At a sweet little park full of wooden play things, we took in with all our senses the weather rolling over us very suddenly. Though a much cooler evening had been forecasted, it came on so very quickly, like magic in our dusky sky. We wrapped our girls up in the warm woolens we had packed in our little red wagon for the trip home and started on our way, my mind marveling at the weather as my husband excitedly gushed about it to Nona.
Not that my husband's very mechanical explanation of the weather wasn't interesting to me--it certainly was--it's just that it didn't exactly get at that magical translation of cloud formation to the feel of the frosty air on our cheeks. It was this translation that caught my wondering mind. More specifically, I wondered what kind of a painting an experience such as this might turn into in the hands of Anna Emilia Laitinen, a magical illustrator and lover of weather.
The lovely Anna Emilia is a master story teller, both through her illustrations and her simple, poetic writing (on her aptly named blog, Weather Diary). Her love of and connection to nature is abundant in her work.
Like the weather she so admires, she weaves through all our senses to create really complete impressions. And a trip into her world delivers an appreciation for the simple beauties that are immediately accessible to us all--both within the cozy Finnish home & forests she so seamlessly makes us part of, and within our own homes and outside our own windows.
I love simple, whole stories like these best of all.
No matter how I'm feeling, her work soothes, comforts and delights, like a quiet celebration or healing heart to heart.
Perhaps her illustrations already seem a bit familiar to you? She's a contributor at Kinfolk Magazine; is featured in The New Artisians, by Olivier Dupon; Illustrators Unlimited, put out by Gestalten; and From Orchard, Fields and Gardens, edited by Kerstin Svendsen-- all publications which have been readily accessible here in the U.S. for the last little while.
Her Bio is a real joy to read.
Anna Emilia had me at "strawberry fields in Finland", but then I read on.....
She makes and sells her own art here, and has taught art to children, as well. How happy for those little ones--all childhoods should be full of lessons such as these,shouldn't they?
And just as I expected, Anna Emilia is every bit as charming as her writing and illustrations. I hope you'll snuggle up with something warm and happily savor the coming chat!
Oh man, Ilon Myrsky is so pretty, and what a treat for us all to get to hear from you today, Anna Emilia. Thank you, again, for chatting with us and for all the inspiration you provide!
From today's interview:
Words, which could easily be names, to be found in Anna Emilia's illustrations:
Birch (Koivu or Visa)
Bonfire (the english doesn't work, but Kokko sure does)
Claude Monique (this is found on a woman,and I love it.)
Kalevala (the national epic of Finland.)
Louhi (witch of the north)
Readers, did this make you as happy as it did me? Any favorites from today's list? Are you craving a trip?
Next up in this series: more Finnish nature names, word names, and modern entertainment.
See you all soon.
See you all soon.
(images: all courtesy of and by Anna Emilia Laitinen, shop and blog. all images and artwork are protected by copyright--thank you for your courtesy.)