Celebrate in style: the best way to get into Christmas mood

Celebrate in style, Christmas gifts

Second featured painting

Original art has a special attraction, energy and flare to it. I don’t think there can be too much art on any walls. I have usually some 200 works of art on display in my Art plus Life gallery, and it does not feel overwhelming or crowded. I rotate my art depending on demand and season. It feels very appropriate to have snow scenes and winter villages on display when Christmas is around the corner, and it is very obvious that spring flowers blossom around the gallery in spring.

I have a special love to small birds. I preferred them to any other creatures already as a kid. I assume that one should only paint what they know. I watch these birds during any season, and I have hundreds of sketches which I can turn into artworks later. I painted this particular painting “Robins, winter” last year. I painted 6 bird paintings. As it frequently happens, I felt I wanted to improve the color balance. So, I worked a few more weeks on this painting. I believe it became better and birds are more bird-like, as well, as the entire scene is lovely and welcoming and speaks for itself.

Bird painting for sale, holiday and Christmas art

Robins, winter, 16 x 20 in (41 cm x 51 cm) acrylic painting on canvas

It is also on Daily Paintworks

I do invite everybody to participate in a festive workshop at the beginning of December to try out how nice of an adventure it is to create something heart-warming and cheerful. We can choose the image, and some people usually prefer winter scenes, some illustration or wall decoration type of art, as well as some might go for birds. We also paint poinsettias almost every winter. I must admit, that is a subject which always works well on canvas and paper and looks great.

Workshop is on Sunday, December 10. It takes place between 12.30 and 3 pm. We will paint attractive 12 x 16 in images. Workshops are always fun. Participants also go home with a nice piece of art. I am attaching the “Robins, winter” painting for illustration, but I will certainly post more images as we get closer to the workshop date.

The best way to get into Christmas mood is to create art that suits the season. Let us celebrate in style with original art this year! Please let me know if you like “Robins, winter” painting and whether you’d love me to ship it to you!

Robins, winter, bird painting for sale

Art products are available from Fine Art America.

Celebrate in style, Christmas gifts

My favorite from all products with this particular painting is the spiral notebook. It looks unbelievably good! Mugs also look impressive, so do actually lots of my art products and prints.

 

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 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!

Where would we be without the beauty?

Beauty is the most universal, self-expressing phenomenon that does not require words or language knowledge. It is present in all walks of life, but it becomes something extremely perceivable due to art.

As we rush our daily schedules and spend most of the time running, we might not notice the moment when a bud opens. The magic moment when the fragile petals unfold and when the sun and rain pour life into it. It becomes a mediator of beauty. Every smallest vein and line, every nuance of color is so unique.

The biggest advantage of being able to create, draw and paint is the feeling of being a creator. We can do anything with the sheet of white paper in front of us. It’s our choice what goes on it. I choose the never-ending, personality enriching and mood uplifting divine features of the nature. It is a cheerful activity on its own. It is more than meditation, it is much more than immersing in oneself, it is the imperative life-continuing reveal of the underlying essence of life, and the essence of life is beauty.

Cherry blossoms, watercolor painting. Beauty unfolding

 

Apple blossoms, watercolor painting. Beauty in a very visual way.

Enjoy! Happy Mother’s Day! I know my mom will love these paintings.

How about a painting party?

Do you ever think that having a painting party or private painting event might be a fantastic way to have a good time and have a glimpse into art creation secrets? Many people admit they are extremely exhausted, tired and losing interest in their daily chores. There are plenty of people who suffer from the burnout syndrome. That happens especially when the job involves some kind of repetition and routine, and good results are not always there. It can be caused by clients or family who do not appreciate your efforts or lack of success in things you are trying to achieve. Winter time is causing depressive state of mind, and sometimes we simply are feeling that we need something completely new. New experience, new challenge, time for ourselves. It does not really matter how average or outstanding is the art we create at such events. We have to be somewhat realistic: nobody can become an artist within a few hours. However, we can still do something meaningful. It is better than simply snoozing on the couch or eating at the local fast food restaurant just because one is bored.

