Kulturri Kauppila Art Center
The studio and living space at Kultuuri Kauppila.
Early in 2019, I applied for a residency at Kulttuuri Kauppila in Finland. Painting the light of winter near the arctic circle is a goal of mine. Because many months went by, I forgot I had applied for the program, I was surprised to find out in December that I was accepted for two months February and March 2020. Unfortunately, 2 months is too long so we agreed that I would come for the month of March. I was excited for my first trip to explore Finland and immerse myself in a winter landscape. Attending artist residency programs is an integral part of my art practice. It’s give me the time and space to investigate and immerse myself in incredible landscapes and beauty all over the world.
I arrived at the Kulttuuri Kauppila Art Center on March 2 and sadly by March 15 I was back home in San Francisco.
My studio set up with works in progress.
Winter Landscape Painting
To make sure I had a light load on this trip, I only brought one big suitcase of art supplies and a backpack of clothes. The suitcase contained all of the paint, brushes and paper that I would need for a month of painting. I packed several sizes of oil painting pads so I could have a variety of shapes to paint on.
Luckily, the minute I arrived at the residency I set up my studio and started taking long walks in the frozen landscape. I got to work right away on my walks, taking photographs and then coming back to the studio to paint.
Feeling energized by the sights around me, I started painting right away. I was drawn to sparkling ice of the frozen river just steps away from the residency. Every morning I would take inspiration gathering walks on the path along the river, loop through streets of the neighborhood or go on the icy paths to the bridge that crossed the river to explore the island in the middle of the river. The winter shadows cast by the trees along the banks of the frozen river captivated my attention. In many of my paintings you can see the bold blue shadows stretching long on the ice.
Only 11 days into the residency, I was packing up wet paintings and leaving in haste. I had to make it back to San Francisco as the world started to shut down. There was so much chaos but in the end I’m glad I decided to leave at that time. My hope is to return to Finland during the winter months so I can continue to explore the beauty of the Finnish countryside.