keskiviikko 24. syyskuuta 2014

September show and tell


Hello blogging friends!

This Autumn has given lot's of inspiration and I've also kept some break from my laptop and social media.

Due to that pretty much all my challenge- entries are late but better late than never.
Inspiration Avenue has "Show and Tell" - week.

Here is my newest
painting:

 "Autumn whispers"


Painted with watercolors, acrylics and glitter.

Previous inspiration avenue - theme was about artistic influences. So I thought to share some of my artistic influences.

For this particular artwork my biggest inspiration (beside all the beautiful autumn nature around me)
was Disney's Fantasia and the "Nutcracker ballet - scene"





I love love love Disney's concept art.
Always so inspirational 

and I love fairies <3>

I've also been drawing some apples ... this one I did for the creative tuesdays -theme that was
"red apple"




.. and I painted some boxes.

This black cat heart box is on sale here. 

All artworks I also share at Paint Party Friday

Some more important news to tell.. I'm applying to UK to continue my illustrating studies and if I get accepted I'll start there in semester 2015 so fingers crossed everyone that people there like my portfolio.

Much love and light
Niina



sunnuntai 14. syyskuuta 2014

Featured artist of September: Sieskja



Hello blogging world!

I hope all my readers and fellow artists are doing good in this fine Autumn morning. 
It's time for featured artist of September Jessica Albert also known as Sieskja by her artist name.

I must admit I was blown away when I saw her painting for the first time few years ago. They have same kind grace and details as some master illustrators artworks (John Bauer, Arthur Rackham etc).

Sieskja has her own beautiful style of creating and her artworks takes you away to another world.

................................................

Tell us about yourself. Who you are and what kind of artist you are?

I am 21 year old artist based in France. I'm currently studying library science; before that I studied Scandinavian literature, cultures and languages,
My other interests are nature and animals: that's why I love gardening, riding, taking care of abandoned animals (I work as a volunteer in an animal shelter) and that's also why I don't eat meat.

I would like to say that I'm an old fashioned artist. I've got lot's of difficulties to accept contemporary art and digital art.

I'm particularly found of medieval art, Art Noveau, golden age of Illustration and Naive art.

I mostly work with watercolors, lot of salt for making patterns, black/white and sanguine inks. From time to time I paint with acrylics on cardboard or canvas. Though it rather rarely happens and I don't always show the result (especially when it isn't successful!) Acrylics seem to be very difficult to master and I have lot's of things to learn and improve...

I seriously started to paint at the age of 14. The artist who have inspired me the most is doubtless Stephanie Pui Mun Law. Her skills in watercolor and her technique that she explains with so much generosity makes her a wonderful and exceptional artist.

"Rävflickan" (from my own stories) watercolors 2014
(c) Sieskja

How did you started your artistic hobby / career?

Before anything else some anecdotes from my childhood;

When I was a child, my mother used to draw farm animals from pictures of illustrated card game and let me paint over the line art with watercolors. My family moved when I was 4 years old. At school I didn't have any friends at the beginning, then I used to draw with chalk on the schoolyard.
Later (I was 8 years old) I wrote sort of illustrated encyclopedia of fantasy world (in the way of D&D manuals, which I was already reading!) depicting stories, places, animals and dragon species.

My professional career hasn't really started yet..
I've simply being contacted by a couple of authors to illustrate children books but this hasn't been very positively conclusive for some reasons.

Actual illustration world sounds to me very hard to please and insecure and then quite stressful. As a very stressful person. I haven't wanted to base all my professional life on illustration work. I prefer to paint whatever I wish without any constraint or requirements (excepted my owns) which for me is more important for self-fulfillment.

"Beyond the stream" acrylics 2013
(c) Sieskja

What are the things that inspire you? Do you have message in your art?

The most inspiring thing doubtless all that is related to nature. In my  case particularly European landscapes and forests. Actually the backgrounds are most of the time most important elements in my paintings (and that is the part that I look the most in other artists works).

