Culture Days: free sketching event

Culture Days is a big deal in Canada. I must admit people love these free events and it is also a fantastic motivation to get involved.

We should love culture and we should implement creativity in our schedule regardless of what day or month that is.

People who do arts and creative things get much less depressed and they are less affected by bad news that surrounds us.

They learn living mindfully and consciously, and care about balance: while creativity takes some money that we put in materials, tools and space, it gives back a lot, too. That is not always countable in dollars and measurable by profits, but the gain is rather in experience. That is an incomparable experience, and if you have never tried to create something or engage in creativity, you most likely do not know how uplifting, encouraging and healing this experience can be.

My personal goal is to convince more people to devote some part, even if it is a small part to art and artistic self-expression.

Creativity is life, light and future. Consumerism is a dead-end and self-destruction.

Art culture reveals the nation’s true potential and values.

Although, I have absolutely no sponsors as large art places do, I still wanted to offer everybody to try sketching. Just to see how much fun it can be and that one doesn’t need any previous art experience to get started. I will provide with all materials.

I always bring watercolor sets from my annual trips to Europe. Therefore I will give away 2 watercolor sets which can be used indoors and outdoors for sketching and watercolor painting. If you intended to sign up for either Tuesday daytime or Tuesday night watercolor painting class, so you have a chance to win these watercolor sets tomorrow.

Giveaway: 2 sets of watercolor paints for beginners in painting.

To give some inspiration to these who are interested in acrylic painting, I am attaching 2 images.

Art is light. A large, very textured, light filled acrylic painting “The path of fall”

Acrylic, 30 in x 24 in (76 cm x 61 cm), only for pickup in Ontario since it is quite heavy, $600

Color in waterfall: acrylic on canvas, 24 in x 20 in (61 cm x 51 cm); $420

Ships in Canada approx. $40 and to USA at approx. $50


Culture and art are two sides of one creative experience.

It is rainy and nasty today, but I hope the sun will be out tomorrow.

Therefore, I kindly invite everybody who can make it to come to my studio tomorrow between 1 and 4 pm. I will also show and explain pros and cons of art materials, as well as demonstrate them in action.

Culture days should bring art and creativity to every person in the local community. Just don’t be lazy and come out for a pleasant and great experience!

Reds and gold for Christmas and holidays

How have you been? I was so busy during the past 2 months that I hardly could do anything else except work, work and work.

I thought it would be great to have a good show this year since the summer was not the best. It feels the 3 bad years are over and I can start fresh. Meaning: much better, at much higher level, much more efficient and much more skillful. That is not hard to do when health has returned.

Well, I am completely behind posting schedule on either blog, this one and lifeschool. I promise to post some articles and poems more often once I get over Christmas.

The theme of this year is: Reds and gold for Christmas.

Red is such a warm and energizing color, we need it; we need it especially when it’s cold and nasty outside, or inside the heart. I was spending almost all day trying to get some pics for my show. Well, the light was bad, but I tried, tried and tried until I was somewhat satisfied.

Red cardinal and golden robin paintings make a very beautiful gift. I also invite everybody to join the art classes and paint some gifts on your own.

Especially red and golden birds or a festive holiday scene.

Red and golden-red cardinals, silver-golden robin with beautiful decorations

Reds and gold add impact and depth to festive settings

Reds and gold, and red is as in poinsettia

Reds and gold as in burning candles

Reds and gold, and gold as in sparkling decorations

Red and golden colors make any space festive and elegant.

All bird paintings are for sale from $120, and Robin couple is $180.

If you are not in buying paintings, join the art classes.

Art classes at Inese Poga’s art studio

I wish you not overdoing with gifts, but choosing soul-warming, mood-lifting and energy-giving things. Like a painting? Why not?

If you would love to see what deals are on, please check out and follow my Facebook page which is about this art studio, my art, art sales and art classes:

https://www.facebook.com/InesePoga/

 

Weekend painting tips to enjoy summer creativity

Some fine art tips, especially for beginners in acrylic painting can be always useful because many people have time and opportunity to do something about their creative intentions during the summer vacation. I will also answer some frequently asked questions. I have attached the demo art from a few recent art classes and workshops.

