Jonna Perkola lives, feels and paints in Vantaa, Finland.
For her it is a way to express herself and tell stories about intimate subjects that she usually keeps to herself.
«As an artist of ethereal and melancholic paintings, I reflect on the complexity of human emotions and personal struggles through my art. When people view my art, I hope they see and hear these stories. They depict the strong emotions and mental challenges I have faced in the past. In addition to dark hues, I am fascinated by ethereally beautiful things. I love flowers, animals, the beauty of nature around me and the darker aspects of life. These beautiful elements bring comfort and peace to my life. My art shows both sides: the darkness and the beauty. It is a reflection of my inner world in which these two sides, ethereal and melancholic, coexist, creating a distinct and intriguing visual experience for the viewer.
My art is an inspiration not only from my own experiences, the experiences of others, as well as songs, poems, and the beauty of the nature that surrounds me. I paint with oils because I love their pigmentation, with which many different shades can be mixed. I prefer a rather subdued color palette because it tends to go well with the subjects of my works. I usually paint on canvas, but sometimes I enjoy painting on wood. This is because its vivid and beautiful surface creates a wonderful base for ethereal and fine colored surfaces, which I do in mixed media using, for example, watercolors.
As I continue to develop my artistic voice, my ultimate goal is to fully express myself through my work and I am working hard to become a notable artist. Through my paintings, I hope to connect with others and bring comfort, peace and a unique visual experience to all who view them».
One of your preferred phrases that you uses is “Exploring the beauty and darkness of the human soul through painting”. What do you mean by it?
I believe that there is beauty to be found in the dark side of life. For instance, Finland’s raw weather and stark, dark nature are very captivating to me. I am especially drawn to the desolate landscapes of Northern Finland, where the barren marshes and forest scenery evoke a sense of rugged beauty. For me, beauty is not just limited to things that are conventionally considered pretty but rather extends to encompass the raw, unyielding beauty that can be found in places and situations that are more complex and multifaceted. In my art, I aim to capture the soulfulness, cracks, and pain points that lie beneath the surface of beauty. I believe that there is a fine line between light and darkness and that exploring the darker aspects of life can reveal profound insights and perspectives that are often overlooked. Ultimately, I believe that beauty is not just about what we see on the surface, but about what lies beneath, and that by embracing the darker aspects of life, we can find a deeper understanding of ourselves and more meaningful appreciation for the world around us.
Why do you consider yourself an artist of ethereal and melancholic paintings?
Although I explore the darker side of the soul in my art, I also strive to incorporate delicate and light shades of color to create an ethereal atmosphere. While I am not a gloomy person who only wears black, I have a deep appreciation for the beautiful things around me. However, a delicate melancholy springs from inside me, I am a highly reflective and emotional individual, and my art reflects these qualities. In essence, my work can be thought of as a fusion of dark and soulful thoughts presented in a beautiful package. Ultimately, I believe that art has the power to transcend the limitations of language and communicate on a deeply emotional and universal level, and it is my hope that my work can achieve this.
It seems that your life has been a journey into yourself. What did you learn there and how did you transmit it to your works?
After a long hiatus, I rediscovered my love for painting in my thirties, when I finally felt ready to take risks, embrace my true self, and welcome failure as a natural part of the creative process. My paintings are emotionally charged because I draw from the deep well of my own experiences and feelings. While I have learned to accept the imperfections and incompleteness inherent in the creative process, I know that this is an ongoing journey, and I continue to struggle with these challenges, just like many other artists. Ultimately, my art is a reflection of my inner journey, a way to explore and express the complex terrain of my own emotions and experiences. Through color, form, and texture, I strive to communicate something meaningful and authentic, to connect with others on a deeply emotional level, and to offer a glimpse into the depths of the human soul.
Through the experience of your inner journey, you have reached a peace and a life in harmony and it seems that this is what you want to transmit to those who love your works?