I was born in a very industrialized place (North of France mineral field) where nature has almost disappeared. That's maybe the reason that I love to paint verdant or wild landscapes and gardens and that I dislike drawing urban and even indoor scenes...
I study in a quite big town. All here seems so gray and polluted. Sometimes I feel a bit down because of it but it makes me want to paint more and more fantasy or wild landscapes to make up for that mood. Just like lot of other people, I use art as sublimation : to express my need to escape and to treat my frustration.
"II Ignominia" (Illustration of Olav Audunssön by Sigrid Undset)
Watercolors 2014 (c) Sieskja

I also love sharing my other interests through my paintings; for example, European (and particularly Scandinavian) History and folklore. I especially like traditional fairy tales; by the way I started a collection of old fairy tale books illustrated by artists from the East (Jiří Trnka, Josef Liesler, Karol Ondreička) The most interesting tales are often the lesser known ones.
That's also why I prefer illustrating famous but unknown (at least, very few people of my circle do know them) authors like Sigrid Undset or Selma Lagerlöf (both Nobel prize) instead of increasing  the amount of The Hobbit or A song of ice and fire fan arts (which sadly are most of times based on the movies...)

Just like lot of artists, music is also great source of inspiration. I particularly enjoy folk, pagan and symphonic Metal (bands like Finntroll, Ensiferum, Haggard, Penumbra, Summoning,  Stille Volk, etc...),  classical music (Antonin Dvorak, Edvard Grieg) and progressive rock (Ange).

At last, as I said before, I love horses, They're so graceful, strong but fragile at the same time. And of course they represent freedom and escape...

"Vargar! (Illustration of  Gösta Berlings Saga by Selma Lagerlöf) Ink - 2012
(c) Sieskja

If you could be any fantasy character what would you like to be?

I must admit I have never thought about that question before. Since I love legends related to feminine creatures from another world, like ondines, selkies or hulders, I think I could be one of them.

"Svartsjuk" (from my own stories) - Watercolors - 2013
(c) Sieskja

Any advice for starting artists?

It's always the same thing: draw, paint, learn with tutorials, look at other's artists works...
By the way, I do advice to copy. Some people would cry shame, but since art exist ALL artists (at least, most of them), started with copying. It's a good way to progress. Of course, ask permission and/or credit the references if you want to show your copy online.

To join art community has been for me one of the greatest motivations : to make friends, to share what we're creating and to inspire each others is always a great pleasure.

"The full sheen of glory" (copy of a photograph by Rob Darken from Graveland)
Watercolors -2014 
(c) Sieskja

Where can we find you works?


Thank you so much Sieskja from this great and interesting interview.
I  think your art is very inspirational. I'm very inspired to try more salt patterns :)
About the illustration art I must say that I believe you could do outstanding job illustrating traditional fairy tales or folklore stories. Most illustrators (like me)  they do other jobs and projects among illustrating work. I believe that kind of illustrating project would be very fitting for you (and I'd definitely buy that kind of fairy tale book).
I wish very much luck and success for you.

To all my readers thank you for stopping by
Much love and light
Niina


tiistai 9. syyskuuta 2014

Dare to call me....


Hello blog world :)

There is a big campaign going on in Finnish social media called "kutsumua" (dare to call me..) against bullying at schools

 It was started by the Finnish college-union.

Idea is to take a picture of yourself and write words to depict :

1.  lockers where bullies try to fit you
2. How you see yourself and how you wish to be seen by others


So this is my "dare to call me.." picture

I've been called:

- f'*****g gay
- loony hippie
- slow
- stupid
- proud
- ugly
- cry baby

I am:

Strong
Beautiful
open-minded

Here is the campaign video:



I was really badly bullied in the elementary school. I consider myself fortunate because I had small circle of friends with me. It would have been very difficult to handle all the bullying if I had been just by myself.

In elementary school I think my biggest problems was that I was very introvert and very scared of performing and I avoided all attention. Quite often people thought I was stupid or slow because my mind wondered a lot and I pretty much drew all the time and didn't always pay attention what was going on at the class or with other students. I was also very sensitive and I easily started to cry when I heard people calling me names or even if I got negative feedback from teachers. That of course gives others impressions of weakness.
It took years to realize that being sensitive can also be a good quality in a person.

I also had habitat to block away all those nasty things people said about me behind my back. In away it was a good thing and helped me to go on.

When I was 15 I started to get panic attacks and pretty much next few years I suffered from deep depression. I had very high fear for socializing and sometimes I was afraid to go to school or even outside.

I no longer suffer from depression but I still can feel anxiety easily. 

Bullying is a huge problem not just with children and youth but also among adults.
I studied on adult education 'till last year and unfortunately saw lots and lots of bullying between adults.

