This is my second time at AARK, and much like the first, it has proven to be a compelling experience brimming with inspiration and productivity. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is about this tiny island, but there’s an impalpable energy, equally mysterious as it is enchanting. The flickering light from the canopy above, and the gentle rustling of the leaves stirred by the breeze, entice me towards the trees and then, as if by unseen hands, I am pulled within the realm of birch, spruce, moss, and shadow and made to understand everything. This commune with the spirits within the trees, perhaps this island as a whole, has touched me profoundly, and it carries through to my work and eagerness to produce.
I have now created 80 paintings of the Finnish Archipelago, the vast majority of which were inspired directly by Korpo, with a few mixed in from Nuuksio National Park, Jurmo, and Utö. My first stay at AARK, from late September to early December 2019, saw 21 gouache paintings completed. Upon returning home to the US, and within the first 9 months of 2020, I created 40 large oil paintings for a solo exhibition which was never actually shown in its totality, due to Covid. This time around at AARK, I have created another 19 gouache paintings. And although while writing this I am still here on Korpo, I am already plotting how to return again.
You can see all of my Finland inspired paintings, as well as many more, at my website: www.sheridanart.com. For the paintings from my first stay at AARK, look for the portfolio titled “The Finland Studies”; for all the oil paintings created in the US for my 2020 solo exhibition, go to the “Rediscovering Silence” portfolio. Everything that I have created during this stay can be viewed at my Facebook page @ChrisSheridanArt, my Instagram page @chris_sheridan, and will be posted on my website shortly after I return to the US.