Anna-Maija Rissanen - The Critique

Anna-Maija Rissanen is an exceptional Belgian-Finnish painter gifted with the talent of conceiving evocative, meditative and immersive compositions. Crashing waves, breathtaking vistas of land, sea and mountain ranges, in a highly distinctive and alluring style that captures artistic traditions from both the West and East, in a fascinating journey through abstract and figurative expressions of creativity. The fluidity of her unique touch and brushwork, communicated through introspective compositions, enhance fundamental aspects that provoke and attract the viewer into a distant instinctive and subconscious world. Undeniably, this complex artist is searching for a balance between the delicate nature of her artistic vision and the fierce power of her innate and innate creative energy. 
 
Rissanen’s atmospheric perspectives are redolent of the English Romanticist landscape painter William Turner, also known as ‘the painter of light’. Both Turner and Rissanen are capable of capturing and giving life to their art using chiaroscuro and the illusion of depth. Vast spaces are portrayed skillfully, whilst depicting the moods of nature beautifully and expressively. Rissansen paints her subject matter and surroundings with exactitude and truth, simultaneously challenging our perception and imagination, as she experiments and explores the infinite essence of light itself, analysing and focusing on reflections. She conveys a different kind of truth to Turner, a minimalist approach to interpreting emotion and communicating ideas via intricate and immensely gentle use of colour, form and line. Inspired by ancient Chinese watercolours, this artist arouses a sense of timeless stillness, reaching  sublime transcendence and spirituality.
 
The overwhelming portrayal of the intangible soul of nature appears to effuse and emanate from the surface of the canvas, emphasising the destructive and mighty forces of the Earth, the symbolic emanation of a creator’s essence and, most importantly, the spirit of the spectator. From a distance, Rissanen’s sceneries resemble a faraway scenario that appears simultaneously tranquil, exoitic and chaotic, thus bewitching and inviting the viewer for closer inspection. On second analysis of the artworks, the observer perceives the swarming cluster of fine and organic details where the eye and mind can meander leading to the possibility of capturing, understanding and foreseeing a deeply personal and meaningful vision in which to indulge. 
 
Certainly, Rissanen’s riveting and enchanting paintings are not only a pleasing and stunning visual aesthetic, but they have the outstanding ability to offer a meditative and sentimental experience that aids the viewer on the endless quest towards discovering, evolving and reaching a higher plane. 
 
Timothy Warrington
International Confederation of Art Critics