Wishing you joy, love and peace!
Please remember: love never ends!
Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
Wishing you joy, love and peace!
Please remember: love never ends!
Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
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:
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.
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
Road towards the fall
Side by side with summer, available at $40
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.
Watercolor, watercolor and ink, as well as pastels are my favorite mediums to use because I am very good at drawing, I would say I was born being able to draw. It isn’t so that I am completely obsessed with painting, but I have given thousands of workshops and classes just within the last 4 years. There were moments when I had 5 or 4 painting workshops and classes every week. Every class or workshop required some reference painting, plus, I certainly wanted to paint something on my own, as well. My problem is that preparation for any class and workshop and my own paintings always take so much time that I never really get to selling anything seriously. I would put on the “Open” sign, and that is pretty much it. I am realizing now that I have so many paintings which would easily fill up the largest gallery.
Watercolors up to 11 x 14 in (28 x 36 cm)
Some are framed, some matted
Most of them make great greeting cards, as well, and look fantastic in white or light grey frames
Most of these paintings are in piles and wrapped up because classes involve a lot of splashing, so nobody actually gets to see them. That includes me, as well, because I rarely have time to sort things out. These are just some of small size (7 x 10 and up to 11 x 14) and medium size (12 x 16 to 22 x 18) watercolors.
I did not even realize that, but the number of paintings has reached sort of tipping point. I would need at least 3-4 times larger space to either hang it all or display in any other way. It is time to reconsider everything and become more serious about doing something with all this art which, quite honestly, has taken numerous hours of drawing and painting. I always enjoyed that, but I am short for storage and space. What good do these paintings if nobody ever can see them? Therefore, I would be very happy some of them found new walls and homes.
Anyway, most likely I will have to repeat this before Christmas and holidays, but still, I believe, these are very attractive paintings which would look great in any place, especially in a proper frame.
All details and separate images are on Fine Art America.
You can view all images and then let me know if you would like to see if original is still available. Shipping will be extra.
Everything $100 to $350. Shipping extra. Thanks if you decided to check out my paintings and possibly get some art product, print or original painting.
If you ever doubted whether to start drawing and painting, just go for it. Being addicted to painting is not the worst that can happen. It is an entirely distinctive new world which never stops surprising.
Whatever we are doing, we need some kind of a draft in our head or some plan which we keep in mind. However, it is easier said than done. That especially refers to classes. I have noticed that most people want to draw or paint without any plan and without any thinking. It might be so that when starting out it is hard to know what parts or segments should be paid most attention to. There are lots of simple things which make the object look multi-dimensional. By far, those are not only darker and stronger values. Strongly emphasized edges or absence thereof, always darker spots behind the lighter areas also contribute a lot to the spatial perception, not to mention color if it is used. I remember from early years I was told that the darkest dark should meet the lightest light. It can be tough to implement, especially when not having a real reference, but just a photography or sketch. I am personally not excited about patterns which repeat in a regular rhythm such as petals or trees along the path, blooms on a branch and similar things which we unintentionally place on our canvas when there is no firm plan or sketch.
Magnolias, recent class demo and I always work together with students straight in front of the class
Why am I saying: pay attention to reference? Because most people don’t do that. When we are just beginning the painting, they would have a look at the reference image or set-up. After a while, I notice nobody looks any more at the reference. You have to! The only exception is when it is a completely abstract work which has been drafted in one’s imagination or when we paint from memory. Painting from memory takes practice, however, and beginning artists cannot handle that too well. Reference or value drawing (if you have created such) has all the answers: where to use dark color, where to make strong edge, where to wash edges to lose them, where to place highlights and what exactly the shape of something is. It is extremely important, much more important than what brush to use. Talking about brushes: always use these ones which you feel comfortable with and which suit the size of the area you are working on. Very simple. We can use no brush at all, use a sponge or palette knife, that is a matter of a preference and choice. I know how some instructors want to make rules about everything. There are no rules in the use of tools. It is very obvious that using a very wide brush for tiny spot is simply difficult and vice versa. I know a lot of artists who create the entire painting with just one brush. I do that sometimes, too.
