Well, I get two posts for the price of one! Here's the English version of yesterday's post, but I promise I'll write something new later on today. Well, I'll try to, anyway.
Through the magic of Google Analytics, I can see that we have a visitor or two from Oulu, in Finland. And through the magic of Google Translator, I can write to you in Finnish - but I apologize if the Finnish is terrible, or even incomprehensible.
I wanted to write something specifically for you, and this reminded me of my admiration for Akseli Gallen-Kallela:
I discovered the work of Gallen-Kallela not long ago, at a time when I was feeling constricted by the set of assumptions I had made about my own techniques. He helped remind me that there is a tremendous range of possibility in painting, and that painting is as much playful as anything else. In the context of a sense of narrative national and mythological composition common to Russia, Finland, and several Balkan states, Gallen-Kallela introduced a sense of delight and magic through his use of rich, even reckless, color. I loved his color, his lines, and his commitment to doing what he was doing, without apologies. At a critical time, he loosened up my sense of what I could do as well. As you can see, my work has reflected his ideas a little bit since then:
...and if you don't happen to like Gallen-Kallela yourself, I apologize for bringing your attention back to him. I wanted to acknowledge my gratitude for your interest all the way from Oulu, and I hope you are enjoying this blog.
One last note - my model Vadim is from an ethnic group that straddles the border between Finland and Russia. He was born on the Russian side, but much of his family was raised in Finland. He is a delightful individual to work with - very funny, with a dark outlook on human nature.