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Response from the Universe

This week, I have exciting news and talk about life’s big decisions.

In the spring, I will only paint canvas, but later this year, in addition to that, I will also paint the virtual world! Namely, I have received a part-time 1-year grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation to produce a digital, three-dimensional artwork called Unknown Land.

A grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation

This is an excerpt of the application that I sent last fall to the foundation.

In my works, I search for a solution to the problems of the external world through the root causes, so strengthening the inner power of a person. By inner power, I refer to imagination and intuition – the human ability to imagine and sense the future. The future is an unknown land.

We can think of this unknown land as a new untouched continent. When we arrive there, everything seems like a newly born fantasy at first, but soon, we will see that this is not the case – only the emphasis has changed. Things emerge from the past, the meaning of which we have previously underestimated. In an unknown land, we are in a state where we no longer want to return to the past, but on the other hand, we cannot escape it. Then it is possible to see the old shadows in a new light and make an effort from that to the new one. Like my paintings, we, therefore, travel between the future and the past – the abstract and representational.

In the project, I will create an interactive virtual reality artwork based on my oil paintings. The project has many kinds of computer work – digital painting, 3D modeling, programming, testing, etc. So, things that feel more like my past self than the current one.

Past’s Big Decisions

Let’s rewind to the 1980s when I was making big decisions in my life. My father had just died. I was engaged but not in love. I sent applications to universities and got accepted by them all. Although I tried not to think about it in the picture below, I knew this would happen: I would move far away to the south to study technology, I would not marry the guy I was engaged to, and I would leave art – at least for a while.

Making big decisions in the 1980s

I had wanted to be an artist but didn’t think the art schools would be as accepting as the universities. I had self-evaluated my skills and talent, which weren’t where they should have been. When I said no to art, I got yes to many good things: intelligent ideas, challenging jobs, better income, etc. I was fascinated by computers, and I believed that the universe wanted me to study software engineering.

But later, it dawned on me that the universe is not quite that simple.

Worlds Are Fighting Over You

Even if I am not a big believer in destiny, I believe that there are worlds that fight over you. No matter how depressed on unpopular you feel at times, remember that some worlds would always do anything to win your heart. And even if you shout to the universe and it remains silent, the worlds are still there for you, waiting for the right moment.

Talviyön runoelma - Winter Night's Poem, oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm, 2022. By Paivi Eerola, Finland.
Talviyön runoelma – Winter Night’s Poem, oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm, 2022.

Art didn’t give up on me even if Technology won the battle in the 1980s. There have been big fights since. Last fall, just when Art thought that Technology had been beaten for good, I got excited about VR – virtual reality. Art and Technology have their own ways of capturing my attention. Art is like the beast of my inner world, demanding attention and energy. Technology always attacks outside – sends a few inspiring lines to read about innovations, an abbreviation to figure out, or an invitation to a special event for nerds.

“I will let the universe decide,” I told myself when I wrote the application. But so it happened that the two worlds that had been fighting over me for all my life finally agreed to come together. My life’s big decisions make sense now.

Changes Will Come

I will start the exciting new project in the fall. It will take a lot of my time, and changes will come, but I don’t want to think about them yet. I am painting for the next exhibitions and leading the class Doll World this spring. Then it’s time for Art and Technology to collide.

Butterfly fairies illustration by Paivi Eerola.
The fairies and butterflies from Doll World and the frame from Magical Inkdom

What are the worlds that are fighting over you? Tell us – leave a comment!

42 thoughts on “Response from the Universe

  1. How wonderful!! I am so happy and excited for you. All your knowledge and experience are joining together as two parts of your life come to fruition. Congratulations!! I cannot wait until we get to see and share what you create.

  2. No one is more deserving than you, Dear Paivi! And you are totally up to the task! I hope you will keep the FB page even if you aren’t teaching classes, because as we continue to practice all we have learned, we hope to grow even more as artists! I find that the loving support and critiques in Bloom and Fly to be very valuable as I strive to do more! As always, I am eternally grateful for all of your beatiful creativity and inspiration!

  3. Thank you for sharing so much of your personal journey. I love so much of your submission statement. Best wishes on your new endeavor. Please keep sharing your art.

  4. Congratulations on your success, I’m sure it will be a fascinating journey and exciting direction for you and I hope you will keep us all updated on the project. Best wishes

  5. How wonderful for you!!
    I know many woman who gave up their love for art to pursue other interests only to see a connection between the two.

    It will be interesting to watch you expand and grow in this new direction!

