Silja Salmistu

Silja Salmistu

Slagelse, Sjælland, Denmark

About Silja Salmistu

Silja Salmistu is Estonian artist living and working in Denmark. Since 2016, she is dedicated to soft pastels, with still life as the main subject.
Graduated with honor from Tartu Art School in 1986– coping with the circumstances of control, cencorship, limited knowledge about art developments and constant lack of art supplies under the Soviet Union occupation.
Earned a MFA equivalent degree in painting in Tartu University in 1994, during the transition from collapsed communist regime to modern democracy.
The contrasts can also be traced in her art – strict control with realistic detail here, free improvisation with loose abstract mark-making there; awareness of tradition combined with modern experiments; happy carefree florals side by side with thought-provoking compositions of hard issues like war, violence, abuse etc., staged as a kid`s play with toys.

Salmistu prefers to paint from life, to share the room and time with her objects. She closely observes them and interprates the visual perception on her paintings, with special focus on light.

She is a multiple award and competition winner, both on the international pastel scene and in Danish and Estonian all-media juried exhibitions.
Salmistu has exhibited in numerous juried, curated, group and solo shows since 1997 in Europe, USA and online. Her art has been featured in several international and national art publications.
Facebook: bySalmik
Instagram: siljasalmistuart

While the world is speeding up and making ever more noise, one may need to find a foothold to keep a balance, to retreat, to take a break.
This is what my art is about. Painting still life, a silent existence of ordinary things, fruits and flowers, is a meditative process.
I observe light in a room bouncing around the objects, causing colours to appear and interact. It takes and gives a peace of mind.
I work from life, in silence.
I like to have immediate contact with the objects in front of me, to share the room with them, that`s why I prefer to use my own two eyes instead of a camera`s single one
I aim to achieve a subtle sensation of movement in the picture space, to give the viewers a feeling of being present and breathe in it.
If I succeed, the concept of still life is no longer about an art genre, it`s about serenity.



1989 -1994 Tartu University MFA painting
1982 -1986 Tartu Art School designer-decorator


2020 Kunst i Pinsen 30.5-1.6 Vestsjælland,DK
2019 Art Market 17.-18.08 Hejninge, DK
2019 Kunstdage i Pinsen 8.-10.06 Vestsjælland, DK
2018 Art Market 18.-19.08 Hejninge DK
2018 Slagelse Festuge 30.06 Slagelse, DK
2018 Kunstdage i Pinsen 19. -21.05 Vestsjælland, DK
2018 Kultur-Salon 9.-10.03 Slagelse DK
2017 Kunstdage i Pinsen 3. - 5.06.17 (Pentecost Art Days) Vestsjælland DK
Art Market 12-13.08.2017 Hejninge DK


2021 GetDusty PGE monthly competition (Honorable Mention)
2021 Pastels in Paradise .LCPPS International Juried Exhibition (www)
2021 Best of GetDusty 2020 (winner)
2021 GetDusty PGE monthly competition (3rd place)
2021 The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition (juried) Mall Galleries, London, UK
2020 Les Pastellistes PSEC 25th Annual International juried exhibition (18th award)
2020 November GetDusty PGE monthly competition (1st place)
2020 Get Dusty PGE Open Online Pastel Competition (2nd place)
2020 Roskilde Open , Roskilde Kunstforening, DK (juried)
2020 IAPS 37th Juried Exhibition
2020 Kunstnergruppen Storebælt Annual Autumn Exhibition , Fæstningen, Korsør, DK
2020 Suverõõm/ Summer Delight E-Kunstisalong, Tartu, Estonia (solo)
2020 "Enduring Brilliance" PSA 48th Annual Exhibition (juried)
2020 PSWC 34th Pastels USA (juried)
2020 Liselund Center, Slagelse, DK (solo)
2020 CMPS Marks of Distinction Annual International Exhibition (juried)
2020 UART Annual online pastel competition (1st prize)
2020 VK20 36th open juried exhibition, Æglageret, Holbæk, DK (3rd prize)
2019 Pakhuset, Sct. Mikkels Kirke, Slagelse, DK (solo)
2019 Frese Danmark (solo)
2019 Roskilde Open (juried) Roskilde Kunstforening, Denmark
2019 IAPS 35th Juried Exhibition Webshow
2019 "Kloden i Centrum" Gallery ArtCompaz, Copenhagen, DK
2019 Hashøj Group Autumn Exhibition, Gallery Røde Tårn , Slagelse, DK
2019 "Enduring Brilliance!" (juried) 3.-28.09 National Arts Club, New York, USA
2019 UART online pastel competition (2nd prize)
2019 Gallery Svanen, Vig, DK
2019 Korsør Fæstning, DK
2019 Dronninglund Art Center, DK
2019 Mississippi Art and Culture Center, Thyholm, DK
2019 Spring Exhibition (juried), Annaborg Art House, Hillerød, DK
2019 Helsingør Art Gallery, Helsingør, DK
2018 Roskilde Open (juried), Roskilde, DK
2018 Pastel Guild of Europe (juried) online (1st prize)
2018 Pure Color (juried) online WWW
2018 Gallery Hvitnov, Hejninge, DK (solo)
2018 Culture House Gimle, Føllenslev, DK (solo)
2018 Psychiatric Center St. Hans Roskilde DK (solo)
2017 Gallery Røde Tårn Slagelse DK (solo)
2016 Pakhuset St. Michaels Church Slagelse DK (solo)
2016 Gallery Hippi Sorø DK
2016 Gallery Noorus Tartu EST
2016 The Brick Lane Gallery London UK
2016 Slagelse Central Hospital DK (solo)