The Small Things Anna’s Drawing Room
The Small Things When the bigger picture is confusing and hard to see, what else can we do but appreciate the small things? Walking in the park alone at dusk, or in the woods in pale winter light. Quiet contemplation of another day passed, and with it whatever we have dealt with. Observing the change of season, and the way the lamplight glows behind the trees. Walking the dog with only the light from the hospital windows to show the way. Hearing children playing in the dark skate park. The fleeting joy of our daughters playing chase in the woods before returning home. The descending gloom briefly made magical by twilight.
Woodland drawing in concertina sketchbook, unfinished, 2021 Pen on cartridge paper
The Small Things is a collection of works on paper by artist Anna Vartiainen, begun in the first Covid lockdown of 2020. The quiet, contemplative drawings are scenes from walks near Anna’s home. Working in pen and watercolour, she captures the atmosphere of walking in lockdown, when the familiar felt unusual. Personal landmarks such as the local park are often unremarkable places, but at certain times of day the changing light can lend an air of magic, sadness or hope.
Morning Gardens Pen and watercolour on paper, 2020 15x21cm
Walking at dusk in very early spring played a significant part in the first, strict weeks of lockdown. Homefield Park, a perfectly ordinary town park, was Anna’s daily outing. The fading light marked the end of another day, as the lights from the houses around gave some comfort in thinking of all the families safe and warm inside.
Park at Dusk Pen and watercolour on paper, 2020 15x21cm
Park at Dusk (detail) Pen and watercolour on paper, 2020 15x21cm
Walking the Dog in the Dark Pen and watercolour on paper, 2020 15x21cm
Angmering Woods in Winter Pen and watercolour on paper, 2020 11x15cm
Larch Forest Pen and watercolour on paper, 2020 11x15cm
A familiar view looking up on the way home from school in autumn. The days were getting shorter and the nights drawing in. The lamplight illuminating the trees that lined the street gave the everyday scene an air of magic.
Lamplight, Autumn Pen and watercolour on paper, 2020 11x15cm
Ghost Trees Pen and watercolour on paper 11x15cm
Looking south from the woods in Angmering, the trees are silhouetted against the horizon.
Ghost Trees, Angmering Pen and watercolour on paper, 2021 12.7x17.8cm
Dark Park Pen and watercolour on paper, 2021 12.7x17.8cm
A Finn born in France, Anna Vartiainen has lived in the UK almost all her life. Heavily influenced by spending her childhood summers in the Finnish forest, her inspiration remains rooted in nature. She loves the magic of spooky trees and shadowy shapes, as well as the simple joy found in wildflowers. Her ongoing project ‘Monster Trees’ explores the wonderful character exuded by trees and forests, and her most recent project ‘The Small Things’ appreciates the details in what we can find around us. Anna lives in Worthing, West Sussex with her family. She opened FOUND shop & studio in 2019, where she curates a collection of artwork, homeware and stationery by independent artists and makers. annasdrawingroom.com foundshopstudio.com instagram.com/annasdrawingroom instagram.com/foundshopstudio firstname.lastname@example.org