Elli Maanpää

Visual Artist

First Week Of Postcards

October’s Postcard Project had a good start. All the 31 cards were reserved in about 36 hours. Since the beginning of the project I’ve drawn and sent eight self drawn postcards. One every day. And they’ve gone / are going all over the globe.


My plan was to take photograph with my good camera out of every single postcard I send but in the end I’ve only took real pictures out of the first two postcards (above) and the rest have been recorded only with my iPhone in various lighting situations.

The picture below is history documented: I’m leaving the first two cards to the gentle service of the Finnish post office.

This dramatic redhead was the first lady to drawn on a postcard. 1.10.2014


Pink hair and pink clouds. 2.10.2014


Blue is the warmest color (no reference to the movie. That name just popped into my head). 3.10.2014


Dramatic city lady in green. 4.10.2014


She looks little like Mena Suvari doesn’t she? 5.10.2014


The Punakorvabulbuli (Eng. Red Ear Bulbuli) bird. Her name is the best. 6.10.2014


Yellow thoughts for a birthday girl. 7.10.2014


Small bird on a pink cloud. 8.10.2014


But that’s not all. The project continues until the end of this month. So 23/31 to go. See you later alligator!

In Silence

Pohjanmaa_ellimaanpaa_2014I love to travel. Traveling for me does not mean only traveling to exotic new places far far away. It means being in a slightly different place than home. Sometimes even the backyard will do for the urge to move to new landscapes. This weekend I traveled little further than backyard but did not go across the borders of my homeland Finland. Here – in the middle of the forests of Ostrobothnia – I listened the loud silence that only nature can offer. Ruska, lake and hand picked lingonberries. That is what good weekends are made off.

Next Thursday I will tell you how the Postcard Project is going. Hugs and smiles until then.

Posted using Tinydesk blog editor


I’ve decided to aim to do two blog posts a week. The first one in Monday – cause Monday is always the beginning of a whole new week – and the second one on Thursday – because in Finland we have a saying “Torstai on toivoa täynnä” which means “Thursday is full of hope“. So every week my blog is filled with new beginnings and hope. Sounds good doesn’t it.

Then to todays drawing-painting: Hipster (below). It’s done in the beginning of September as part of the sketch-a-day project. The Hipster name is quite obvious – the young girl is wearing cool retro glasses and a bowler hat – but I could also add that as the reference picture I used an artsy photograph from japanese fashion magazine. Doesn’t get much more hipster than that.hipster_illustration_ellimaanpaa_2014_1

Here is one close up. I used watercolor, pencil and marker in the illustration.


And last but not least the making of photograph I’ve posted before to instagram.


Want a Postcard?

Would you like to receive a self-made…postcard_project_sketch_ellimaanpaa_2014_1



…from me?


Yesterday I got an lovely idea thanks to my mom who asked me to draw a “Thank you” -card for our relatives. There is still couple of months left of my sketch-a-day challenge. For the whole year I’ve been sketching daily – sometimes big and bold paintings and sometimes small little doodles. That has lead to the fact that all my storage room for drawings/paintings is running out. For the next month (meaning October) I’m going to draw my sketches to postcard sized paper and then sent them to you.

Would you like to receive one? If yes comment “I’d love to receive a postcard” to the comment box and send me your postal address by email elli(at)maanpaa.com or direct message in facebookSo since there is 31 days in October there will be 31 postcards in total. The first 31 addresses will receive self-made postcard from me. I’m excited. Hope you’re too!

Greta Garbo

I read a book about Hollywood legend Greta Garbo. The book was called Conversations With Greta Garbo and it was written by journalist Sven Broman.

Biographies of famous actresses and filmmakers are interesting. But sometimes reading a book written by an confident of an star leaves me feeling like a voyeur especially when the book is about someone so private like Garbo. She was one of the biggest stars of her time but she hated being famous. She just wanted to be left alone. Nevertheless it was really interesting to hear how the beautiful Swedish lady studied theatre in Stockholm, worked in a department store and then become ‘found’ by film director Mauritz Stiller who took her with him to Hollywood. Stillers career crumbled in Hollywood but Garbo shined brighter than anyone. She had natural ability to act on film with subtle nuances.

Garbo is said to be one of the most beautiful women in the film industry. They could picture her face from any angle and she would look perfect from every direction. That lead to her nick name: Divine Garbo. My painting below does not do justice to Garbo’s beauty but it’s my attempt to appreciate her nevertheless.

gretagarbo_painting_ellimaanpaa_2014Black and white version of the portrait to honor her era.
gretagarbo_painting_ellimaanpaa_2014_4Close up.gretagarbo_painting_ellimaanpaa_2014_3And the instagram photo.gretagarbo_instagram_2014

Autumn Colors

lapland_autumn_phototgraph_ellimaanpaa_2014I spent this weekend away from Helsinki traveling across my homeland Finland. We attended my great Aunts funeral in Kemijärvi and even though funerals are always a sad celebration it was still so nice to see other relatives and visit the part of this country from where my mom’s mom is originally from. But the trip also meant driving about 1000km there and 1000km back. On the way I had a chance to admire some beautiful sights of Lapland (North Finland) in Autumn colors. Here is one photo from the way. More to come.

