May 17th, 2018
The Amedeo Modigliani painting selling recently for 157 million dollars in a Sotheby's auction got me thinking about the very peculiar nature of art sales and market. In 2015 one of Modigliani's paintings sold for even more, at 170 million dollars. This was an artist who in his lifetime created scandals with his nude paintings and much like Vincent Van Gogh, was poor and underappreciated in his lifetime. But now other people prosper and get rich from the art created by these and many other long ago and dead artists. Go figure. So many great living artists have a hard time making a living with their art in their lifetime and yet art is huge business, mainly benefiting others than the people who create or created the art. Somehow this just does not sit well with me. It adds to my sense of lack of justice in this world. Neither money nor art should be the golden bull that trumps good humane values, morals or ethics. Appreciation is good. Fair value is good. But when the wheeling and dealing becomes extreme, I cannot help but think that perhaps some people just really do have way too much money. Art should not be considered so much an investment as enjoyment. It is meant to be shared and seen, not locked hidden in some dark place because it is too valuable to take the risk of being shown in public. Now, if the work is commissioned by a patron, they might have the right to keep it hidden and for their own eyes only. But if the piece was not created commissioned, it should be seen by the world if the artist so wishes. These are my personal opinions that may or may not be shared by you. I think original art should be affordable. Not too cheap nor too expensive but of fair value. The downside of these outrageous auctions is that there are people who think that they, and not the artist, should be able to state the monetary value of any piece of art without knowing anything at all about the time and effort involved by the artist. This can lead to underbidding and low offers which nearly any artist will encounter at some point in their career. We human beings are strange creatures and the more money and power we have the more bizarre the extreme behaviors in some of us will likely become. The art market of some dead artists' work is simply dizzying when it comes to monetary exchanges that take place in the auctions. These are games that some extremely rich and privileged people play while others starve. This world is a very strange place indeed and we have a long way to go to get to the mountain top of humanity. Too many entities in this world still make money in even way more questionable ways than auctioning out the works of dead artists for huge profits. I want to add that I personally appreciate all of my clients and I try to price my art very fairly, based on the size and time and effort I put into any of my works. Thank you to all of you who have bought and continue to buy my art and also buy the work of other contemporary artists! Living artists need your support.
April 4th, 2018
I have decided to blog on average about once a month. Not on any particular day of the month, but monthly, any time between the 1st and 31st day of any given month. You see, the main reason I blog is to give people interested in my art more insight into it from my viewpoint. I know this world is full of bloggers and blogs and overall overwhelming with information coming at us from every angle possible. We all need some space of our own, some breathing room, some peace and quiet. I also know that individual needs and wants can vary greatly from person to person. I myself have a huge desire for harmony and balance and simple enjoyment of existence nowadays. I find the outside world disturbing with all the chaos and violence that comes through the news on TV and the social media. This makes me want to create peace where ever I can. I also find humor to be comforting. You might see an increasing amount of whimsy in one form or another in my work. Some of it might be satire, because I do have a taste for the strange, odd and unusual aspects of life, but I really basically do not enjoy the macabre. So, all in good humor! I appreciate you viewing my blogs and feel free to comment if you are so inclined. Happy Spring to You!
March 10th, 2018
I do not know about you, but most of the time nowadays I feel drained and exhausted. Some of this is due to the challenges I am facing in my own life and some of it has to do with the increasing craziness that seems to be going on in this world. Every day now we hear many sad news. More often than I remember ever before, someone has lost their mind and ends up killing a bunch of people, sometimes including themselves. The amount of stress seems overwhelming and I even know some people who have decided to insulate themselves by no longer following news or participating in the social media. I personally find making art to be stress relieving. I pour the craziness that I experience in the world onto the paper and let it rip. This is how my wild drawings are born. They are pretty much uncensored stream of consciousness in black on white. Or in grey. And sometimes the other way around. Always with a touch of humor, either light or dark. My paintings tend to be more abstract at this point, but some of them, once or twice removed, originate from the drawings. If you are not channeling your emotions into creative action, I highly recommend that you find something that brings you peace and motivation and helps you center. Being an artist who tries to make their living with their art is very challenging and can be extremely frustrating, but I have not heard of any artists committing mass murders lately... so, cultivate your humanity and empathy and compassion by expressing yourself in a non-violent and meaningful way that brings you fulfillment and gives you hope and opens up your heart to love.
