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Friday, December 12

Villa Sarkia residence project is still on ! ...

...//// i el llibre il°lustrat iniciat a la Villa Sarkia , la casa de l'escriptor, continua////
Work in process of the illustrations of the self published book ,the project I started in Villa Sarkia. Kiitos Sysmä!

Kiitos Cinzia, Kiitos Laura, Kiitos Erkka, Kiitos Pirkko! ;)

detail of an illustration for the book

(...)       "Al mar vaig nedar molts dies,
 surant entre les onades,
sobre els profunds abismes,
dintre la mar infinita.
Ploraré tota la vida, 
fins a la fi dels meus dies,
per haver deixat ma terra,
els camps que bé coneixia,
i arribar a portes estranyes,
a contrades tan ignotes."   (...)

El Kalevala,  Elias Lönnrot
Traducció Ramon Garriga-Marquès i Pirkko-Merja Lounavaara

Thursday, December 11

/// New!: Postcards, prints; illustrations... choose your gift for this December!! ///

 It is soon Xmas and so , for the first time, this blog will be offering prints, postcards and mini paintings for prices of 10€ to 25 € ...Pass by , have a look and make your order...!
From the Yogi girls to the Nordic ones picking up berries...////
These items are all painted by hand. The media are russian watercolors and inks on Arches, Fabbriano and Windsor & Newton papers.

To place your order:
Happy Xmas!

Tuesday, November 25

Villa Sarkia residence ...first paintings of the book

"Homesickness, in English, heimweh in German, mal du pays in French, ….Enyorar in Catalan, my mother tongue…Saudade in Portuguese…are just few of the examples to start describing this peculiar journey that brought me to apply for the Sarkia residence. 
And that today I can say I quite “achieved” it. At least, the starting point is a very good achievement, or so I want to believe.

Proud of living in a foreign land, being able to submit to a residence to write, paint and develop my first graphic , sort of, novel.
Proud as well of being again an immigrant, this time, further up in the North, this time deeper than any of the previous times. This time for love, for art, for myself, for the sake of existing.
This time FINLAND. SUOMI. To the day, Finland is still full of shadows, nuances, mysteries to be unfold.


Obviously to all, it is of quite negative connotation the homesickness. At the same time, it can lead to some extend to surprising positive situations.
 In my case, had been always an ambivalent feeling, sensation, perception and finally, a reaction.
After the reaction, as some psychologists might say,  it comes a response. 
As per said,  the iceberg tip or , let’s say, the landmark  of this year and four months in Finland…had been Villa Sarkia residence.
This month of intensive creativity and reclusion in Sysmä allowed some ghosts to reappear and some to fade away from my sketches and writings.
 Through books of  Shamanism in Lapland, Finland old traditions and customs, Kalevala epic English version and my solitude and sub-exile (within an exile) I exited with a clearer project in my hands.
With the perspective that only time provides us, and prove us, my experience at Villa Sarkia residence stands for multiple achievements in a common ground. " <<<

Fragment of my report of the residency.

Thursday, October 30

Online portfolio

Just to let you know my portfolio is also online on Béhance where I classify my recent artworks, prints, patterns, paintings and personal illustrations.

Thanks for checking it :)

Tuesday, October 28

A mini show in Malmitalo

For those who are right now in Finland, you can check it in the centre Malmitalo.
A very small selection of my artworks will be there. Among them, "In the Woods I am different, my Fiskars babies", as per the image below:
Thanks for passing by!

Friday, September 26

In the press!

Ooops! In the Finnish Sysmä newspaper for a nice interview on my experience at Villa Sarkia residencies, alongside my co-resident Cinzia Tanzella.

Monday, August 25

A fine co-residency!

Having a nice chat with my co-resident, the amazing writer Cinzia Tanzella. It had been a pleasure to have shared the Villa Sarkia with you!

Until the next time, and the best of luck.

