January 2021 - Magic Realism - by Riikka Kovasin

Hi there! It’s Riikka here today with my first 2021 post – happy new year! May it be filled with wonder and creative experiments and enthusiasm. January theme is by Inna Bronnikova and involves books and fairy tales.

I often use old book pages in my crafts. As I’ve probably said before, I adore their color, scent and the fact that they open a way to countless different worlds. As the theme specifically talked about fairy tales, I started by pulling out some old children’s fairy tale books I’ve received. They only have a couple of pages inside them, but I really like the covers and the illustrations. They are by a famous and loved Finnish illustrator called Rudolf Koivu. I decided to dare to use one of the pages and cut the illustration loose. I used rest of the page as collaging material for the background.

I added several layers to the page before adding the illustration on top. There’s a couple of different shades of green in there, some stamping, some doodling, some splashes. Even though there’s a lot of layers, the whole page didn’t take that long for me to finish. I liked it, I liked the quote cut from the book (“Many wonderous things got Tutta and cat to see along the journey.”), but somehow the page seemed too easy, too fast and too flat. It also lacked the “magic realism”, which came to my head when thinking about fairy tales for adults – an idea which came from the quote of the month by C. S. Lewis: “Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

Magic Realism is a literary genre. The stories seem to be in the modern world, but then something breaks the pattern, there’s some magical elements added to the plot. Like when a trickle of blood flows from a building, passes streets and terraces to the kitchen of Ursula at Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” or when the cool photographer Mikael finds an injured troll by his doorstep at Johanna Sinisalo’s “Not Before Sundown”. You can read more about it here. So, I wanted the piece to look like “normal” at a first glance but then something unexpecting to pop out with another look. I pondered about adding some wings to the horses, but they seemed not to fit so instead I added a butterfly wind to the right corner, kind of reminding myself about the idea.

So, I decided to have another go. Again, I started with paints, book pages and layering. Added some doodling, stamping and stenciling. This time I chose a photo of a lady as the centerpiece and made some wings to her from a butterfly. This now went somewhat with the magic realism idea.

I decided to show both pages because of a revelation. Part of my hesitance with the page was to do with the fantastic creations other teamies share here. They are so layered, finished and full of details that I felt that my quick pages weren’t “good” enough. But then I thought again. The product line is called “Art Daily” and that’s also the title of this blog. The idea, from what I can gather is just that, creating daily. So not every piece has to be perfect, required long hours to complete. Both pages were made at night, after a full day of work and family life. So, they are very doable as a daily routine! I hope that this encourages you to do something creative every day. It can be as little or as much you want, but seldom you don’t have time to spare 5 minutes to slapping some paint or tape to a sheet.

Thank you so much for stopping by today! Wishing you an artsy new year and a lot of time for being creative in your own way!

Xoxo Riikka 

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