As you may know, as a Finnish person I loooove sauna, hehe. Here in UK it’s been a bit of a struggle to find a nice sauna. For instanc, most of the time saunas in gyms are electric heated and temperature is controlled; steam is always very less and air is too dry, that is, not at all what sauna supposed to be. Of course heat is still there and you get relaxed but if you have ever experienced sauna with a wood-burner there’s no going back to electric ones. Löyly, (=steam) in wood-burner Saunas is so gentle and moist, which gives you totally different feeling as if the whole sauna is giving you a warm and gentle hug.
After introducing Finnish sauna to my hubby during our first trip to Finland we couldn’t stop dreaming of our own one. And, as my husband is super handy and creative he suggested why don’t we build it in our shed. Obviously neither did he or I have built sauna before, but after research and consultation from my family and friends we decided to go for it. We ordered sauna kiuas (=wood burner) and stones from Finland and rest of the materials we purchased in UK.
It took us about six months to complete the work. All the credits goes to my husband, who designed and executed the project. He had always some extra energy to jump into the project in the evening after his actual work. My role was to give my approvals on designs and workmanship, and of course take care of our little one who was at that time veeeeery little <3.
Now, when it is already over one year since we started the project, I couldn’t be happier about the outcome and I’m consider us so lucky that we have this luxury to have our own sauna. It gives such a deep relaxation and revives energy levels. Also, it is amazing remedy for skin as steam opens pores and makes it feel soft. These days we have launched Sunday Day Sauna, which is all about preparing to take sauna together. That is, bringing wood inside the sauna, filling up the water bucket, light the fire in the burner and steer it while sauna is getting warm, let alone enjoying amazing fragrance, which is floating around the sauna room. It is like beautiful ritual one can experience. Then after sauna enjoying aftersauna feeling with some beverages and light food. It is amazing. On top of that, as it is handmade by my husband it has certain energy and feeling when entering to the sauna. It’s like an artwork.
The video above is made by my hubby. Please have a look and enjoy! If you have any questions regarding sauna, please do not hesitate to ask. I would be more than happy to have some conversation around it.
Spring is the time when nature wakes up. Sunlight becomes stronger and days are getting longer and warmer. It is a big change for all of us. It is not only time for new beginning but can also be a threat. With my work I am expressing my concern towards fragile nature by composing a Polar Bear laying on ice while strong sun rays are melting his living territories. Evaporating organic shapes of water gives its last shimmer in bright colors. Partially violent outlines of the bear in black and orange create contrast and illustrates distressed state of nature, last moments of Polar Bear.
This animation is the very first, of which I have ever created. It’s already 3 years old but I never publish it, I guess I felt too shy. It is based on my similar painting, which you can view here. My attention was to make the artwork alive, show a little glimpse of Polar Bears last moments. The theme of this artwork is quite sad but unfortunately that is the reality of Polar bears at the moment. You can read more about them here.
“Autumn is definitely my favourite season. What I love about it are colors of the nature and the quality of crisp air when the weather gets colder. It makes me feel calm and save. Later, just before the first snow covers the ground, I can sense the stillness of the nature, it tells me that everything is fine and it is ready for winter.”
Watercolour, Gesso and Fibre-tip pen on 200g paper, A3
The first thoughts of making the below piece were to cherish the beauty of nature; point out the beautiful colors and shapes and note that eventually we all are part of it, as unfortunately we tend to forget it. Later, working on the painting further, I noticed that the method I draw lines became equally important theme in the work. This was my first time I was working on with a fiber-tip pen on a heavy structured surface. That is, it was almost impossible to draw straight lines when using black pen. Instead of forcing the lines, this learning made me emphasise the beauty of structured surface and follow the material when forming lines; I wanted that lines can float freely. I found, it also supported the actual theme (cherish beauty of nature) as lines made the painting more lively and nature-like when I couldn’t completely control the outcome.
Work in Progress:
Watercolor, gesso and pen on 300g paper, size 68×98 cm
My latest work got its inspiration from my dream. A woman was swimming in a lake, at the backround I could see an amusement park and lots of high buildings. Later, I only saw high grass by the lake. Finally woman stood up and I could see that she was wearing a cape which was full of small diamonds inside and they were shimmering with sun.
Technique:Watercolor, gesso and pen on 300g/m2 aquarelle paper, size 68×98 cm
My cute little Orchid gave me inspiration for the below piece, which I finalised recently. I was wondering how she looked so good since weeks had passed and I had forgotten to water her. I checked the vase and I could see little water at the bottom, but as the vase was too narrow, pot didn’t reach the bottom, and normally plant would have not survived. For my surprise, my persistent Orchid had grown a root through the small whole and now drank the leftover water. It really impressed me a lot.
With the illustration I want to cherish how amazingly nature finds its way to reach water and and sun.
Technique: Watercolor and India Ink on 300g/m2 aquarelle paper, size 50×65 cm