Story about me
How did I become me?
Here you can read about the story of my childhood
and how I became an artist
and the story of the birth of my art cafe.
First, the story of how I became a visual artist and why I wanted my own gallery.
The idea of my own gallery started many years ago.
I started painting at the age of 9.
I held my first exhibition at the age of 13 in the cafe of my home village.
The exhibition included replicas of Hugo Simberg, Gallen Kallela, Edelfelt, Helene Schjerfbeck and most of all bird paintings by Ferdinand von Wright.
A big part of my childhood and hobbies was copying and researching artist techniques, combining them and painting my own views directly in nature.
I often followed Mother Tarja on berry trips, mainly by painting directly in the woods in the wild.
From childhood, I had a vision of my future as a painter.
My own compositions and lyrics began to emerge from a very early age, so the dream of a singing profession began at a young age.
At the age of 16-17 I stopped painting copies. I didn't paint them anymore, even on order.
I started to paint my own themes and images.
At the same time, performances began to emerge and the popularity as a singer began to increase rapidly.
At the age of 17, we signed an agreement with the then BMG record label.
I painted what I had time for.
There have always been few exhibitions over the years.
My last exhibitions were in Manamansalo in 2012 and in Keminmaa Chapel in 2013.
After these trips, I decided to build my own gallery near my place of residence, Karvia.
I did not want this side of my life as a traveling profession either, but rather set up gallery and home paintings in a place where they are good to be.
In the midst of nature in peace.
Both professions that I had decided to take on as my life mission are self-taught.
Sometimes you got the feeling that it was enough?
Is it enough to learn everything you want from the books themselves, by experimenting with the technology and developing it yourself. And music by mere hearing?
The idea say that it would be sufficient, I got over public encouragement and approval.
Now I have been able to combine both professions into a seamless entity.
I have been a full-time visual artist for eight years (in addition to become a professional musician).
Now, after painting for 26 years and having toured for 21, I have come to a place where I can balance both of these mediums into a passion, something that is more than just a career for me."
In the summer of 2013, a sale announcement was received online with a picture of a small red cottage, a granary and barn, a small forest plot and a pond.
After walking through the barn door, I decided at that very moment that it would become my gallery.
I informed the family of my decision.
I made a call to my mom Tarja, "Want to become a café manager and baker?"
She immediately said : Of course!
I bought the farm on August 26, 2013 and this is where it all started.
We held the opening on November 7, 2013.
I couldn't even guess at the amount of work that would be ahead of me when I got the job.
First, we redecorated the red house's coffee shop, rotated antique shops and flea markets to get the decor right.
Then we renovated the barn and collected a collection of my paintings in the gallery.
The Art Café officially opened on April 1, 2014.
In the spring, we started renovating an old barn in relatively poor condition.
That's where I wanted more space for art.
I wanted a small concert hall for the loft.
Now it has been used by visiting artists and at other times as a space for the presentation of their own paintings.
In April 2014, I was standing in the rain behind the barn and wondering if I should get some rain protection here.
It struck the idea of building a pavilion for concerts. Midsummer Eve is coming too ... Should you be organizing old-fashioned Midsummer Dances?
I called out to Tarja while she was standing at the door of the cafe: "Hey, lets have a Midsummer dance here!"
A week went by, the backyard was cleaned and the soil peeled off.
By early May, the sand bed was ready and the loungers in place.
The Midsummer celebration was celebrated in a cold but atmospheric way.
Since then, I have reserved the Midsummer night at the cafe for a Midsummer event.
The Independence Day concert also became a tradition that year.
I often went to the woods to sample and design a trail.
I was wondering how to build a path that resembled an old village.
I had not initially thought about building buildings in the woods, but only creating paintings to create the atmosphere.
However, I dreamed I was there in the woods. I saw log houses and buildings, the fairy tale girls' house and everything else I didn't even say out loud at the time.
One beautiful day in October 2014, when the café had already closed its doors for the winter, I ordered sand and fabric. I also needed a hoe, a shovel and a wheelbarrow. I didn't tell anyone about it, but I started the job alone. I was afraid the idea was childish.
I started to dig out the ground and scrape loads of sand at a time. I got a little bit of it before the snow started. After that, I got some great helping hands to scour the sand.
The path was completed in April 2015 and became approximately 700 meters long.
Along the path, I designed buildings that would be homes for paintings and poems.
I also dreamed that now that the path was almost like a small village, we also need a small chapel, like every village.
The thought of the chapel remained for a year.
In 2016, the exhibition was entitled "Childhood Memories in 100 Years of Finland".
The chapel we call the Blue Bird Shrine was completed in 2017.
There have been weddings and also christenings will be held there in the future.
All of the buildings have been constructed by Tapani Kahila.
He is also an architect.
He has also been involved in other buildings as well as Juha Vuorma.
Summer 2017 was very lively. The title of my exhibition at that time was "The Beautiful Moments of Life."
We also got a small shop for selling our own albums, books and other accessories.
The shop was built in winter of 2017.
After the summer in August, I sat down with my mother at the cafe as we wondered where we could get more space for offering coffee to our quests.
Should we expand the old cafe or build a completely new building?
I was drawing sketches on a paper, thinking what the new cafe should be like.
I decided to build a new one.
I drew a sketch of what a new café would be like.
I came to a solution.
We would buy the basic frame of an old building and have the building moved here.
So I started searching the internet and found a right-looking frame in Vöyri.
I looked at the blueprint of the frame and had to take a quick breath. The layout of the building was almost identical to my own sketches even though I had never seen the building before in my life."
We went to see the frame on the spot.
There we made the decision that this shall be our new cafe.
The house was built in 1911 with a mansard roof attic and it was just the right size for our needs.
Next, I started looking for a stonework because, by no means, I wanted to build a house other than on real drill rocks.
At Kurikka I found a large pile of old mill foundations.
In addition, they had their own history.
The groundwork began in September of 2017 and on January 2018 we moved the log frame to the site.
This was the beginning of a half-year arduous work.
The logs were erected by Markku Hakala and Mikko Tikkamäki.
Tapani Kahila and Juha Vuorma continued their work.
I also had a painbrush and a hammer in my hand.
You painted the exhibition "This is what I dreamed of".
During the same year I got a turn to participate in the filming of the "Just Life"- TV show.
Yes, the phrase "just life" came to mind in a lot during the early 2018. As one might expect, a lot of different obstacles had to be overcome in order to finish the project.
I have been drawing new plans for the art trail and they will most likely be ready during the summer of 2020.
The title of the 2019 exhibition was "Happy Traveler".
I will paint 15 new works for the exhibition.
It is said that the rolling stone does not grow moss.
I still have a lot of plans for this site.
The newest is being launched.
A new log house will be transferred to the art cafe from Alahärmä. This building will become my studio and also a space where I can welcome quests and have concerts.
It is due to be completed by the spring of 2020!
Here's a little peek at my paintings.
You can see these paintings and many more live at the art cafe in Karvia!