Creativity is present in every single one of us, it’s just so that it can be fairly tricky to put your creative abilities to the test. Well, people who love entertainment without negative side effects can certainly enjoy such an afternoon or evening.

It is fairly tough on me because I’m only one person who does everything, but I’m OK with that. It is not that such parties are every week. Therefore, you should try, too. Every neighborhood has art places that offer to enjoy painting with friends, family or colleagues.

Photo gallery shows a recent painting party. This family had chosen a scene with rocks and highly textured background. I placed all textures on canvas 2 days before the event, and it actually took me a while.

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Lifeschool blog talks about risks associated with the use of synthetic vitamins and supplements:

https://inesepogalifeschool.com/2017/02/20/healthy-lifestyle-habits-that-put-you-at-risk-for-undesirable-side-effects/

How drawing and painting teaches life and boosts mental fitness

Drawing and painting are some of the best things we can do in order to increase the brain activity, improve memory (not only visual) and become more confident, self-aware and efficient with making decisions.

How so? Every line and brush stroke we put down on paper or canvas comes from the brain impulses and activity of neurons at certain parts of the brain. Your hand doesn’t move on its own, it’s guided by our perception and the ability to transform visually or with other senses perceived information into individualized personal experience which is reflected as you draw or paint. It is a very complex process, and we tend to think there are mysterious powers of some kind involved. I sort of want to remove the magic aspect from creativity, just to keep things simple. Inspiration will add the magic, but we have to start from the basics.

Most people do not see the surrounding world as an artist does. So, the first task is learning to recognize all the multiple aspects of transforming a simple visual image into art that exhibits the artistically applicable features of this image. How do we do that?

Anything we draw or paint must find some echo in the storage space of our imagination. Such space of stored imaginary images is present within any memory based on associative and a priori acquired knowledge. Anything we create always relates to our fundamental knowledge of this world. Yet, the drawing or painting we are doing has SPECIFIC OBJECTS, VERY SPECIFIC ITEMS, a VERY SPECIFIC THEME and ATMOSPHERE. It is a scene like no other because it always presents individual features. No two apples are exactly the same, now flower copies the other one exactly line by line, vein by vein and trees come all in very various shapes, not to mention faces, landscapes or other scenery.

Since most people who learn painting or drawing believe that getting all information from the outside and simply following somebody without making their own decision will do the job, first artworks usually do not come out that great. While we are sketching or blocking in the basic shapes or lines, we should already try to decide why everything is where it is, and why composition evolves as it does. The reason we place our objects based on some principle on our paper or canvas is deciding early and planning for effects which we create later.

Adding paint or other elements is always making decisions: first about values, then about shapes, edges, washes and eventually we need to apply color if it is watercolor or acrylic or oil painting in color. Our brain has to make these decisions fast. Most mediums require using relevant timing. If we hesitate too much in some watercolor layers, it simply is too late to achieve the type of wash that makes such painting outstanding. If we are too slow, the acrylic layer we worked at is already dry or tacky and we have to return to it later.

Some images from recent art classes

 

Blooming in studio, painting makes us happier and definitely boosts mental fitness

 

 

There are two main things blocking our ability to proceed with painting or drawing when somebody attends or watches a class: we believe that instructor has made all decisions for us and our task is to blindly follow and to repeat what we see; and we are trying to do everything without any knowledge of why. There is no reasoning, no decisions which arise from our current activity.

For instance, when asked what he or she is doing with some particular part of painting, a very frequent answer is: “I don’t know”. How come? You have to know why you want one part dark and how to achieve that, you have to decide whether that particular object is small or large, has lost edges or sharp edges. That is, basically, we have to decide what exactly and why exactly every time we do something with our painting or drawing.

The biggest trouble maker is simple, aimless brushing around, moving paint all over until everything what there was is lost. That comes from not making a decision. When we decide that clouds are large and grey, we act to achieve this. It’s obvious that only acting based on decision can contribute to implementation of our intentions.

The instructor or art teacher isn’t a magician; they cannot affect directly and immediately the way your brain works. They hope you pay attention to what they say and demonstrate and you will make your own decisions based on this advice. However, if you do not answer for yourself why, what, when and how, the progress is noticeably delayed. Therefore, I also advice doing value sketches. This does not slow one down, but helps tremendously with planning and deciding on what, where and what way.

