9 little steps from my studio to your wall

I know: it’s already been some time since you have been wanting something cool, different, a real, original artwork, not those chic&cheap Ikea canvases, like your neighbor, who has no imagination what so ever is hanging above their couch - but you can’t help to worry about how it would look like in live, or is it even safe to buy from some weird artist person on the other side of the world when you don’t know them personally! And how an artwork can get safely to you, and then what - how to fix in your wall and everything - so exhausting and terribly difficult and you are not DIY person at all, and all that must be finally so complicated, maybe you just should think again those Ikea landscapes, they are not so bad, when you get used to it and - 

NOT.  DON’T.  No, they are not.  Stop it right there.  But keep reading:

When you contact me by this contact formula, I can send you as much extra photos of the artwork, as you like. Really. 

On a larger image file you’ll get the idea of the painting as an object, paint and canvas as a materials, structure of the wood on which the canvas is stretched - or you can zoom into tiniest details, or see the artwork in a room space, or with an object that gives the scale of it. Depending of your screen settings, there might be a slight difference in colors in live (most screens are a bit bluish if not personnaly set up after buying), but the feedback has been every time the same: the colors are even better, or more intense in live. And of course, depending of the size and weight of the painting, I’ll give you some tips to hang it on your wall yourself, if you don’t wish to frame it. You’ll just need to know the material of your wall, but my paintings are not heavy, they can most of the time be fixed by a simple nail.

And about that safety of buying from an unknown? Well, I’ll put it like this: as an artist I’m proud of my work and my name, my art is me, my public image, and as an entrepreneur of course I want to be trust-worthy to assure my clients and not to loose them, or have a bad name on this. This is real face-to-face business, even if it’s happening trough my website, and I can answer all your questions conserning my art, the shipping, and the hanging or framing it.

Then, when you’ve made your choise and we agree about the payment method, this comes next: 

I’ll need your full postal adress, telephone number, and the email adress, where you’ll get a tracking code, when your artwork is on the way. Telephone number is for the delivery people, so they can fix up the date with you. That’s all you need to care about! Hah, easy!

Meanwhile, I am spraying your chosen one(s) with a protecting mat varnish spray, putting on the hanging system, signing my work also behind the canvas, and adding a dedication, if you’ll wish to have one.

The next step is packing, depending of the size of your artwork, and the distance between my studio and your place, but basically I’m following 9 important steps every time:

I buy my professional packing materials mostly from Raja, a company which provides, among other things, special materials for stocking or shipping artworks; like these (1) flat, solid cardboard boxes, or briefcases, if you like. They are very clever items, protecting the artwork’s corners during the shipping and even rough handling, and that’s very important. Also, I wrap the painting in (2) a soft material (silk paper or plastic foam) inside the cardboard briefcase, preventing any scratchmarks on the surface. There will also be some (3) extra layer of solid cardboard or a solid plastic board to protect your piece from any hits. And when all this is placed in the cardboard briefcase, I close it,  and wrap the whole thing in this (4) transparent, waterproof plastic, and put on the (5) blue belts and the FRAGILE scotch. 

By now, all the artworks I’ve sent around the world, they all have arrived safely home. Never anything broken, not even once.

When the paintings is safely packed, and I can get the (6) exact measurements of it, meaning centimeter sizes ant the weight of it, (7) I can create a ‘new shipping’ on my FedEx or UPS account. I’ll give these exact measurements & your adress on a shipping formula, and it counts me the price of the transport action. In Europe one large painting door-to-door costs me around 130 - 200€ in economy class + the packing materials. Then I set the date, print out all the shipping documents, tape them on the package, and sit down to wait for the pick up; sometimes they come already in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon. This means that I’ll be working on my laptop, having coffee all day, (8) until your artwork has left the building. Like today.

In Europe the economy shipping takes about one week, but it has happened that a package has arrived in less than 48 hours. I guess it depends on how reactive or busy your local delivery companies are. And finally it’s the Christmas: you get your delivery, you’ll open it, (9) and you make a little email or a sms to tell me that all is okay. And if you want, send me a photo - but this is absolutely extra, most of my clients don’t do that. 

Sometimes, when the artwork is very small in size (less than 60 x 60 cm) I can send it to you as a postal package. In Europe it takes again about one week or 10 days, it comes to your door as well, and is also safely packed, but without the belts and plastic film around it. When a postal shipping, I add some extra packing materials inside the box, because of handling methods of the post offices. 

So, when you choose your artwork on my website, and you see the total artwork price ’including shipping in Europe’, it means that all the good quality packing materials, the transport company’s services until your door, and a full day of work by me when I’m signing and spraying your new, dearly chosen painting, and making it ready, packing it up - all this already counted in that price. That comes up to 15% of the total price. 

…Voila! Why make it complicated, when you can just email me, chat a bit online or in phone if you like, and get your original artwork on your wall in no time. Magic!

What did I learn while building up the exhibition?

That it’s a lot of work, and I loved it. That in the old houses the walls or floors are not straight.  That the lighting is everything. That daring something new & different is always better than the expected. That it isn’t always all nice and easy, when it’s about four artistic minds. That people come into opening night for eating & drinking, mostly.

