Text by Katja Räisänen | Pictures by Angel Gil, courtesy of Tiina Mielonen, Galerie Forsblom | Studio pictures by Katja Räisänen

Finnish artist Tiina Mielonen paints strong and vibrant landscapes. She is inspired by travels, idealistic, strange scenery postcards and retouched tourist brochures. 

Helsinki based Finnish artist Tiina Mielonen walks inside the postcard’s landscape and peels the layers off the view as long as there’s only the most essential left. Strange ambiance remains. Her landscape paintings are strong, vibrant and blazing in glare. She recolours the landscape with confident oil paint brush strokes on acrylic board.

Tiina Mielonen, Red Maple, 2016, Oil on plexiglass, 60 x 50 cm, Photographer: Angel Gil, courtesy of Galerie Forsblom
Tiina Mielonen, Red Maple, 2016, Oil on plexiglass, 60 x 50 cm, Photographer: Angel Gil, courtesy of Galerie Forsblom
Tiina Mielonen in her studio, picture by Katja Räisänen
Tiina Mielonen in her studio, picture by Katja Räisänen

The role of landscape in western art history has changed throughout the century from background and a part of historical painting to classical scenes and realistic views. Religion, industrialization and urbanisation have had impacts on the story of landscape. In contemporary art the concern of nature’s condition is highly evident. The relation between human and nature is constantly changing. Tiina has long been fascinated by landscape and using it as a means to challenge our perception and to deal with allegories and imagination. She is inspired by idealistic, strange scenery postcards and retouched tourist brochures.

Tiina Mielonen's studio, picture by Katja Räisänen
Tiina Mielonen’s studio, picture by Katja Räisänen

 

In a way I’m always seeking certain kind of density, ”reflects Tiina. She starts from an image, but almost always personal landscape experiences intervene the process and have their influence. Tiina has painted nature, urban landscapes, as well as pools, cars, people…”I feel often people as an element would take too much attention. But I’ve painted them. Like now, I have this certain person from a postcard I’m very fascinated by. Just don’t know yet where to put her.”

Tiina Mielonen's studio, picture by Katja Räisänen
Tiina Mielonen’s studio, picture by Katja Räisänen

To step into the path of artist’s process is intriguing – sometimes Tiina paints nearly ten versions of the landscape by reducing the elements until she finds the result abstract, pure, airy and floating enough. First she sketches on paper, then sometimes paints aquarelle versions and then moves on to oil paint and acrylic board. Version after version she takes a new board. ”I can’t overpaint, the colours faint and the airy impression disappears,” Tiina explains. She finds failing an important part of the process and emphasizes that it’s not a priority to finish the works as fast as possible, they take time and everything happens during the painting process.

Tiina Mielonen, Lawn, 2016, Oil on plexiglass, 66 x 75 cm, Photographer: Angel Gil, courtesy of Galerie Forsblom
Tiina Mielonen, Lawn, 2016, Oil on plexiglass, 66 x 75 cm, Photographer: Angel Gil, courtesy of Galerie Forsblom

”When traveling, it’s exciting to notice how much more open the senses are… I love old parks and botanical gardens.” Residency programs have taken Tiina to many beautiful places, such as Mazzano in Italy and Paris in France. She reflects the painters she appreciates such as Peter Doig and Bernard Frize and also Chantal Joffe who has her exhibition in Helsinki at Galerie Forsblom during November.

There is a strange tension and ambiance of expectation in Tiina’s paintings. It’s not a surprise to hear she is intrigued by the role of landscape in movies. ”Maybe movies will be my inspiration for painting one day.”