Eventually, the decision making we learn in classroom makes one much more efficient in other areas of life; hence, everything should be based on decision, not impulse and lack of thinking, so that we do not have to admit: I don’t know why I am doing this. You have to. Unfortunately, nobody can provide you with a dose of understanding perspective, values, shapes, contrasts, layouts and other elements as a capsule or tablet to simply swallow and apply. Everybody has their own ways of making the necessary decisions and they should arrive to this understanding on their own, based on advice, recommendations, techniques and principles teacher, demo or class has provided with.

2 new still life paintings for sale

 

Sunny still life, 12 x 16 in, acrylic on canvas

 

Recent study

Lifeschool post has some suggestions on how to avoid preventable accidents and also shares some stories of people who required lengthy recovery:  Preventing bad accidents

Creating is learning, learning means: living more intense

Any creation involves saying something about ourselves. That’s how we are telling others what our point of view is. True creativity is never copying and reproducing, but taking an idea that lives or is just born in our imagination and bringing it to life.

I regret seeing how plenty of instruction is meant to learn not principles and methods, but trying to reproduce a particular artist’s style and manner. Creativity is great not because we can do things that other artists or writers have done, but because we can create everything exactly as we want, have intended and imagined.

The use of color is a very personal feature, color mixing: a general approach to make a shade or tone we want, and therefore, learning the latter is important. Composition can be explained as good and impactful view on items painted on a particular size paper, canvas or other base material. There are generally applicable principles and that’s what we should know. Specific compositional approaches are a personal feature of a particular artist, and we should rather develop our own.

Choice of subject is always important, but we should remember that it is much more useful to learn principles of drawing or painting without sticking to subjects somebody else is painting in some particular manner and doing it great.

How and what always depends on us. The many ways for achieving the desired result we ae learning. Learning is an ongoing activity, and it’s erroneous to assume somebody knows everything. Experiment is the best teacher of all: how do we know if we never tried?

Mistakes and errors are an essential part of learning process. It’s silly to be afraid of mistakes and do nothing. Perfectionism most likely lives inside many minds, but that does not mean anything less than perfect has no value.

I personally always think: let’s see what happens. Everybody who is painting or drawing has thrown out lots of paper and damaged quite a few canvas. There is nothing bad about that. I had a girl who once said: I do not want to throw away this expensive paper just because I started the painting wrong. Well, it is much more difficult to correct wrong lines and colors than start a fresh work using the new knowledge. I believe that every task adds something to our knowledge and skills.

art-for-everyboy-to-create

Sunflower drawing

art-classes sunflower

Sunflower watercolor

I am not at home at the moment, but visiting my closest family in Latvia. I had a few sheets of paper, kid’s paints in fairly bad colors, meaning, they didn’t have the transparency or flow abilities of good quality paints, but still: I simply saw this bloom and these apples, and that; s what I do not have at home. I always prefer drawing from real subject. It was more difficult because the right tools and brushes are helpful, but I did not allow that stopping me. I could return to and reuse the same drawings with decent paints and better size paper or canvas, but these are results at this moment.

art-to-make apple drawing

Drawing for apple watercolor

art-we-love Apples watercolor

I would like to just remind that adults and teens are welcome to attend November/December classes which will start as soon as I get home.

Lifeschool blog deals with GREEN LIVING and importance of changing our perception in order the Earth was living and livable longer. I had to write about the green living for our survival because they are handled so much better in Europe. I have added lots of pictures. Since it’s the secondary blog, it is not that visible, so here is a special invitation. However, those who never read posts, won’t notice that either. Anyway, I hope it is a nice weekend approaching.

Links to 3 recent posts: they continue the same conversation about green living.

https://inesepogalifeschool.com/2016/10/14/living-green-means-simplifying-and-enhancing-life/

https://inesepogalifeschool.com/2016/10/14/the-new-perception-of-prosperity-and-green-living/

https://inesepogalifeschool.com/2016/10/10/the-very-green-walk-in-october-forest-we-have-to-end-consumerism/