Accomplishment: the meaningful measuring unit of time

Idleness makes hours pass slowly and years swiftly. Activity makes the hours short and the years long.

/Cesare Pavese “This business Of Living”, 1938/

Time flies and streams flow: are we going to stand by and watch them disappear?

Most of us have some daily duties, jobs, schedules, routine, obligations and problems. Fewer have achievements, satisfaction, passion, happiness and things that make this life a pleasurable experience.

I have noticed people who are passionate about something are simply better off. They are better off in many ways, not only because they don’t know what the boredom or wasted time is, but they have something more than just routine, duties and obligations.

Time really flies, and there are so many reasons to interact with life, not only watch it passing by. I am usually measuring my day by what I have accomplished. These don’t have to be always important things, but “accomplished” things. Watching TV, for instance is wasted time. Watering plants is an “accomplished” thing. Calling mom is an “accomplished” thing. Painting or sketching is an “accomplished” thing for sure.

Thus, the measuring units of my time are not only hours, days, months, years, but any accomplished things whether small or huge.

I am happy that my art classes allow other people accomplishing something, as well. That can be even to make a dream come true. I am obviously happy that spots for the fall art classes are already taken in spring.

I hope we will be able to arrange an exhibition of my students and my demo artworks either in October or December. The space is a bit of a problem, but we could probably solve it. Not all art which I am putting on this blog is finished works, but it is easy to understand: we all are unique and our creative speeds are distinctive.

The recent 6-week acrylic painting session is very successful, we are about to start the second project.

Acrylic painting class for beginners

Daughters, mothers, friends and art lovers

Park painting in acrylic

Park and floral scene in acrylic

Floral and nature project

First time paintings for 5 students, 1 started attending my classes before

Whitby acrylic painting for adults

Pleasure and fun: everything together

Painting flowers in acrylic

Thursday night acrylic painting class

The river project: adult acrylic painting class

Not all paintings got to the finishing stage since it is summertime

Acrylic painting class for adults

Still requires some work, but they will get it done

Painting lessons for adults in Durham

Practicing more complicated objects is very useful

First project in adult acrylic class

The collage view

Acrylic paintings by adult beginner class

Many very committed students had joined the Thursday class; lots of projects were done during September-May. The passion for art and creation is the common feature of all of my students. The inspiration is so vibrant in this studio that it is simply impossible not to paint, draw, sketch or create.

 

 

Should there always be a story behind the painting?

The story behind the painting is believed to be one of the best ways for selling art. Well, that really depends. When selling online, we don’t even know who’s bought the art, and when selling in person, it’s not always a good time for stories.

Spring forest: acrylic painting on canvas
Spring forest: acrylic painting on canvas

An interview with an old artist comes to mind when I’m thinking about how much art critics and art reviewers love rich wording.

Orchard in bloom: acrylic painting of apple trees in spring
Blossoming orchard: apple trees in bloom, acrylic painting

A young journalist pays visit to a much experienced, fairly rough artist and asks for permission to write an article about his art. The artist just keeps working, and seems to be neither too excited, nor too denying about this idea. Thus, the journalist takes out her notebook and starts questioning the old guy.
“How is that all of your art is structurally so multi-layered, multi-faceted and multi-reflective when depicting just routinely flat, boring and standard, sometimes underappreciated subjects? How can it show the underlying emotional hidden mystic concepts of these subjects in such an enormously effective and mentally enriching way?”
“Well, I just grab some paint and brush it on.”
“Sounds very simple, but how could you master describe the energetic overload in these trivial scenes which are jammed with overlaying structurally heavy, spontaneous brush strokes which seem to evoke in us the ancient and primary instincts and passions?”
“Well, I suppose, you see it now: I just grab some paint and brush it on.”
“Sure, your painting style is just fantastic and breathtaking. How about your artistic concepts when choosing these uninteresting subjects, but painting them in the way we experience things we never even knew about, not to mention we could see them captured in this vibrant, rigorously abundant manner which takes us to other dimensions and to futuristic domains of our mind?”
“Well, I don’t think, anything else says it better, as: grab some paint and brush it on.”
“Thank you, master. Would you like to share some of your secrets about implementing in your work this indescribably multifold capture and immediate expression of this vivid, eternally uplifting, intricately subdued and emotionally unvarnished light fractures?”
“Well, it’s kind of tough: just grab some paint and brush it on until you like it”.