February 20th, 2018
To me making art is both meditation and exploration. It literally means spilling my mind out on the surface that I create on and to large degree the results are often surprising. I start all of my art with some notion. This may be a very abstract notion, like being drawn to a particular color or colors or forms, or a more specific inspiration triggered by any number of stimuli and observations. But mainly I draw and paint from my mind and rarely use direct external objects or models that I try to capture. The Joy of Design Mandala Series Puzzles take my work to a different level where I use the scans of my handpainted works in The Joy of Design series as building blocks with which I create more art and digital computer software programs make this process possible in a most effective way. In reality I am very much into the micro and macro of things because things can look very different in close proximity and in far distance. I play with these concepts when I use the scans of my handpainted works or drawings to compile images that may contain several, even tens or hundreds of scans. To make things more concrete and give you a perspective of measure, The Joy of Design Mandala Series Puzzles are created with 64 scans each. The works derived from The Joy of Design Mandala Series Puzzles contain much more than this. In the case of TJOD Mandala Series Puzzle 7 Arrangement 3 Multiplied you are looking at an image created with a total of 256 scans. There are works that have more scans than this in them and every increment will change the perspective. Symbolically this is all about widening my own perspectives and seeing differently. And I have to say that it is amazing what can show up when images are combined and united. But it is even more amazing what can happen when people unite for a good cause and call for change. After all, whether we acknowledge it or not, every one of us is part of a much bigger and more beautiful picture than we could ever imagine!
February 12th, 2018
Just in case you have not noticed, I create drawings that usually work in two or more directions. The ability of an image to work in more than one orientation has become increasingly frequent and important in my art. This has to do with my curiosity and experimental mind and the way that I look at both my inner and outer worlds. Like I have mentioned before, I look at things the way that most people do, which is for the role that these things play in my life. I also look at things as just color and form and besides this I seek to see what those forms and colors resemble otherwise. What else can I see outside of my usual ways of looking and perceiving? This leads to very imaginative pursuits. One might call it visual stream of consciousness poetry. I think imagination is one of the biggest gifts that we have. After all, whether good or bad, everything humanity has created started in somebody's imagination! Also, new and different ways of seeing and looking can truly broaden our horizons and maybe enable us to come up with new solutions to problems that have plagued humanity for ages. It is good to change our perspectives. So how about it? Are you willing to look at what you see with fresh eyes? Can you see differently? Can you turn your previous notions upside down? There is no right or wrong in this pursuit. Remember that play is important for both mental and emotional wellbeing.
January 26th, 2018
You might be familiar with my The Joy of Design acrylic painting series, which is ongoing with currently 43 completed original paintings in it. If you are not familiar with these originals, I invite you to take a look at my The Joy of Design Series Originals Gallery here at FAA/Pixels. All of these paintings can hang in any of the eight directions either alone or in groupings with each other. They are all created with pure joy of expression that flows from my heart through my hands to my brush and onto the canvas.These paintings are all abstract and semi-abstract. They are organic, figurative and geometric abstractions and they range from 6 x 6 to 10 x 10 inches in size. Future paintings may introduce other measurements in square format. Anything is possible and this remains to be seen. All of The Joy of Design Mandala Series Puzzles are created with high resolution scans of the original paintings. Currently there are six completed TJOD Mandala Series Puzzles, with nine arrangements in each and I have just completed number 2 arrangement in The Joy of Design Mandala Series Puzzle 7, so, there are seven more arrangements for me to create in Puzzle 7. The nine arrangements in each series are completed by arranging a set of chosen scans over and over again in different ways to create variations of what is possible with the chosen set of scans. I see this process as very symbolic. Human beings tend to view any chosen circumstance in one way and rarely play with the factors to see what else might be possible. In the Mandala Puzzles, I deliberately take on viewing other possibilities and create different outcomes by altering the placement of the 64 individual panels that built the bigger picture. This allows me to see things differently, since what is placed next to each other defines the illusions that show up in these mandalas. I see this as creative play with some delicious eyecandy that hopefully empowers others as well to look differently than the way we are used to looking and seeing. Mind is a powerful tool and hopefully it will stay flexible and not become stagnant. In order to create a better world, we need to create better visions and change the way we are used to looking at things. The Joy of Design Mandala Series Puzzles are created to encourage creative abstract thinking. As a matter of fact I would love to find a way to create an alterable puzzle play with this series of digitally collaged acrylic paintings. Much more is possible than using the scans I have chosen to create nine variations of each puzzle. I see the potential as totally limitless and not bound by any representative forms, like puzzles usually are. I myself have already created hundreds of digital collages by using and also altering the original art in The Joy of Design Series. I invite you to contact me, if you have any questions or might be interested in creating digital puzzle games with the originals in the TJOD series of paintings.
