About a painting..

I thought i’d write a little bit about my new mixedmedia painting ‘Atman’. It’s going to be in WABGNET spring summer Exhibition in Helsinki, starting today!!

Opening 29.4.2019 18.00- 20.00 @ Korjaamo, Helsinki

You can see the full image in my portfolio.

I started this painting in 2016 and had one version of it on display back then in my solo exhibition in galleria Kooma, Oulu. But i wasn’t completely happy about it and so i sandpapered it and let it hang on my wall for few years like that.

Having these halfready paintings hanging around can be a bit bothering and one feels like it would be nice to get to make something completely fresh, and so going back to work on something old is a bit boring. But i think this one took a fresh turn and i really like the light weight of the whole thing, it’s much airier now.


I love to play around with metalleafing. And like usually in my paintings, the process involves colored pencils for the outlines and a lot of sandpapering between the painted eggtempera layers. I don’t know why but i like see through layers of paint the most. I feel clogged every time the paint gets too thick.

About the subject

The sketch for the painting came many years ago, and originally she had a dead swan in her lap while sleeping swans curled up around her. That felt too depressing and hopeless as an idea, and i never used that sketch until i modified it to this painting. Probably time also changed the idea. Art is a reflection of its maker, so as i moved to a more hopeful place in my life, so did the sketch. The bird represents love as it’s probably not hard to guess. Swan (whooper swan) is also Finland’s national bird, and seeing one in nature is always special. They are living symbols of purity i think.

The violet flame: Flame of mercy & freedom. Alchemy of self-transformation. So violet (from the seven visible colors of the spectrum) has the highest frequency and in spirituality it has the power to transform the negative karma into positive energy (great news). It heals. The violet flame consumes the symptoms of negative karma such as illness and financial trouble (brilliant), as well as its roots and causes. Gotta start doing some violet flame chanting today… see if it works.

Pond of lotuses: Lotus grows in a muddy water and it is a symbol of spiritual purity. Our pure and natural self can rise above the muddy water. For me muddy water could represent many things i guess: the past, conditioning and beliefs that we are born into and living amongst, thoughts, difficulties, clogged mind, ego etc.. It could even mean the collective consciousness we all are part of. One could argue that the current state humanity is in, is a messy dirt- pond indeed.

Closed lotus symbolizes the time before enlightenment. So basic human condition? She is still on her path to full realization.

Buddhas footprints grew lotuses, but she is still early stages in her path and so only little Forget-me-nots grow where she touched the ground. (very bottom of the painting)

Fish in the painting are Koi fishes and they symbolize strength and perseverance. I have had fishes in my art from the beginning and they appeared before i really thought nothing deeper about them, other that David Lynch’s quote that i really liked.. ‘ideas are like fish…’ So i see them also as ideas or representing ‘things’ below surface.

Things below the surface:

So like with the pond i mentioned. It reflects the sky or whatever is above.

We can’t see the fish in the water in real life, it’s a hidden world. Of course if we get close enough we can see glimpses or even their distorted figures. We can make assumptions about what we see but they are surely not accurate. We can believe what others tell us. About how it is down there. In the other side. But we don’t know.

When the water is completely still – If our minds are completely still (it can happen naturally or with practice), we can observe and see the fish. Still even that is a distorted view since we view it from our limited perspective, from the other side of the surface. We are not there.

But if we go behind the veil – the surface – and dive in. Only then we can experience it. How it truly is.

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