The Pink rose, recent class demo
So, the conclusion is: do not change things around dramatically or completely when the work is halfway through and always keep an eye on the reference. That’s why it is so rewarding to paint from real objects, live is live and photo is just a photo. Live comes with smell, touch, very visible shape and very noticeable values. Do not pressurize yourself and painting: there are moments when we need to stop and make a decision about the next step.
Purple pansies, finished just yesterday
Paintings and drawings really hate when they are not treated with due respect. It is much better to allow everything to develop in a natural way. For illustration I have attached the recent flower paintings. There are many more, but they just need finalizing touches. You know: painting is never done, right?
Are you buying the overpriced, bad quality pushed out with extreme amounts of chemicals Valentine’s Day flowers or are you rather painting them? I’ve asked my husband every year: please do not buy these stems with half-withered petals at the top. It’s not that I don’t love flowers and it’s not that my husband doesn’t give me flowers. It’s just this day and the over-the-top exaggerated excitement about it which cause me nausea, sort of feeling of huge pressure to engage in eating chocolate hearts which I am not excited about at all. I simply do not like chocolate too much or any other sweets.
I hoped that some people, who celebrate Valentine’s Day, but are not that much in eating and buying bad quality flowers, would love to paint a rose.
Red is a beautiful color which warms up both physically and mentally. We could have been doing any other red flower, as well. Unfortunately, the response was weak. Well, bars will be full and florists will be doing just fine.
Red is supposed to be a very difficult color in acrylic because diluting it with white creates pink, and adding yellows cause it to become orange. It’s even more difficult color using acrylics. The quality of acrylic paints has gone down extremely when I compare the same paints as they were in 2007-2008 and as they are now. I’d guess it’s too much added binders, sort of polymer glue stuff and less pigments, therefore, the paint loses any kind of brilliance as it dries. Lucky guys who are not allergic to oil paints and their smells! I tried water soluble oils because I hoped to really do oils again, but the stuff I bought was of such an unacceptable quality (Winsor and Newton, Artisan) that I am pretty much regretting I went for this huge spending (these paints were anything but cheap). They still had a bad smell reminding me of old fish oil or something similar, and they had no similarities with the real oils since they felt mostly tacky, not workable at all. Although, I used flow and fast dry medium, it took 3 months!!! until they finally felt dry to the touch.
My rose s and poppies to inspire artists
Bright red rose acrylic painting
So, yes, I hoped we could do some attractive red flowers or rose. I’m happy now I don’t have to do this painting session because it’s extremely cold at the moment, and I think I’d rather snuggle in some warm blanket and watch nothing on TV. That’s what our Rogers TV provides us with here: nothing. The very few not repeated programs are news and talk shows. They all talk and show the same content: celebrities who I basically do not know, disasters, crimes and politics.
Returning to flowers: there is nothing better than to paint flowers in bright colors in a freezing cold and nasty winter day., especially a red rose or red poppy. Treat your art as pleasure, learning experience and relaxing activity. That prevents from getting frustrated and disappointed.
I did a few value drawings for watercolors, but I suppose I could post them some other night. Cheers!
P. S. Please check out the lifeschool blog, as well. If you are more of life style fan, you could follow that one. The most recent post looks at self-admiration and superficiality of social media: Detachment from reality on social media
Time … Time … How to make it slow down and stop for a moment? I have the answer, but unfortunately, this doesn’t help me getting done everything. We can capture a moment in a painting, and that doesn’t mean we can capture only the scene we are drawing or painting, we are also making impressions of our senses, our mood and feelings.
Although, I’ve been working hard and working a lot, my art and lifeschool blog were left alone again. Well, if I’m so tired that I’m almost fainting, I certainly won’t be posting anything. I believe doing our best can be not enough sometimes, but that is the only result we are able to have here and there. I do not push myself, as well. Rest is important, so is sleep.
