Last minute gifts: one of a kind and personalized

Last minute Christmas gifts

Get some inspiration for last minute Christmas gifts: it is easy to personalize your gift by just adding some specific lettering or making up a set of something you know that person prefers.

I think that last minute gifts make up a lot of Christmas fun. For people like me who do not have all their family within reach, that is the best part of Christmas. I love making gifts, creating greeting cards and giving gifts. I wish I had more money, so more people could get their gifts and feel happy about them.

Last minute Christmas gifts

Shiny crystal necklace and center pieces in gold and silver

Last minute Christmas gifts

Canvas with shiny golden stars and fitting center piece

Last minute Christmas gifts

Silver cones

Last minute Christmas gifts

Country style with birds

Last minute Christmas gifts

Closer look

Last minute Christmas gifts

Twig frames

Last minute Christmas gifts

Mixing up styles

Last minute Christmas gifts

Cozy and let it snow

Last minute Christmas gifts

Everything comes together and

Last minute Christmas gifts

this is my Christmas, with

Last minute Christmas gifts

lots of fun, work, inspiration, love and hope!

Enjoy!

Last minute Christmas gifts and inspiration

last minute Christmas gifts in red

Last minute gifts are usually the best because they are happy findings. You might also feel inspired by some of decorating ideas.

Here are some ideas: country, Scandinavian, red, silver and gold. I have used materials from my backyard and something to make Christmas shine and sparkle, as well.

You might borrow some of mine ideas. I regret that neither phone, nor regular camera love artificial light and sparkles. Well, pictures are still festive and attractive.

Lots of people have not wrapped up all their gifts yet. Lots of people are still looking for the perfect decorations or suitable art to make the walls look more festive. Creating Christmas decorations, ornaments and art is easy because this creativity originates in love.

last minute Christmas gifts in red

Everything sells also, especially locally, at Art plus Life Studio-Gallery which is located in downtown of Whitby, Ontario. Open late and every day up to Christmas!

Last minute gifts Christmas gifts

Golden conesLast minute gifts Christmas gifts

Shiny and snowy

Last minute gifts Christmas gifts

Reds and golds

Last minute gifts Christmas gifts

Lovely combination

Last minute gifts Christmas gifts Country style

Living up to Christmas

last minute Christmas gifts in red

 

Reds, golds and all kinds of festive

Last minute gifts

And really enjoy and stop by if you are in Whitby, Ontario or not far from it! I love people just dropping in!

last minute Christmas gifts in red

Very lively, very warm, very attractive!

 

 

Celebrate in style: art that suits any taste, first featured painting

Celebrate in style: art that suits any taste, first featured painting

Celebrate in style will include my creations which I will try to post as frequently as I can taking into account that painting takes between 6-8 hours a day, classes about 4 hours a day with set-up and clean-up twice a week, setting up for photos, editing, posting online and promoting my art takes abnormally many hours and nobody has cancelled doctor’s appointments, treatments and the daily chores. I do also create decorations and have to put up some in the front, that takes additional 4 hours a day, plus the mess … I have to sell something so that I can buy my gifts, therefore, I hope for some response.

I have painted and created over years lots of art that can be a great gift or a fantastic decoration.

This time, I am featuring a rustic Christmas tree painting. This painting is acrylic and mixed media on 20 x 16 in canvas (or 51 x 41 cm). The background imitates wood, and it is created on canvas and also painted around the edges, so it does not need any frame.

Winter trees are so adorable, and when the first snow is falling … that means getting into the holiday and Christmas spirit immediately. Having this simple, yet beautiful tree on a wall is also a pleasure. I finished painting this tree image and I could not stop enjoying and looking at it.

The idea comes from the internet. I saw somebody had painted things and text on wood, and I really liked the idea of creating such a look. I just had to figure out how to achieve this without wood. I simply did not have any, especially somewhat suitable pieces. Well, I usually create what I do not have. This painting has also touchable and visible texture, so, it even feels like wood.

