Inseparable fellows: desperation and delight, which one wins?

Shadows in my tea-cup, darkness behind the window and soft warmth from the small outdoor lights: that is the calming scene which surrounds me at the moment. The scent of a live fir-tree is absent, but I can certainly imagine that, too. As the year is fast approaching its end, my hopes and expectations get smaller and smaller until they will fade away completely.

What a terrible thing that is to get sick straight before Christmas and in the middle of the last potentially successful sales period! I did exactly that, I worked very hard for about a month and then my body told: that’s it; I need to shut down for a while and get some rest. Well, I missed all the potential sales opportunities since I couldn’t even lift my arm, not to mention do preparations, final touches on art or crafts, and I did not post any ads and I even did not turn on the “Open” sign.  Finally, it’s the first day now when I am a bit better, I can see the computer screen at least. What a relief!

Well, when I hear the big numbers what people are spending during Christmas and holidays, I get even sicker. Is that even possible? Most likely it is.

I took some pictures of the recent works with my phone. It’s so dark, that trying to take a picture with my camera is totally out of question. Oh, like all people who are born under the Leo sign, I love warmth, sun and light. I love the light so much that I believe I’m not going to disappear in any darkness ever. I have actually devoted all my existence to multiplication of light. Nothing warms me more than a sunny day looking through curtains at my window.  Not good news for me so far, because nobody even knows I worked a lot to make this pre-holiday sale happen, but broke down straight before the rewarding finishing line.

I’m not a real Canadian either because I don’t put up a Christmas tree or decorations in November; I do not do the Christmas shopping until the last-minute, and therefore I am only catching up when others are way ahead of me. My Christmas means to put up the tree in the morning, decorate it around lunch time, and then cook a nice meal to have it at night. That’s how it always was since I can remember me. My dad and I went even to the forest just early on the Christmas morning sometimes. If I have everything ready month before this day, I am losing all the Christmas spirit and mood because for me these preparations are the celebration. Songs, flavors, candle lights and sparkles on the Christmas tree is all I need.

Since there is still a full week, I hope that my bank account miraculously turns from red into black, well, that might be also the only occasion when black is a good color; and I can supply myself completely with all the medications before the pharmacy shut-down period. I sincerely hope there might be a person who wishes to see some of my original paintings on their wall or assumes they are good enough to be presented as a gift. We used to say in Europe: hope is a comfort for a fool. Despite the poor odds, I won’t panic just yet. Everything goes on with or without fireworks.

 My Christmas still life acrylic 20 x 16 in

When we painted this still life about 2 weeks ago, I was still feeling fine.

My Christmas trees painting acrylic 20 x 24 in

One class was painting this winter scene along with me, we are doing some winter every December

 My Christmas landscape acrylic 20 x 24 in

The other class was doing more forest-like scene

 My Christmas trees painting acrylic 20 x 16 in

Smaller 20 x 16 version of Saturday painting. I haven’t managed to get good pictures yet, therefore everything is available only as originals. And some 300 other paintings, too.

The Life school blog talks about memories that are beautiful, but can be painful, as well: http://inesepogalifeschool.com/2015/12/18/christmas-memories-that-can-make-us-cry/

Memories, dreams and hopes: the holiday art show

Memories, dreams and hopes form the mental environment I reside in. Although, I’ve been always strongly attached to the reality, the only way for me to exist as and artist is to use my past experience, add some dreams from my future and hope for the best since absolutely nothing is for sure.

The year has made a loop and we have arrived at Christmas time again. For somebody whose main income comes from art and creative projects, this time is very important. I wish I had prepared everything earlier and ahead of December, but every day has only 24 hours. When painting, the day simply disappears, hours turn into minutes, honestly, and late afternoon twilight reminds it’s evening.

Such art show and sale pretty much indicate how I am going to be up to the end of March. Good show with good sales means some free classes for my students or better fees, new brushes, new paints, more colors, more tools and also more blank canvasses to paint on. Oh, I am consuming large amounts of paints! Gift certificates for art classes have been good thing to have all previous years, let’s see how much demand for them is this year. I have sold only a few so far.

It’s also important that people realize these sales are mutually beneficial: buying from a local artist allows this artist shopping the neighborhood in return. No income: no shopping. So, I’m really putting big hopes into this event, and I also worked hard and many hours not only on the direct sales pieces of art and crafts, but on my decorations. Well, I have lost the entire box with indoor and outdoor lights. No idea who has taken that box away, but I’m still trying to find it. The only string I have at the moment cannot provide enough light for the entrance. Pictures were taken during twilight, when the darkness sets in, hardly anything is visible. It’s easy to decorate when plenty of materials and all kinds of things are available, it’s fairly tricky when that’s not the case. My decorations are done only employing my imagination and using and recycling materials which I had from previous years. I added some greens for freshness from my backyard. I think that’s the key: figure out how to replace what one doesn’t have with what’s available.

I tried, but the entire scene would not fit into one picture. Camera also pushes back the middle ground, so, I dare to say, it looked actually much nicer in reality!

