The artist’s process is intuitive, consequently tending towards the abstract. Free flowing and unrestrained, this process simultaneously gives rise to new forms while obscuring others. Tavastila’s work explores the concept of balance, and how opposing feelings and ideas can co-exist on a canvas. Specific emotions serve as the initial inspiration for each painting, with color and form eventually emerging and altering throughout each work’s creation. The titles of each painting are an important part of the process, and are often borrowed from song lyrics, film, and literature.
Tavastila utilizes thick and thin layers of paint—sometimes so thin they look almost entirely scrubbed off, creating a form of palimpsest—as an unconventional approach to examining the importance of paint, itself, as a medium. This contrast lends itself to themes the artist is interested in: namely, the juxtaposition of the visible and the hidden, and its relevance to the expression of individual emotion. What the visible shapes stand for is often personal, but what is not said explicitly is also key.