Watercolor mania? Yes, incurable

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 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 took so much time that I never really got to selling anything seriously. I would put on the “Open” sign, and that was 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)

artforsale-watercolor-2

Some are framed, some matted 

artforsale-watercolor-3

Scenery washes and birds

artforsale-watercolor-4

Some blue and pink shades

artforsale-watercolor-5

Most of them make great greeting cards, as well

artforsale-watercolor-6

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. There are still lots of unframed or not signed, many large and very large and for those I have no place at all, they are stocked upstairs to prevent from damage.

12 x 16 inch (30 x 41 cm) and up to 20 x 16 in ( 51 x 41 cm) watercolors

artforsale-watercolor-7

Flower power

artforsale-watercolor-8

Pure watercolor and pen plus watercolor

artforsale-watercolor-9

Lovely reds and pinks

 

Rose, wild rose and edge of poppies and tomato

artforsale-watercolor-93

Fall leaves and spring flowers

artforsale-watercolor-94

More detail

artforsale-watercolor-95

At least 4 tulips are available

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 http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/inese-poga.html

Everything $100 to $350. Shipping extra. Thanks if you checked them out!

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.

Stick to your plan and pay attention to reference

Lesson 3

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.

Flower paintings in acrylic magnolias

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.

Flower paintings in acrylic Pink rose

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.

Flower paintings in acrylic Pansies

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?

The red of roses to warm up at minus 20

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 are not fans of Valentine’s Day just like I am not, 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 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.

The red rose, acrylic painting

My rose to inspire on Thursday workshops

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. Most of advises on shows like City Line and similar are fairly or pretty dumb and answers to the presented problems or issues are obvious. These are usually very well-known things which for some unknown reason are supposed to be some kind of discoveries. People go: OOOHH! and AAAAHH! and WOWWWW! Really? Well, flatness and lack of imagination is the new standard for talk shows. All the same. Again, again and again. Therefore, I rarely watch TV. Almost never.

Returning to flowers: there is nothing better than to paint flowers in bright colors in a freezing cold and nasty winter day. 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

Artistic freedom and risks taking to a higher level of ourselves

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.

Acrylic painting for adults, new classroom

New easels

Art classes Whitby Ontario, new classroom for adult artists

Arranging everything

Acrylic painting classes Whitby Ontraio

New classroom settings

Artistic freedom Thursday class has 6 students

Pleasure lives here

Garden demo, too bad on cardboard

 

Garden demo for Wednesday, here only starting out, lots of work required yet, we will work on this for 2 more weeks

Acrylic painting Poppies Demo 1.5 hours

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.

Lost in time and duties: the tough return

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.

The autumn boats Acrylic painting

The autumn boats Acrylic painting, soon for sale

I am having plenty of new students and that is certainly something which always makes me quite happy.

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:

The soothing Sunday thoughts: late autumn midnight

Drawing for everybody: brain fitness at our fingertips

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.

Vegetable sketching art classes for any age

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.

Sketching vegetables: value sketch

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.

Art classes for teens and adults value sketch

This is just a quick drawing which could be also worked out on a better paper and turned into a painting

Coloring pages for adults and teens

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.

The obvious and unarguable benefits of engaging in an art class

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.

drawing still life

Here: drawing still life

Detailed drawing which I made much darker in order it was visible

value sketch for watercolor

Rough value sketch for watercolor

floral detail sketch

Floral detail sketch: when my paper is too small, I do drawing on separate sheets and adjust them on the main painting

The entire drawing

The entire drawing: full sheet watercolor paper, 22 x 30 inches

First washes

First washes

More watercolor applied

More watercolor applied

Second: 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.

Sketch in pencil

Creating a drawing or sketch library is a good thing because we can reuse our drawing when we need it again.

Vegetables: sketch

Vegetables: sketch for painting

Outline drawing for watercolor

Outline drawing for watercolor

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.

Art loaded with uplifting and positive energy for good luck and new art products

I have been recently more about aesthetics than painting. The reason is very simple: I avoid painting when my own energy levels are low due to physical pain or mental dissatisfaction or bad mood.