I have added new images to Fine Art America site also: it’s amazing how good some images look on pillows they are now offering in addition to all kinds of prints and cards: metal prints, acrylic prints, framed prints, posters and simply prints. Almost forgot the phone cases, millions of those. All of this stuff is quite inexpensive, so I’d love people stop by at that site, too. This is one of images:

Sunset creek Acrylic painting

I’m feeling a bit tired tonight, it’s been a lot of work, and I hope this results in some kind of good holidays and New Year since I’d love nothing more than simply paint: not in rush, not particular size, not particular scene, but something I really love. Paint and feel undisturbed by any routine duties and problems. Some artists have that, but it’s like a dream for me yet because in order to do something like only painting subjects which really make sense to me requires much higher sales and much higher volumes. Well, I’m working on it.

 2014 Art show and sale poster

We all come from our past and we all are going to our future. The small while in between is our present where memories and dreams meet. That is also a short, sparkling moment when the art is born.

Our creative potential is huge and very often neglected. Get some inspiration, give somebody a gift of art or time for creation of it!

Well, nice news: somebody just bought a pack of 10 greeting cards!

I hope they enjoy these cards!

Gift Certificates for Art Classes and Art

Gift certificates for teen and adult art classes are really loved since everybody can enjoy them way beyond the holiday weeks. Some people who receive classes as a gift keep attending them and create fantastic art works.

Our small groups are very friendly, and the creative atmosphere is just fantastic during these classes. We have mothers and daughters in every class: they attend together watercolor and sketching, acrylic landscape elements and acrylic large flowers. Daughters usually get so many compliments since some are just 11 or 12 years old!

I was sorting out the images which we had used during previous classes, and I was surprised myself how many there were. So many classes have taken place in this gallery, unbelievable! Well, there are at least 3 classes every week for the most part of the year. It is amazing how each image allows to recall the group and particular students who were creating their art based on that image.

Adult art classes winter 2013

Please let me know if you’d like to purchase a gift certificate for art classes. You can pick it up at the studio-gallery, or you can pay by e-mail transfer and get it sent to your inbox. I can send a gift certificate by regular mail, as well. Please, don’t forget to specify for which class the certificate is: e. g., Tuesday Watercolor, drawing, sketching; Wednesday Landscape acrylic; Thursday Flowers acrylic; or choose from listed workshops.

All classes will resume in the second/third week of January.

Gift certificate for painting classes

Just like every year, I have created nice DIY decorations. I used lots of pine and spruce cones this year, I hope they will be liked.

Christmas decorations DIY

There’s always new art, cards and 3-dimensional artworks for sale. Art is a long-lasting gift and will remind the person who received it even after many years.

Christmas decorations DIY

Christmas decorations DIY

Easy DIY Christmas projects: fresh greens from the backyard, pine cones, paper flowers, some simple ribbons and Styrofoam balls.

Crafted Christmas gift boxes

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 Show at Camp Samac: Sunday

The Fall Art Festival at Camp Samac not only allows one to explore a wide variety of different artists works, but also gathers many hundreds of people interested in art, crafts and creative achievements. It was not surprising that the majority of artists presented smaller size art, art prints and art cards. Even though, there was a fairly large crowd of visitors at some art displays throughout the show, the most buying activity involved smaller, more inexpensive original pieces and art prints. The impression was that the original art was loved and admired, but not that much purchased.

However, taking into account the large number of participating artists (71) and the even larger number of art presented, I must say this event had great success and resulted in many nice transactions for artists and gorgeous acquisitions for art lovers.

We had many thoughtful conversations and discussions, but I only could get a few pictures from this event (with kind consent of the respective artists) since general photo taking was not allowed.

Judith Harper

Judith presented nature, floral, landscape and even figurative paintings in warm attractive colors. We had a great talk about different art issues and this show, and I was really happy to meet her in person.

Light in some of her landscapes was really impressive, and the gentle capture of nature made me think that Judith loves to paint objects which are meaningful and close to her.

Mike McGowan

Mike told his painting ideas originated in his imagination, and he had no need for photo references or direct object set-ups. His colorful abstract paintings and collages attracted many visitors, and he was very often involved in enthusiastic conversations with them.

The vivid colors were really  eye-catching, and he couldn’t complain about lack of interest. Mike also helped me with advice and explanations which I highly appreciated.

More info about Mike’s art can be found at:

http://www.mcgowanart.com/

Anne Labelle Johnson

Anne is well-known for her sensitive beautiful watercolor and acrylic paintings which depict various nature themes. She finds the beauty and magnificence in simple objects which we are often just passing by.

Anne uses a very specific dreamy blue in many of her paintings, and maybe the symbolism of blue is adding another feminine touch to these impressive paintings.

More information about Anne’s art can be found at her website:

http://www.bluewillowstudio.ca/

More information about these and other participating artists can be found at:

http://www.oshawaartassociation.com/

and http://www.pineridgearts.org/index.html

I was very satisfied with this show. This was a great opportunity to get better understanding of the local art scene, make friends, get to know other artists, and sell some paintings. 3 of my originals were sold, and I thought that was great because I did not bother with printing cards or getting art prints.

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.