My classroom got a face-lift. There are so many flaws with easels which are sold at the art store that I had to finally get to the issue and design my own easels for the use in classroom. They are extremely light and perfectly stable; nothing dances around, falls off or turns over. They allow painting when sitting and when standing. That took a while, and thanks to my husband and his skills, we have these easels working well now. I had to make also some smaller things like cardboard trays because I am seeing very often how disorganized the work-space is. That does not help. Work-space has to be easily approachable and everything has to be in the right place.
New classroom settings
Pleasure lives here
Garden demo for Wednesday, here only starting out, lots of work required yet, we will work on this for 2 more weeks
My less than 2 hours demo today
Talking about supplies which we use: we shouldn’t try using the entire art store. I counted last night; we need 14 paint tubes at most. We can paint very well with just 8. That means a bit more mixing. We normally won’t be using 6 or even 10 brushes during a few hours. Most often, we can perfectly paint acrylic with just one medium size flat brush. Watercolor requires minimum 3 brushes, but not 10 either. I can understand why somebody tries to take everything to the class: it’s called just in case. The negative aspect of too much art supplies is that it causes confusion. Especially when somebody is starting out, they won’t even notice what each brush does, and they will get to using it even less.
We had a fantastic group painting today. I have 3 hour painting sessions on Saturdays. We start on blank canvas and at the end of these 3 hours we usually have something to show for. I loved that nobody was disappointed because sometimes people imagine they can go within 3 hours from “never painted or was holding brush in my hand” to “perfect art created by a master”. That does not happen, so I am happy with people who have reasonable expectations.
Creation of art has to be fun and relaxing activity. When I hear people saying I am afraid, I am really wondering how so? I can imagine how one is afraid from a surgery, even dentist, test, speech to thousands of TV viewers or a job interview which can change the entire life. What is the worst that can happen when we paint something not as we think we should? With acrylic, nothing at all. We will need a bit more paint and possibly time to start that particular spot from new. Therefore, being afraid to paint sounds strange. Most likely, that is why kids and people who love taking risks have very good results. Once we get over the barrier we placed in front of ourselves, we are fine. I wouldn’t even call this courage. I’d rather call this: pleasure to experiment, take plunges into unknown and experience freedom.
Artistic freedom is like no other freedom and it is the most uplifting one. When somebody tells me there are very many rules in art, I’d like to disagree. There is no one single other person who can see and experience the reality in the same way we do. Why our imagination and creative potential should then be squeezed in some kind of frame of regulations? It shouldn’t. Any other freedom comes paired with duties and obligations. Artistic freedom of creative self-expression is a complete alone standing freedom. There are no and there should not be any restrictions. There are tips and tricks, and common sense how to get things done faster, better, more sufficiently and more impressively in art. Yes, there are. We can either accept or disregard them and try to discover everything from new. Art and creativity mean a new world every single time we take the brush or pencil in our hand, I think we should build this new world in accordance with our personal preferences, likes and our vision.
I believe, many people like my approach, so my art groups have grown a lot. My space is limited to 12 participants, but I prefer not more than 10 artists for acrylic.
My wish to everybody starting out in art: do not take it too seriously, enjoy, have fun and you’ll find over time how nicely everything works out and falls in place. The above does not refer to people who make their living with art. That is a hard work, one of the hardest I know.
I was away for so long, that returning started to seem impossible. However, it’s time. Meanwhile, the globe has been through insane troubles, and I don’t want to talk about that again. We need peace and we need to recover, therefore, it is time to return to work. I don’t know any better medicine than being occupied with something which takes over our mind and body.
I have done so much, a lot, in fact, but these are mostly all works in progress, and many are just at the drawing and sketching stage, therefore, there’s not that much to show for. I did not have time to take pictures, yet I have brought almost to the finish one painting. That was my version of our current classwork. It is not signed yet, but the small adjustment I might do some time later. I could not post anything and I probably won’t be that active for some 2 more weeks because a large commissioned work keeps me totally busy. It is complicated and it consists of many paintings, therefore, my blog has to be patient.