We will have workshop on December 9th. If you are not that far and reside in Durham region, Ontario, you certainly could take part and paint something similar for your own pleasure. Please apply here:  https://inesepogagallery.com/classes-workshops-schedule/

Celebrate in style: art that suits any taste, first featured painting

Let us celebrate in style this year! It is nice to have something original, not a print on the wall. It is absolutely ok to create something when we cannot buy it. Enjoy and let me know if I can ship this wonderful rustic tree painting to you!

Value of creativity and creative fall paintings

Creativity is a very valuable feature. Creativity can save us in bad times and help blossom in good times. I have noticed that people either are creative, or they believe they do not need creativity. These who can buy everything ready-made, do not usually bother too much with being creative.

Creativity is frequently inherited: no child should grow up being only as creative as the computer or cell phone screen allows. The genuine creativity does not need much; it often uses just a small idea, a guess that we could make something out of nothing. By repurposing and recycling old things, we create a new life for them. That is a very interesting process on its own, and these old things become so adorable by adding just an artistically creative touch.

Creative brain is actually flexible, resourceful and very active brain. It tries to explore every potential, possibility and probability. It skips the surface and looks deeper: what if something useful is hiding there?

Most people are not born with a need for creativity or being addicted to a creative self-expression. It is possible to live long and happy life without ever having an idea what that is.

I do not like the pre-printed greeting cards because they take away from me the creative freedom: there is no space for my own poem or words I want to say to that particular person. I prefer to create my own greeting cards.

I have noticed a huge decline in human cognitive function just over the past 7 years. The decision making ability has decreased abnormally.

While most people can type, how many can still do hand-drawing or hand-writing? I hear you: who needs the handwriting or drawing when one can get everything done much faster using the touch screen? Well, our brain does. Nobody has cancelled the fine motor skills, and the more one excels at drawing from life, the more active brain they will have for a long time.

Art is definitely totally underappreciated as a recovery tool from cognitive slow-downs. The benefits from doing art and being creative are many.

Most people believe that perfecting drawing or painting skills is necessary only for artists, however, the regular artistic activities are the best brain booster ever, just to mention journaling, sketching, sketchbook keeping, writing and illustrating diaries, creating decorations or gifts.

One should not put it off until the moment when sharp decline in cognitive function is observed. Daily practicing is certainly the best: the more exercise we give the brain, the better our eye-hand coordination, memory and visual perception becomes.

Art classes do not require being an artist, but these who just picked up the pencil or brush should be also aware that art does not happen in 1 hour. Never. Painting a wall takes some skill, but painting images on that wall will certainly take a lot more skill.

Creativity can be developed and boosted, but the main thing is the willingness to be creative. That means thinking creatively, making unexpected decisions, finding answers to new questions and practising a lot.

I am very patient. I can works for years on a painting until I take it there where I want it to be.

The cheapening of art and the fact that everything is called art is really hurting me and artists who take art seriously. If I paint for 3 weeks every single day, I am not willing to sell such painting for 50 bucks. I am not. I also sometimes like some painting so much that I cannot detach myself from it. That passes over time, but there is huge attraction sometimes.

There are certainly people who produce art: use one template, the same set of colors and tools and just make out more and more of the same. That is art production.

We worked on sponge and acrylic project last week. I personally use sponge with acrylic paint a lot because that allows implementing under-painting or first layers much faster, thus, giving more time for top layers.

To learn using sponge with acrylic paints, you can apply for live art classes if you are in Durham region, Ontario: https://inesepogagallery.com/classes-workshops-schedule/

Retouched grey fall barns

Prints

Fall paintings grey barns
The grey fall barns creative fall paintings

The afternoon birch forest

Prints and art products with prints

Value of creativity, creative fall paintings, birch forest
Afternoon birch forest, creative painting

The birch forest path

Prints and art products with prints

Value of creativity, birch forest path painting
Birch forest path

Enjoy!

