Multiple influences

By now, and before going deeply in Anna-Maija’s style & œuvre, let us try to understand its origins.

             “What or who influenced your work? There have been so many”

 The goal of this article is to present some of the artists and artistic movements, which impacted Anna-Maija’s work. However, please note that this “list” is far from being exhaustive.

5 artists

  • It is with J.M.W Turner that our artist first discovered painting. In middle school, she once had to copy one of his works. Anna-Maija particularly appreciates the colour and light treatment in those paintings. Besides, she has often been said that her work resembles Turner’s. Please, look by yourself:


Joseph Mallord William Turner, Slave Ship, 1840, oil on canvas, 90.8 x 122.6 cm / 35-3/4 x 48-1/4 inches, Copyright in the public domain


Anna-Maija Rissannen, Stories, 2013 , ink, watercolour, acrylic and collage on canvas, 100×150 cm, Reproduced with kind permission of the artist
  • More classical, Rembrandt was also identified as one of her influencer, more particularly his brush-stroke effect in his self-portraits.
  • With Helene Schjerfberk, a 19th century Finnish artist, Anna-Maija discovered a new way of treating oil paintings, as if it was pastels. Also Schjerfberk also use a sandpaper technique. The fragility, the poetic sensibility that it brings seduced our contemporary artist who knows use it in many of her works of art.
  • Through Anselm Kieffer, and its huge and rough paintings, Anna-Maija was lead to paint pieces of work that transmit a particular strenght. This is done through material accumulation.
  • Her old-established mentor, Mikko Paakola, has also largely influenced Anna-Maija. She has always admired its colour treatment and its representation of horizons. Moreover, Paakola is an artist who is fond of artistry experimentations, with metal sheets for instance. Prominent in the cultural Finnish world, he encourages, advised and introduces Anna-Maija in the relatively narrow circle of Finnish artists.

The Chinese movement

If Anna-Maija declares being inspired by the American expressionism movement, as well as the European landscape of 19th and 20th century, the influence the more easily noticeable in her work is definitely the Chinese art of painting. What is surprising is that Anna-Maija realized it was an influence relatively recently. Indeed, as already mentioned in previous articles, it is during the Godecharles prize nomination that the artist admits her Chinese influence. A posteriori, she found the origin of it. When she was a little girl, one of her mother’s friends paints some Chinese art. Unconsciously, the vision of it in her child age made Anna-Maija become the kind of artist she is.

Besides, one of Anna-Maija’s favorite artist is Zao Wou-Ki, a Chinese-French painter. Like her, Zao’s work is oriented to abstraction, to the study of light and colours to structure the canvas. Below, another work (humble) comparison.


Zao Wou-Ki, A la gloire de l’image, 1976, lithography on Arches paper, 76 cm x 56 cm, Copyright in the public domain
Universumi, 2016, mixed media on canvas, 178x273cm, Reproduced with kind permission of the artist


Thus, the natural curiosity of Anna-Maija is transmitted in her work, influenced my diverse movements. The next article will summarize the style & oeuvre of the artist, in which we will surely find the influences described above…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s