Sunday, August 24

:::::::::::::::More on Villa Sarkia residence:::::::::::::::::

Villa Sarkia residences are organized by the Nuori Voima Liitto, which is, roughly translated the union of young force...difficult to be translated!
It is actually the union of young writers which was founded in 1921 in Finland, during the years of strong soviet influence.
Their main purpose and action was to give advice to young artists, principally, writers, poets.
Nowadays, NVL, publishes five times a year their own magazine, with cultural reviews , articles and essays of writers, poets, artists.
Twice a year they also issue the known publication Kritikki.
One of the most important happenings organised by NVL is the poetry reading festival, Runokuu Festivaali (moon of poetry). 
And finally, as per said, NVL program include residence studios for writers, poets, translators and artists to the Villa Sarkia house.

    My notes and work, next to my favourite Moomin character kupi; the stinky Haisuli.

The actual house I am doing my residence is in Sysmä town, in middle Finland, or so called Lakes region.
The house was named after the late Finnish poet Kaarlo Sarkia, who died in Sysmä. The poet had a complicated, tormented and , nevertheless, a very prolific life.
His poems are widely known and read.
Some of the archives regarding the figure of Kaarlo Sarkia.

It is a strange mix of emotions to prepare my first graphic novel , or comic( err, a humble illustrated book project) in Villa Sarkia, being surrounded by the energy of all the poets, musicians, artists, writers who had been here between these walls, doing their own research.
In the pictures below, you can see a very old image of events and cultural happenings back in the days, of the 30´s !
 Old covers of the different years issues of NVL cultural magazine.
 Works by Akseli Gallén-Kallela had been around me all this time.
 A poetry reading, back in the days.
 Some of the women artists of the year 1934 by NVL.
 A great wooden working table!

Friday, August 22

#entre les dents tot desfent-se...

Heus ací que ja tinc ganes,
fa temps que pel cap em volta,
de començar d'entonar-ne,
de començar de contar-ne,
els vells cants de ma família,
la història de ma tribu.
El cant se'm fon a la boca,
les històries ja cauen
i m'arriben a la llengua,
entre les dents tot desfent-se. (...)

D' "El Kalevala" d' Elias Lonnrot, traducció directa del finès en vers.
Lemminkäisen äiti, 1897, Aksel Gallén-Kallela

Wednesday, August 6

Villa Sarkia arrival

Villa Sarkia residency
Sysmä, middle Finland ( Lakes region)

The first impression is great. The atmosphere is the ideal to work, to reflect and to meditate. After days of road trip through Finland, I get more than ever Tove Jansson's Moomins family stories, Akseli Gallén-Kallela life and art and Alvar Aalto minimal, and yet organic, idealistic architecture... 
"Corona Radiata" project starts now; so my research continues. The finnish late summer sun shines more than ever.

>>> (...) Ah, could they know
               how violets throw strange fire,
               red and purple and gold,
               how they glow
               gold and purple and red
               where her feet tread. <<< H.D. (Hymen)

Tuesday, July 8

Sukupuolentutkimus Kotona / At home!

Some of the illustrated pages of the Gender Studies of Finland book I had collaborated with my paintings. The number is 2/2 of 2014.
The book-magazine is looking great and inviting to be read! ( Some texts are available in English in an extra reduced version from the Finnish or the Swedish) 
In total, 95 pages of an interesting variety of essays on regards of gender, culture, feminism activism and much more.
I leave you with a selection of the "Abstracts" , the express -reduced version of English of some of the articles.
The first one is "Epistolary encounters -Ideals and lived reality in correspondence between Jeannette and J.V Snellman " // " Kirjeet kohtauspaikkoina by Reetta Eiranen,  illustrated through "Fatum"painting.
->>> In the life of Jeanette Snellman , the wife of Finnish 19th-century philosopher J.V Snellman , her husband´s nationalistic ideals concerning women and the family were strongly present.

