Monday, 31 December 2012


It actually snowed here 2 days ago! Enough for the ground to be white, but today everything has melted away. It was really nice to be able to at least once be outdoors walking with a nice snow-crunch under my feet! Picture from our window:

And the studio update: I finally have gotten to painting in a bird on one of my backgrounds. First layer of color is done, next update of this will be when it is finished. I have a lot of other backgrounds almost finished, but some of them I will have to redesign as my initial sketch for them worked well as a collage in my art-journal, but not so much as a painting. So, I have to continue experimenting until the 'magic' happens... :-)

Happy New 2013 everyone!!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy news, and Merry Christmas!

I got some very happy news with the e-mail a few days ago, an early x-mas present you can say...
I am one of the winners of a mixed media competition: 'Incite, Dreams realized' by F+W Media on North Light Books (Link ). One of my paintings will get published in their book 'The Best of Mixed Media' next autumn! The painting I contributed with was 'Beyond the dark forest'.

I am happy! And I want to leave you on this happy note and wish you all a Great Holiday, a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas in Rizhao

Today I have some fun photos from around Rizhao. Christmas trees in all their Chinese glory!

Butterfly tree.

And then to end it all with some updates from the studio. I have here three paintings in progress:

This is stage one and two on the canvas of the painting I planned in my art journal (small picture bottom left)

Stage 1 & 2 of a small painting of the blue-tit from my art-journal (small picture bottom left)

Small painting that will be an Eurasian jay feather. Again stage 1 & 2, from my sketch in my art-journal  (small picture bottom left)

Have a beautiful day everyone!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Congratulations Finland - 95 years!

Our Christmas tree came out from its hiding place today in honor of the Finnish Independence day! We will have a small dinner at our place tonight, and although we can not watch the president's ball (as is usual the custom ;-) ), we will be able to eat some typical finnish food.  Welcome drink will be Glögg (Glühwine), and then we will feast upon pea-soup, sausage soup, and owen pancakes as dessert. I know, it does not sound like a party meal! But while living in China you even miss those weird food from home... ;-)

So, Happy Independence Day Finland!

Some studio update:

Two pages from my A5 art-journal. Planning, planning, planning and sketching...

And I have started to make some textured backgrounds on some small canvases. I will keep you updated on how they progress!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Art journal

I am  going to participate in an exhibition next August back home in Finland in the beautiful gallery Karaija in Ingå (Inkoo). I have started to work towards that exhibition, as I will need a lot more work than I currently have. There are many nice white walls to fill.... and as I paint quite small for the moment, I need many of them to do the place justice!

Today I share with you my latest art journal pages, where I am playing around with compositions and ideas for new paintings.

Mixed media, A4. I think it is a Gyrfalcon (jaktfalk), but I am not sure. I got some very nice photos of this falcon and some other predator birds at a falconry at Cardiff Castle while in UK. 
I feel a little like a hypocrite with this: I really, REALLY do not like the idea of having birds in cages or  in captivity (or any wild animal), but I can not deny that it was wonderful to be able to stand so close to these beautiful birds and watch them! 

Mixed media, A4. Another composition with the same bird. I like this version better than the previous.

Mixed media, A4. Blue-tits. I like the upper bird and the colors, but I don't think that the branches came out so well. I will have to change that if this will result in a finished painting.

Mixed media, A5. Another blue-tit. This one I am actually very satisfied with, and I will try and paint this just like it is on canvas.

Back to painting and planning!!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

UK pic's

I almost forgot that I last time promised some pictures from my trip around UK that followed the art fair in London. I was distracted by a long weekend trip to Shanghai where I visited some friends and did some christmas shopping!

So, without much talking I give you a selection of my favorite pictures;

Only in London can you hire a dubbed-decker as your wedding car...

I saw several exhibitions while in London, among them Munch in Tate modern and The Preraphaelites in Tate Britain. In one of the museum shops I stumbled upon a familiar face...

