From Abstraction to Tactile Expressions: Images of my Emotions.

 Tree of the Paleozoic.
White paper on black card
“Always painting, always working” was probably the first few words she said to me during our conversation. Magdalena runs Ike Studio from her home in Northern Ireland. Ike is a name taken from the Hawaiian Huna philosophy, whose first principle is Ike (pronounced ee-kay), meaning “The world is what you think it is”.
Viewing Magdalena’s artworks, you notice a plethora of works including paintings, crafts, home decor, Office decor and greetings cards. These works have an influence directly from nature, and visually expressed in various designs ranging from national flags all the way to various Abstractions. But because of the way Magdalena perceives and executes some of the designs, she sometimes wonders if the images she creates or works on even exists in nature.
Her greatest inspiration is the natural world, and the use of a vibrant and expressive set of colour ranges. The depictions she works in reveals her dexterity for detail. Detail which is even more astonishing when you realize that Magdalena has been totally blind from the age of 6 years. She has no retina in her eyes and though having no sight presents several immense challenges in her life, she is determined to live a life as full and as rich as is possible, exploring her other senses, especially the sense of touch and hearing, to give her this ability.
These are images of my emotions.” – Magdalena Rutkowska
MaMoMi: How would you describe your emotions in your artworks?
M.R.: It is a bit difficult to explain how my emotions can be seen as artworks but they are a visual and tactile expression of some of the feelings i experience daily. I perceive a lot of images of flowers and trees and of other nature influences.
Back in Poland where i am originally from, i lived around beautiful forests, and this early experience still continues to inspire my love for nature. This influence causes me to see various projects in my sleep, long before i get the opportunity to do anything with it. I often wake up wanting to create so many of these images. My memory and Imagination, combined with my manual skills, allows me to create various types of arts and crafts. I use my visual memory of colours, shades and shapes to put together the different ideas. For me, every letter of the word has a colour code.
I know my paintings also help a lot of people externalize and overcome their problems.” – Magdalena Rutkowska
MaMoMi: How do you relate a colour code to a word or shape?
M.R.: One of the projects i did some months ago was done making small pictures with 4 paintings of flowers, and the client then came back wanting even bigger paintings. I had to find a way to replicate that idea to a bigger canvas space.
Every colour i intended to use in that colour palette was placed in a box. I needed to remember where each colour was and to do this, i placed each of them in particular boxes and coded every box. I now have at least 20 boxes. I placed bright yellow in one box, darker yellow in the next one, warmer colour in the following one, and the next one had fuchsia, and so on. It is important to me that i remember which colours i have used, and in what order, as this helps me have control of the colour scheme or any pattern i am creating. But this also means i have to keep and maintain a huge level of concentration.
ImageSunny Butterfly.
Colour paper On Canvas
MaMoMi: What is your most used technique?
M.R.: It usually take a lot of time to put together and make my artworks. My most popular technique is the Quilling paper method. By building the outlines of paper, i devise various ways of filling to form the shapes required. This helps me create decorative and 3-Dimensional designs, many of which are popular for Home and Office decor.
I use strips of paper that are rolled, shaped and glued together, and reproduce the needed shapes by twisting and curling the paper strips with my fingers. They are then bonded on the canvas or background cardboard. I have 16 different categories listed on my website.
Creating these artworks and crafts is also a way of showing people that blind artists can also be very creative, with very attractive and highly desirable items. But it is also my way of engaging with the sighted community and it will be great and i will appreciate it if people can enjoy my creative talents as much as i do. I love nature and in return nature has given me a positive approach to life.
Decorative art
 Magdalena working in her studio.
View Magdalena’s website at
For enquiries or to make purchase of her artworks, contact Magdalena by writing her at

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