The stripes in my paintings are inspired by Finnish traditional rag rugs and wall hangings, which fill the floors and walls at the homes in my family. When I was child my mother, grandmothers and aunts, were busy designing and making them, they were always based on beautiful stripes. Even today those striped designs remind me of my home and childhood.
My paintings are based on color, texture, and shape. The stripes, repetition, and texture are found not only in the familiar textiles, but also in geological formations. Over the years I have been travelling with my geologist husband all over the world (Nepal, Greenland, Arctic Spitsbergen, Baja California, Alaska, US South West Canyon Lands, Sierra Nevada and so on) as his field assistant. The landscape, especially the sedimentary rocks, and layers (or beds as geologist call them) are elements which have became familiar to me.
In geological formations, such as canyon walls, I see familiar striped patterns, but in an enormous scale and representing much longer periods of time. The core sample series was inspired by my experiences in pristine nature. I became interested in the possibilities to capture the essence of the geological time, the length of time that is difficult for us to comprehend. The real core samples collected by geologists reveal variations in climate, life forms and sedimentary composition during geologic history.
My resent paintings have layers (or beds) of landscapes, which are squeezed by time and “flattened”. Some of the pigments I use in painting come from the rocks and the way pigments mix with water imitates the geological processes. While I am painting stripes they turn into inner emotional landscapes. One can recognize the landscape in them, but they are in motion all the time as if you were watching a movie where you can slide back and forward in time and space.
I was born in Helsinki, Finland. I received Master’s degree in Regional Planning at the University of Tampere, Finland, before moving to the USA in 1991. In 1996 I returned to Academia to get my formal education in painting, and moved back to Finland to attend the School of Art and Media in Tampere. There I concentrated in painting but also enjoyed making installations in collaboration with other students. The years at the Art School meant considerable traveling, not only between Tampere and Seattle, but also painting trips to Norway, Estonia, Italy, and Nepal. I moved back to Seattle in 2000 and established my studio in Ballard at BuildingC. In 2005 I graduated from the Artists Trust EDGE-Program. I moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota 2008 and established my studio here.