Born on 24 December 1946 in Aanekoski, due to cerebral palsy Risto Toivanen's arms have been paralyzed since birth. When he was only three years old he learned to perform the most important everyday tasks with his feet. His ability to express himself artistically evolved gradually from writing and drawing exercises. He attended primary and secondary school and subsequently studied at the university in Jyvaskyla. In 1968 he received a scholarship from the association. This enabled him to work more intensively. He became a Full Member of the VDMFK in 1974. Risto Toivanen uses a great variety of techniques and materials but is especially fond of acrylic and oil. He paints landscapes and compositions in an abstract manner. He looks back on numerous contributions to group exhibitions at home and abroad.