Year ago in May I was almost done with my art and craft instructing studies and I left feedback to the school and wrote about my experiences about the studies and how some of the teachers were very rude to the students. I didn't mention anyone's name and overall my text was very proper.

After I had sent it I was called to speak with the headmaster. She was so incredibly mean, called me names and I got a huge panic attack. I was very shocked by her behavior and next day I sent text to all my fellow students and teachers.

 You know what happened?

Rest of the month most of the teachers started to avoid me and many of my classmates came to tell me how they've had very similar experiences and feelings.

That made me very sad and I left the school because exhaustion and stress  just few weeks before getting the diplomas.

Actually few months after all this happened I contact with a lady that  was one of those girls who bullied me at school all those years ago.
It was good for me to hear all those things what caused her behavior.
I don't know if I can ever forgive but I can try to understand.

Bullying is about fear and jealousy
and it always leaves marks

if not visible then invisible.

If you see bullying or if you get bullied talk about it. 

I accepted all silently as a child but I never do that again.



New art and quite related to everything I just wrote about.
I've had difficult times accepting myself I always tend to find some flaws.

This time I painted my self to my art journal. This will be called "self-portraits as a mermaid". I will post again when it's all colored and done

I rarely paint self-portraits but I thought this might be a good time.

I'll take part on paint party friday
and

Feel free to join to the campaign and share your stories. 

Much love and light to all my readers
Niina






torstai 28. elokuuta 2014

Troll Shaman


Hello blogging friends :)

How has your Autumn time started?
I love this season. All the bright colors. Somehow it's very soothing.


It's warm inside





I had nice time last week since it was my birthday on Sunday.

I spent it at my friend's place. She is a jewelry maker so we end up sculpting different things from Fimo clay and watched Game of Thrones for the whole weekend :)

My friend also has cat friends. This Peppi  here was very photogenic :)



Here is Troll Shaman I sculpted. I was going to make a fairy Shaman but somehow she turned out to be a troll :) 
Amethyst I got from a nice lady I met trough Etsy in spring.

Trolls (peikko or menninkäinen) have always been very popular characters in Scandinavian and in Finish Folklore. Quite often connected to caves, stones, rocks and mountains. They are forest creatures and some of them are scared of the day light.

T

I also  made some Mermaid and Fairy - decors. 


I link these to Paint Party Friday

Much love light and inspiration for you all
Niina

lauantai 16. elokuuta 2014

Featured artist of August: Memory Howell



Hello blogging friends :)

It is time for the featured artist interview of August. This time our featured artist is fairy artist Memory Howell.
I must say I just adore the color and amount of details Memory puts in each of her paintings.
Memory also shares one of her fairy stories with us.
.................................................................................

Tell us about yourself, who you are and what kind of artist you are?

I'm a self taught fantasy and fairy artist and story teller of the fay since 2010. I am mixed media artist and 98 %  of my art is done in watercolor and rest in ink and colored pencils. I started sharing my art on Facebook and started a fairy page on there called "Fairies of Memory". I was born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana then spent fifteen years in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and now reside in Columbus, Ohio area.


How did you start your artist career?

On Facebook I was offered several contracts and was honored to be seen in three different magazines trough Facebook. I now have my art on craft stamps, cakes, cloths, psp tubes, art sites, blogs, interviews and various merchandise. Facebook can be a wonderful tool for artist but read your contracts as well, ask questions of other artists and do your homework before signing.


What are the things that inspire you? Do you have message in your art?

Of all things that inspire me I would say Nature. The trees, mushrooms, fiddle ferns, cobwebs, stars, moon, wooded paths, all of nature calls the imagination to be drawn and incorporated in to the Fairy World of drawing and story writing. A rose petal can become a fairy hat, a little leaf and vine can be fairy shoe, dandelions can become dandelion tea, dewdrops can grace a fairy gown ect. The ideas are limitless with nature as your inspiration. 

I do have a message in my art and stories that is that I hope to use the fairies to spread love and kindness to others.


Any advice for starting artists?

I would say to practice drawing every day. Pick a subject that you love to sketch, make it yours, and be known for your style. Pick good quality art materials, it makes a big difference in your work. Be vigilant in accepting contracts, join other art groups to pick up tips and make friends with other artists.

