artist statement

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Artist Statement 2019

Ilona Rytkönen (b.1962, lives and works in Jämsänkoski)


Even if my painting is landscape-oriented, there is a human being involved in it: the person is there as a spectator, experiencer, encounter, thinker or just observer.


My expression as an artist is often mysterious or symbolic. You can see the inner feelings or the impression of a certain moment. This is more important to me than documentary or portrait painting.


In my color palette,  I have pursued a minor color scale. Occasionally, the surprising colors that appear in the painting process will amaze and confuse myself. Whether they can remain in the final work or hide or delete them, are the most interesting moments in my painting process.


“It feels like a little melancholy and yet the ability to sense beauty is mixed in delicate scratching strokes: like a crack in the feeling that mixes for a moment. What the picture represents is realism: the street after the rain, but the way the picture looks like it is sentimentalism.

The subject, philosophy and technique of making art make Rytkönen a special artist. Subjects are often used to something: a person, a face or a landscape. Their everydayness is realism, while painting technique approaches art as abstract expressionism under impressionistic appeal. Rytkönen looks inwards and outwards in her art. But the inner gives you the tone, the movement and the feeling. ”

Author: Saara Heikkilä, Master's Degree in Art History and Freelance Artist (25.9.2019).

The full text of the article is at the end of the artist's homepage Biography


My art techniques are oil painting on canvas and soft pastel painting on paper.


I started as a full-time painter and contemporary artist in 2004 after graduating from the Orivesi College of Fine Arts.  Ihave also studied at the Open University of the University of Art and Design Helsinki (Taik), the Free Art School, the Pekka Halonen Academy and several other art courses since 1978, most recently the Finnish Cultural Foundation's portrait painting course in Turku in 2011.


I have had several domestic solo exhibitions since 2003, as well as joint and group exhibitions in Finland and abroad such as Rio de Janeiro, Osaka, New York and Miami (and Berlin in November 2019).


I have been a member of the Jyväskylä Artists 'Association since 2011 and I was a member of its Board of Directors from 2015 to 2016. I am a member of the Finnish Painters' Association since 2012. In 2016 and 2017 I have been a member of the Finnish Artists' Association (STS) as an elected representative of the Association of Finnish Fine Art Organizations (SKjL).


In 2018, I received a grant from the Central Finland Arts Council for the Arts Promotion Center (Taike).


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