 

Art studio: my reality needs a place to create, dream and live

Art studio is a place to create, recharge, work, relax, nurture big ideas, turn ideas into reality and dream. I like keeping my art studio well organized, neat and clean. It is because I’m used to that since early childhood: we had to clean all rooms in the house on Saturday, so that we can take a relaxing break in a dust-free and neat home on Sunday and start fresh on Monday. Early childhood habits stay with us for a long time, and I am grateful to my mom who always showed such a fantastic example of how to decorate with self-made things, how to sew something that really makes us stand out and how to use flowers and outdoor finds to make the space extremely cozy, lovely and welcoming. Thanks, mom!

I was a good student.

Therefore, my desk is always tidy and not overloaded; my painting tables are always organized so that everything I need is within reach. People who paint something more complicated than abstracted washes are aware that sometimes every minute we lose in crucial moments later requires working for hours to bring back the effect we had achieved. Timing is everything with water media, either acrylic or watercolor. That’s why I cannot answer phone, as well, if I’m in the middle of painting. Calling somebody is really bad habit unless there’s real urgency. I rarely use phone for calls, except when contacting doctor’s office or similar places. Phone is always at the wrong time. Always. There might be extremely rare exceptions when we are expecting a call, and even that is disturbing.

So, the studio is organized, tools and materials are in their right places, and cleaning never takes too much time. The golden rule is very simple: if you want to never look for something, find a suitable place for every type of items or every particular frequently used thing and always put it back where you got it from. I have no problem finding everything even when the power goes out: I do place everything back where I take it from and I also have a very good visual memory. Photographic memory, I’d say. Extremely good visual memory is the result of drawing and painting. I do not need any lists or written schedules since my head keeps it in the right order and allows recalling exactly when I need it.

It’s just so that if I am not assigning to something a label: important, memorize, I might or might not recall it exactly. I do make my brain aware of things that need to be remembered by paying a special attention or looking or reading that spot twice.

In my case, more technology has killed everything I was doing, and that has led to not that brilliant sequences. Therefore, I do not use and I am not willing to use any technology in my painting process. That means drawing and painting mostly from either real scenes and subjects, or imagination. That works well.

When I was studying at the University and even after that, I was really in portrait and figure drawing. Some people later in my life destroyed any desire to draw portraits. I just started to feel that only nature won’t present itself with lies and in a pretentious manner. I found beauty where I had not noticed it before, like in some simple piece of weathered wood, withered leaf, opening bud or branch of half-dry tree with bird sitting on it. I mean that type of things. Classes require painting more robust scenes because my personal preferences do not necessarily suit the vision of somebody else.

It is a huge advantage to have a specifically designed place for arts and crafts. I have a specific sewing place upstairs where fabrics, threads, buttons, zippers and all kinds of additional materials are neatly sorted in boxes and on shelves. I definitely need a place where everything is ready and waiting for creative outburst. I do not understand how difficult it must be doing arts or crafts at kitchen table since that can be used only for limited time. That is a bad situation.

When we were looking for a place, I noticed that Canadian houses are absolutely not suited for creativity: there is a kitchen, dining room, bedroom, one or more bathrooms, but nothing where to create. Basement doesn’t work, in fact, for art because artificial lighting regardless of how good or white it is will always distort the color. Colors are true only by the real daylight and for somebody like me who is extremely sensitive to shift in a shade of color this is crucial. Being in a basement doesn’t do any good for nobody because we need the daylight and, especially, sunlight.

Art studio: inspiration

Art studio: achievements

Art studio: beauty

Art studio: memories

Art studio: pleasure

Art studio: work

Art studio:  inviting and rewarding space

If you do not have a place for your art studio but are very much interested in creativity and recycling things, sewing, crafting and similar activities: fight for it. We do not live only to sleep, eat and entertain ourselves at screens. I assume people who do not have any passion boring and just filling in the space where we could allow our creative spirit to lift us in previously unseen heights.

