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Early Life and Education
Leena Nio, a Finland based oil paint artist, uses conceptual mirage-like imagery to evoke a deep introspection in its viewers. Playing with distortion, unconventional painting technique, and a mastery of depth and texture, Nio transports the viewer into a significantly otherworldly platform, from which their own unfiltered perceptions can take place.
Leena grew up in an extremely art-positive household, where she and her two sisters were encouraged to paint, and their works were avidly praised and celebrated. “My mom used to hang all of our works on the kitchen wall, no matter what kind of piece of a work it was. Everything we did deserved to be shown in our kitchen exhibition.” Their mother’s encouragement proved fruitful, as all three sisters are artists today.
With a continued interest in art throughout her childhood, Nio attended many children’s art schools and was ultimately accepted into the Academy of Fine Arts in Finland, where she earned her MFA in 2010. This prestigious achievement opened the door to Leena’s full-time career as an artist. Her works are included in many of Finland’s public art collections, including the Sara Hildén Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Saastamoinen Foundation collections.
Nio’s unorthodox painting technique grants her style with a unique aesthetic feel. This experimental attitude allows Leena to represent a gorgeously rich range of suggestive and idea-based visuals. Creating detailed plans and experimenting with materials and techniques before creating the final piece fits into Nio’s creative process, where the subject of the work and the method of the painting are of equal importance. “Both elements need to be connected to make a painting successful.”
“My ambition and curiosity to try different kinds of painting techniques has to lead me to where I am now. I’m trying to invent my own painting techniques. There are so many possible ways to paint, so I don´t want to be stuck in just one way of thinking about painting.”
The inspiration for her carried pieces comes from everyday life. “If the motif of the painting is simple, it has the potential to grow during the painting process.” Nio uses the metaphor of a snowball gathering more as it rolls to represent the accumulation of ideas as her process develops.
Leena values the “juxtaposition between the paintings” where her pieces can vary greatly, but include the same common themes. The artist aspires to make ambiguous paintings, “I trust my instincts and subconscious in my working process and don´t try to explain every decision I make.” It is clear that her raw, thought-driven attitude drives her work organically; deep-rooted ideas come into bloom as she maintains faith in herself and the process. It seems Leena Nio is tracing the shapes of her subconsciousness through her art and in creating seeks to touch that of those who view them, with unfiltered human connection and communication. Although Nio acknowledges the hardships and potential uncertainty of being an artist today, she believes that living an artist is the “most interesting way to live and react a world around you.”