Lyla Paakkanen Portfolio


Concept Designs, Illustrations, Paintings, Photoshop

The paintings on this page reflects my interest in light, color, form, and texture. in oil medium, or water. The joy of painting is finding and recording the beauty in the world around us. Art is love.

Original paintings and prints are available. Please contact me if you are interest in purchasing and original or a print.

Oil Paintings

Virga oil painting

“We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.” - Jacques Cousteau

Nothing on this planet can thrive without water. When scientists look for life on other planets, they look for signs of water. Besides being essential for our bodies to function, water also promotes life in numerous other ways. Without it, we couldn't grow crops, keep livestock or wash our food (or our bodies, for that matter). Water has also advanced civilization, providing a means for travel for entire parts of the world and a source of power for factories. Because water can also exist as a vapor, it can be stored in the atmosphere and be delivered as rain across the planet. Earth's oceans also help regulate the planet's climate, absorbing heat in the summer and releasing it during the winter. And of course, those same oceans serve as a home for countless plants and animals.

With the recent predictions of drought in California, the weather and predictions of rain is the focus in the local news. We look to the skies and read the clouds. More than often in a drought, there may be only a wisp of a cloud or when there is a cloud that promises life giving rain, it is virga. Virga is rain that evaporates before it gets to the ground. In long periods of no rain, the ground and plants dries.

This series of paintings looks at the skies in relationship to the land, how we manage and use the land in tandem with nature. The pattern and texture of the art in the sky is in harmony with the life rhythm of the land. When the sky is on fire during sun rise or sun set, the land is subdued; it is darkened, and is quiet. When it is time for plants to grow, the skies will hopefully oblige with talk of rain and moisture. In the summer, when plants are growing in full force, the skies are silent, brilliant, blue. Listening to the skies has been the focus of mankind from ancient times. These paintings try to record the talk in the skies.

Most Recent Work


The artwork below was created in watercolor.

Botanical Watercolor


The art below was painted in acrylic.