The article explores the question of how the relation between these ideals and lived reality 
was treated and constructed in the correspondence between the two spouses.
The husband articulated ideals about creating a decent home and educating oneself, but they also included contradictory elements. In her letters, a reticent Jeanette opened up and narrated herself in relation to her husband's expectations.
For the husband the marriage was partly a means to achieve philosophical ideal, whereas for Jeanette the efforts to live up to the ideal were a means to earn her husband´s love.
The letters were a place between the ideal world and the lived reality , but the connection between these two spheres remained always incomplete. Reetta Eiranen

The second extract is "Women, Tattoos, Desires" // "Kvinnor, tatueringar och begär" by Nina Nyman

->>> This article focuses on women´s processes of getting tattooed and their relationship with their tattooed bodies. For the study I have interviewed seven women with a varying number of tattoos.
The interviews showed that the process of tattooing changed the women´s perspective of their bodies. It gave them a feeling of agency and a sense of being in control of their own bodies. Furthermore, the women found tattoos desirable , which as such is not surprising. 
The surprising aspect was that there seemed to be no distinct relation between women´s feelings about tattoos and their choice of partner. The feeling of desirability , seemingly connected to aesthetics, was thus not a sexual preference. It was rather a feeling connected with the positive experience of embodiment that the act of tattooing provided the women. According to my analyses it was a question of desire as productive rather than as lack in the context of becoming tattooed". Nina Nyman

The last abstract is by Peeteri Eerola : "Narrating masculinity: dominant and counter narratives in interview speech"// " Maskuliinisuuden myötä-ja vastakerronta haastattelupuheessa"
->>> In this article I seek to extend understanding of the narratives of masculinity by analysing how divergent narratives of masculinity are produced simultaneously. Methodologically, the article is a narrative case study , in which I analyse interviews with Teemu, a working family man in his thirties. As an analytical tool, I use the concepts of dominant and counter narratives to illustrate how the interviewee connects himself with or differentiates from culturally dominant constructions of masculinity.
The results of the article emphasize how gender was extensively reflected, and how two opposite narratives were produced, in the interviewee´s speech.
 Issues dealing with men have highly visible in Finland over the last decades.
 The results hint that men 's understanding of themselves, as members of a particular gender category, might have become more extensive on a more general level". Peeteri Eerola

For those who are curious and want to know more about the rest of authors, and topics such as book reviews or lectures texts, please , click on the link:

Monday, June 30

::::Thrilling news ::::

This is the last post of June then ;) ...
I've been confirmed I'm in a summer residency in Villa Sarkia studios.
The aim is to develop my ongoing project "Corona Radiata";or at least, continue it.
Villa Sarkia is located in Sysmä, in middle Finland; in a wonderful environment.
 I am so thrilled!
And this deliciously looking pineapple we got from Jorma was excellent to do an "Upside down Pineapple Cake : fantabalicious! It was a great Juhannus.

July is on the corner!

::::"Fatum" has found a home ::::

Aaand the last post of this month! it´s a happy one.
"Fatum" has found a new home. From now on it will be in Tampere, at Reetta Eiranen's place.
The painting is inspired on Eiranen´s article on the letters J.V Snellmann wrote to his young wife.
 These new series of paintings are also published on the Gender Studies Magazine in Finland nr. 2/2  of 2014,

Kiitos Reetta! And farewell "Fatum"!

Friday, June 13

Group show @ Galeria Espai [b] //// Col°lectiva d'estiu a la Galeria Espai [b]

Proud to be featured again in the (celebrating midsommer /Juhannus) Summer group show at Galeria Espai [b] with my newest production.
"Corpus Luteum", "Pikku Emantää" or "Learning from you" from late 2013 and 2014 are the new art pieces.
From Finland, I invite you all to pass by , and thanks!

Wednesday, June 4

//// Sukupuolentutkimus ////

Sukupuolentutkimus–lehti numero 2/2014 
The Gender studies magazine in Finland , edition June, is almost ready and will be on sale next week. In this edition they featured my paintings; some of them I had been blogging them already.
The articles were very challenging to get inspired by.
As per said in previous posts, I am very happy to share with you this collaboration !! Kiitos paljon Miina!
 I will be posting more on the publication and the articles.

"Time is mother" featured in
one of the articles.