I am having plenty of new students and that is certainly something which always makes me quite happy.
Autumn night, silence, acrylic 20 x 20 in painting for sale
The only thing I would like to remind all beginning artists about is this one: do not kill your intentions before you have had an opportunity to see for yourself that they work and they have a future. I mean, we all have moments when we doubt anything. Too much self-criticism and too much of negative self-evaluation does not help. We should not program ourselves for a failure before we have even gotten to do something. Painting has the ability to take us anywhere we want to go. That includes great achievements and personal improvement, recognition from other people and understanding ourselves better. Do not give up any creative activity after the first unsuccessful attempt since our patient efforts get awarded sooner or later.
The Life school blog reveals my poetic thoughts about autumn as a season and our life as we get older:
Everybody can draw. And so they should. I hope you are not one of those parents who use to make remarks like this: Stop playing around with those pencils, do the math! While we all need literacy skills and math, there is something unique about drawing. We can draw before we can even speak or write, or count. We actually successfully do it without any regard to some rules which people have imposed on creative expressions and art. We can very well express ourselves until somebody says: that doesn’t look like a cat! That’s when the kid who loved to draw starts to ask: Really? Am I doing this all wrong? That’s where the artistic freedom ends and rules start. Art becomes something which is not that important as math, geography, history and essay writing. This is profoundly wrong, and we have so much evidence nowadays that drawing and painting actually has the power to activate our brain to a huge extent. Focus, memory, attention to detail, decision-making, imagination: everything gets developed and perfected while this activity is actually more pleasure than work.
People, who think they cannot draw, have been simply using a wrong approach or have convinced themselves that’s something they’d never manage. I am obviously checking out what other instructors and classes offer here and there, and I must say there’s not that much. First of all, if instruction starts with: take a picture, that is not going to be a lesson how to learn drawing, that instruction will tell you how to reproduce photographed lines and shapes and sometimes advice to just trace the image and take credits for a great drawing. Why do we always need to focus on the final product, on the result? There is so much in the process of creation, and this process is well worth experiencing.
Drawing is not about copying or measuring, drawing is about seeing, activating the brain-hand communication and creating an image of an object, person, or scene on a flat surface, at the same time trying to show the emotional impact we are experiencing. Before we can draw, we have to learn seeing. Most people are convinced they see everything, in fact, they see just some general picture and they don’t pay attention to anything what is out of the area of their interest at that particular moment.
When I’m watching people drawing, I have noticed the following: they rarely look at the object they are drawing or painting, hardly ever.
Some follow my drawing, some look at the paper all the time and erase everything and start from new every second minute.
In fact, we have to focus on the object we are drawing and just rarely have a look at how lines and shapes are forming on our paper. The proportion should be at least 2:1, if not 3:1. 2 seconds memorize the object; explore the shape, 1 second look at paper. That happens simultaneously after a while.
I would like to take away the eraser, too. Eraser just disturbs during the initial stages.
Drawing has many purposes: this is outline drawing with pen, and later we fill in some watercolor paint
We have to visually perceive the object or scene, find a reference area or spot and start out with very light general shapes and lines. With every next line, we are building up the object or objects, and we should stick to what there is and what we can see, not trying to draw an approximate simplified shape of what we know this object might be like if we had taken away all specific features it has in reality.
The purpose of this value sketch is to serve as a reference for watercolor painting because some plants, vegetables or flowers don’t last long enough
All apples are not the same; all cups are not the same, not to mention trees and flowers or faces. Still life is a very good starting point, and I’d usually pile up more simple objects in order we could observe their relationships. So, that’s the first lesson in drawing: learn seeing, develop visual perception and visual memory.
This is just a quick drawing which could be also worked out on a better paper and turned into a painting
I’m creating some coloring pages and after a while I will have lots of pages for some themes.
