Portraying the softness of nature
TEXT: NDÉLA FAYE | PHOTOS © SUVI KOMSA AND TUULI MERILÄINEN
Finland-based artist Tuuli Meriläinen uses bold colours and soft brush strokes in her paintings, inspired by wildlife. Growing up near the untouched forests of North Karelia has shaped the way she sees the world, and Meriläinen wants to capture nature’s beauty in her works.
“I take a lot of nature walks, and take photographs while I’m wandering in the forest. I often use the pictures for inspiration, or use them to help me in the composition of my works. I live in Lieksa, in North Karelia, where nature is a big part of the town. There are several nature trails and parks on my way to work, and being in nature helps me reset my mind before returning to the office,” Meriläinen explains.
Growing up in North Karelia, the surrounding nature and hunting were part of everyday life. During her childhood, in the autumn hunting season, Meriläinen would join her father on hunting trips in the forest. “A big part of hunting is silently observing the surrounding nature, usually before dawn. I used to watch the sun rising over the swamp and swamp lake, and these memories shaped my childhood strongly. Although I don’t go hunting anymore; perhaps it’s because of my childhood experiences that it is so important for me to portray the anatomy of the animals I paint correctly,” she says.
All of Meriläinen’s paintings are available for sale directly through her website, or from the online art shop, Taiko, which also ships abroad. Working mainly with acrylic colour, Meriläinen uses colour study and light as sources of inspiration in her work, and she is interested in all living and moving things. The artist uses strong colours in her works, but in a way that still conveys calmness and softness. “My method is based on trial and error. Sometimes my colour combinations can be really bold, and I often paint on top of my old paintings, leaving layers visible. I always allow room for errors, and sometimes ‘mistakes’ can be the best part of my work,” the artist concludes.
3-16 June 2019: Galerie Pleiku, Berlin, Germany
30 November 2019 to 15 January 2020:Kellokas Gallery, Äkäslompolo, Lapland, Finland
26 July to 3 August 2019: Pop-up gallery at Lieksa Brass Week, Finland
1 September 2019: Karuselli exhibition, tm Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
13 September 2019 to January 2020: Mitä! modern art biennale, Kuopio, Finland