Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Christmas decorations

Next weekend I'll be selling these special Christmas tree decorations at illustrators' own Christmas Market in Kruununhaka, Helsinki. The wooden birds are based on my dancing birds in the "Pas de deux"-paintings. This small, one-off edition of unique bird decorations is for sale along with acrylic, hand-painted snowflakes designed by my partner Jussi. We are impressed by Laser-Riimikko's careful work in cutting the detailed shapes.
Also original illustrations, signed prints and lots of lovely things by me and other talented Finnish illustrators for sale this weekend only!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Which hat would you choose?

Mysterious 'incognito' style?

Balancing in black and white?

A really grand headwear with a lovely pattern?

Fashionable brimmed hat with real feathers?

Elegant hat for a good posture and grace?

A choice for those who love stripes and shade?

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Picture Book Day

Yesterday I participated in a one-day conference organised by Pro Lastenkirjallisuus, an association that works towards getting a proper house for children's literature and illustration in Helsinki. The association is only two years old, and hopefully the dream of a house full of children's books, workshops, illustrations on walls and all the wonderful things related to children's books will come true in the near future. Similar buildings can be found elsewhere in Europe, so fingers crossed that it can happen here too, and soon!

The seminar was very inspiring, with many excellent guest speakers from librarians and teachers to illustrators and children's book authors, translators etc.. I will be writing an article about the conference for 1/2013 issue of Kuvittaja, the quarterly journal about illustration (published by Kuvittajat, the Association of Finnish Illustrators). I'm already looking forward to the next picture book day, as do these two friends above :)

Monday, 12 November 2012

New studio!

This photo is from my old home studio. I moved a couple of weeks ago to an office building near home. Now for the first time ever I have a work space outside my own home, and it's fantastic! No washing up to do, no bed to take a creative afternoon nap, but a nice restaurant to have a proper lunch, a morning walk to the 'office' and so on. I couldn't be happier. This is what I needed!
The room looks pretty much the same as it did at home, and I get company from my partner as he moves in the room next to mine in December. Good times!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Back to the drawing board

Egg Walk
Ok, it's time to get cracking with all sorts of little projects. The Birds! -exhibition finished yesterday and everything went really well. Now some of my birds will continue to live their lives in someone else's homes. That's a nice feeling. I have plans for my birds in the future, but first I need to catch up with other things and get organised!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Dancing in the dark

November and winter are here again and I feel like a hedgehog needing to hibernate until next spring... Suddenly I seem to need two hours more sleep every day with chocolate breakfast, lunch and dinner. But dancing is always a great way to wake me up. So I promise myself that here in my new studio (finally!) I will get up and dance every time radio plays something groovy. I hope I'll get some work done in between!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Workshop weekend

Yesterday three preschool groups from a nearby nursery school visited the exhibition. They were pretty excited to be in an art gallery. We had a workshop where everybody could do their own fantastic fairytale bird.
I had designed bird stencils and had them made in a laser cutting studio Laser-Riimikko. The children seemed to really enjoy painting and came up with some amazing artwork in less than half an hour. This weekend I'll have two more workshops with children aged 4-13 years.

Birds made by children of Impivaara nursery school

Monday, 22 October 2012

Have you seen these birds near you?

They all seem to have flown to Helsinki despite the approaching winter! You can meet them at Gallery Viileä punainen for this very special occasion. Only two weeks and then they will fly to a faraway island. I wish I could do the same!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Tiny birds

I made 24 very small paintings (7,5 x 8 cm) of birds, all with different characters and scenes. I tried to look for as much variety in colour and composition as I could in such a tiny space.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Story of the Golden Bird

A couple of more photos from Tuesday's opening party. 

Today is the fifth national Fairytale Day (Satupäivä) in Finland. I visited my son's nursery school and read them a story about a Golden Bird by Finnish storyteller and writer Raul Roine. Who would have guessed that I chose a fairytale about a bird! 
I illustrated the story on big sheets of paper and we talked about it. One boy was very confused as the prince was wearing breeches with knee socks instead of jeans or other 'normal' trousers. First time for everything!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Opening night

Yesterday evening was the opening party of my Lintuja! Birds! -exhibition. So many wonderful people came to the gallery. It was quite a task to have a chat with everybody. And now I'm stocked with chocolate for weeks, not to mention all the gorgeous flowers! Thank you!

 Here's my son doing a few spins and turns!

We arranged a corner for children to draw their own pictures.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Opening soon...

Yesterday I was putting up my exhibition at the gallery. Everything went smoothly, no broken glass or limbs. These birds got a lot of attention from school children walking past the gallery.
Today I'm just taking it easy before the evening and opening party. I will start packing my books and paints and sorting out artwork and papers. Next week I'll be moving to a studio near home. First ever studio outside my home, so I finally got my own 'walk to the office' in any weather. I'm planning to get a pair of snowshoes just in case.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Out of the oven

The birds are waiting for some paint before they get to be part of the exhibition next week. I made a little nest for the eggs from bits and pieces I found just outside our home. I got the stones from nice people of Kallahden Kivikerho, a club for people making things out of stones and silver. They happened to have exactly the sort of stones I needed, all washed and ready to be used!

Well, I'll show you the outcome next week, keep an eye on this blog!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Waiting for frames

Last week before the exhibition. I'm molding birds from Fimo Soft clay and painting them with acrylic paints. It's much harder to do than I thought, so all the birds will have slightly awkward body shape and proportions, crooked beaks, not to mention their legs...But it's fun.
These birds on the studio wall are waiting for their frames. I'm doing the framing part myself. I ordered the passe-partouts to be cut to right size. They'll be arriving tomorrow. So wish me luck with the framing and molding, I will need it!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Play That Funky Music... a fantastic song to listen to with a cup of coffee on a Wednesday morning. So here's some groove for you too, just follow this funky bird and enjoy your day!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Monday morning

This little fellow is part of a still life painting. It's sitting on top of an old mustard jar that I found in a cupboard for all things old, forgotten and unused.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Pas de deux

Whatever I draw or illustrate, somebody is dancing somewhere. I feel that today I will need to do some serious jamming and shaking my tail, as does this bird showing off its best moves. But who is it dancing with? That will be revealed later...

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Counting days...

...for my Lintuja! Birds! -exhibition. Here is a sneak peek of the invitation that I haven't seen in print yet. Three weeks and counting, can't wait!

Monday, 24 September 2012

I'm working on the final piece for my Birds! -exhibition. As it happens, even birds have their kings and queens. This male bird apparently thinks that he is Louis XIV of France.

But no king without the queen! So I have a fancy looking lady already waiting for him to accompany her. Lovely Queen Elisabeth I of England, with her Golden Egg, of course.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Wall paintings

This summer my friend asked me to paint the children's room wall in their new house. It was the first ever wall painting experience, and I thought it was really fun. Though it was hard work to keep the brush line so clean, but with some help and good tips I managed to finish the painting in one week, and without getting the paint on my friend's new carpet!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

This is the very day...

...when I finally start my very own blog! 

To begin with, I'd like you to meet two of my favourite people in the world.  This poster illustration was inspired by our music sessions in the living room. Nukkelsson Jazz Band was born, me and my boys jamming away.