Acrylic painting of fall scene: fields, trees and sky
Serene rural fall scenery: acrylic painting on canvas

Images which are attached to this post have been painted as demonstrations for classes. I finished them afterwards since I never get time enough during the class while I am trying to follow up on each student’s work. So, that’s the story: paintings of elements which we had to practice on.

Acrylic painting of white and pink amaryllis

Pink and white amaryllis: acrylic floral painting on canvas

It took me a while, but these paintings are available at the gallery now.

Christmas decorating ideas, art and craft sale

White is beautiful for Christmas decorationsThis has been very busy time. I have crafted quite a lot of different show items and using a lot of my imagination and creativity to make this show happen.

Some gifts and Christmas decorations sold very fast, so I had to make additional stuff for the silent auction.

Christmas art and craft show is exhibited on two floors: in the upstairs showroom and in the downstairs showroom. There is quite a lot of interest in creation of such Christmas decorations and DIY gifts, I suppose, I will continue doing something similar in the new year, as well.

Upstairs showroom: the white corner

Christmas art and craft show

Christmas is all about coziness and lovely atmosphere

Christmas craft ideas

Christmas craft show: upstairs showroom

Christmas art

Christmas art: downstairs showroom

Watercolor winter paintings

Some new watercolor paintings: winter scene paintings and bird paintings in the downstairs showroom

Some paintings are brand new, created specially for this show.

Christmas Show and Sale: Art, Crafts, Gifts

It’s Christmas time again, and we are having our annual Christmas sale. It is richer and more interesting than ever before. I have no doubt, everyone can find something great, whether it’s a Christmas decoration, nice, hearty, one of a kind gift, painting, card or gift certificate. Gift certificates for classes and workshops are available every day, not only during the sale.

You can enjoy and possibly purchase more than 200 paintings and crafted gift items.

All decorations and gifts are crafted in the gallery and range in style from traditional to modern and trendy, both, regarding the color scheme and design. We have used mostly nature materials: fir and pine cones, apple-tree and maple branches, fir- tree branches and also some paints, glitter, tissue paper and interesting containers. You should definitely check out the one of a kind gift boxes, note books, diaries and photo albums.

We are offering only original paintings and art, including three-dimensional acrylic nature paintings in subtle and soothing colors.

Variety of Christmas cards can be ordered from the Fine Art America site: http://inese-poga.artistwebsites.com

Please have a look at some gifts and decorations for sale.

 

Traditional Christmas colors

Crafted Christmas gift boxes

Crafted Christmas gift boxes

IMG_5178

Gold and red

Red and green: tissue paper roses and glitter on branches

Christmas gift box and red roses

Christmas gift box, very elegant and delicate, matches the Christmas center-piece very well

Celebrating the light and warmth

White and red: Christmas gift boxes

Festive and uplifting, sparkle and shine: Christmas settings

I hope you enjoyed the decorating ideas!

Fall Art Festival at Camp Samac: Friday

I belong to people who have lots of duties, responsibilities, appointments, arrangements, etc. I am always planning ahead, but I often find myself balancing on knife-edge to meet all deadlines and to make all things happen. Generally speaking, I cannot avoid some rush with whatever I’m trying to do. Getting ready for art shows always involves some frantic adding of last strokes to some time ago created paintings, some sudden new painting idea just the night before the show; and, yes, that’s me typing the art sales sheets and printing labels just half an hour before I leave to set up the show.

This is how it looks at 10pm the night before the art show. I need my watercolors for signatures and small corrections, I need acrylics for adding some highlights or freshening up the lost darks. I need everything to be right there and all around. What a mess, really! However, this photo was taken before I started to do all of these adjustments. It looked much messier at 1 am when I decided to leave everything alone and get some sleep.

These paintings are waiting far labels, they are also getting checked for imperfections or missing signatures.

This is such a happy moment when the provided space is set up. It seems like nothing to it, and I really have to wonder, how could it take so incredibly much time and efforts?

I decided to do mostly trees this year, and when I stopped by, I found out that 3 paintings were already sold. Great news.

Why trees? I find them extremely human, having so much of character which people are often lacking. I don’t think there can be ever painted too many trees or flowers, these silent guards of our living space.

