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name: Sampo
surname: Kaikkonen
year of birth: 1975
country: Finland


by sampoka


Q1: When did you start making art?
I have been drawing a lot since I was a child. I think the major reason for that is the encouragement I got from my father. He used to be a hobbyist artist painting in oils and drawing comics for magazines. However I really got into art in -97 when I was in university and took art history lectures. I was amazed seeing and hearing about the old masters and very confused about the fact that all that skill had been lost in the art of our time. I wanted to know is it still possible to paint like that and started to practice painting in oils. I read many books about the technique of the masters and stared at thousands of pictures trying to find out the secrets. At that time I also started thinking that I could one day be an independent artist.

Q2: What does inspire you?
The biggest inspiration comes from the past – from the old masters. But I also get ispired by other contemporary artists, nature, poems, movies, news etc. The biggest driving force is to be better every day. I am already happy enough of my technical skills to spend more time on the contents of the works.

Q3: What are your techniques?
Painting in oil is the number one. I am currently also doing some drypoint etchings.

Q4: What is the main idea or feeling behind your works?
I always try to find a deeper meaning in my works even if they are just simple still lifes. I want my paintings to be like poetry and awake emotional feelings. If I see a tear in the eye of the viewer in front of my painting I know I have succeeded to create something of importance.

Q5: What is the main color of your art and why?
I use mainly earth colors and my color scene is warm brownish. I am also using quite limited palette based on the techniques of the old masters of Baroque. One reason for always using the same set of colors is my color vision. I am slightly red-green color blinded so it is easier for me to have the right colors when I know my palette.

Q6: What would you improve about your work and why?
I am always trying to improve my technique but during the recent years I have been concentrating more on the subject. So these days I am striving to improve my thinking process and the themes of my works so that they would really mean something for viewer and be more than artworks.

Q7: Do you have any project for the future?
At the moment my biggest project is to enlarge my atelier gallery. I have a 120 square meter space to work and exhibit my works in an old barn. I am hoping to have another smaller room in the barn to be used for exhibiting the works of my fellow artists.

Q8: Describe yourself with 3 words capturing the essence of sampoka.
Poet, Painter, Dreamer

Q9: Show us (link) your very first work. Describe it from techniques till feelings.
This HERE is one of my earliest attempts with oil paints. I painted this swan when I was ten years old back in 1985. I remember using my dads paints and a small dried brush. The bird is painted on wood panel painted black without any priming. I used a photo as reference and looking at the painting now I am very happy. At that time I really knew nothing about technique or art. I just wanted to amaze my parents. I would love to meet the ten year old me and hear him telling about the painting and see the glimmering in his eyes.

Q10: What did change from your first work till now?
Thinking back not so much really. I have always strived to make figurative skillful pictures. Making “art” has never been my goal. The biggest change however is the symbolic and inner content behind the surface of the painting. It has become more and more important to me.

Q11: What is art for you? Escaping from reality or the essence of life?
I am not interested in the technical tricks and conceptual qualities of contemporary art. Art for me is about emotion. That is why I love the Baroque painitings the most. I want art to touch me, make me smile or make me cry. Painting is also a way of life and kind of meditation. I could not imagine a better profession than to work in your own studio listening to classical music and putting everything I can on the canvas finding always something new and exiting.

  Love this art!
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