We all probably used to have sense of energy and its vibrations, just like some animals and birds still do. There are energy-sensitive people, people who do not feel or recognize any energy flow, but experience it subconsciously and people who are unable to perceive energy at all, even though, they just like everybody else are affected by that. I paint implementing lots of good energy in my creations, it’s not only because I cannot make myself draw or paint gruesome, terrifying or evil objects and scenes, but mainly because that is who I am: a medium for converting the great energy from the beautiful nature scenes, flowers, still life objects into the sensitively perceivable feeling of good vibrations. I doubt this could be anyhow felt through the internet images or prints since these are copies of copy copies. One thing I know is that people who physically look at my paintings in person can experience these energies, assuming they do not belong to the energetically deaf category.

I have painted numerous red flowers as commissions, poppies, wild roses and similar florals on request of people who can sense energy and are able to recognize it. Some of them have placed these paintings in the entrance hall to prevent bad luck and bad energy entering their personal living space. I know a couple who hang a dark red, pink and white flower painting of mine at the upper staircase overlooking the entire stair, and they told ever since everything started to just become better and better in their life. Just to clarify some things: positive energy is not the same as positive thinking. We have to work hard and we need to inherit or develop sort of sixth sense to become somebody who is able to give positive energy to other people or to surround oneself and items in these surroundings with such an energy.

Some people wanted red flowers for their living rooms and some for bedrooms as an energy carrier for passion and love. I believe any appropriate place is good and these paintings work because I have puts lots of energy into them. I take it from the beauty of objects to be painted and these paintings become a shield to stop bad energy flow.

I was recently feeling very sick and suffered terribly from side effects of medications which I had to use, and the consequences of avoiding these meds could have led to bad outcome, so I limited my creative efforts to taking pictures, and I have placed quite a few already in my new blog http://inesepogalifeschool.com/. Basically, I was doing just the minimum and quite honestly feeling bad about that. My grandmother was a healer, she knew everything about energy, herbs, grasses, colors and impact of words, spoken and written, and thankfully, I learned a lot of that, may have even inherited some of this knowledge. However, I don’t know anybody who can help themselves as much as it is possible to help others. Quite often I remember her and regret she is not around anymore because if she was, I wouldn’t even need these medications.

I also uploaded some of the most recent images onto Fine Art America site and could not stop enjoying the beautiful products they are now offering. From now on, these products which include not only all kinds of framed and not framed prints, but also phone cases, pillows, tote bags, duvet covers, shower curtains are available on retail throughout Canada and the USA in 150+ locations of Deck the WallsThe Great Frame Up, and the Framing and Art Centre!

Everything is available online from: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/inese-poga.html

Since I’ve been literally down for quite a while I would appreciate a lot spreading out a word about my August 15 and 16 sales http://inesepogagallery.com/art-plus-life-studio-gallery-events/ and any kind of support. I hope you won’t be bored looking at some of my art products.

I managed to finish a few 20 x 24 paintings and this is the most recent one:

Acrylic painting for sale lonely tree in landscape

Here it is in some frames, but Fine Art America offers huge numbers of mats and frames, it is completely up to the customer what to choose

Framed painting of lonely tree

Here in mat and the next without mat:

Acrylic painting lonely tree framed

The red barn also in reality has got a rustic frame, this is from FAA

Red barn acrylic painting framed

There is wide selection of all kinds of inexpensive totes and pillows and similar items

Poppy painting fragment

This is a part of my new Facebook banner

Tote and pillow

Tote with red poppies

And the beautiful passion pillow

Passion pillow with red poppies

I also loved the look of other paintings on bags and pillows

daisies tote bag

Daisies tote bag and pillow

daisy pillow

Wildflower tote bags and pillows

tote bag wildflowers

It’s possible to select the background color

wildflower framed

Framed wildflowers

I have only black and grey frames for 20 x 24 in and 16 x 20 in paintings at the gallery

framed poppy painting

Original painting at gallery

and available as print

poppies art print

I hope you enjoyed! I would appreciate a lot you stopped by to have a look at all products http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/inese-poga.html

