As the stormy February weather has drawn in, I have been taking time to improve my painting skills, this time by working with gouache paint on a larger scale. I had wanted to push myself in painting artworks that filled the full page, rather than leaving large areas white. I really like the effect negative space can have, but I wanted to make sure I was confident and comfortable tackling a variety of compositions too.
I read Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book last year and fell in love with it straight away. I loved the imagery of windswept Finnish islands brimming with seabirds and coastal flora. There is one particular photograph in the book, it’s of Tove swimming off the island she lived on later in her life. There she had a very cute house, which she shared with her partner Tuulikki Pietilä. As soon as I saw the photo, I knew I had to make this painting when I had the chance.
There have been pretty poor conditions outside all this week (I realise now writing this, that my photos are actually of quite nice days from the start of the month – whoops!) and I’ve had no real desire to venture too far out, let alone into the fjord for a swim, but Tove and her summer swims have got me looking forward to those nice warm evenings out in the water.