Urpo “Upi” Martikainen is used to the fact that if the face is not known, then the voice at least. Usually both, although the man retired from MTV3’s news anchor as early as 2010.

– Three years ago at the bus stop, a lady asked if I was going to work and I know what the final relief of the evening is. I had to state that I don’t know because it’s been seven years since I retired!

Upi – let’s be called by a nickname he became familiar with during 29 years of news anchoring – says retirement was not a leap into emptiness.

– I have always made sure that I have more to life than the content of news to follow.

One thing that fills the days is the painting hobby. Two watercolors have already been born this week. The long-distance artist shares his knowledge with others as well. He is one of the teachers of the upcoming art network course at GalleriAr in Mikkeli.

– It is such a hand-held presentation of how watercolor is created and with what thoughts and principles I paint.

A decent profession

Upi received his artistic gifts from his mother, who studied at the Ateneum. Childhood hobbies revolved around painting and drawing as well as exercise. Thanks to the artist mother, the painting tools were oil paints in addition to watercolors.

– I got the right colors and brushes from a young age. Mom used to say that cartoon away!

The mother anxiously her son not to dream of a career as an artist. Had to apply for a “decent” profession.

Upi didn’t even dream of art. The training took me to financial management. From there, the man slipped into the service of the media. First as a journalist for Yleisradio and in 1982 as a news anchor for MTV3. An artistic hobby, alongside work.

– In the 1970s, I was Yle’s journalist in Mikkeli for a long time. There I often painted a country setting with oil paints. Always someone asked if the paintings would be for sale. I also had my first show in the lobby of the construction site.

Since then, there have been many exhibitions and two books of his watercolors have been published. He has not kept a reading of the paintings he has sold.

“The walls of the house are full of my paintings and my wife has indicated which of them I am not allowed to sell.

With the power of whiskey on a stamp

Four years ago, a booklet of four stamps made from Up’s watercolors appeared. There is a funny memory associated with the project.

Upi was painting in Kristiinankaupunki with his artist friends. They had looked like a wooden house-friendly yard. Although permission had been obtained in advance, Upi felt like an intruder.

– I had painted three quarters when the host of the house slammed into the scene, commenting that the artists are at work. I felt the need to explain that we have a permit. The host walked away silently. He returned with whiskey glasses and said: Don’t all artists drink?

He reveals that watercolor painted with the power of whiskey was one of those that ended up as a stamp.

The muse manages his plot

Martini are hard-working travelers. Central European countries and Denmark have been popular destinations for car trips. It has been easy to pack the car with painting needs, a light easel and a field chair.

– The lady works as a muse and the leader of the home troops.

Along the way, they have embraced a perceived symbiosis.

– I sit on the edge of a sympathetic small town square to paint. The lady goes to see the village and the small shops selling clay roosters, fabrics and other things I don’t want to go to. Sometimes he will ask if you would like a drink and a sausage.

Sometimes a maintenance team doesn’t even need a wife. Once in the morning, Upi sat on the empty terrace of the Weinstube, capturing the view of the market square. Unnoticed by him, the staff had already arrived on the scene. The waitress swayed to the artist without asking for a cold glass of wine, in the wine area when they were.

– Now you understand why I like painting! he growls.

Long-distance destinations have also become familiar, including Australia, the United States, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. The man has stored souvenirs in a fun way both near and far.

– I’ve done to commemorate the journey of books, which I have saved the text and the sketchy stock photos.

During the corona period, the travel fever has burned. The mind longs for picturesque objects. Instead, we must now be content to be inspired by photographs and home corners.