Mirja Vahala Artworkwww.ArtPal.com/mirjavahala
http://www.mirjavahala.com & http://www.mirjavahalaartstudio.com
A flutter in my belly pulls me into my studio. I sense how quickly time passes and how precious life is, and I begin to paint. Soon the painting unfurls itself in layers of color and contrast – form, light and space become a landscape carved from the passage of time.
Ideas come to me from our common well of human needs and experiences: how we relate to time, to change, and to mortality. As I paint, I strive to convey a sense of life’s beauty and meaning through the messages I see within nature. I also create artwork as a way to be visible – and to connect with people who, like myself, thrive on stories that lie beyond the surface of things.
Walking with my husband and dogs in the West Kootenay outdoors, I see stories in the surrounding landscape. I see lightning strike a tree and I think about how a forest needs fire to flourish, just as we need hardship to become our best beings. In my imagination I see a tree, struck by lightning, transforming into birds. With this image in my heart and mind’s eye, I feel that flutter in my belly. I return to my studio and begin again to paint.
My family are characteristically makers of things in the true sense of the phrase. So, creating art as a young child felt very natural. From the time I saw my babysitter’s sketchbook I was inspired to draw. This lead to a degree in graphic design and visual arts from Kwantlen College University, continually drawn to create artwork through the peaks and valleys of my life.
After graduation, I worked for a publication company before establishing my own design company which ran for 15 years. It was with joy, and some angst after those years that I began the journey of a full-time Fine Artist. In 2007 my husband and I moved from the Lower Mainland of BC to the West Kootenays to establish Windborne B&B, which houses the Mirja Vahala Art Studio. The visuals of the wild and rugged Kootenays are a definite influence on how my artwork is evolving — as is the open friendliness of the local residents.
There are several artists who have been integral in helping me to improve my methods. I’ve taken art courses from well-known Canadian artists via the Federation of Canadian Artists and other venues. For years, my mentor has been Bonny Roberts. Other influences include Mike Svob, class participants and my fellow members of the FCA. Recently, I have had the privilege to create an Instructional Painting DVD titled, Acrylics for True Beginners. I hope to continue to share my techniques and love for painting on-line and, will be presenting Lessons and Instructional On-line Videos on my artist website regularly.