After a rainy and exceptionally cold (even for Finland) first half of this summer, we are now experiencing unusually long warm period. At first it was fun of course, but after a while it has become apparent that it's quite impossible to work effectively in this heat. It's constantly around 30 degrees (Celsius) inside, and it's a bit too much for me. Because of the sweating it's impossible to use the pen tablet, or it's very annoying at least, since I can't slide my hand on the surface of the tablet, my hand getting stuck all the time due to the moist. Working traditionally isn't much better, the paper gets all wrinkled and the acrylics behave oddly in these temperatures. But still, the biggest problem is that my brain doesn't work so well...it seems like it wanted to sleep most of the time. The good thing is that it really doesn't matter so much, I don't have many undisturbed moments to work anyway, before the school starts again. I know, I shouldn't complain. The days are already growing shorter and soon enough the autumn will be here with rain and darkness, and then we (even I) start dreaming of the next summer. On the other hand I do like the autumn months, especially the colors and the light, all the migrating birds and different weather patterns, giving me lots of inspiration. But for now, it's summer and it's okay, just shouldn't try to do too much...
From time to time I want to try something new in the way of painting style and use of colors. Not anything big, just small adjustments; a new approach to the motif. This one came out looking a bit prerafaelistic, I think. But now, friday is pizza day, so I better start baking.
No doubt fishing was utterly important during the Stone Age, often critical too, especially at times when protein was hard to obtain from other sources. Some of the ancient fishing equipment look just fantastic, like this hook, thousands of years old. Fishing spears used quite recently, or maybe still in use, can have simply ingenious constructions in order to keep hold of a slippery fish. I can imagine that similar designs to this one, could be tens of thousands of years old. This is my own version. Would be fun to make a real one, by using primitive stone tools, of course.
When I'm working on a bigger project, I might start one or several paintings every day, if possible, but don't work very long on any of them. As a result I have now probably a couple of hundred paintings, like this one, waiting to be finished. This way I have always something to do even when I feel tired and lack inspiration, I just pick any painting and make some brushstrokes, put it aside and continue on another one. And then, eventually, completed paintings start to emerge out of that mass. Quite miraculously, it seems.
I started this one for some time ago, but decided to let it rest for a while. It's a complicated image with a lot of alternatives, meaning a lot of painting back and forth.
Working on the Ice Age project I'm trying figure out and describe the interactions between species in the ice age environment. During that time many animals that never meet nowadays, inhabited the same area. Even the arctic fox lived much further south and could maybe hang around herds of big mammals like the steppe bison, opportunistically lurking for an easy dinner: a weak calf set behind or accidentally killed animals.
There is a cliff nearby called Kasaberget, referring to a place where a fire was set during uneasy times as a warning signal. It's an 'old place' where people have been watching over the sea for centuries, or millennia. It hasn't always been on mainland, in the past the sea level has varied greatly, sometimes leaving only the top of the cliff visible, thus making it a part of a wast archipelago. I can imagine how ancient fishermen and seal hunters, or maybe adventurous boys, have taken shelter against the elements in some of the small ravines in the area. This image, as simple as it may be, proves how important it is to take some trouble in order to make realistic illustrations. Sometimes I feel I don't have enough time to get out to seek after suitable settings for a painting, but the truth is that I can't find them in the studio either. Imagination has its limits.