This is how is gonna look the cover

Friday, May 30

:::::::::::::: "Gatherers Garden" ::::::::::::::::

::::: Gatherers Garden ///
Painting from the series of the new ongoing project "Corona Radiata", 2014
36 x 25 cm
Print, oil painting, inks and other media.
As usual, you can also check on my website ->

© laia riera sanjaume 2014

::::::::::::"Witching cave" /// "Bruixejant" ::::::::::: sneak peek

"Witching cave" /// "Bruixejant" , 2014 
Oil painting, inks.
For the ongoing project "Corona radiata".

 59 x 43 cm
© Laia Riera Sanjaume 2014

I dedicate this painting to some women in my dear extense family. To those who still use labels such as "witches" (bruixes in catalan) to express their negative opinion on young girls certain attitude. Such behaviour may include being bossy, energetic, crying or simply being a girl.

It's worrying to see how some of us have lost the inner wild woman and they wander around in strange circles of self-hatred. Living in oblivion is the same as half-living.

 "Witching cave /// Bruixejant" will be as well featured at the next issue of Sukupuolentutkimus-lehti

With love, 
© laia riera sanjaume 2014

  “There is probably no better or more reliable measure of whether a woman has spent time in ugly duckling status at some point or all throughout her life than her inability to digest a sincere compliment. Although it could be a matter of modesty, or could be attributed to shyness- although too many serious wounds are carelessly written off as "nothing but shyness"- more often a compliment is stuttered around about because it sets up an automatic and unpleasant dialogue in the woman's mind. (...) "

 Clarissa Pinkola EstésWomen Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

Tuesday, May 27

Getting things done

Bona nit /// Hyvää Yta /// Good night
New series of fresh, fruity, relaxed prints coming up. 
As well, more on my new project, illustrated album, very soon.

Recommended , good read before going to sleep or very early on the morning! --->>>>

Tuesday, May 20

:::::: New work II :::::::: Sneak Peek ::::::: Nous projectes

As per said in previous posts I had been busy with new paintings, and as well developing prints for CUS or for our brand, with my partner, Jere.
These paintings will also be featured in the next issue of Sukupuolentutkimus-lehti as a commission.
Lots of ginger and hot blackberry juice for the work ahead!
"Fatum" is based on an article of J.V Snellmann by Reetta Eirikainen.
More to see on my website, as usual ///

"Fatum", 2014 mixed inks, russian watercolors
Eorum", oil painting 2014
"Gatherers" Mixed media 2014

Thursday, May 15

#onnellinen /// fortunate/// afortunada >>> working

Working feels awesome deadlines and soon I could post more on being featured at the new issue of the Sukupuolentutkimus-lehti , magazine of scientific approach for Gender Studies Association in Finland.

Monday, May 12

Åland days /// working, inspiration, friends & nettles !

It's been a while since my last post.
The commission for CUS is advancing, within the typical adversities of the creative process.
We had been four days in the island Åland staying at the amazing house and woods of great friends, Sari & Johnny.
In there I had been more inspired thanks to the exhuberant nature, the surroundings, the bird sounds and the walks outside.

At the same time, I had re-discovered nettles (ortigues/ ortigas) wow! It had been forever since I haven´t made or tasted a nettle soup.
Nettles have like ten or more healthy properties. Let's just embrace them, stinging or not.
Some objects at the workshops of the house were truly inspiring.

The infamous nettle soup by Sari, lovely...

Old Arabia, hand painted, ceramics tea pot. Before living in Finland I didn´t know much of Arabia brand, now I can´t get enough!

The fabulous working desk , Johnny´s, that served as my painting table for some days.

A great old botanical poster.

A great Japanese print book, from Sari.

At the same time, I had been exploring more of Tove Jansson , once again, thanks to a wonderful book from Sari´s bookshelves or the magical one of the art of Hilma Af Klint
Tove Jansson artworks will be exhibited at the Ateneum Museum from Helsinki for a long time.
Both artists are hardly known back at home, by the way.