Yes, for me, ethereality and melancholy are not just about profound emotions, but also about finding peace and harmony amidst the complexities of life. While my art may explore deep and meaningful themes, it is never chaotic or confusing. On the contrary, I prefer simplicity and minimalism, striving to strip away all extraneous elements and create a sense of calm and serenity in the viewer. My aim is to create an experience that is immersive and contemplative, where the viewer can become fully absorbed in the feeling and emotion of the artwork, unencumbered by distractions or confusion. I seek to evoke a sense of otherworldly beauty that is both transcendent and grounding, a reflection of the peace and harmony that I seek to cultivate in my own life.
Do you admire any artist and if so, how has he/she influenced your painting?
As an artist, I draw inspiration from a wide range of sources, both past and present. Among my favorite old masters is the British painter John Everett Millais, whose masterpiece «Ophelia» has had a profound impact on me. The skill with which he captured a single moment in time on canvas is truly impressive, and the haunting story behind the painting has inspired me to explore subjects through a variety of mediums, including stories, poems, and songs.
In addition to the classics, I also find inspiration in the works of contemporary artists such as Lionel Smith and Henrik Aarrestad Uldalen. These talented artists have recently captured my imagination, and I believe that hints of this will also be seen in the works of my upcoming exhibition.
Do you love nature, plants, animals? They are undoubtedly part of your creations, aren’t they?
Indeed, nature and animals have always held a special place in my heart. As an artist, I am currently drawn to exploring the depths of human emotions through my figurative work, but I find that my connection to nature seeps into my I draw inspiration from the colors and phases of nature, and in this way, they are a big part of the process. If I were not an artist, I would likely be a biologist or in some other profession dealing with fields related to the natural or animal world. As I continue to evolve as an artist, I remain open to the possibility that my passion for nature and animals may inspire new subject matter and themes in my work.
You are working well and very hard to become a great artist, but what really makes a painter a great artist?
In my view, the measure of a good artist extends beyond mere technical prowess or fame. A truly skilled artist is capable of evoking deep emotions in their audience, sparking meaningful conversations, and generating lasting intrigue. Such an artist is also unapologetically authentic, boldly embracing their unique style and perspective, setting them apart from the crowd. Ultimately, it is the artist’s ability to connect with others and leave a lasting impact that defines their success, not merely their proficiency in their craft.
You have made several exhibitions. Which one do you remember most fondly?
Supporting Finnish animal protection through my artwork has been the most important thing for me so far, and I am delighted to have contributed to art charity auctions. As I move forward, I believe that the most profound exhibitions and experiences are yet to come, and I am excited to embrace them. For me, it is not only about the exhibitions but also the creative process of expressing myself through my art that holds the most value.
Finally, what do you ask of life as a person and as a professional?
I am currently studying at a private art school and will be graduating soon. The upcoming completion of my first own exhibition in the spring of 2024 fills me with anticipation and excitement. I am excited about the opportunity to showcase my work and connect with new audiences and fellow artists and grow as an artist. For me, art is a lifelong journey of growth and self-expression, and I am grateful to be able to continue pursuing my passion for art in the future. Not only does creating art bring me personal fulfillment, but I also hope to achieve professional success and recognition. As for my future plans, I dream of exploring new cultures and perspectives through travel, and perhaps even moving abroad to broaden my artistic horizons.
Gallery Fogga group exhibition, Helsinki, Finland 25th Mar – 20 Apr 2023
Art school Alfa Art group exhibition, Cable Factory, Helsinki, Finland 20th May 2024 – 2th Jun 2024
As soon as more exhibitions are coming, I will let you know
Forlì Art Fair VERNICE & EuroExpoArt in Italy 17th Mar 2023 – 19th Mar 2023
Art Parma Fair, Fiere di Parma, Italy 01 Oct 2022 – 09 Oct 2022
Charity auction, Animal protection center Tuulispää, Finland 31th Oct 2022 – 10th Nov 2022