Art gets done so many unbelievably good tasks: decreases addictions, helps overcome depression and bad mood, makes us more confident and self-aware, allows feeling not lonely, takes away sadness and despair, opens our eyes to new possibilities, fills us with gratefulness and appreciation and, finally: it is the best way of meditation ever because we have created something enjoyable and usable at the end, too.

Definitely, it’s time your family has an art and craft studio, too: to take a break from screens and to realize that genuine happiness means creation, not only consumption.

Art is created in a different dimension

Art is even more than meditation. It transfers us to a different place, it happens in a different dimension and it results in a completely different experience.

I need, just like most of us, to shut off the world here and there.

To recharge, regain energy and clean my internal, soul-bound me.

I know that somebody might say: well, there are important subject and totally unimportant, and trying to paint unimportant things is just waste of time.

It doesn’t really matter, not one small bit.

It is totally possible to forget to eat, to forget what the weather outdoors is; what day it is and whether there are some urgent chores to be done.

The funny thing is that everybody can get into it.

I certainly would advise to let everything disappear time to time.

 

These are my lovely veggies

Love veggies is available from studio, this website and DailyPaintworks site:

$150 plus shipping in Canada $20 and to USA shipping is $25 because this is a large painting Love veggies

At least on my computer, better color balance is visible: ash berries or rowan berries, watercolor, The fall branch is also on DailyPaintworks:

Branch of ash berries

Sunflower sketch

 

I also got finally better pictures of sunflower sketch and ash berries. Well, in order these pictures were normally visible, every picture should be featured at the beginning of post. I just  really do not care about many things, and frequency of posting is one of them. I am in the middle of a creative uplifting swing. I hope it takes me somewhere higher.

Different approach to art class: focus on relaxing and stress-free creativity

I am offering a new art class this fall: to paint and to relax letting all concerns and problems go. The key to creativity is being relaxed and not to expect miracles, but learn creating them.

I noticed that some students were taking art classes way too seriously, and being not in a relaxed mood does not allow achieving the same results what people, who always take things easy, do.

I want to make a welcoming environment for creation so that purely technical goals become secondary while painting.

American traditional art teaching pays too much attention to the technical execution of art while leaving the emotional and spiritual side totally neglected. Especially, when I just relocated to Canada, it was definitely overwhelming how sometimes artwork would scream: I am technically perfect, every smallest dot and line is where they should be and every color is exactly as the textbook requires. That is why some artists go for big lengths: they trace and copy photos, and redraw and repaint everything what in digitally adjusted photo is. Where is the creativity? That allows achieving a perfection which frequently lacks feelings and does not move emotions. I would like to emphasize: the creative process is the most valuable part of the artistic phenomenon.

Perfection in art is not the best guiding idea because it simply does not allow unfolding the creative potential.

I hear this quite frequently: I’m not touching this painting anymore because I do not want to damage it. Well, leaving work unfinished isn’t good either.

I also wanted to make an art class which is impossible to replicate online: just because the content of this class rests on the presence and the interaction between me, group and everybody as an individual.

I will gear everything towards a great, interesting, amazing and positive experience. That means learning about oneself and art, and learning to be creative without the annoying pressure which some teaching venues want to impose on somebody who is looking for a new skill and ability.

We will use blocks of paper, so that at the end of this  positive painting session  everybody will have an image diary and will be able to continue adding creations.

Inspiration and immersion in calm, creative environment is something we do not find often or elsewhere.

I believe, this type of art class where experience and activity flow together creating emotional satisfaction, thus, releasing stresses and providing with a new perspective on the bothering issues in one’s life, will be well attended and appreciated.

It’s very interesting that I was away and did not do any advertising so far, but people were applying, in fact, a lot of people, that included the new daytime watercolor painting class.

I am adding as illustration some brush stroke and wash only paintings which do not need any drawing. We use only watercolor and water, and we watch what happens and how our thoughts and ideas look on paper.