Ode to perseverance and how to overcome I cannot

Life is always full with something, and we are mostly busy, sometimes with the most beautiful things and events, sometimes with terrible, annoying issues. We simply deal with that, and not everybody has the courage to take some time for them and to spend it as they wish. We often hear: oh, I cannot attend your event because there’s too much on my plate at the moment. I cannot participate because I simply don’t have time. I cannot do this because I’m too tired after work. I’m too sick to paint and create. There are billions of excuses, and behind “I cannot” is quite often hiding: I don’t seriously want it. I am not willing to make a commitment. I am not sure if I want anything at all. It is so much better to do nothing, to stare at a screen, to watch other lives unfold and get complicated. It is so much easier to let everything just flow by and to go with the stream. The power of doing nothing is great! It is huge and it can take us over with ease.

Who doesn’t know moments of emptiness, moments of weakness, and moments of a complete exhaustion: mental and physical? That is life, and unfortunately, nothing and nobody can prevent such moments from happening. I know this so well: it can be abnormally tough at times to resist the tiredness and pain. Well, we have two choices: feel sorry and cry or stand up and get going.

I am for those who make everything happen. I am with those who fight their own moods, pain and helplessness. We have a fantastic tool to make our life better: it is the self-improvement. Step by step, one move at a time.

Therefore, I feel extremely blessed that my art and painting classes have brought me together with such sincere, honest and creative people. It is very simple to take a brush and swipe it over canvas. Play is attractive. How about when we want something more? Not only spots and splashes, but something way exceeding basics?

Creativity and self-improvement are both: rewarding and demanding. Rewarding all the way through the discoveries and confusion, giving back things which we never even expected; and demanding because we cannot give up our efforts by facing the first difficulties. Self-improvement requires perseverance, a strong spinal cord and ability to go against the wind. I suppose, life is generous mostly to those who dare. Dare to overcome at least their own resistance and remove the internal brakes.

I would not call the participants of the Wednesday group students anymore. Some of them have become established artists after attending my classes, and I am really proud of that because I care how my students are doing and they try to do their best. I am sometimes telling them: you don’t even need any classes any longer. They answer: we love the group and the atmosphere, and we still appreciate the advice. The Wednesday class takes a break now. We are meeting closer to the fall again. However, the question that surprises me most is: how do these really busy people always find the time not to skip any single class? Well, the secret must be unsophisticated: we always can find time for things we love. I would like to thank all my long-term creative friends and participants of these painting classes. Keep your brushes wet!

I am attaching some pictures from the recent painting class which was the last this spring/summer.

Adult painting class Birch painting

Sarah joined the group just recently

adult painting class LIz working at her masterwork

Liz working at her masterwork

adult painting class Gordon is a musician and artist

Gordon is a musician and artist

adult painting class Bev's birch painting

Bev’s birch painting: she is one of those who keep attending art classes regardless of anything

adult painting class Classroom

Birches and bluebells: nice and extremely simple scene!

adult painting class Birch demo

The picture of the demo didn’t come out too clear, but it is visible

Adult painting class Whitby Ontario

Nice mood and lots of fun

adult painting class Liz paints with passion and no wonder she sells her paintings

Liz paints with passion and no wonder she sells her paintings

adult painting class new artists are welcome

The last spring/summer Wednesday class: see you all in September!

Million shades of everything: experiment!

When somebody wants to try painting, they usually are not very excited about getting lots of materials. However, some people would like to have their own paints, at least some of them in order to work on sketches or perfect the scenes we have done during workshops.

Acrylic color mixing art classes for beginners

Did you know that using just ultramarine blue, primary magenta, cadmium yellow medium and titanium white, it is possible to mix up quite a few thousands of shades, and these mixes are pretty much unlimited taking into account how slight change in proportion would alter the color? We don’t usually use only premixed colors or paints straight from the tube. Everybody is aware that yellow plus blue allows mixing up greens, and red plus blue creates purple shades.