Autumn birch painting

Birches are stubbornly maintaining their white coats regardless of seasons. It’s not surprising they have found reflection in so many poems, paintings and stories. How to stay white is the lesson they teach.

We can respect maples for knowing how to lose their beauty in such a gracious and marvelous way, there are no regrets, just sadness for rapidly disappearing magnificence.

This maple road painting was done in my rich acrylic texture technique. Paintings of this type change colors as the surrounding light does, and depending on the viewing angle, foliage feels almost touchable at some moments. This painting was also sold straight after I put it out. These paintings exist only as single originals since no prints or similar reproductions can be made, and that’s what I like about them.

Finding inspiration in poppy fields

It is not a secret that some themes and objects are easier to do, and especially, if the artist is just starting out. After engaging for a few classes in two landscape paintings, we decided to paint some poppies, just for fun and for the love of color.

This theme was liked a lot, and all students started their paintings without any complications, extreme difficulties or unpleasant surprises.

Placing poppies in the right spots

Everybody told, they really enjoyed this painting.

Blocking in the blooms

The excitement was so great that these paintings got finished by students during the following class, which was the last class before I left for vacation.

Students are using artist grade acrylic paints, so, these paintings will last. We had a chance to check out paintings done with students grade paints, and colors had lost they brightness in just 3 years.

We are referencing drawings, pictures, and sometimes real flowers to help our imagination with color choices and composition.

Students have freedom to choose whatever color or its shade they prefer, in order to create their paintings in a way they love it.

My poppy field demo version for this class.

I will post the cropped image under the Art News.

My students already receiving art awards

I was very pleased to find out that one of my students who’s been attending my watercolour painting classes for a year, has been granted the visual arts award.

Diana with her visual arts award

She said that she had received 4 awards, but this one was the award she was really most happy about.

Diana is very diligent, very attentive, has lots of patience, and is also ambitious. She started out with having serious interest in drawing and watercolour painting, and she got noticed at her school very soon. Diana’s goal is to master drawing and painting at a very high level, and possibly attend an art college or art school.

Jerica told everybody, including the school principal and her art teacher acknowledged she had made a big progress and created beautiful art since she started to attend classes.

New painting: Summer landscape

Jerica with her paintings

Starting new painting

Kristina with her beautiful painting

It looks like all it takes is to find some time and get started. Once somebody falls in love with drawing and painting, that’s pretty much forever.

Great TV show, and don’t be lazy in summer

I really enjoyed participating in the Rogers TV Durham Daytime show. Hosts Julia and Christian were very welcoming and supportive, there was actually nothing to worry about. TV presentations are my favorite events from now on.

I’m getting more and more very appreciative comments on my website, and more people are asking me also, how come that all my art is so much loaded with positive and uplifting energy. The answer is very simple: I’m creating my art in a loving way, and every little bit of my good energy goes into my paintings. It is true that placing such painting in a room brightens up the entire room. When my art goes to exhibitions, some walls are quite empty for a while, and it feels like big part of me is missing.

One of questions I was asked during the TV show was related to my attraction and devotion to art. I think, art has become pretty much everything for me:

Art is my cure for stress.

Art is my escape from troubles.

Art is my shelter when life is too stormy and unpleasant.

Art gives me the feeling of great balance, harmony and self-fulfillment. It is like a cosy armchair after tiring day, like a warm sweater in windy weather. It’s like music which makes you forget everything else.

There are moments when I’d be lost without being able to dive and completely disappear into the art creation jungle. And I’m so thankful for this gift, this ability to capture all the beautiful things with my pencil and brush.

When I was young, I was having hard times back in Europe. I was short of money regardless of long hours I spent teaching at 2 high schools, and there was nothing at all for dinner quite often, but I used to think, isn’t that wonderful that I can draw just about anything I need? That might be the reason some of my stuff looks genuinely realistic, however, I don’t do actually realistic paintings; even though, they’d seem to be of that type. I’m calling my style “romantically inclined realism”or in some cases it is “realistically inclined romanticism”. Both versions describe my paintings extremely well.

