In this week’s post, I share my newest painting and other creative projects, and talk about linking art and crafts together.
Here’s my new painting called “Elämän nälkä – Hunger for Life.” It’s made in acrylics. and the size is 54 x 65 cm (about 21 x 25,5 inches). I started it before my dog Cosmo passed way, but it feels very timely, expressing how we want to live and survive, even if life is not in our control.
How I Created This Painting
My paintings often start with a specific color in mind, and this one was all blue in the beginning, and the orientation was vertical.
Then I turned it around and added more colors, then turned around again!
I wanted everything in this piece to be wild and free. It’s enjoyable to paint this way.
My favorite part of the painting is the top corner. It’s so sinister, and yet, so beautiful!
Here’s the whole painting again. I really like this one even if the atmosphere is gloomier than usual.
I always take the final photos before varnishing, because it’s easier to take pictures when the painting isn’t glistening. However, I love how the varnish makes the colors glow.
Painting Feels Different from Crafting
For me, creating art is a strange mixture of letting go and paying attention to the tiniest details. It’s like I am the mother and caretaker for my paintings, but can’t fully control the children’s personality and actions.
In my spare time, when quilting or knitting, it’s different. I can feel a sense of control, and I like it a lot. After saying goodbye to Cosmo, I sewed a quilt for Stella. I had the blocks ready, so the project was already half-way. About 20 years ago, I participated a quilt block lottery, where a group of quilters sewed similar kinds of blocks and happened to win them all. I had also sewn some more recently.
Art Inspiration from Crafting
My relationship for quilting and knitting has changed over the years. About 20 years ago, I thought that crafting is my way of creating art. But the more I got interested in painting and drawing, the less creative it felt. During the past 6 years, art-making and crafting have been strictly separated: visual art is the profession and crafting is the hobby.
This fall, my mindset has changed. I now realize that knitting is a way to give space for the internal processing that my paintings need. When I knit, my subconscious is sketching.
I love stranded knitting with many colors. My current project is Joji Locatelli’s All Together Sweater.
Here’s my current painting in progress. At least in this stage, it has some similarities with the sweater!
In general, I am more open to inspiration that I get from crafting, and vice versa. I made this quilt for my friend’s puppy.
Crafter, Craft Artist, Fine Artist – What’s Your Number One Creative Activity?
Many who create both art and crafts struggle with finding their style. For me, the working solution was to draw a clear line between the two. It made me see what things were missing in my artistic process, and what I needed to practice more. My artistic identity needed this isolation to make a clear hierarchy in what I create.
But now, I feel I can loosen up. Here’s what I wrote on Peony and Parakeet’s Facebook page last week:
“Art makes us more aware of what affects us and how we process it. Sometimes it means that we don’t want to immerse ourselves into something because it would not have a good impact on us. Other times it means that we want more of something because we know we need that. But for me, the most significant thing has been that accidental things happen, and I don’t need to filter everything. Both art and life run through us, and when the stream gets stronger, it will change not only us but our surroundings as well. When we say we want to loosen up, isn’t that what we really mean?”
This month, I have done a lot more than just creating canvas paintings. I am working on a new class about abstract art and Paul Klee’s teachings. I have talked about Paul Klee before, but now I am creating a class that translates his teachings to a more expressive style. Hopefully, the class is launching at the end of November, stay tuned!
I have also finished an art journaling mini-course for an artist collaboration project. It will be for sale in October – so very soon!
What’s Your Number One Creative Activity?
Here’s how I see myself now: I am a visual artist who creates abstract nature paintings mostly. I process my paintings by knitting, writing, art journaling, and doing daily walks. I live in a midcentury home, and my background is in design. I process my designs by growing plants and quilting. My paintings have design elements, and my designs have elements that are painted.
Painting is my number one thing. All the other activities serve it.
How would you define yourself through your creative activities? What’s your number one creative activity?