Portrait of John Maattala

Oil Portrait of John Maattala in uniform

Portrait of John Maattala

I was commissioned to do this portrait of my second cousin, John Maatala, in the autumn of 2012, by his widow, Marja-Leena.  I’ve just done some touch-ups on his ribbons and will soon be delivering it to Baxter, Minnesota.   Since they lived much of the time out of the US, I had only met John once.  I liked him very much.  He was a generous, friendly man.  He lent me his book on building saunas and someday I will put those directions to good use.  Sadly, he died in 2011 at too young an age.  I will not have the opportunity to get to know him better.  Let us all cherish the opportunities we have of deepening our friendships with persons we’d like to know.  Life is so uncertain.


3 thoughts on “Portrait of John Maattala

  1. Belinda Stealy

    You captured him. Knew both him and Maria. Such a special man and couple she will be thrilled with this so glad I got to see it.

  2. Rochelle Choirniere

    Hi I am Johns younger sister Rochelle. What a wonderful portrait of My brother John. Your painting of him and the one you did of Marja-leena’s mom are so beautiful. You truly have an amazing gift. Thank you for capturing John In his true spirit. I know how happy Marja- Leena is with this. When she first received it she sent me the text with a picture of the painting attached to text. I now have it saved on my phone. Thank you so much once again. Rochelle.

  3. Nona

    Thank you for commenting, Rochelle. If you are John’s younger sister, then you are my second cousin too. Do you remember whether we’ve ever met? Hopefully we will in the future. I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment earlier. I’ve been busy working on my mother’s house and have had little time for my Website lately. I am so sorry that I won’t get to know John better. I met him at a Maattala Family Reunion once and spent most of the time talking with him. I thought he was great. He lent me a book on how to build a sauna, which someday I hope to act on. Is it only in our old age that we finally get a sauna of our own? I enjoyed painting Marja-leena’s mom, Kiirtu, as well. As I’ve been going through Mom’s mail from years ago — she saved everything from at least 1996 — I’ve come across several letters in Finnish from Kiirtu that I would like to have Marja-leena translate for me. Thank you so much for your kind words about the paintings. Take care!

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