Watercolor paintings without drawing: fun, relaxing brushing and interesting flow of pigment:

Leaf patterns, washes and more washes, available at $85

Leaf patterns

Road towards the fall

Distant storm

Side by side with summer, available at $40 

Side by side with summer

Sponge trees

October sketch

Art classes are for everybody because we will be using only our personal preferences with choosing colors, subjects and the way they look.

And finally, the best new watercolor painting “Water edge”, available at $85 plus shipping Water edge

Participants will have a lot of choice: they can draw, they can use pen or they can also do very abstract or semi-abstract art for their image diary. That’s why it’s called: stress relief with color and line.

Art classes and fall start soon

Fall art classes start soon. That is a fact. Fall is here. This might be the most inspirational time for poets and artists, especially these ones who are taken away by color.

My fall art classes usually resume in October. I went to Latvia earlier this year, so, art classes can start sooner and be long enough to learn plenty. It’s going to be October.

I had to think a lot how to arrange art classes this year: I tried 1-day workshops, 2-day workshops, monthly classes and 2 classes on the same subject. I tried everything, I believe. I will have 8 classes in a row this season because it felt as if previous approach did not give enough time for everybody, and I definitely do not like rushing people.

These classes are supposed to give a lot of space and freedom for interpreting subject in a very personal way. We have created wonderful paintings before, and they never looked the same. Every student had used their own view on things, and that is pretty much how art should be: originating in the artist, not in a photo which gets copied onto a paper or canvas. I would love that every class is experience and process and less an attempt to stick to perfection because when we do not get everything perfect we are upset. I encourage everybody to play with shapes, contrasts, colors and try finding the ones that make sense for that particular student personally. We are all similar and very different at the same time: why would we try to create copies of each others work?

We will have new fall art class: a  daytime watercolor and sketching class which will focus on pleasure and excitement that only colors and good mood can provide us with. I was told quite frequently that not everybody can attend the late afternoon class, so, here you go: meditate, relax and enjoy doing these watercolor studies that are suitable for absolutely everybody as long as they are willing to try some brushstrokes. This class does not require a lot of materials, and we will do exactly that: we will get lost in artistic freedom to create whatever we feel like at that moment. I have a pretty good idea how well this will work out, so, it should be a fantastic class if you are looking for a great pastime and if you feel you need to decrease your stresses and forget about problems.

Fall art classes: late afternoon watercolor and acrylic painting class will continue the good tradition of this studio: enjoy the process and learn in a relaxing environment. I have thought about new subjects which will be very suitable for exploration and studies, and I will try to gear students’ attention towards the use of tips and tricks, many different techniques and ways of paint application, as well as watercolorists will get a boost with their drawing skill.

When I am traveling from place to place, there is rarely time to sit down and quietly paint or sketch. As you know, I want my subject to be in front of me, whether that is a still life apple or some flower, or a scene. I quite honestly cannot stand repainting photos, so, I am very happy every time when there is a chance to get something on paper. It’s not much. My subjects had wilted and gotten bad while I was away, but still: that is at least an exercise. I did not have a desk or decent table, and I had to balance everything on my lap or stretch a bit in order to reach to water or paint which is a fun of some sort.

Some sketch and 2 watercolor paintings, that’s all I got done so far while traveling

Rowan berries or ash berries, as well as some sunflower and apples, we will try some nature scenes with still life elements in our fall art classes, too.

Quick sketch: inspiration for fall art classes

 

This really says: fall

 

 

 

I have noticed: if I cannot paint or draw for a longer time, I feel like I am missing something a lot. I hope you have nice plans for your fall season, as well!

