The Wooden Bridge

It was 1978 or 79 when Raimo Puustinen asked my father to substitute him as a teacher. Puustinen was teaching at Taik – The University on Art and Design Helsinki, which is nowadays The Aalto University – and needed someone to replace him for few weeks. My Father was happy to help him and they decided to meet and talk through the details.
So I went with father to meet Puustinen at Tarvaspää, a seaside area near Gallen-Kallela Museum. My interest was not to listen old fellows chatting but photographing, which was my hobby started few years earlier. The November morning was exceptionally cold and hovering mist over the open sea made the scenery surreal.

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On that morning I took photo of a wooden bridge. Enclosed is a mirror image gravure I did of that same photo at 1996. The bridge was dismantled at 90s. The photo supported my father to carry out his ecthing A Summer Day by The Old Bridge.  Even the atmosphere on the picture is extremely summerlike the starting point was that cold November morning and two middle aged artists walking and talking back and forth over the bridge. Afterwards father was a little disappointed to his teachings at Taik because “present-day students are so lousy drawers”.

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A Summer Day by The Old Bridge (Kesäpäivä vanhalla sillalla), etching 1979

A Dragonfly Summer

If I recall the year correctly, it was 1973 when my father gave me a summer job as an insects catcher. My chore was to hunt down all kind of little creepy-crawlies and flying buzzers, knock them down by using ether and prepare them for his models. The most active working period was the late summer when butterflies and dragonflies had their own high seasons. Father set price categories to various insects and the most valuable ones for him were the late summer big dragonflies of which he was for some reason very attracted. The price tag for those were one Finnish Mark each.

Next to our house there was a little pond which was very prolific environment for dragonflies to multiply. For hunting purposes I had a homemade butterfly net and a big glass jar with a thigh lid to keep etherized paper tuft operational. Fanny detail relating to this was that it was so easy to me to go, as a 12 years old boy, to the local pharmacy and buy a half litre of ether. No questions were asked.

Those dragonflies I did catch on early 70s are still living in some of my father’s etchings. Enclosed are few examples of those. All works are made between 1973 to 1980 exept the last one of 1967 production. I put it here because already at 60s he was interested in dragonflies even though he didn’t use “live” models to draw them.

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The Daily Dance (Päivätanssi), etching 1973

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The Morning Dew Dance (Aamukastetanssi), etching 1973

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Water Lilies and Dragonflies (Lumpeen kuukia ja sudenkorentoja), etching 1978

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The Big Blossoming Water Lily (Suuri lumpeenkukka), etching 1980

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Of The Southern Garden (Eteläisestä puutarhasta), etching 1967

Cars and the nature

In the beginning of 70s my father started to promote the idea of conservation of nature in his life and by his art. He did several works related to this theme. Enclosed echings (made 1973) are of that topic. The first one is The Quiet Parking Area (Hiljainen paikoitusalue). The second one is a bit tricky to translate because the finnish title “Kaatosaari” combines ideas of refuse dump and island. Maybe The Dump Island will serve the purpose here.

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During 70s he didn’t have a driving license and there was no car in our family. He attended driving school at 80s and got the driving license when he was already more that 50 years old. That happened after he had divorced my mother and moved to Sammatti to a bit out-of-the-way place where he couldn’t cope with daily routines without his own car. Still “cars” were to him some sort of symbols of how mankind is raping the nature. He returned to this topic every now and then like with the work Back to The Nature (Takaisin luontoon) 1994. It’s one of the many his Pro Natura works.

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