The positive impacts of drawing occur especially when we are employing the entire potential of our brain which is observational drawing. It also makes us completely independent from computers, cameras, phones, printers and other devices because all we need to start out is paper and pencil or pen.
I have been mentioning in my articles for numerous times how huge the gain from learning drawing, sketching and painting is. I noticed that people rarely paid attention to that, and most of them are still convinced that drawing and painting is only for those who want to be artists or already are involved in creative activities.
However, there is more and more proof that learning and doing arts is a unique activity which boosts brain activity and development of new neurons and their connections that there is no doubt: drawing, sketching and painting is the best exercise to keep our brain fit, thus, preventing early memory loss and age-related dementia.
I recently read about a new brain fitness trial which was carried out at the Newcastle University in a population of 30 volunteers divided in 3 groups for 8 weeks. One group was walking for 3 hours a week, the second doing puzzles and crosswords, and the third group took part in art class 3 hours a week. All participants were tested before and after their respective activities.
Reference: What’s the best way to fight memory loss?
The best results undoubtedly showed the art group, which is no surprise to me because I’ve observed that during all years of teaching. I would like to just mention that I have been working with student groups of 5-30 people for almost 35 years, and those who did arts quite often excelled in ANY area of their life.
Is everybody able to draw? Yes, everybody is able to draw, but in order to do so they have to learn seeing and processing the object of interest in their brain so that the hand knows what it should be doing.
Along with maintenance of good brain health and memory, it is a fantastic, rewarding leisure activity.
Once one knows how to draw, they can forget about camera, image processing on computer, they can forget about copying photos.
Well, those who want to master drawing from life, must count on 10,000 hours, at least that’s the estimated time frame to learn drawing flawlessly and effortlessly.
Although, the benefits are so obvious, we all know that majority of people will admit they cannot draw. In fact, the truth is they don’t know how to look at something, how to pay attention and how to abstract oneself from other parts and surroundings while drawing one part of an object. The ability to draw is based on our visual ability to process the visual information and to make our brain move the hand with pencil. Basically, the visual perception is the key to drawing.
Therefore, before we draw, we have to learn pay attention and notice relationships between parts of an object, its layout, size and to reproduce this all on a correct scale. That means, most people see things, but they never focus enough to memorize what they see to the extent they could draw this from memory.
What are the usual problems when starting out with drawing, sketching and painting? Well, it depends on whether one is at the class only for the result, or for the process. Process is good for everybody, but results are evident after some longer time. I have sometimes people who want to achieve excellent results right away, in 1 workshop or 1 class, or they think, it’s not worth continuing. While we get better, we can still enjoy a lot and give our brain the necessary exercise.
Here: drawing and adding first watercolor layers to still life
Detailed drawing which I made much darker in order it was visible
Rough value sketch for watercolor
The entire drawing, had to make it darker in order it was visible
Floral detail sketch: when my paper is too small, I do drawing on separate sheets and adjust them on the main painting
Second suggestion: watch, learn seeing and exercise focusing ability.
Third: drawing is not the same what copying photos, transferring images from photos or printing off outlines, etc. Once one gets used to flat objects in a photo, they will have much harder times to ever learn drawing in reality. Reproducing photos also does not facilitate the brain activity as drawing for real does.
All people who wanted to participate in drawing and sketching classes noticed soon that they are seeing everything in a different way.
Would you like to boost your memory and have some pleasurable pastime? Join the club. We are starting out next week.
I’m sharing some pictures which show different types of drawing.
We usually draw with very light lines for watercolor painting.
We can sketch out main values if the reference object can go bad or disappear soon.
Creating a drawing or sketch library is a good thing because we can reuse our drawing when we need it again.
Sketch for painting
Outline drawing for watercolor
I actually completed one still life only 3 years later, but since I had a sketch, there was no problem.
In my opinion, the only way to draw is using real objects, real setups or ask somebody to be a model. Everything else is reproducing photos. Some do this very creatively, some not that much, but only drawing for real makes one free and allows not to depend on any devices.