Who benefits from art and artists

When you look at art for sale, it can sometimes seem the artist is probably under drugs and wants to extremely profit from their paintings, drawings or other type of art. It seems so.
I once asked a lady who was enquiring about my paintings: do you know anybody who would work for about two months, every day, about 6-8 hours a day and then receive for all this work 200 bucks minus materials? It isn’t that I tried to get her to pay more or whatever, it’s just the reality.
She was a nice lady, and she honestly said she didn’t know anybody who would work on such terms. I could add to this that I don’t know either, except fellow artists who for different reasons are in the same boat.
A brief list of these who benefit not only from  full-time artists, but anybody who creates art and tries to sell their art:
companies that make pencils, papers, tracing papers, graphite papers, drawing sketching, watercolor and all kinds of art papers,
companies that manufacture canvas, canvas panels, canvas boards, stretcher bars and canvas fabric,
companies that make paints, pigments, mediums for paints, solvents, vanishes, and all kinds of chemicals that are necessary for putting paint on canvas or paper at different stages or preserving the ready art,
companies that make easels, supports and all kinds of frame manufacturers, framing places and manufacturers of framing supplies, that includes mats, matting paper, glass, Plexiglas and similar materials;
every artists needs a website or blog, as well as social media presentation, so there are lots of platforms and hosting companies which sell everything from security certificates, to software for managing website, hosting, themes, plugins and many tools in order the website stayed functional;
companies that manufacture computers, tablets, ipads, cameras, video cameras and phones since we need to get the image somewhat captured and transferred to online space;
any landlord who leases studio or showroom space;
any utility provider who sells power, gas and water to the studio;
any show, gallery, exhibition, fair, including juried shows, online competitions and online shows which charge a fee for putting the artwork out there;
any online sales or art print sales provider which charges membership fee and commission;
money collecting and payment processing companies, i. e. Paypal, banks, etc.
That is not the entire list, and to some extent it is similar to expenses that are inevitable for any freelance or self-employed person, but the creation of art is definitely at the higher end of expenses, costs of materials and time consumption.
Artist obviously pays for paints, paper, canvasses, frames and framing, fees for shows and gallery representation and any utilities, as well as monthly payment for studio regardless of whether there is going to be some profit or not. Even when the art ends up in the waste basket, it still involves cost.
I know one would say: anybody who creates a product must create it first and there is never a guarantee of selling it. True, however, most products which are 100% unique, handmade and original sell for much more than the materials and labor that goes into them.
So, we have arrived at the most crucial question: who enables the artist to benefit? Who makes it possible for the artist to profit from their talent, work and efforts?
The artist can only profit from his or her clients who purchase the work whether as a product with art image on or in it, or as an original painting and drawing.
That is you. Somebody who loves and appreciates art. Somebody who has some money and is willing to spend it not on food, not on outfit, not on make-up or furniture, but art. Art is not a medication and it won’t cover you as a blanket, but it can feel that way, too. I know people who can stand for half an hour at some of my paintings and they feel exactly that: warmth and energy, and healing power.
I hope when you go to an art show next time and when you look at some painting, you will be aware that along with artist’s efforts, talent, time and soul there goes in a lot of other expense. That is an expense which is not covered quite frequently.
Being a freelance writer and artist is not easy by any means. There is a lot of insecurity: I do not know when some new work request arrives, I cannot ever guess with certainty when some painting will sell. I obviously cannot work when I’m not well, and that causes other problems. The domino effect.
Why to do this? At the present moment, this is the only option I have.
I am not sure if I will have to post something else before I fly to Latvia next Monday, yes, I unintentionally have chosen the full solar eclipse day, but whatever; I am presenting a few paintings which come as result of giving the flower painting class.

Lovely pinks

I compared also Arches 300 paper with Saunders Waterford 300.

Saturday rose is available at $150 plus shipping Saturday rose

Sunday rose is available at $150 plus shipping, Daily Paintworks, Sunday rose

Unfortunately, both papers were not bright white. If you have enough time to dry paper decently between layers, Arches is better. It is very easy to paint on it. However, I did not have time to dry paper, so Saunders Waterford was better because it does not keep flowing that much.


I do appreciate any sale through this site, at studio or through any other site because that allows me to benefit small bit from my creations.