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I was born in Finland and migrated to Australia at the age of three with my family. I grew up in what is called the melting pot of Sydney (western suburbs) and only learnt to speak English when I started school. It was my father, Veikko Malinen (1915 to 1992) the co-founder of the Kotka Art Society (Finland) who instilled in me the love of visual art and taught me the techniques of oil painting.

My love of our natural environment led me to painting seascapes and landscape. Using a  limited pallet of oils I always strive to capture the light, the mood of the scene and  keep my colours clean. A lot of my material is inspired by sailing the east coast of Australia over the years which has provided me rich inspiration from a perspective relatively few experience.

For over 20 years now I have been painting seascapes, landscape, native fauna and flora.   Through these I hope that people gain an increased appreciation of connection with our unique natural environment and respite from the busy urbanised lives that we lead. A reminder of how important nature is to our health and wellbeing. 

Occasionally now I am moved to paint portraits. A painting of loved ones is a precious thing and another reminder of what is important to us.


Artist CV


Bach of Science (Environ Science), USC, 2002
Bach of Science (Hons) Class 2 Dvn 1, USC, 2003

Solo Exhibitions

2022 Coral Sea Cruising, Tanks Gallery, Cairns Qld

2018 Going Troppo, Cooroy Qld

Group Exhibitions

2023 Artists of the North, Cairns Qld

2021 Festival of The Knob Half Moon Bay, Cairns Qld

2021 Cairns Pride Festival Art Exhibition, Tanks Art Centre, Cairns Qld

2018 Art of the Body, Butter Factory, Cooroy Qld

2017 Eclectica Art Awards, Butter Factory, Cooroy Qld 

2016 Eclectica Art Awards, Butter Factory, Cooroy Qld

2015 D’Arcy Doyle Art Awards, Mudgeeraba NSW

2012 Lethbridge 10000 Small Scale Art AwardsBrett Lethbridge Gallery, Paddington Qld

2011 Bob Gammage Gallery, Eumundi Qld


2023 Finalist - Artists of the North, Cairns Art Gallery

2021 Finalist - Cairns Pride Festival Art Exhibition
2018 Finalist - Art of the Body Community Show
2017 Finalist - Eclectica Art Awards
2016 Finalist - Eclectica Art Awards
2015 Finalist - D’Arcy Doyle Art Awards 

2012 Finalist - Lethbridge 10000 Small Scale Art Award (Group 1 Gallery Finalist)
2011 Artist in Residence - Bob Gammage Gallery, Eumundi


Private Collections within Australia: Cairns, Noosa, Brisbane, Tasmania, Sydney, NSW south coast & central coast, Victoria Northern Territory
Private Collections internationally: USA, Finland, Indonesia, France


"Leena, love this piece.  Rich, bold brushstrokes. A perfect capture of Mt Cooroy.  The detail to the foliage is exemplary, and the light and colour magnifique!"



"I have a number of Marja-Leena's paintings and they are a pleasure to see on my walls.  I have also commissioned some paintings for presents which have been really loved by the recipients.  She is an excellent artist with a great feel for her subjects."

Sirpa Martin

"Dear Leena, I love the paintings!!! Each one is magnificent!! Been meaning for weeks now to tell you how much I'm enjoying being at home now!"


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