I’m trying to convince those who are doubting whether they should take classes  during summer. The season actually doesn’t matter. It is great to be part of something, it is fantastic to belong somewhere. Learning art and engaging in art is worth every single second you’ve spent doing it. It’s also worth every penny spent on materials and classes. Ancient romans were smart and highly insightful, and they used to say what I’m repeating here:

LIFE IS SHORT, ART IS TIMELESS.

Isn’t that fantastic: to be a part of something timeless?

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed, and see you in my art classes!

Don’t miss OAA Spring Studio Tour 2012

I hope you will be able to make time for the Oshawa Art Association Spring Studio Tour 2012 if you happen to be somewhere in Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa around next weekend.

Spring Studio Tour takes place on May 5th and 6th between 10 am and 4 pm. Please have a look at brochure, many artist studios are participating: http://www.oshawaartassociation.com/SpringStudioTour.htm

You will find me next to the number 3.

I have no doubt that everyone will enjoy this art tour, there are lots of interesting things to look at and possibly buy in order to use as a gift for the upcoming Mother’s Day. What can be more valuable as the joy of giving?

Besides, flowers wither and cake gets eaten up, but a nice painting will always remind the gift receiver of you, your relationship or friendship. Art is a very delicate thing, sometimes hard to describe, and it always makes sense to have a look with your own eyes at new creations of your local artists. Artists who I know, don’t actually complain too much, however, times are tough, and it is so easy to make somebody’s day when buying some inexpensive painting. So, think about it, and support your local artists, because these are folks who really need that: they will appreciate your interest, and small investment in art can go long ways.

Such tour is absolutely free, and many places will have more than exhibited paintings. I will offer advice on art materials, explain differences between classes and workshops, introduce new class schedule, new types of classes, give watercolour demonstration and challenge you to try watercolour washes or drawing.

Last year’s tour was well attended, and I think, benefits were mutual.

Some of my small paintings for sale

Check this out: Results speak for themselves

I’m very proud that all students have found my classes very useful and exciting so far. They admit, they have learned something new and improved their skills every time they attended my studio-gallery classes.

Most students were absolute beginners, some of them were having art classes at school before. It is great experience to watch my students progressing so fast and developing nice technical and surprising creative approach.

My studio-gallery is a place which really inspires, it also has increadibly artistic atmosphere. I have learned patience working as a high school teacher back in Europe for many years, and I also happen to have profound methodical and theoretical background along with practical drawing and painting skills.

We usually start with creation of a pencil sketch.

 

Drawing flowers and different still life objects develops the specific visual qualities which are very important for an artist, especially in early stages. Students elaborate skills of being able to capture real 3-dimensional objects at first; it’s their own choice later whether they reproduce photos, or continue painting and drawing the real stuff.

We are doing not only floral paintings, but it comes to us very natural to engage in floral art during springtime.

These are just the first steps. Some students like the drawing part more, some prefer application of paint and color.

Whatever we would paint, we usually have to decide on color palette which will be applied in painting as we go. It is great to implement unexpected effects (positive accidents) when some paint splashes occur exactly on that spot where they were needed.

 

I paint along with my students and provide demonstrations as we go. This includes small corrections or new approaches, anything, which helps to reveal the chosen object.

Spring daffodils

Sketching is an important preparation step. In my opinion, being able to draw allows an artist to employ so many opportunities. If there were no cameras or computers all of a sudden, drawing would still allow to capture any scene or object as good as photography, if not much better; because there would be nothing between vision and perception of the artist. Research suggests that our visual abilities are very unique, just like our finger prints. This means there’s no other person who sees the same thing exactly as you do.

Diana’s painting is very careful and incredibly patient, and results are great.

Spring crocuses: Diana’s painting

 

Diana has been attending my art classes every single week since July 2011, and she has decided to go to an art school.

Jerica’s Easter lilies

I think, art classes keep student busy, develop unique mental and visual perception, allow to obtain new skills, and they are fun, as well. Besides, students create impressive paintings which can be framed or varnished for use without any frame, and that way, they can already decorate their house, give their painting as a gift, or even sell it. Some students have sold their paintings.

I am participating in Oshawa Art Association Spring Studio Tour which takes place on May 5 and 6 between 10am- 4 pm.

Everybody, interested in art, is very welcome to attend my studio-gallery and get the tour brochure and list of all included artists. I will post additional OAA Spring Tour info next week.