April 4th, 2020
Last few weeks have been unlike anything else that I have experienced previously in my life. The world has become a strange place where physical distancing of six or more feet from people who do not live with you is required. All but so called essential workers are ordered to stay home. Everything seems turned upside down from the way we usually live our lives due to COVID-19 worldwide. As an artist and designer I am one of those non-essential self-employed workers. Since I choose not to work with hoarders and my specialty is aesthetics and functionality in my organizing services, I am basically now without ability to look for more clientele to work with in person and am on hold with my other clientele. This is sad. But not as sad as people dying from this virus. However, I do wonder how we are going to dig ourselves out of the looming recession that seems inevitable. None of us know how long the restrictions and mandates are going to last. Nearly everyone's life has been seriously disrupted and disturbed by these new realities that are not so easy to adjust to. As an empath I am having a difficult time. Even though I am personally getting by, I feel the pain and the suffering going on in this world and hope that a vaccination will be available soon and that we will be able to put an end to this virus and return to more normal life, which likely will never be the same as it was before. Maybe there is a blessing even in this suffering. Things we have taken for granted will likely be perceived not so much for granted after this storm has passed. More unity is possible. More kindness is possible. More respect is possible, as long as personal biases and prejudices are not allowed to take over the potential for goodness within humanity. This could be and also should be a big wake up call for us earthlings! We are all in the same boat and that which is a threat to one of us is also a threat to all of us. Let us choose peace. Let us choose love.
February 29th, 2020
I recently completed a mixed media digital work that started its life as an abstract ink and pencil and prismacolor drawing on paper that I scanned and altered and transformed. I titled this piece Every Thing Out Of No Thing and I ended up creating three versions of it, naming them Every Thing Out Of No Thing 1 and 2 and 3. These three versions then ended up creating a larger digital collage titled Every Thing Out Of No Thing - A Triptych, which was eventually transformed into Every Thing Out Of No Thing - A Triptych Spring Version, the image of which I have linked to this blog. I find the process of making art so very representative of any process in life .My mind keeps on being involved with things until they reach some form of completion. Now that I have created this work, A Triptych Spring Version, some part of me thinks that I should alter the individual works titled 1 and 2 and 3 into Spring Versions as well and make these public for the sake of balance and alternative arrangements of preference, should anyone like to have prints or printed products of these alone or use them in a different order than I did in the A Triptych Spring Version. I may end up creating these works. But first I have to photograph my latest ink and pencil on paper drawing titled When The Cat Jumps Out Of The Bag, which I hope to publish soon. Do you think it is a good idea for me to create the Spring Versions of the Every Thing Out of No Thing 1 and 2 and 3, which will be in light pastels for most part, just like in the A Triptych Spring Version? Let me know if you have an opinion about this. In the meanwhile, Happy Spring to All, beginning March 19, which will arrive most likely prior to my next blog here on FAA/Pixels!!!
January 31st, 2020
I know, I know. Everything is relative. And some people's ceilings are other people's floors. I know this and I personally have a tendency to make mountains out of mole hills. I think that I inherited this tendency and I have put considerable effort into taming the negative side effects of this in my life. You see, I have a very vivid imagination that can take me on a magic ride in the blink of an eye. The plus in this tendency is the ease in thinking creatively. The minus is hypochondria. In times of stress the latter raises its disturbing head more often than the pleasant creative thoughts. I cannot help that I am a sensitive and I tend to pick up and react to vibes, both good and bad. I have heard someone describe this as being an antenna, and I think this description hits the point. Whether I want to or not, I will pick up emotions that others are experiencing. The fact that I know this makes it easier for me to manage and release. For a long time I did not know where to draw the line, but years of tuning in have taught me many things, like the fact that all life experience is unique, relative and individual. At least in the interpretation of what happens. We all have our own ways of seeing and understanding, mainly based on our life experiences and learning and perspective as well. At this level there is no right or wrong, no great or small, except in our own perspective and understanding. In reality there only is all that is and our interpretations of all that is. We are the proverbial blind men touching an elephant and giving out interpretations based on what we experience and feel with our senses, often forgetting that it is what we do not know that we do not know that usually gets us into trouble. The human condition can be very humbling indeed but I have great hopes for a better world, even when the skeptic in me thinks that all is lost. My heart of hearts never really seems to fully turn its back on the optimist in me. And this is a blessing that cultivates all that is good in my life.