Bath. The crescent. I walked in Jane Austens footsteps for a day...

Bradford upon Avon. A lovely medieval village, and we found one of the oldest houses still standing. The door to The Bridge came only to my shoulder!

Stonehedge. Smaller than I had imagined it, but still quite imposing. We were not allowed in as it was closed, unfortunately. The fences and the paved pathways took some of the mysteries away from this otherwise quite magical place.

Sudeley Castle, Cheltenhamn. The last home of Katherine Parr, the 6th wife of Henry VIII. Very interesting history in just one place. Anne Boleyn walked in these corridors (2nd wife of Henry VIII), Elizabeth I spend some time in her childhood here (daughter of HenryVIII), and came and visited when she was Queen.

Food and some reading in a newly bought book in a traditional English Tavern.

Exeter Cathedral. Not as huge as Wenstminster Abbey, but more beautiful I thought!

Ellenborough Park, where I slept some nights. A beautiful small castle or 'town house' as they call it build in the 15th century.

Exmouth. Evening display.

Good morning!

Winsdor Castle. This window reminded me of Romeo & Julia.

And last, a funny poster I found with some X-mas happenings I thought maybe could be fun to introduce as a new tradition back home? Not the cruise, but the x-mas swim...
Just a thought!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Parallax Art Fair in London

I had an absolute fabulous vacation back home to Finland. But I will not be telling you about that now, because I am today leaving for London. First stop Beijing this evening, and tomorrow morning a long flight to London. I am going to participate in the Parallax Art Fair in Chelsea Old Town Hall, London this weekend. I will show 10 of my paintings together with about 200 other artists. I have been very busy ever since I came back with getting everything ready for the fair; the 2 last paintings done, business cards, updating website, painting screws and mirror plates white and so on...

Link: Parallax Art Fair

Parallax Art Fair: Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October, 11.00-17.00
The address to the venue is: Chelsea Old Town Hall, King's Road, Chelsea, London.

I invited some of the Finnish journalists living in London, and I invited the Finnish ambassador, Pekka Huhtaniemi. Mr Huhtaniemi and the journalist from the newspaper HBL accepted my invitation, so I will have some guests to really look forward to!

Below the 2 new paintings I got finished just in time to take with me:

Like a jewel 2. Acrylic, oil and book pages on canvas, 40x30cm.

Listen to the song. Acrylic, oil and different papers on canvas, 40x30cm.

So, to anyone living near London: Welcome to Parallax Art Fair! I will try and be there as much as possible in person the whole weekend!

Wish me good luck, and I will upload photos from the fair as soon as I have access to a computer!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Special recognition award...

I am happy to announce that I won a 'special recognition' award in the Animals Art Exhibition - August 2012 - in Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery. My painting 'Bortom dunkel furuskog' ('Beyond the dark forest') was chosen out from more than 700 entries in their Animal online art competition to be featured on their online gallery!

Link to the Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery website:

Painting that I entered in the competition:

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Golf and Azure-winged Magpie


I held a golf club in my hand for the first time in my life on friday. Now two days afterward my hand/arm still hurst a little from TRYING to hit those balls... One ground hit, a few 'air' hits, many 'leisury rolls along the grass' hits and only a very few good hits. Not beyond the 100 meter sign though...

Sam however succeeded with some very nice hits that went even beyond the field!

The golf club is down at the beach, and it was nice and quiet. You pay by how many balls you want to hit, and a basket of 30 balls costs 30 yuan (= about 3,50 euro). That includes the hiring of the clubs and lane. I thought golf was suppose to be expensive ;-)

Here we are concentrating very hard on getting it right! Inga, Tarvi and Sam.

How far did it go?

Studio update:

I finished a painting yesterday! This is an Azure-winged magpie in oil on a collage background. I see these birds often in the park next to our house here in Rizhao. They are really shy birds, and usually come together in huge crowds. They have beautiful blue wings and tails, just as the name suggest! 

An image put together of the progress photos. 