January 22nd, 2018
Nowadays the whole world seems to be on the edge. Some say that we have never been closer to a nuclear war, at least not since the cold war days. Regardless of all this chaos and turmoil, I remain an optimist at heart, and although some of my art has an edge that turns into political and social satire, I do believe that we can make this world a better place for all. In general, in case you missed this, besides beauty and harmony and eyecandy, I have a taste for things that are strange and peculiar and mysterious and this shows up in my art. I am very drawn to the unknown. Many of my drawings and some of my paintings have aspects to them that could be considered bizarre and surreal in their presentation. This comes to me naturally. You see, I see and look at the world in many different ways. Like everyone, I see things the way they are in regular context but also in the negative space and like many artists, I also see things as just color and form and besides this, I also see things as what they resemble in form besides what they seem to be. Shadows and highlights are particularly great for the latter type imaginative play for me. In my art I try to combine all of these ways of seeing and perceiving. I trust that people who are interested will explore my works to see what they will find in them. Many of the forms I use can be perceived in numerous ways. This is done on purpose although part of this process clearly stems from the subconscious. I have also noticed that when I change I see and perceive different forms and associations in my own art. This has truly convinced me of the following. The world is always a mirror to us. It mirrors back our own understandings of what we think is so and what we see as possible. Things that do not hold a distinction for us are basically not conceivable to us, but become part of the background until we become conscious of them and can find them in the bigger picture. The nature of reality is fluid and never stagnant, even if we perceive it as such. Everything is constantly moving and swirling in the space, even if we cannot see these movements. This is why I have hope for humanity. Even when I cannot see any improvement in the human condition I believe that we can and will change this world for the better. It has taken humanity a long time to make the social improvements we currently enjoy and at times the progress is very slow and even seemingly backward. But I believe that as long as there are people who want to make this world a better place for all, that is the direction we will be headed. That is as long as some authorities in power can keep their fingers off those little red buttons that could end this world.
January 20th, 2018
Let me start by stating that although I like to write, I am not somebody who likes to write about my creative processes. Mainly because in my opinion this takes me away from making art and in my heart of hearts I hope that people will interpret my art in their own terms. But turns out that many people like to read about the art they see and artists who create it beyond the descriptions that most artists give in connection to the pieces they publish. So, I have decided to share about me and making art and this is the first blog I am writing in regard to this. So, read on, if you are interested. I will start with early memories. I think it is important that I share that first of all, to large degree and as long as I can remember, I have always felt like an outsider in this world, like a visitor everywhere. Do not get me wrong, I feel a deep connection to Mother Earth, but not to any particular part of her, more like the whole of her. The first thing ever I remember deeply connecting to and feeling a sense of belonging are the stars in the night sky and this was way before I knew that in reality we are stardust. I have never really felt like I belong to any one particular country or place, so, it was not difficult for me to leave my country of birth, Finland, when I felt compelled to do so. This happened, by the way, as an unexpected turn of events that involved my mother getting engaged to an American from Mountain View whom she met in Finland. My mother's plans to relocate to California compelled me to find my own reasons to come to the United States since at that point I was over 16 years old and could not come as a child of my mother due to this. I found out about art schools, since I knew I wanted to study art and eventually, after considering alternatives including Chicago Art Institute and California College of Arts and Crafts, ended up choosing San Francisco Art Institute. It was possible for me to attend an expensive art college because when I was only 10 years old my father had died in a car accident on a business trip and he was heavily insured, which left me with an inheritance which I received when I turned 20. I had graduated from high school one year and three months before I arrived in California. By this time my mother had decided that she could not leave Finland and had changed her mind about getting married to the American. Since I had been accepted to SFAI and had completed all preparations for the move, I decided that I was going to attend San Francisco Art Institute anyway and arrived here in August 1979. Had anybody told me years before this happened that I was going to end up living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I would not have believed them. It was a twist of fate that brought me here. If Bill had not shown up in my mother's life, I would not have thought any further than attending an art college in England. Life can take totally unexpected turns and I truly believe that destiny interfered in my life in this instance and many times since then. I also feel that art chose me. It is the creative expression that stems from deep within the core of my being and I would have a hard time imagining a life where I would not create art and design. Visual arts are my calling and making art and designing give me purpose. I have been painting and drawing and creating art for as long as I can remember and I received my BFA degree from the SFAI in December 1982, at which point I was recently married in November and in early 1983 I received my green card. Making the decision to marry and stay in the United States was a huge decision, even if I never felt like I truly belonged in Finland. I am certain that being an immigrant has only added to my sense of not belonging to any particular place and feeling more like a citizen of the world. I used to feel like I had one foot planted in Finland and the other in United States in California and my head was located somewhere above the Atlantic Ocean. But this does not mean that I felt like a giant. More like a child of the universe.
December 5th, 2017
I am currently participating in three exhibits. In Hayward at PHOTOCENTRAL Gallery until January 5, 2018, in Castro Valley at Adobe Art Gallery and in Roseville at Blue Line Arts Gallery until January 13, 2018. All of these galleries are in California. Check out my events listings for more information and I thank you for your interest!!! Happy Holidays to you all!