January 2nd, 2020
Now that the holidays are over, maybe I can welcome some more order in my life. Looking back into the past couple of weeks, my life seems occupied by everything but what I think forwards my art and artistic ambitions. But maybe this was the break that I needed, although part of me is scolding the other part that took on celebrating and having fun in an overdose after recovering from a very bad cold that went on for over two weeks. I feel like now it is time to get more principled about being an artist and I hope that I will be able to do this. There are so many tasks that need to be handled and I would rather just paint and make art than handle these tasks. I will somehow need to find a way to make the menial tasks tolerable or even enjoyable and I know this will take a shift in perspective. Usually concentrating on the results, the goal I am aiming at, helps me take care of things that I do not find so very palatable. But I have been in a burnout. Some days it is easier to do what needs to get done and other days this seems nearly impossible. It would be great to be able to hire others to take care of tasks that I would rather not be involved with, but I am not in a financial situation where I can do this on a regular basis. So, here I come, bookkeeping and cooking and tending to my garden...there is a strange kind of satisfaction in completing anything that needs to be completed,,,but it is just not as delicious as completing a piece of art successfully...or selling one...or the process of making art...I know what almost any of you must be thinking: Just do it! I do know that thinking about it is not going to get it done and becomes just a big waste of time. After all, as a professional organizer, I have many ideas in regard to how to be effective and get things handled. I more than likely now need to listen to my own advice. Happy New Year to all!!!
November 30th, 2019
In the past month I have planted the seeds of many new goals and desires in regard to my art and creative endeavors. Next I will need to create schedules and concrete plans on how to follow through with the coming steps with minimum struggle. As you know from my past blogs, I am compelled to create art. But I have come to realize that in order to feel more fulfilled and purposeful I need more advice and information on how to expand my audiences and sales and connections. I want to step on the next level! So, I have enrolled on a couple of courses and programs that I hope will give me the boost and knowledge and mentoring and support that I am seeking. I can do all the work I have signed up for at my own pace, which makes it possible for me to take it on and I am looking forward to seeing what will grow from these seeds that currently carry unknown to me potential. Yes, I am asking for positive change in my life! And as you can probably imagine, this is both exciting and scary all at once...not unlike anything new and different and potentially life changing! Yes, I am now daring to allow myself to have bigger dreams than before and I thank you all for your continued support in whatever form it takes!!!
October 31st, 2019
In 2012 I started an ambitious project titled The Joy of Design. These works are small square original acrylic paintings on stretched canvas, ranging in size from 6 by 6 to 10 by 10 inches at this point, but maybe also larger or smaller in future. There are currently 53 completed original acrylics in this series and I am currently working on a few more. Some originals have been sold, due to people really wanting to purchase these paintings, but majority still remain unsold. I am aiming at painting 100 originals total in this series, which I will continue to scan and use these scans as building blocks for other arrangements that I will sell in digital and print format. There is already a large quantity of these derived artworks and one of the categories is The Joy of Design Mandala Series Puzzles. At the time that I am writing this blog I have created nine arrangements of seven puzzles each and as a final note, a compilation of all nine arrangements in six of these puzzles to this point, so, a total of 69 Mandala Puzzles, all created with a selected set of images put together in different order in each arrangement. This series is about altering perceptions and seeing differently. Strange magic happens when the original painting scans are moved around in arrangements. The effect is very kaleidoscopic and the new connections reveal new visions and beings and magical worlds and apparitions in the eye of the beholder. All of these associations happen in the mind of the viewer and even I to this date see different things appear in these abstract works than what I originally perceived. I now invite you to check out the works in The Joy of Design Mandala Series Puzzles and to let your mind wander and see what you will find! https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/helena-tiainen?tab=artworkgalleries&artworkgalleryid=396824
September 28th, 2019
This past month I have been very busy organizing and designing an upcoming art event titled FinnART 2019 - Finns & Friends: Arts and Crafts at the Berkeley Finnish Hall. This event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, October 5 and 6, from 11 AM to 6 PM, at the historic hall in Berkeley, California, located at 1970 Chestnut Street at University Avenue. All are invited and admission is free.
