• Karin Feltzing

Exhibition time - Finland!

Uppdaterad: 5 dec 2019

Nordic Watercolour 2019 - exhibition in Tykö, Finland


Going to another country for the first time is always special. And going there to take part in a vernissage where your very own paintings is on display makes it even more special.


As a member of The Nordic Watercolour Society I could enter paintings for this juried show, which is held every three year in one of the Nordic Countries. This year it was in Finland, and in the kind of remote place Teijon National Park - a good two hour drive from Helsinki, the capital.


Finding the way around in Helsinki was easy. From the airport we took the local commute train to the central station, right in the middle of the city. And our hotel was just about 200 meters away from there! The room was at the top floor and the elevator up there did not look like anything else I’ve ever seen when it comes to hotel elevators.


And it did not reach all the way up to the ninth floor. We had to go through the brown door on the right hand side.


But once we got inside the room, which was nicely decorated in an art nouveau style, the roof tops outside was just spectacular and well worth the climb! The corrosion has made these wonderful colours!


The first evening we had some hours over to walk around in the city. I do like to find and look at imposing buildings, but when we turned a corner and saw the staircase up to the Helsinki cathedral, I was truly blown away! The staircase is almost 60 meter wide, and in the late evening light it looked like a wall. It took me a minute or two too wrap my head around what it was I was looking at.


As we wandered further we saw another big imposing building that begged us to take a closer look. And that was the Uspenski cathedral. Once you find them, you’ll se them everywhere.


Now our minds were full of impressions and we decided to call it a night and headed back to the hotel.


Exhibition day

The break fast at the hotel was another incredible thing; porridge, yoghurt (with many different cereals and berries), sausage, meatballs, pickled herring (sill) bread, cheese, ham, sausage, tomato, cucumber (two variations), lettuce, Finnish pie (pirog), cinnamon bun, croissant and cake …., phew, I think that was it!


Going to the exhibition was easy, we just hopped on the bus chartered for the trip. A bus full of water colourists and art lovers, so we had a good time during the ride. And our guide (one of the Finnish artists) did a good job keeping us informed and satisfied, a short coffee break was planned so we arrived in a content mood.


The bus ride took us through a series of tunnels, number 9 to 3, yes they were numbered... So I guess it was quite a mountain there somewhere. After we left the high way we were really out in the country. Small rolling roads, a few houses spread out here and there and some small villages and then woods – with lots of birch. We were heading into the heart of Tykö National park and the furnace at Tykö factory which had its best days in 1844–1858, but it was all started already in 1686. So lots of history here. And it is still a factory there, but with modern buildings and tools of course.


I was able to take a quick look around and the scenery was really something – even if it is almost winter.


These trees are probably quite old leading from the manor, which was build around 1830, towards the dock.


A pond with some old gadget.


This house was built around 1850, but the date is unsure, could have been earlier.


And the furnace itself, where the exhibition took place! The sign over the door say 1686 ...!


The bus dropped us of and we all went inside since the opening speech were soon to begin. We all received a raffle ticket for the chance to win one of these goodie bags filled with painting things from Winsor and Newton; a brush, a paper pad and 7 tubes of colour! We all looked longingly at them.


The opening started with a short talk and all attending artist received a rose each. It lent a quite festive feeling to the whole thing when so many of us walked around with a beautiful rose in a tight grip!


The Winsor and Newton Nordic Watercolour Award was announced, the winner was Marja Mali, Finland, who hade three really colour full and expressionistic paintings in the exhibition. Here is two of them, 70*50 cm.


And the raffle went on, and to my big surprise I did win!

Such a happy start. A rose and a bag full of new painting stuff! I was a happy artist 😊


Group picture with roses and the opening was done and we were free to roam around!


I did not took that many pictures of the exhibition, I was busy looking at all the paintings and talking to the other exhibiting artist, but here are a few.


Colourful people!


Close inspections!


The styles of the exhibited paintings are really diverse. But then again, we are from 5 different countries so there must be many different expressions – we do have different temperament and traditions when it comes to water colour painting.


My paintings

To the exhibition 218 artists sent in 624 paintings. 68 where chosen to exhibit 91 paintings. So to be selected and have two paintings picked was really special.


Both are many many hours of hard labour and planning to execute them in the manner I wanted.


First I had to get the idea, and in that there is pure happy accident that rules. Then I had to go out and collect all the items I needed for the painting. So for the one with acorns I ended up with 28 acorns from the park around the corner, a number of small oak leaves and a twig also from the same spot. And for the second one I already had the birch stem and one of the polypores. But then there was the tricky part of finding autumn like birch twigs in summer time. But eventually I manage that too, I know a perfect swamp like place where such things dwells!


They both took months to complete from idea, over sketching and trying out compositions to finished piece.

The acorn painting took about 2 month to complete, when I was "up to speed" I did 3 acorns a day. And they are 28...

Thew birch log was more complex and I spent almost 5 month on that one! I am planning to write a blog about the making of it. I love painting birch bark with all its imperfections, and till today it is still my favourite painting.


This is me with my paintings, satisfied and proud – and with my rose in a tight grip. That rose will dry and stay with me forever and ever 😊

Photo by Tua Mylius

Both paintings are in my gallery, see top menu.


Then later in the evening there were a banquet. We were all celebrating the exhibition and also the 30th anniversary of the Nordic Watercolour Society. Some speeches and some wine together with good food and cake and then the evening was done and the bus took us safely back to Helsinki in the very dark nordic night.


The exhibition is open until May in 2020. And Tykö must be well worth a visit in spring.

Nordic Watercolour Society has also posted a blog about the exhibition, with lots of photos.


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