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Pretty in Pink  

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Tears and anxiety became something very beautiful. 

My strength is that I am open to change and dare to let go to see where something leads. Over a year has passed since I started with my project “the apart part”. The figurative from here has crept into more and more into the otherwise very minimalist paintings I have on MARIA LEINONEN ART. Most of the time I have had the project to myself. Now I have landed, got distance, and want to share!
Art gives me balance. I have always had the need to express myself. Sharing good and bad is a necessity to keep my emotions under control, ease the pressure. MARIA LEINONEN ART has the minimalist, monochrome and abstract expression and the works have been noticed and appreciated by the interior design world. In other words, what I have previously shown to the outside world has been something other than this. Pink is a true love. So it is perhaps not surprising that during a tough period I started painting with just pink as a base. It now felt I had company in the studio by the creatures emerging from the acrylic in the paintings. The viewer probably see different things then I do and I love that about abstract art. There is no right or wrong. 

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It is the end of 2019 and I have a tough year ahead and life will affect me in a way that is difficult to control. I need a project to vent my emotions in, make something good out of it. This is where the apart part comes in. These paintings can be perceived as happy but are actually created during really sad circumstances. Tears and anxiety became something very beautiful.

I'm an artist at Österlen. Creation is therapy. the apart part my free zone where I max out with pink.

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Do you want to tell us more about how this series has developed, you mention that it has been a tough period?

For a while, I lost a lot. It was an opportunity for me to reevaluate what I feel good about, who I really am and not just fall into old patterns of what is expected of me. Not everyone is cast in the same way and I constantly try to find what the norm is for me and not think about how others think my life should be. My way, not what is the right way in the eyes of others.
The art, the minimalist and monochrome I always painted before, did not turn out well during this period. It felt forced and no longer pleasurable. Accomplishment. So I dropped it and started painting something completely different. Lots of color. Started to see something figurative in it. It became playful again. Nobody would see it anyway. It was just for me so I let go of all thoughts of how it would be and just floated along and saw where it landed. There were many paintings that just stood along the walls. They seem to be happy but the first pink board I cried my way through.



You say that the series has emerged during grief, anxiety, pain and tears, but what I personally see painted is pure strength on a canvas, have I interpreted you correctly?


Well, I guess it’s a bit of “fuck off” over all. Mostly to pep myself. And a bit to the bad things that got in my way. Everyone has their way of relieving the pressure and this is mine. If I had been a musician, it would have been a song instead. Notes of words instead became acrylic on canvas for me.


You have previously painted in very sober colors, does this feel like your release? You write free zone, tell me more.


I am a person with thoughts and feelings that go incredibly fast. All the time I get an impression, feel, become influenced. It's not easy for those around me to keep up with my mood all the time. After a day, it can feel like I have finished a marathon mentally and it often becomes very exhausting. When I paint, it's the only time I can really let go of everything else and be in the present. Like a rest from myself. My thoughts. Painting is vital to me. I have not had a goal with the apart part. Not to sell, not to chase followers or have any thoughts about reaching out. That's probably the secret. This is so brutally honest. When I showed the paintings for the first time last spring, it was so appreciated. When you do something from the heart, it touches.


Your emotional relationship has changed during this period of creation, do you want to tell us more about what has emerged?


Without this emotional storm, the apart part might not have existed. Emotions are good for inspiration but I'm glad I landed softly. Above all, I have more honest and healthier relationships now. I met Emma. She pushed me to show my pink paintings. I got a distance to the tough thing behind it. But I was so nervous! It actually became something very beautiful from the grief. I feel proud of myself for being where I am today. Without Emma, they might have remained in the studio just for me to watch.


You still paint your other series in gray and sober, is it your mood that reflects your color choices?


Many people think that I paint the monochrome paintings when I am in a dark place and the pink ones when I feel good, that the works reflected my mood. They have definitely done that, but the opposite. I can’t really explain it. For me, paint is to go with the feeling. But, I think that the pink paintings are really fun to paint as well, just because I am now in a good place in life does not mean that I will stop painting pink. On the contrary! Actually, one or two of the paintings have been painted in pure happiness.

How does it feel now that color has taken up more space in your life?


Color has always affected me. Looking at color charts, different combinations, book covers, photos, all that affects me and has always done. The composition that is made and the feeling it gives. It's probably more that I found my niche with art in grayscale and stuck to what I was good at and what my clientele appreciated. That's probably also part of why I kept the apart part separate. For me, these are two completely different types of art, while many say that they see connections and that all my art is connected. The apart part has the feeling of Maria Leinonen. It makes me very happy to hear.

The names of the paintings in The Apart Part, would you like to tell us more about them?
Wrestling or conscience?
You are not my prince?
What do these symbolize?
It feels like you want to tell a story in every work of art, is that right?


All names have a connection to the feeling and thoughts I had when I created the painting. I don’t want to say specifically what the names stand for, even if they are quite straightforward. The viewer must be able to form their own perception and history. I am also very inspired by music. A phrase, title or line of text can give me such a strong feeling that words from music creeps in sometimes.


What can we expect from Maria Leinonen in the future?

I have been very private on the outside before. I decided my art should be the center of attention and that buyers should not be influenced by who I am. But in the apart part, it has become a much more exposed side of me that I notice has an impact on people. They are interested. It has opened up to many conversations and meetings. I know myself, how I get inspired. I get more touched when I see the person behind the craft. There is a completely different value in it. I will invite my followers to the process and the studio to a greater extent now than before.
I have many commissions behind me so now it's really fun to just paint exactly what I feel like. Unpretentious. I will glide on that wave as long as it lasts now and then prepare for the Easter exhibition down in Österlen.



inramad i gotlandsek, 45 000 kr

145 • 105 cm


for you
inramad i gotlandsek, 35 000 kr
75 • 55 cm


you are not my prince
45 000 kr
180 • 140 cm


I’ll find a way to slip into your skin somehow.


If you love me right, we fuck for life.


I was born to be loved.

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