Sanna Maria Paananen's paintings are modern day allegorical figures, usually dealing with issues of being an artist, the economy, being female and how to view femininity. Her paintings are in a bluish-tinted grayscale and the figures never fully engage the viewer, but always look away, at least slightly, to represent the painter's timid personality. Paananen's paintings are mainly done in oils, but mixed with other types of paint and collage materials such as newspaper to create material contrasts in an otherwise subdued manner of painting. The end result is a combination of the Russian and Finnish art education the artist has received: something new, something old.
Paananen also works in collaboration with the painter Tero Ulvila, combining representational with the abstract manner of painting.