I am one of the two currently active volunteer cochairs and coordinators and my main responsibility has been to enroll artists and makers to participate and make sure all follow through with what is needed from them. But I have also been the treasurer and the graphic artist and space planner and task master and so much more for this event. Much more than I ever imagined has become my responsibility since one of the originally three cochairs and coordinators had to withdraw from active leadership early on, but after the process had been started. She and I have organized some three or four successful FinnART events in the past, I believe the last one took place in 2007. Thankfully we do have a couple of very active and helpful participating artists who have truly given their best to assist with tasks like online marketing and helping design signs and posters and ordering them as well. I am truly thankful for all the assistance I have been receiving from these most generous participants and also my cochair and coordinator, who is a novice to planning art events and whose main responsibility has been managing the downstairs cafeteria and the silent auction table to benefit the maintenance of the historic Berkeley Finnish Hall. Some artists have opted to donate their arts and crafts to this silent auction, which will end on Sunday, October 6 at 4 PM, two hours prior to the event closing, at which point the winners will be notified.
Making my own art, all except drawing and digital mixed media, has taken a back seat due to my workload. I truly dream of making more paintings, instead of organizing my own art and products for the upcoming event, in which I am also a participating artist. Time is precious and there is only so much any one person can do, so, whatever is in the front burner gets priority. And FinnART 2019 has seriously been a priority for me and I imagine for all involved in the past month or so. But all the plans are coming together and this is promising to be a most interesting event. If you are in the vicinity do come and see the art and crafts of the thirteen participating makers, myself included. We have painters and sculptors and jewelry makers and photographers and ceramists and glass fusion artists and more. We have fine arts and dream catchers and elves and all kind of scarves from handmade to printed and mugs and totes and greeting cards and so many more magical creations. Two of the participants also make herbal healing salves and potions. I am personally looking very forward to this fair and all that the makers have to offer. But hey, you are all invited, so, come and see for yourselves!
August 3rd, 2019
I find myself in a dilemma in regard to time. There simply does not seem to be enough of it when it comes to everything that I wish to accomplish and also at the same time maintain some balance in my life. Seems like something in my life always has to give, whether sleep or pleasure or something else that is seemingly optional and can be postponed to make room for some mandatory task with deadlines. Just like most people, who are not independently wealthy, there are the things that I have to do to maintain basic order and also to stay on top of bills and bookkeeping and everything else that it takes to keep a roof above my head and some level of sanity in regard to my day to day life. I would rather the dishes and most of the time cooking, which I used to enjoy, and cleaning and other mundane tasks would take care of themselves! But no. Can you tell I might be stressed out? I need my sleep and rest. I literally yearn for moments when I do not do anything at all but sit and breath and exist in the here and now. These moments in real life are rare and few. Most days I do not have any time to meditate, which I know would be a very good thing for me to do. I often live in a seeming overwhelm. The life of a self-employed artist and designer is full of challenges and long work hours, many with no predictable pay, and this is the life I have chosen to live. Most of the art I have produced recently is either drawing and/or digital mixed media and design. Just yesterday I ordered some stretched canvases. Yes, I am planning on making some more paintings on canvas in very near future! And somehow I will have to find a way to balance my life better. What this means in reality is currently a big question mark to me. I will have to do some soul searching to see what I can let go off to make room for what is most important to me. Life has been pulling me in so many directions lately and I know I will need to become more focused in order to find more balance. But there are just so many things I want to do and every year seems to go faster! There is a part of me that thinks I should just go with the flow and another part that thinks that I need to limit and prioritize my activities and involvements and set clear goals. Right now I am not sure which part to listen to since I find wisdom in both methods. There are times that going with the flow is the right thing to do. There are also times that having a plan and following through with the plan is very effective and satisfying. It is not easy feeling divided. So for now at least, I will choose to go with the flow as much as possible on this Saturday and see where it takes me. I know from past experience that rigidity in any form has never worked well for me. Sooner or later it only brings out my inner rebel!
