August 2019 - Landscape of the mind - by Riikka Kovasin

I have to admit, the theme in this month got me off guard. Although I love certain landscapes, like the sea or the forest, the theme color threw a curve ball and really got me pondering. Lavender landscape? If I’d have any memory connected to lavender fields, I could have painted that picture, but no, I’ve never even seen a lavender field.

The inspiration came when I was flipping through the inspiration cards and saw one about maps, making a map of an imaginary land, of your heart, dreams or – your head. That lead my thoughts to mind maps. Do you know what mind maps are? We used to do those a lot in high school as our Finnish teacher really liked them. A mind map is a visual diagram that organizes information hierarchically. A mind map is usually organized like a branching tree or nervous system, with a main concept or emphasis in the middle and all the other thoughts clustering around it. You can read more about mind maps here at Wikipedia’s site.

I feel that a mind map is a highly personal tool. The connections between things in the map don’t have to make sense to anyone else than to its creator. I find mind mapping a useful tool to brainstorm, to gather those first impressions and organize thoughts. I haven’t drawn a mind map since high school, though, so it was fun to make one again.

The spread is a picture of my mind at the moment I was doing it. It’s kind of a landscape of my mind. As Finnish is my mother tongue, I typed most of the words in Finnish using my mom’s old typewriter. I also used some of the stamped phrases in the mind map and handwrote a couple for the sake of variety. I typed and stamped the words on top of an adhesive paper sheet so after cutting the words into tiny pieces, I got word stickers.

To add the lavender in the page I added some “Heather” Impasto paint to the page and mixed it a little with white gesso. I found similar tones of lavender also in the “Spread Your Wings” washi tape and added a pale purple frame to my photo sticker as well. I didn’t want to use my actual photo in the spread, but chose a vintage one from the “Vintage Photobooth” sticker album and added my name across her eyes.

The right page of the spread I filled with words and it depicts the cluster inside my head. The left page I left almost completely empty and just added one “thought” there. “Hengitä”, which means breathe. The spread gives an advice to me when things seem hectic – concentrate on one thing at the time, starting with just breathing. Like the mind map, put things into hierarchy order and just start to cross things of the list, one branch at a time.

I wrote in the beginning that I didn’t have many ideas with landscapes, the theme threw me off guard. I did have two ideas before going with the mind map, in fact. I love sea and staring to the horizon, so I toyed with the idea of a lavender sea at first. The other idea was connected to a piece I did inspired by a movie of a painter. It was a stylized pastel painting of my current hometown and it has a lavender tone in it. You can see the piece here  if you wish. The painter, on the other hand, was J. M. W. Turner, an English painter, who’s known, among other things, for marine landscapes. He was an eccentric and a person of controversy of his time, but it’s considered that he elevated landscape painting back to its glory. “The Fighting Temeraire” might be one of his most known paintings. Although he was a painter of the Romantic style, I see a lot of Impressionism in his cloudy and foggy use of color.

So, it all goes around and branches out like in the mind map. You start with something which then leads to another idea or thing. If you haven’t tried mind mapping as a creative tool, I urge you to try it out!

Until next month, ta ta for now!

Xoxo Riikka

Art Daily album
Art Daily Carte Postale stamps
Art Daily Sentiments stickers
Art Daily Vintage Photobooth stickers
Finnabair Art Basics Heavy Gesso white
Finnabair Art Alchemy Impasto acrylic paint Heather
Finnabair Spread Your Wings washi tape
Finnabair Dare to Dream stamp set

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