “Baroquai.”

A detail of "Baroquai" - a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet. Read her tips for painting through difficult times.

Artful Impact on the Wall

Always remember to celebrate the result! Add the signature once you are finished …

"Baroquai" - a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet. Read her tips for painting through difficult times.

… and place the painting on the wall! The space that art creates extends the limited physical space.

Having art on the wall and photographing it. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I also like to photograph my paintings when they are on the wall. In my studio, I have art on the table too. There’s a plastic cover that protects the pieces.

Art displayed behind a plexiglass in the studio of Paivi Eerola, Finland.

4 Easy Tips For Painting Through Difficult Times

  • Find a simple answer like “Wallpaper” or “Flowers” to be ready for the inner critic’s question: “What are you creating?”
  • See your art as soundscapes rather than landscapes.
  • Mix and match things you create, no matter how small they are. Think about decorating a secret room with a collection of stuff rather than going out in the open with a single masterpiece.
  • Find joy in the interaction between the surrounding space and your art. Art makes the space, and also, the space can boost art.

Let’s give art the possibility to gently lift our spirits!

"Baroquai" - a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet. Read her tips for painting through difficult times.

Inspiring projects for flower lovers: Buy my class Floral Fantasies!

10 thoughts on “Painting Through Difficult Times – 4 Easy Tips!

  1. Beautiful. I keep experimenting with this technique. It’s much harder than it looks, but I love it when I get a bit if it right. Thanks Pavi.

  2. Flowers and painting are exactly the thngs I need now. Your paintings are always so inspirational that I want to paint, too. My results are not always so brilliant, but the joy of painting is there anyway. Thank you, Päivi!

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