Finished result! "Bortom dunkel furuskog" ( "Beyond the dark forest")
Mixed media on canvas, 40x30cm.

And I leave you today with one more photo from our sailing trip last week:  Inga send me this photo of us approaching shore. She was not able to join us due to work, but she was in the harbor waiting for us when we came back. The essence of summer, just wanted to share it!

Monday, 2 July 2012

I am sailing, I am sailing...

Yesterday we spend a whole day out on the sea. We hired a sailing boat from two russian boat builders, and they took us out for a cruise along the beach of Rizhao. 

The weather was perfect, 30-ish degree, a little breeze, no clouds, and a mist to shield us a little from the sun. It looks much mistier on the pictures than it actually was, though. We = Sam, 3 of his colleagues and me.

It was a 2 - masts 50 feet sailing boat that had been sailed all the way to China from Kiev 3 years ago. Included was a lot of fresh fruit, barbecue with russian styled potatoes and salad. Beer for the boys, and Pia had some sparkling wine with her for us two girls. 

The plan was to sail to some underwater rocks were the boys were suppose to dive, but the visibility was almost non at all and the gear had some problem with the air pressure. So, just swimming was the other option. We also became a target for the chinese tourists out on boats who all came by our boat to take pictures of us. We considered starting to charge some money for every picture taken, but decided to totally ignore them instead (hence no picture...). My god they can be annoying sometimes!!! :-)

All in all it was a perfect day, and it is something that we will be doing again!

Waiting for take of.

Sam, Tarvi and John hidden behind the mast.

Tarvi checking were we are on the gps, and Pia enjoying the horizon.

Sam kindly posing for me!

Studio update:
The Kite has gotten one more layer, and the next step is to paint the eye, beak and fill in the details of the feathers. The middle painting is an Azure-winged magpie I started a while ago, and I should be able to finish it of in just one more sitting. The third painting is a Long-tailed tit on a collage background. I have been considering adding one more bird to it, so lets see what will happen to it this week. 

Monday, 25 June 2012

New painting and butterfly-party

So, the italian party was a success, and why shouldn't it have been with all that food, Limoncello and Pavarotti... Needless to say, we had leftovers for lunch the next day!

With people now starting to leave Rizhao, we had had a few farewell dinners the last 2 weeks. One crazy evening last week we had a "Rizhao amazing race", organized by my friend Inga who I travelled with to Hunan. We started at the beach with sparkling wine and some games, continued to the university city for some beer competition, more games and a food challenge. Our food challenge was to feed our group of 10 people for ten yuan (=1.20 euros maybe). And with some really good dumplings and chinese fried egg-bread we did it! After that we continued to the first bar on the list, where we listened to some live music while having a drink, then the next bar, and the next drink... According to Inga we were only halfway on her 'to do'- list for the evening after this, and a few of the others continued to yet another bar before calling it a night... It was a fun evening!!!

Yesterday we had another party, or a 'cooking-at-home and empty-the-cupboard-event' just with the girls at Pia's place (Pia is Sam's colleague who is one of the people now leaving Rizhao). I had made some butterfly- masks for us girls, and we had a fun photo-shoot amidst the sparkling wine, cooking, baking, and trying on shoes and clothes that Pia did not want to take with her back home.

News from the studio:
I got a painting finished today! I always work at several paintings at the same time, so there are no order  in which they get finished...

First a page from my inspirational journal. This is a small long-tailed tit I got permission from the photographer of it to paint. I was playing with composition and colours. I reused an old linoleum print from my days at the university in Utrecht. I liked the idea, but decided to go with a more simpler background for the painting though.

Below the first stage of the painting. The background was made with book pages and a sheet of music on a 20x20cm canvas. I painted them with several thin layers of acrylic. Here also the first blocking in of the long-tailed tit in oil colours.

Next stage; more layers on the bird and the branches. 

And here the finished painting: Våstämning / Spring mood. It was difficult to make a good photograph of it with the background being painted with glossy medium. Hope you like it non the less!