About Sanna Hanskala of Batsielicious Art
I am a self taught animal artist and specialize in pet portraiture with a preference for parrots and other birds. I was born and raised in Finland, but have lived much of my life abroad.
About my art
I want to reach the core of my subject and translate it onto paper or canvas. I try to sense what makes them “tick”, perhaps even bring back glimpses of their more incorporeal aspects. When completing commissioned work I expect the finished piece to reflect the individuality of my subject and not just generic aspects of the breed or species.
You will rarely find me translating negative aspects of life into art; rather, I prefer themes of joy, hope and freedom as the purpose of my work is to uplift. This is even the case when the subject has been touched by hardship, because I believe in the power of transformation. I like to accomplish much of this by playing with color, often exaggerating or changing it.
I’m inspired by anything living – nature and the animal kingdom – but animals with wings are the closest to my heart. Much of my work comprises of parrots, whose beauty and intelligence make them unique and challenging companions for humanity. Imaginary or otherworldly themes also speak to my soul, and I recently began to experiment with combining the two.
I enjoy a multitude of mediums, and in the past used exclusively graphite pencils and colored pencils. These suited my extremely detail oriented style well, but one day I discovered acrylic painting and shortly after remembered I used to enjoy watercolors as well. Paints allow me to complete much larger pieces, and most of my recent work has been in acrylics.
While growing up my family consisted of my parents, myself and an umbrella cockatoo Alba who joined our family as a six months old juvenile barely out of the nest. This led to a life long love for these clever creatures who, despite being only a few generations removed from the wild, extend to us a bond of affection and trust that is usually attributed only to fully domesticated animals such as cats or dogs.
By the time I reached adulthood I had a fair share of parrot related problems behind me (and scars to prove it!). I understood that since parrots are fundamentally still wild animals – and extremely smart ones at that -, providing them with adequate freedom and an intellectually stimulating environment in captivity can be hard. I do believe it is possible to enter a partnership of mutual benefit, but it takes dedication, a constantly evolving understanding of parrot psychology and nutrition, plenty of space and money, and a lot of research.
I support World Parrot Trust in their stance of responsible aviculture regarding the keeping and breeding of captive parrots:
We have confirmed through careful research and practice that captive-raised parrots can live contented and full lives in private homes when well-cared for. With careful preparation they can also be safely and successfully raised for release into areas where they’ve become locally extinct in many parts of the world. Because of these projects, we have and continue to develop effective methods that allow us to reliably start new parrot populations in the wild.