Autumn silver and gold: large textured acrylic painting

I finally got time to finish a very large ( 48 in x 32 in or 1meter 22 cm x 81 cm) semi-abstract autumn scene. I did it in my favorite textured way applying thick layers of paint and acrylic medium over and over. This painting will be exhibited at my gallery entrance greeting all visitors and students.

Very large textured acrylic painting Fall trees in fog

Too bad, such technique is very time-consuming, but I’d love to do many more acrylic paintings using a rich texture since it adds to the impression tremendously.

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

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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.

Happy Mother’s Day to Every Mom on the Globe

I’m on one side of this globe, my mom is on the other. We talk on the phone, and we meet in person every two years. The distance does not scare me as long as I know, I will hear her happy voice on the other end when calling. The best thing is to know that my mom IS THERE. She is going to be 82 this fall, and I hope to meet her around that time.

My mom: 80th birthday

We have one celebration in Latvia, that I’m missing here, in Canada. This day is called Angel’s day or Name’s day. My mom’s name is Irena, and her Name’s day falls together with Mother’s day this year. So, this is a nice reason for double greetings.

The older I’m getting, the more I have started to understand and appreciate my mother and everything she has done for me. I notice more and more features we have in common. I sometimes catch myself acting exactly the way she always is.

There are 2 grandmothers, 3 mothers, 2 daughters and 3 granchildren in this family. How do you think, how many are we? (Answer at the end)

My daughter, my mom and me during their stay in Canada

Too bad, we are never expressing and showing enough love, respect and appreciation to some person while that person is still around. I am never regretting things I have done, things I haven’t done, money I have spent, time I have wasted, but I will always regret I did not say my dad how much I cared about him and how much I loved him while it was still possible. He has passed away now, and there won’t be any more opportunities to do that.

That’s why I’m calling my mom as often as I can, I’m saying her all the best words I am able to find, and I’m showing her how much I care.

White lilies are my mom’s most favorite flowers. I was painting this pastel, and many memories came to my mind, and many good thoughts were implemented in this painting.

This for you, mom!

Happy Mother’s day!

I wish, every mother on this planet experienced some time how much loved, appreciated and honoured she is.

Happy Mother’s day to all Mothers!

Answer to question: We are 5: my mom, me, my daughter, and 2 grandchildren

Spring Classes and Summer Art Camps

Spring has finally arrived, and the beautiful blossoming keeps us busy at my art studio. It is always inspiring to paint something which makes us happier and cheers up. Colors are so lively and impressive, shapes so gracious and captivating that brush paints almost from itself.

Some Saturday class students (ages 12-16) kept working on their favorite flowers, some moved onto their toy animals.

Experience shows that the object can be practically anything, the most important part is how we are presenting it, how we are making the viewer to see what inspired us and made us to paint the particular object on watercolour paper or canvas.

Happy and busy

Diana painting pansies

Kristina is painting a hanging flower pot

Diana’s spring pansies

Kristina enjoys the colorful flower pot painting

SUMMER ART CAMPS FOR YOUNG ARTISTS 10-16 

I am offering creative arts day camps for 3 weeks this year.

Each week is filled with exciting artistic activities and involves exploration of art approaches, learning of new techniques, improvement of skills, development of visual perception, drawing objects from direct observations, both indoors and outdoors, sketching, journaling and painting with watercolors and in mixed media technique.

I’m adding also some 3-dimensional techniques this year for students to try out absolutely new and unexpected effects which can be achieved using imagination and creativity.

Results are usually extremely good, and paintings which were done during this week can serve as a wonderful wall decor in student’s room or as a gift.

This location features large, light and well equipped indoor art studio and beautiful huge outdoor space for plein air painting, it is very easy to access (downtown Whitby).

The garden is surrounded by old trees which provide relaxing shadow during hot summer days.

There’s always something blossoming.

Such surroundings and environment always boost artist’s imagination, and nobody has to look for special inspiration.

I hope, I will hear from you soon once you have checked this out.

Please watch Rogers TV, Durham Daytime Show on May 23 at 11am-12. I will be presenting my art classes and creative arts summer camp.

