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Visual Artist Kari Onkari, Siilinjärvi


For me art is a source of power that makes the days go by. Often creativity catches me at night time when the paint brush moves with the thought and at some point I become aware that the time has flown. Painting at night time in a way wakes me up again and the work goes smoothly. I don´t know if painting necessarily works as a sleep medicine since afterwards sleep can be hard to come by. Because after you stop working in a way "the film keeps rolling". Don´t ask me about the morning after…

Drawing has always been a part of my life and still is. Painting actually started a lot later but that enthusiasm I haven´t regretted. Painting and drawing go smoothly side by side. The passion for creating art goes before a lot of things. Never mind the expense. I rather create art than sit in a bar. It is often said that creativeness is born in an intoxicated state but for me that isn’t true. I don´t need those kinds of "kicks" for my creativity.

Even my choice of profession indicates creativity. Unfortunately my career as a woodsmith was short-lived due to illness. Luckily I have had the chance to continue wood working as a volunteer. On the other hand retirement has given me an awesome opportunity to find myself trough art.

Religious symbols and for example grave yards are repeating subjects in my art. Nature is also an important source of inspiration for me. The majesty of fjords in Norway made an everlasting impression on me and it can be seen in my work. Use of color is distinctive in my paintings. The colors vary from dark to bright tones and they can represent my subconsciousness and the flow of my mind.

I´m not entirely a self-taught artist. In Portaanpää, Lapinlahti I went through an extensive visual arts school in 1996 which gave me the skills for graphic work, sculpting etc. Later on I have continued my studies in a group called "Värinää" in the same school. The group is meant as an opportunity to do art for adults who are no longer in the working life.

Where do I get the inspiration to my art? A question that even I can´t properly answer. I listen to a lot of music – death metal. I found metal music already in the early 90´s. Looking back to works of that time period I can say they were very different – just basic sceneries. Quite contradictory and weird.

I´ve suffered psychosis twice in 2001 and 2003. First time my art began to have allusions of graveyards. While in hospital a made a 3 drawing series of gravestones. When I got better I went back to the beauty of nature. I can´t remember precisely when I shifted to my current orientation. I haven´t given up scenery painting entirely. Sometimes it´s nice to go back.

Member of Mielentaide ry since 15.6.2016

Mielentaide ry member of the year 2018


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