Saturday, January 19, 2019



photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog
my darling Tove on our living room's table with my floral designs and vintage wall textile

Today I write about my journey with colors. I also show you pics from the workshop by wonderful artist Annie Sloan in Helsinki at Måla&More. She is the lady behind the Chalk Paint® since 1990. Magical matt Chalk Paint® with such a wonderful color chart. Think about that. Why I found her only in 2014? Because that was the year I began as a freelance photographer and artist after working 8 years in a big publishing house. I was looking for a good matt paint for my photography props to get right kind of feeling to my photographs. This post is not sponsored.

photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog
wonderful THE Annie Sloan at Måla&More, September 2018

Over last four years I've been photographing food and flowers. Lots of lots of flowers lately :) How I got here, how I found colors and flowers. Let's go back to the year 2015. Then in some photo shootings I began to make styling by adding flowers to table set. That time is a very important moment in my story with flowers. I was brave enough to take a step and believe that I can work with colors and flowers so well that I can choose all the props and backgrounds for photo shootings.

photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog
choosing your niche
Then time machine takes us to the year 2011 when I was working in publishing house as a photographer. Oh how I was unsure about all those things. I let art director or stylist to make the styling. But somewhere deep inside I was already eager to learn using colors and finally I opened a door when I began acrylic painting in 2012. Thanks to my lovely and inspiring teacher Alina Sinivaara I could dive into the world of colors without worrying perspective or any other details. I could just use my big moves and I painted abstract. The whole thing was - and still is - about the colors and textures. I did not need any reality when panting because for that I could use my camera. I could just enjoy and mix the colors.

photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog
working artist

Professionally I began to style with flowers since 2015 when we made food photography for customers with talented cook Meri-Tuuli Väntsi.  Dried flowers I used in 2016 when we made our first cooking book Pataruokaa (A Book of Stews) together. I collected different kind of plants and flowers from the nature and used them as dried especially in our table settings. I think during that time we both - Meri-Tuuli and I grew with our talent to create beautiful food photography. We created a world of winter, woolly socks, gathering with friends and heartwarming stews. It had to and it was perfect. We really took the time to take pics to next level and I guess we made pretty nice job there ;) a bit raw, rustic, eclectic with style.

Pataruokaa cooking book photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog
Pataruokaa cooking book, 2016 

The year when we made the book was such a roller coaster for me. The year began with sudden death of my mom. I was devastated. First 2 weeks after her death I just painted. But something good grow from her death, I can say now after three years. 

 Wild and Wilted photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog
Wild and Wilted 2, 2018

Throwing myself to new things didn't scare me after her death. My first real flower work was funeral flowers for her. I began to take my tiny steps towards flowers. I have photographed them before in my weird still lifes that you will never see - with all kinds of stuff. But now it was time to take bigger step and my next big goal was to learn to make a beautiful flower arrangement for my floral art photography of course. But how could I do that?  

 photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog
scandinavian pink

Our paths are different. There are people who believe that they can do it and they do it but there are also people like me who spends tons of time to different kind of things and also use time to think why I can't or couldn't do it. Sounds familiar? It's the worst kind of thinking.  

 photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog
one of my favorite flowers - apricot Ranunculs
On my path I have collected different kind of skills and things. Even though I have been unsure I have been also curious and a bit brave too. Like having this blog for example. Writing in English with imperfect English :) So 2016 I decided to arrange a flower workshop at our workspace with floral designer because I wanted to learn floral design. She would teach flowers and I flower photography. In Autumn 2016 the very first flower workshop began and they are still going strong but things have changed. At the moment I'm the teacher of both - flower arrangement and photography. For me the most intriguing challenge is to combine colors. Surprise! Still learning it because it's not only the colors, it's also textures, shapes, movement, contrast etc. But at the moment I'm trying to share my so far knowledge about designing with flowers and colors. 

 photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog
different techniques

I am very eager to learn more and I have been visiting different floral designers like amazing Susanne from The Blue Carrot as 1:1 student and then I took part in The Golden Age flower workshop by talented Emily from Fleuropean and Susanne from The Blue Carrot. I met also a lot of amazing people. I hope during this year I can meet more talented floral designers and other artists.

 photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog
complimentary colors
Now (finally) we come to the workshop by Annie Sloan. It was in September 2018 and I was super happy that I could meet this interesting and talented lady. Because the most important thing when you try to learn something is to have eyes open and ears too for other talented people methods and point of views. The other artist doesn't have to do the same as you do - colors are quite universal I think. Teaching yourself to use and combine colors is a challenging task and it might take a bit time but it's so worth it! I use to be afraid of colors, even colorful clothing was hard to choose because I felt much easier to choose black, grey or white ;) not anymore. 

 photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog
Annie is having her moment with new bookazine The Colourist

I know there is a bit of talent ;)  experience and curiosity but there is also a huge amount of different kind of the work behind all of this. No-one can give you a talent or skill you just have to work for it. As we all know we creative people have our own secret places, books, shops, museums, music that we might not share with others so eagerly. But I will share now two important things I learnt at Annie Sloan's workshop.

1. You make mistakes with colors but hey who doesn't. Try again. (very simple but so easy to just use your time to avoid it and nothing interesting happens) 

2. Complimentary colors. No black. No pure white. If you have two complimentary colors, mix them and get a darker color. Use these colors when you make your white.  All fits nicely together. If you want to redesign your bedroom for example you can paint all things with her Chalk Paint ® yes, even curtains. No more trying to find a perfect match, it's already there.

And if you want to find a creative secret then you have to read the bookazine by Annie that she is holding in her hands. It's a place and totally worth to visit! I hope I will. Maybe even this year, but you never know.

 photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog
Moonstone, 2018

Congrats if you are still reading my post about colors and flowers. Like here in my flower arrangement the nature has so many different flowers and colors. Same flower can be different color based on the soil where it has grown or time of the season, or how old it is etc. so you just have to learn to accept the grace of organic and ever changing nature. It's your palette, enjoy!

I want to thank you Annie and Christel for wonderful workshop!


PS. If you want to make a flower arrangement with me you can come on Sat 9.2. to my Flowers and Colors flower workshop at Måla&More in Helsinki. Here's a link to it's FB-event. All information there in Finnish. I also teach in Finnish but maybe some words can be said in English too. More information:


  1. What a beautiful story and your pictures are magnificent in colour and style and you too. I am so grateful for all the beautiful work you do and share!

    1. Lovely to hear, thank you <3 It's such a wonderful ingredient- the flower - to work with!


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