July 2nd, 2019
I have to admit that releasing stress has been more than challenging lately. There are many things going on in this world that are of extreme concern to anyone with feet on the ground and even if my own life is basically okay with no major crises I see suffering everywhere and it makes my heart ache. Homelessness in Berkeley is alarming, as well as elsewhere in this world, whether refugees fleeing their homes in search of survival and better life, or people outcast by society for one reason or another. Life is extremely challenging for many and with rulers that are uncaring and only have interest in their own prosperity, life on planet earth can turn into hell for humankind. We are living in very challenging times and cultivating happiness has become tasking. I try not to take my own mind chatter too seriously since I know that turbulence is the nature of the mind, but I tend to get sucked into negative thought patterns fast and furious and I can feel the tension in the air. This is where taking pleasure in small things steps in for me, because I know that there are still also many good things going on in this world where duality is the name of the game. Trees and plants and water and earth and animals have always been a huge healing source for me. I try to spend as much time as possible in natural settings instead of in the cities where everything humanity shares, whether desirable or deplorable, is always concentrated. In my heart of hearts I believe that we can create a better world, but it starts with caring and compassion. There really is no better advice in regard to living than the golden rule. If we all would do unto others as we would like to have done unto us, this world would change. Based on my observations, there is simply too much selfish and self-centered activity going on with people. Me, myself and I first kind of attitudes do not serve the good of the all. Never have and never will. Everything on this planet is one and we are all in the same boat. Energy here only changes form, it never simply disappears. Eventually we all breath the same air and drink the same water. And nothing is really solid or separate. We now know that molecules travel through what we call dense matter constantly. This world is a place of wonder. This world and all existence is mystical and magical beyond our ability to comprehend. Remember to find joy in taking pleasure in small things. I know I will. After all, in the bigger picture, there is no great or small and everything is relative.
May 31st, 2019
It has been nearly two months since my last blog. I have been so busy with many aspects in my life that I simply have not had the time to create another blog article until now, at the end of May. I do not even know if anyone reads these blogs, except when I post them on Facebook and get some likes or feedback. Whether anyone will read these or not, I made a commitment to write them and they do serve a purpose as a form of diary. I get to reflect and share by writing these blogs. See, the truth is that my life has been sort of chaotic lately. Seems like I have had more than my share of things to handle and not much time for pleasure or fun. I hope to change this in the coming summer months. I acknowledge that I have arrived at some sort of crossroads and have to prioritize again what is truly important to me as a person and as an artist. This requires some deep observation, meditation and soul reflection. There is a part of me that truly wishes to simplify my life. I long to go into the nature and spend more time listening to the sounds of bubbling creeks and running rivers and ocean waves and soft summer winds rustling the leaves of the trees. And of course all the lovely music created by wildlife. I really long for the redwoods, where we have made many animal friends in the past and have had some of the most magical experiences in our lives. Luckily it looks like me and my partner will soon be able to go camping again. I was recently gifted a Dodge Grand Caravan by my mom and there will definitely be room to do lofty camping in this vehicle that is new to me. Once I get over handling some very necessary things in my life and have some more time in my hands, camping trips will become a priority. I find time spent in nature to be very healing and rejuvenating and inspiring. You might not be able to tell, but much of my art is inspired by nature, even in its very abstracted forms. I am really not a city girl in my heart of hearts. Ever since I was a small girl, time spent in nature has always nurtured my soul significantly. I think that more than likely elementals are some of my very true muses!