Acrylic color mixing art classes for adults

Adding yellow to different shades of blue and red causes the graying effect and results in fantastic variations of neutrals. Why do we need grey shades and background neutrals? Well, they make other colors shine. We don’t have to always paint sunsets in order to observe how yellow shines on a grey-blue or purple, but we often need those fairly saturated neutrals to build up some scene or object. They also give all objects more substance.

Acrylic color mixing experiment

One can have color charts and theory books and check out all available information on color mixing, yet not manage it when it comes to painting. How so? We know many things in theory. Quite a lot of them, but when it comes to applying the theoretical knowledge in practice, everything is completely different. I’ve observed the following: we just discussed some approach or principle, and we are now about to use what we learned about it practically. What happens? Nothing. Theoretical knowledge without decent amount of practicing is worth zero.

Acrylic color mixing Spring paintings

We were doing a lot of spring scenes, roads and fences recently.

Acrylic color mixing workshop image

This is the image we got done within 3 hours.

I slightly adjusted it later, mainly trees.

Acrylic color mixing workshop Spring scene

Painting, drawing, singing, dancing, playing an instrument and similar can be only taught by explaining, showing and demonstrating. Plus theory which many people assume the most important part and that is not true. The rest is up to that person who wants to acquire new skills or ideas. Because they will have to do this on their own: they will have to use what they just saw or heard about practically, and they will be moving brush and adding colors. It is a great exercise for decision-making: we have to make a decision every second or even more frequently.

I’m always encouraging students to experiment. Experimenting and exploring is the key to knowledge. Why? There is never only one correct way of painting or drawing something. In fact, there are thousands of ways when we are trying to get similar results. Let’s take for example video tutorials. How to paint trees? How to paint clouds? How to paint forest? The answer is: whatever way you find it suitable for you because these tutorials will show how to paint trees according to X, or clouds as Y is seeing and perceiving them, and forest in a manner of Z, but A might consider such trees incorrect, and B will tell you that nobody should paint clouds like Y was doing them. If video material gives you push and you’re trying to figure it out after watching how effortlessly somebody has done it, fine. However, when you are one on one with brush and paints, things are not the same. The more paint colors you have, the more confused you might become. Well, many color mixes yield very close colors, especially in acrylic where everything will be much darker after it dries.

Do not allow anybody to steal the pleasure of discovery from you! Some people are very insecure initially since they believe they don’t know enough about painting to paint. Well, that’s just wrong. There are artists who have more experience, but nobody knows everything about everything. The other matter is that we develop our mastery and build experience only when we take creative risks and dare to explore and experiment. Therefore, experiment, experiment, experiment! It is good to ask a question when something is not happening the way you expected, but there is no need to check every single move on the internet and perform major search just because you are not sure whether to use blue-green or yellow-green on some spot. Do it your own way, it might take longer, but all efforts will pay off when you’ll have painted exactly what you were trying to.

These images show my efforts trying to take a decent picture of a wet painting in a poorly lightened room.

Acrylic color mixing Road to Spring

However, I quite liked two of these not ready for a website images:

Acrylic color mixing Spring scene

This has reflection because it was too wet.

Acrylic color mixing Spring painting

This came out darker than in reality

It is much better to have your own painting on the wall than some print. Print is a print, it will never have the energy of an original, therefore it makes sense to frame also kids art because it has that special touch. Does our art have to be perfect? We can certainly try to get to that stage, but absolutely flawless and impressive art is extremely rare. It sometimes happens, obviously not with every single piece. I’m doing this all the time: just working towards one great picture which will be the best ever.

Two major errors are these: beginners try to paint with hardly any paint, with a tiny droplet of it. In acrylic that means, it dries out almost instantly.

Acrylic paintings art classes for teens

The small poppies, just a 15 minute exercise, looks good on the wall, not that great as a picture.

Second: beginning artists always pay attention to color and most often absolutely no attention to value. We can change color in a second, but for any painting we need some kind of values placed accordingly to our plans. Therefore: experiment! So that you can meet the spring in nicely decorated house and use your own paintings for that purpose.

Road to spring acrylic painting by Inese Poga

Finally got a better picture which looks more than the real painting.