It’s been since 14 months that I made the reservation for this 10-day exhibition in this little, local castle. It has 12 rooms or halls, all different sizes, with lot of windows and squeaky stairs, yellowish spot lights and a big, dark park around. It’s an old and a bit scary, haunting building, very charming and cosy for placing art all over the place.

When I made the reservation in the December 2016, I had this vision of a tiny group of artists building up something different, not those ‘eat as much as you can’ kind of exhibitions, everything for every taste, where you are overwhelmed already after first 3 minutes and can’t see or feel anything anymore. 

So, less is more, I decided, and called up only the artists that I really appreciate, love their work, and I like working with: Virginie Péchard, Dominique De Joux and Béatrice Grébot. And they said all yes. Together we are 2 painters, 2 sculpters-ceramists, to build an interesting composition. Or, in all together, it could be called an artistic installation.

All in the beginning I told my fellow-artists that  we’ll do this together, but in the end it would be me who takes the decisions if we don’t agree on every detail, and this seemed to be also fine with them. 

During all 2017 I was working like a mad machine, painting & taking photos of my work. I said ‘no thank you’ for many smaller exhibition opportunities to be able to concentrate on the creative work, without any social blabla, etc. By the end of the year I felt quite good about my collection, but still I didn’t download all the new pieces on my website before Xmas, to have something brand new to show in this February. 

…and it was all worth it. 

I’m very proud of our show together, Sous Les Songes.  We had a couple meetings together in my studio, fixing the details for installation days and opening night etc, and it went almost surprisingly smoothly - except that one of the artists broke her foot just the first morning of building, one had to rush to the funeral of her grandma to a nother town in the middle of the busiest moment, we didin’t sleep or eat enough, and some other minor details with technical advices -  BUT IT WENT ALL WELL ANYWAY!

…And the best idea of the century was to set up a living room in the central hall of the château, as a welcoming space, to get together for a coffee (wine!) and chat with our guests. In the photo you see just the velvet sofa we brought in, but there is a colorful boho kind of mix of chairs, tables, carpets and of course - lot of our art. 

People just love this space, and so do I. 

I had a vague idea of the crowd of people coming in the opening night, a rainy Friday evening, ‘not much’ I said to myself, maybe a hundred, or so… - well, it was more than a double. Fortunately we had enought wine & snacks to keep it going for an hour and a half! I didn’t get a bite myself, just a glass of organic red wine, and it didn’t matter, it was so great moment of joy!!!!! All the crazy compliments we got to hear … I could go on with that for ever! Yesss!

…Not to mention the tiny little red spots, those very dear, round mini stickers all the artists & exhibition visitors recognize, and I got to place few on my works: 

So thank you so much my very chéres friends & colleagues, Virginie, Béatrice and Dominique - we did it !!!!! 

Time to dance, have some champagne, or what ever it takes to fully enjoy the results! Party on!

*If you’d like to see some more photos of the exhibition, and not my pajamas, please check out & follow my Instagram feed.

Castles of Snow

Paint-eat-sleep-repeat; since the beginning of the year I’ve been painting like a machine; it’s just working so well at the moment, and trust me, it doesn’t always. But now, I’m preparing an exhibition with 3 super talented colleagues here in Orléans in couple of weeks; Sous Les Songes is the title of our exhibition, Underneath The Dreams -

a bit dark, isn’t it? …Intriguing and mysterious, dark subjects; I’m loving it.

I’ve been working on the SNOW collection for this exhibition since 14 months now. It started with one abstract painting, a castle of snow, and it’s been the theme since more than a year in my art. A little by little, my paintings have become more contrasting and darker;  first unconsiously, then voluntarily I’ve been expressing my concern about the climate change in these new artworks. People here in France think that the Big North is still this idyllic picture of beatifully snowy winters, with Northen lights all over the place, and reindeers flying around with Santa. Well, it’s not automatically true, not every winter, except the reindeers, obviously. My castles of snow are melting, leaving empty, dark and quiet spaces around them. But in same time, I wanted to show the beauty of the snow and ice, which are not just cold, white elements; they can reflect all the lights and colors around them, there so many different textures of them, and the tone of ice depends of the water: if it was the sea water, rain etc. But in any circumstances, don’t eat the yellow snow!

Castle of snow is also something very familiar in Finland, where I’m from; if in the warmer countries the bronzed children build sand castles on the beach, in Finland they put the winter overalls on, and build it big in snow! I’ve done it, when I was an 8-year-old. And the snowball war, of course. I was ruthless.

..AND in Northern Finland, you can even spend a night in a hotel made in ice, Lumilinna in Kemi!

The 16th of February 2018 we will have an opening night in the château de St Jean Le Blanc, and all the new pieces will be shown for the first time. Maybe this darker collection is not the easiest to digest after you’ve got used to my very colorful and lighter expression, but try it anyway. Give a moment to this subject, look it in to it’s icy face.

Yes, I’m already nervous, and yes, impatient, too; I’m off to work while you enjoy your nice & cozy weekend. 

(…And #firstthingsfirst ; what to wear in the opening???!!! Really, I feel like a crazy hermit, living in a cave in these painting clothes month after month!)

A little extra: if you are French-reading visitor.. / Si vous êtes Français, regardez cet article de mon atelier & des préparations avant notre expo! ou en tous cas, les ‘belles’ photos (..pas vraiment, mais elles sont honnêtes) -

Ps: I’m serious about that yellow snow.

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