Peony and Parakeet

See What You Think!

What I Think and How I Think, an art journal page spread visualizing thoughts by Peony and Parakeet

Here’s an art journal spread that I created from two little incidents: the intellectual and the emotional.

Visualizing an Intellectual Incident

Last week I went to an art gallery to see Ola Kolehmainen‘s photography exhibition. I often get very emotional when I see art, but this time I was more intrigued by structures and concepts. Ola Kolehmainen’s photo collages had a cubistic touch. They inspired me to experiment with squares and arches.

Starting an art journal page, by Peony and Parakeet

The art journal page looked pretty stiff and formal at this point. But also I felt excited about how it would direct my thoughts when continuing drawing and coloring.

Perfection Needs Order

Working intuitively means working without exact further knowledge, by Peony and Parakeet

Working intuitively means that I do not always know what ‘s going to appear next. I just focus on a small area at the time. While listening to some opera pieces, I remembered how close mathematics and music were in the 18th century. One of the great mathematicians Leonhard Euler was also extremely interested in music. I feel that similarly, drawing can be an experience where we use the intellectual side. By drawing we can find out new solutions, practice nuances and fine-tune shapes until everything seems to be in its place. Like Euler said: “… in any thing where there is perfection, there is necessarily also order.”

Finishing an art journal page, by Peony and Parakeet

Visualizing an Emotional Incident

But then, when we aim for perfection, we often miss the experience. Like the exhibition last week – I went out without noticing any particular change in my feelings. Then, this morning when walking the dogs, I saw the growing leaves and how they glowed against the sun. The sight was so beautiful, although pretty ordinary at this time of the year. Nevertheless, it felt like opening the door to a great gallery – to nature’s supreme art exhibition!

Leaves against the light

Combining The Intellectual and Emotional Incidents

When I got back home, I thought that it would be interesting to express the controversy of the intellectual and the emotional on the same spread. First, I drew my nature experience with careless lines but with clarity. Then I made it work with the page that had become very detailed but pretty complex.

A detail of an art journal page by Peony and Parakeet

I wrote: “When I see what I think, I become whole” and “When I see HOW I think, I become happy”.

Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet browsing her art journal

This page spread is not only about going to the art gallery last week and walking the dogs this week. It is what happened inside me and how these incidents were combined. They continue my story as an artist and help me to stay in touch with myself.

What I Think and How I Think, an art journal page spread by Peony and Parakeet

Visualizing thoughts and experiences bring it all together. There’s a lot of inner power in seeing what you think.

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17 thoughts on “See What You Think!

  1. Paivi ( i just discovered that I have been pronouncing your name wrong after listening to your interview with 21 Secrets) This post is a wonderful peek inside of how you think, which correlates perfectly with the glimpses you share in the interview. I love the photo of you with your art expressing the joy your art gives you. Your two sided approach to art is very interesting! Thank you for sharing.

  2. This spread is a real eye opener/brain teaser, and a perfect blend of the two – eye (emotion) and brain (logic). I LOVE, LOVE , LOVE this spread. Your art is always an “experience” to me and I learn something – always. This would be a great piece to look at when I feel exhausted since I could get lost while gazing and thinking and feel refreshed afterwards. You must have been so happy after producing the combination.

    1. Thanks, Mary! I think that the more I create art, the more I want to experiment with combinations of different point of views. That is also interesting in other people’s stories and creations, how they see the world and how they choose to interpret it.

  3. I love your work, and I really appreciate your sharing your thinking and process with us!

  4. I absolutely love your work and loved the 21 secrets workshop and interview — I love your emotion and passion behind your work — thanks so much for sharing

    1. Thanks, Joanne! Connie from Dirty Footprint Studio was a great interviewer and I really enjoyed talking about my favorite subject art – also in more personal level than I had done before. It feels so great to have such a positive feedback, thank you to you and many others who have commented the interview. I think that we all have different stories but they carry the same themes. And I also think that art and passion belong together, I am very talkative so it might show well but I also know many quiet people who share the same passion.

  5. Such beautiful thoughts with beautiful drawings. You are much younger than I am, but I always learn so much from you. I would love to spend a day with you and share ideas and create art.

    1. Thank you, Jacque! You know there have been so many comments in my blog and at my Facebook page during the years (https://www.facebook.com/peonyandparakeet) that I have thought the same about all of you. It would be lovely to meet and that’s why I decided to create an online workshop – it’s not the same than to meet face to face but it’s a chance to meet and share and get deeper with the themes that I have had in this blog.

  6. Your work is so inspirational. Beautiful too. What kind of book are you working with? And what mediums?

    1. Denise, thanks! This book is Dylusions Creative Journal and the supplies that I used were simply a black drawing pen and colored pencils.

  7. Reading this while listening to Bach’s Goldberg variations–seems to coalesce so beautifully. Your pages are so wonderfully expressive and I am so interested in your connection to the unconscious in art.

  8. i have just discovered you and your work through 21secrets interview and I love your work, I tried the drawing and colouring and was so happy with the process and result. I have a lot of fear around drawing, can’t draw realistic etc. this loose drawing showed me a different way that I could open up to. One day I will take your drawing class! Thank you for your inspiration.

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