Diving into the colourful and whimsical world of Surf Coast-based artist Sinikka 

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Diving into the colourful and whimsical world of Surf Coast-based artist Sinikka 

Credit: Susan Gorman 

Whether it be a bright and bold acrylic abstract or a dainty and delicate watercolour, Sinikka wants to share her love of colour and intuitive creations with you.

If you’re looking to bring some fun into your home, Sinikka is the Surf Coast artist producing breathtaking artwork with the power to colour your whimsical world, playfully inspiring you to always look on the bright side of life. 

The artistic moniker of Torquay-based artist Sarah Molnar, Sinikka’s works are all about passion, vibrancy and colour; inherently tired to all things botanical. 

Brighten your day with all the latest art news here.


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With a background in graphic design, floristry, and marketing, the self-taught Surf Coast artist blends elements of these to portray her vibrant, unique style. Mostly though, it was her work in floristry that inspired Sinikka. 

“In a previous life, ‘Sinikka’ was my floristry business, which specialised in weddings and corporate events. It was a nimble little business, and whilst I loved working with flowers and making beautiful floral scenes, it was hard work and long hours. I relied heavily on my friends and family to keep it ticking along,” Sarah explains. 

“Since then, I have been dabbling in marketing, graphic design, and event planning but started to get itchy palms to start ‘making’ with my hands again. I began painting after needing some artwork for the bare walls of our home; the old ‘I could paint that’ comment, and then realised it was a hell of a lot trickier than it looked, but I was hooked.” 

With floristry being a beautiful way to create and stay connected to nature, creating a mishmash of botanical illustrations, watercolours, bright abstract acrylics, ocean landscapes and abstract seascapes and digital illustrations under her artist moniker was a natural evolution for the mother of three. 

Intuitive, whimsical, and fun, the local artist paints ethereal, playful, feminine and colourful compositions, rendered in gradients of pinks, blues and purples, dotted with pop art style symbols, fluros, bright intuitive strokes of colour and, most importantly, lots of love. 


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From intuitive abstract strokes and the spontaneity that comes with using acrylics on canvas, to refined watercolour illustrations, as an artist, Sarah is always looking for ways to add a playful element and express childlike wonder in both these mediums.

Whether that be creating facial expressions in flowers (inspired by Alice in Wonderland’s talking flowers), bright pops of colours on the canvas, or playful patterns that weave in and out of the composition, Sarah aims to produce fun pieces that are visually arresting but is also conscious of evolving as an artist so every new piece of work adds an element of surprise. 

“Acrylics have been so fun and forgiving to work with and I love the texture and bold colours. I am getting in the groove with watercolour and have found a mentor to teach me the skills involved with this medium, it is such a beautiful experience to paint with watercolours,” Sarah says of her work across different mediums. 

“I recently met with a local artist and she gave me sage advice to commit to art journaling and she floated the idea to take on a 100-day drawing challenge. So, I started to draw the same banksia seed pod every day,” Sarah says. 

“Initially, I was stuck in making my sketches as realistic as possible, but then I started to see the personalities coming through in the seed pod. Little eyes and thin or pouty lips took my art in a totally unexpected direction and I cannot thank that artist I met enough.”


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Meaning ‘blue’, the name ‘Sinikka’ takes a nod to her mother’s Scandinavian name, Sarah draws much of her inspiration from the likes of Wyanne Thompson, Eric Carle and the late French-born Melbourne artist Mirka Moira, as well as the wild coastline and dense bushland of Victoria’s surf coast. 

“Her approach to painting and life was so inspiring, I love the facial expressions she gave all her characters,” Sarah says of the treasured Melbourne artist.

“I also love Eric Carle who is famous for the children’s book ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ his artworks are so iconic and his process was large scale and very interesting. Locally I draw inspiration from living by the ocean and the beautiful treks near my home, my abstracts tend to end up looking like aerial landscapes of the ocean meeting the land.”

Offering a magical sherbert-coloured escape, even just for a moment, Sarah is adept at bringing a whimsical quality to each piece, whether that be original artworks, art prints or painted accessories like cushions, phone covers and tote bags (all available to purchase via the website). 

An artist only just at the beginning of her glittering creative career, Sarah has bright plans for the direction of Sinikka, promising to capture the hearts and the attention of eagle-eyed art lovers across the region.  

“I am aiming to paint on even bigger canvases! Bigger brush strokes and bigger statement colours,” the artist says. “I also want to turn my banksia pod series into a video projection piece for a public art piece. There is so many fun project to get involved with in the arts community and I just want to keep creating and joining in on the fun!”


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“There is a dopamine hit at work when applying thick, brightly coloured paint with reckless abandon,” she adds. 

“I am very lucky in that I can create every day, I feel very supported by my partner and family and friends and without that support, I wouldn’t be able to create and paint as much as I do. I feel very in touch with my creativity and feel ‘whole again’.”

Immerse yourself in the whimsical world of Sinikka at www.sinikkapaints.com.