Big And Small Cats

Tonight is the second Night Of The Cats in the Korkeasaari Zoo. I wrote a post about the event last Saturday. So last few weeks been very much about cats – small and big ones – and that can be seen in my sketch-a-day drawings as well. Here are couple of smartphone photographs of the cat adventures of my sketchbook.

First Blue Eye Kitten.


Then this Catwoman – or is it a Cat Lady.


And last but not least the Majestic Tiger. The picture does not do justice for the drawing so I might scan and post a better picture about this sketch later.


I also want you to see this little video I edited from material I filmed during the last Night of the Cats. In it all the characters from our play Kissalaakso High School say hello. It’s in Finnish but if you don’t understand the language you can still enjoy the cool masks (made by Jonna Karlström) and expressions of our felid theatre family. Tonight we have last three shows of the musical. Warmly welcome!

Happy weekend to all!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAn61Xl2p4A?rel=0]

I Will Make It Happen

Today started with mixed feelings since I had to make some hard choices. Nothing too dramatic but choices of how I want’t to use my time this Autumn. Do I want to take singing lessons (yes) or take part in a improvisation course (I’d love to but couldn’t register on time). In the end of the day I felt like I did the right choices since I felt great and got even more good news (one other acting course accepted my enrollment). Jey!

Today’s sketch-a-day painting’s name is I Will Make It Happen. In the painting I used watercolor, pencil and marker. The girl in the picture looks so determined. She’s going to climb on mountains and conquer all challenges. Lets all be like that.

P.S. I also added the design to my Society6 shop Elli Emilia TaleIwillmakeithappen_sketch_ellimaanpaa_2014 Iwillmakeithappen_sketch_ellimaanpaa_2014_2 determined_ellimaanpaa_insta_2014

Theatre In The Night Of The Cats

I was supposed to do this post already yesterday but since it was the busy busy premiere day I just ran out of time. So instead I write the post now when the premiere and half of the shows are already beautifully behind us.

Yesterday was the 1st Kissojen Yö (Eng. Night of the Cats) in the Korkeasaari Zoo in Helsinki and the premiere of our Kissalaakso High School musical by Korkeasaaren Teatteri. The play is written, directed and composed by Lasse Turunen.


Besides acting (more about that one picture later) in the musical I did some of the illustrations we used in the internet marketing like the picture above. It’s a photograph collage I did out of stock free photographs. All the official posters used in zoo are done by their graphic designers but I’m happy they used my illustration and logo font in the posters as well.

We perform the half-hour-long musical three times a night.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I play the part of Amanda who is a geeky leopard from the drama group. Below is Amanda taking an excited selfie on the stage before show time yesterday.


Here below is the whole fantastic cast. There is the drama group (played by me, Linnea Peurakoski and Outi Oinas), the sporty cheerleaders (Henna Helasvuo, Ilona Kuusela, Anni Lampi and Nina Lampi) the cool cheetahs (Juha-Matti Kahilakoski and Niina Hartikainen), the beauty queen snow leopard Susanna (Jutta Järvinen), the dramatic teacher lynx (Laura Madekivi) and the handsome cheetah Justus who all adore (Saban Ramadani).

The 1st Night of The Cats was a success. The island was completely packed for the whole evening. Also our shows were completely full and we received a loud applause every time. People smiled, laughed and thanked us. Absolutely amazing night.

But if you missed our show the 1st time you still have chance to participate to the 2nd Night Of The Cats which is held next Friday on the 12th of September. Welcome! See you there maybe? Meooow.


Pastel Story

This is a story about big package of oil pastels. And about the fact I love receiving new free art tools. These pastels belonged to my boyfriend who was cleaning the house and thinking about getting rid of them. He said: “I haven’t use them in 10 years so I’m probably not gonna use them again. I’ll throw them away.” I yelled: “Wait. Give them to me. I’ll use them” And he did after I promised I was gonna take them out of our apartment. I took them to Heya workroom and have been using them quite much since (to prove it was a good idea to give them to me).

Here are the pastels with the first drawing I did. I used pastels, watercolor and correction pen onto watercolor paper.

pastels_drawing_ellimaanpaa_2014_1 pastels_drawing_ellimaanpaa_2014_2pastels_drawing_ellimaanpaa_2014

But then I wanted to experiment some more and tried the pastels on a wooden panel. Below is the result of my first oil pastel painting in which I also used ink. The Benders of the Horizon is the name of work. My friend Linnea wanted to buy it right away when she saw it in instagram. How cool is that. I’m loving the pastels.


This pink Fifi was the 2nd work with the same technique: oil pastels and ink on wooden panel. As a reference photo I had a photo clip from an old magazine article about hollywood. So the theme and the name of the work is naturally…


…I am a star.