Sunday, June 8, 2014

As of late - painting outside

Let me get a bit restrospective now, my friends and explain you this new tag "Paintings"
Like about four and a half years ago when we moved to Normandie for what turned to be two years, and when my little girl was a baby of a couple of months old, that was the time when I started less figure drawing and more landscape drawing. And I've discovered the most astonishing seascapes of just unbelievable colors and beauty. That's how I got to paint outside, en plein air. It took me a couple of years to get to feel that I had enough confidence and knowledge to leave the little corner of the living room where I was painting from field drawings and little thumbnail value sketches. Then we moved to Germany.

If you have ever tried to paint anything outside, even if you fail,  many times as I did, but get back and stick to it, I guess you understand me saying that's something you get addicted to and never look back painting in a studio. There's this something special in the air that you and your painting need to get depth and emotion and this sence of life and light that you would otherwise never capture if you're not painting on field.

We left Normandie and I never painted any landscape for more than two years until a friend of mine leaving Finland asked me to draw a house of hers. I didn't think of painting it first, and just a couple of days prior to her farewell party I grabbed my paints, palette knives, the easel and a piece of cardboard, and drove to her house with my little baby boy who was happily sleeping in the car nearby while I was outside painting. If I'd fail I would still have an evening to make a charcoal pencil drawing from photos that she sent me.

I don't have the feeling I've failed this one. I like it. And I'm happy my friend's family enjoys it as well. I don't know if I get back to paint, but for the first time since I left Normandie I felt this mix of drive, happiness, pleasure, and joy of intense work while painting a landscape, well, a house in a landscape. Yes, working on other projects feels similar, but this very special feeling from painting outside got somehow lost with time passing by, our moves over three countries, growing family, getting grounded and making new friends, so I am just THAT happy to reconnect with it.  Just THAT happy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Stenciled pillow cases with reindeer

Lately I've bought simple pillow cases in a department store. I wanted to try out some fun and simple techniques without being strained to sew a classic pillow afterwards. This one was an inexpensive model, in a slightly weird color in my opinion, but I loved the texture (similar to linen) and didn't what to buy something too fancy/high-end to be scared to experiment with afterwards.

Having a pillow ready-made would force me to be more spontaneous and work fast.

And that's what I had to do - a friend of mine was going to leave Finland, so talking about different options what to gift her just the day before, I suggested I would like to try to make a printed pillow with some "finnish" motif. That's how the reindeer came into the scene. And as I didn't know what type of colorway she would chose, I've opted for neutrals - beige, brown and white.

I've planned only to stencil, but couldn't not add a bit of something to enhance the image and outline it in matching brown color (terra verde). For myself I would probably outline the reindeers in turquoise or neon pink (as I did a mock-up in photoshop at the end of picture line), or maybe even print it in some crazy color (which I would not recommend in case you're not a close friend of the recipient). Or maybe put some text onto - keeping all that in mind I guess I should get back to the shop for another couple of blanc pillow cases. Stay tuned!