  6. What wonderful news, Päivi! Richly deserved. I know you will do the opportunity every justice!

  7. How exciting for you!
    All your hard work in the physical world of are is likely to have improved your ability to do amazing things with the technology.
    I wish you enjoyment and learning in this endeavor.

  8. Congratulations on your absolutely exciting venture! I cannot wait to see what you create. Each time you post your art you make my life a happier place! Good luck and thank you!

  9. Congratulations Paivi! I love how our lives can lead us to deeper, richer places when we hold our identities lightly. I’m excited to follow your journey in this new adventure. I have no doubt the results will be magical!
    And thank you for that rich juicy question about what worlds are fighting over us! It feels like a very timely inquiry and while I don’t have a quick answer I will certainly ponder it.
    Continued blessings to you!!

  10. So exciting Paivi – Congratulations. I so look forward to seeing what you will create in this new opportunity and in the longer run, to see where it takes you and your art. Love how you describe your work in your application.

  11. Päivi, you must know how much we all admire you — and now we have a chance to sing your praises. I believe you are an Aquarian Philosopher, a woman who thinks profound and innovative thoughts. Perhaps you’re also an Aquarian Alchemist! The alchemy of the mind shows clearly in your post above. Weren’t the alchemists intent on creating the Elixir of Life, aka the Elixir of Immortality? You have the perfect combination of technological experience, artistic intuition and a beautiful turn of phrase. Perhaps you will become an Immortal Artist, whose works will live on in the hearts, minds and eyes of those who see them, and those whom you teach. You are SO inspiring, Päivi! Thank (not God, but) the gods and goddesses of Aquarius. Thank Prometheus (the god of creation and forethought) and Minerva (aka Athena), the goddess who was patron of artisans. And thank you, Päivi, for all that you’ve given to us, your students and followers. Congratulations!

    1. Hello Paivi
      What a great newsletter. I am so happy for you.

      MaryJane Mitchell

  12. Oh Päivi! What an exciting possibility! Your words on your application are so poetic, and really resonated with me. I wish you a challenging, inspirational, and fulfilling year! ❤️

  13. Wow! Congratulations! I’m so excited for you. I’ve so enjoyed seeing your artistic journey and wish you all the best in the new venture/adventure.
    I would love it if you could keep on posting so we can see what you’re doing. Your blog and Facebook community group are things I look forward to every day. Thank you for sharing so much with us.

    I sometimes feel pulled in different directions from different universes too. I started out as a techie but it was a means to an end for me. I needed to make money. Now I’m retired and, apart from family commitments and travel, I’m free to create when I like. My only experience at being pulled back into technology occurs when my techie husband decide to upgrade all our devices, automate everything in the house that can be automated and then he goes away on business and I’m left without knowing how to turn off the TV and lights and go to bed!

    1. Thank you, Debbie! I will share glances about the new project once it has started, for sure. — My husband is very much in automating everything too, I know what you are talking about!!

  14. Oh Paivi! What a wonderful and exciting time ahead for you. Scary too I suspect. We are all here cheering for you from the sidelines, and can’t wait to see the results of your next challengers.
    Those of us taking your classes just LOVE your enthusiasm and inspiration. We can’t wait to see what happens next!!
    Well done in saying YES to growth and leaping into challenges and adventures!
    Thank you for all your past classes Paivi.

  15. This is wonderful and exciting news. I have loved looking at your work since I first discovered you. I wish you every success and joy in your new venture. How great is it that people love, trust and admire you and have tremendous faith in you. Best wishes.

  16. How exciting for you Paivi! It reminds me of the days when I knew we would get a puppy from the shelter and I pondered the mystery of what she would look like and what her personality would be. The unknown paired with the potential joy was such an interesting feeling .
    As for the question of what worlds are fighting for my attention …it is all so mundane , definitely nothing fun like your two passions. More like several fears fighting for my attention. I did see something funny this week on a tourist pirate cruise. A professional actor, dressed as a pirate had plastic sword “fights” with the children on the ship. It was really funny how he pretended it was challenging then left his body open so each child could pretend to stab him.
    I’m looking fwd to watching the latest Doll World lesson!

    1. Thank you, Wendy! Yes, you are spot on with the puppy thing, it’s definitely the same thing with the new project. Fears can’t be detached from the worlds, I think!

  17. Wow! Congratulations Paivi !!!! Dreams do come true!!! Enjoy and savor every moment!! Thank you for sharing this special occasion with us! I feel very privileged! Thoughts and Blessings will be with you❣️

  18. Wow Päivi, way cool! Interesting to see what comes up in Autumn. (Or – after that). I know it will be something as wonderful as your former art has been for this end. 🙂

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