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

Wake up and get in mood for spring

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Living in more and more civilized world, we are loosing our ties with nature and seasonal cycles. Light and sunshine are very important factors which can tremendously facililate our energetic resource regeneration and our recreation, but lack of these essential elements causes inevitable destruction and death of anything organic and alive.

Lux aeterna – the eternal light, is the light in its highest meaning, light as a symbol of timeless flourishing and development.

I don’t think, it’s coincidence that “luxury” and Latin “lux” (light) have the same linguistic root. And, yes, the sunlight is a luxury which we are taking for granted.

Animals and plants are more involved in natural processes, and, no wonder, they thrive and bloom, and are at their energetic top-levels in spring. I suppose, humans were pretty much the same, but the artificial surroundings, which allow us to imitate any season and, thus, facilitate our functions regardless of the weather, don’t require us to feel and understand nature any more. Most of us have our shelters, and who actually cares, how long it’s going to rain or snow.

However, those of us who have still maintained the extraordinary sensitivity to underlying processes of nature, would probably agree that spring has not lost its importance as a driving force of the new seasonal cycle.

Nature wakes up, live juices start to circulate in trunks of trees, grasses and weeds lift up their tiny heads, buds are getting bigger and bigger with every second, first blossoms show their faces to the sun, and birds give the best concert of the year, especially when the day is bright and sunny.

Well, it’s really the right time for new initiatives, new challenges and wake-up activities. This is the renaissance time of our town, city, area, land, country, hemisphere. This is such a breathtaking renewal of our mind and soul, and our body shouldn’t be left behind.

We are welcoming the return of spring with our colourful floral paintings in my studio-gallery, and I will show  in my next post how we are drawing and painting these artworks.

We had exciting March break workshops

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.

Chninese proverb

That is so true, and I would like to add, that knowledge or skills cannot ever bother you or become an abuse. What you have learned, is a life-long gain and a never ending opportunity to find out how exciting and unlimited one’s life can be.

We had a busy March break week. During the first workshop days we did a landscape, or rather marshscape with some marsh grass, distant trees and water. It seemed that the image was very well chosen, because results were genuinely impressive. We didn’t waste any single minute, and got almost done one more small scene with purple spring crocuses.

I think workshops are good for students who would like to refresh their skills, or get some inspiration for a new artwork.

 

Developing drawing skills

The truth is that we first have to learn seeing a three dimesional object in order to put it on a paper or canvas and recreate its  all dimensions with art tools and means.

 

Painting spring flowers

Alia and her beautiful painting of marsh scene

 

 

Treating oneself with color and flow of lines

Art classes are theoretically for everyone. Neither experience, nor lack of it is crucial, and age is not a limiting factor. Art classes can successfully replace useless hours in front of TV and give somebody’s life a new direction and purpose. Not to mention, that such experience makes us richer, more complete and adds another edge to our character. It is well known, that investing in ourselves always makes more sense than any other investment. The gains of learning and studying, unlike material gains, are very long-lasting, and never ending, in fact. So, we should ask: what’s stopping people from engaging in arts? While paints, brushes, paper, canvas, pencils and some additional materials can cost some money (however, we always can choose something on our budget), art classes are not an expensive way of self-improvement. The student obtains skills which never expire regardless of technical progress and development.

I have been teaching, tutoring and dealing with visual arts for over two decades. This experience allows to make some conclusions and observations. People sometimes don’t know what that is they actually want. Some students are pretty sure they would like to draw, or do watercolours, or acrylics, however, they are not that sure how long this interest would last.

What are the most causes of frustration or disappointment? Expectations that somebody can paint or draw like a master within one or two hours, which is a profoundly wrong assumption. Can you learn dancing, singing, playing an instrument or alike within one or two hours? Art is not different. Learning will require efforts and time.

Many students are short of time. Here is the good news: I have classes for people who would like to do something artistic, but don’t have much time and don’t intend to be real artists. They would do this for pleasure and excitement, they can play around with color, image and implement  with abstract brushstrokes their thoughts and problems or their feelings.

These classes are intended to be relaxing and pleasurable activity without having to worry about becoming a serious artist. Please see the schedule.