I use Holbein watercolors and archival micron ink pens on 140lb. cold press paper but when I can find it I prefer 200lb. Never listen to negative nellies that your art isn't good, listen to your heart and draw, draw, draw. If you had seen my first fairy you would have died laughing.


If you could be any fantasy character what would you like to be?

I would absolutely want to be a fairy. I could dance on stars, have a pouch of fairy dust, spread magic, have a magical tree house, fly up and visit the moon, sip dandelion tea on a mushroom and talk to birds and other animals. Well, the things I could do as a fairy would be magical and let's not forget the fairy wings, how beautiful they are and the places they could take me.... to be a fairy would be lifetime magic. 

Where can we find your works?

Sadly at this time I have no website to lists as it is down for repairs. However you can always find my art and stories on my "Fairies of Memory" Facebook page.

My other Facebook page is "Everything Fairy"

My art can be found on these magazines too:
Fairy World Magazine
Beyond Fantasy Magazine
Angels and Fairies Magazine

I am show on deviant art, Art Collaboration, The Fairy Poet, HP Toy, Artist Corner, Cruzines, etc..and other merchandise too.



One of Memory's stories:
                                                                                   

Twilight in the woods of enchantment
 
The crickets dressed in brown and green, tune their fiddles preparing to sing, while the airy twilight fairies dance on spider web paths. tilting toe and gathering skirts they dance and twirl in the last remaining sunbeams of pearl. Ladybugs bow and smile with glee , happy to share a dance with thee. Evening shadows and glimmering lights gather  in tree boughs here and there as twilights hour gathers close, the fairies love this time the most.   by Memory Howell ©
....................................................................

Thank you so much for sharing your Fairy art and stories Memory. They shore bring happiness and inspirations to all the viewers and readers.

Would you like to read more featured fantasy artists interviews?

Here are links to the past interviews:

Featured artist of July: Aida Castellano

Featured artist of June: Renee Lavoie

Featured artist of May: Janna Prosvirina

Featured artist of April: Mayumi Ogihara

Featured artist of March: Gabriella Szabo



maanantai 11. elokuuta 2014

Moonlight


Hello Blogging friends

Did you saw the "Super moon" yesterday?

I tried to took some pictures but they all came out quite blurry. Sky was quite cloudy. 
Moon was beautiful.



I have Mandala painting course coming up in the end of August so I painted moon zen tangle mandala to decorate the poster I made to advertise the course.



I've painted new fairies that I haven't posted here yet.

Here is fairy inspired by the theme "under the moon".
Painted with watercolors and acrylics.
Model was this lovely lady.


Some inspirational moon music
Blackmore's Night of course has huge variety of moon themed songs :)



Then I jumped into Steam punk world. 
Here is my first Steam punk Fairy.
She is waiting for her mechanical dragon to arrive.

I had fun time painting this one.
I used black tea, felt tipped pencils, colored pencils, watercolors and acrylics.


I submit these to paint party friday :)

You can now buy some of my digital stamps from Squigglefly.

I got some blog links with finished cards. They look so beautiful.





Thanks for stopping by
Much love and light
Niina






lauantai 26. heinäkuuta 2014

Hot Pink Mermaids And Forest Green Fairies





Hello blogging friends!

I hope you all are doing good. It's been so hot lately that I've spent most of my time in the beach. Either swimming, sun bathing, painting or sketching.

"Mermaid  art Journal"

Remember my mermaid -art journal?

I continued working on a new spread. Inspiration avenue - theme this week is "hot pink summer sizzle".
What a great chance to paint a mermaid with  hot pink hair.

"Mermaid art journal"

"Mermaid art journal"

I added some "mermaid-ish" quotes to the paintings:

"I have sea foam in my veins
I understand the language of the waves"

Creative Tuesday - challenge this week is "red balloon"
My balloons are bubbles 
and I end up painting bubbles to the next spread.

"The Sea once it casts its spell
holds one in its net of wonder forever"
-Jacques Cousteau

... so very true

"Mermaid journal"

I haven't been on the beach all the time.
I've also enjoyed time in the garden



So many great colors in the summer nature. 
Yellow, orange, gold, red, green, sepia...

Here is my latest fairy:

"Laugh in the woods"

Watercolor background and all the drawings done with felt-tipped pencils.

I'm now busy with a children book project and  I hope to share some lovely illustrations with you within next months.

I love this song from Faun 
there are fairies laughing :)

                                           


Fairy wishes
Niina