I’d still love to invite everybody to stop by and have a look at: http://inesepogalifeschool.com/ When I wrote the previous post, I hoped, the message was fairly clear, but it seems it wasn’t.

People quite often ask: how do I know if art classes are for me? Well, there are no guaranties that you are going to become an artist or that you will sell your paintings right away. Nobody knows if you will have enough patience and perseverance to continue either on your own or in a group. Anything artistic and creative loves practice, and only doing and repeating what one just has learned will give noticeable and later remarkable results.

I suppose, sometimes people have too high expectations when they come to the 3-hour fun painting workshop, and in general, one has to be a realist to some extent: if the participant has never painted before or has done some small bit of painting 20 or more years ago, the first painting will be an interesting exercise which helps understanding what that exactly means to paint with a brush and to try mixing up colors so that the created image can match our imagination, but I would not advise to expect it to be a perfection and best art ever created. Who gets better when just picking up painting? People who are able to take risks, to experiment and who dare to step out of their comfort zone.

Signing up for a painting class does not mean that painting will paint itself.

The instructor is not a magician, but somebody who can explain, show, demonstrate and here and there correct if something does not happen or goes completely wrong. Live classes are much better than any online classes because I can see right away what is causing a problem: too much paint, too less paint, too dry or wet brush and so on. We are painting not only with brushstrokes, palette knives and sponges, but also with hand pressure, heavy or light movement of the hand, arm or wrist. Application of paint is a big deal and that is something which is done best in the presence of an instructor. I usually would explain why the particular image or composition is good or isn’t, why the particular choice of color works or doesn’t.

Some tips for beginning artists:

Whenever you have time and chance, tone your canvas in a light cardboard color using burnt sienna, yellow ochre and white. Instead of white, we can use gesso, as well. Acrylic gesso is acrylic primer, it seals the pores on canvas or any other material you would like to paint on, that includes wood panels, plastic and similar stuff. It allows using less paint and it is easier to apply it.

Think in layers, separate in your imagination the part which is behind and underneath, in order not to apply any small details right away. I’m often seeing how everybody tends to move to fine details way too quickly, well before the entire scene is worked out.

We always start from the back and with the background. Unless there is a large very light part, we have to start with dark shades and medium darks. That seems to be the most difficult part to convince the beginners that we do not put right away the final color, but we build it up.

There is a big difference between applying color and building it up. The further we are in the painting the closer to the front part we move. That is a bit different with separate objects like in still life or floral painting. However, we always start with more general things and just afterwards move to particular parts and details. In oil or acrylic, we always go from dark to light and finish up with small areas of highlights. If we have lost the dark parts, we have re-establish them.

Always use the brush which feels the most comfortable for the part of painting you are dealing with. It is difficult to draw fine lines with a huge brush and vice versa: it takes too long to cover large are with a tiny brush. Over time, every artist develops some kind of attraction to a certain brush whether flat, fan brush or round. It is very possible to paint the entire medium size acrylic painting with a medium size flat brush from start to finish.

We should never try to get violently something on canvas if this doesn’t happen. As with all water-based mediums, timing is an important part of acrylic painting. We should always use large loose brush strokes for first layers and keep the textured impasto approach for the most important areas and for the end, unless you are using the texture medium or modelling paste, then the sequence will be different.

Whenever we move from one color to another, we have to rinse the brush and swipe it on a paper towel. It is important not to have too much water on a brush before you get the paint.

Acrylic paint darkens as it dries, therefore, the values might appear not as they are while the paint is wet. Extenders and flow medium can extend the working time, however, working with sticky paint may be not suitable for all areas, therefore, it is better to work on segments and also use spray bottle to spray some water over painting time to time. That has to a controlled amount of water, unless you’d like the paint to run and create its own patterns.

Brushes always must be left in water until we can rinse them under running warm water and wash with soap.

If the object or scene is very complex, it is great to paint the main parts just in one color: create a monochromatic base image. Changing and adding color is very easy, the most difficult part is achieving the right values: intensity, light and dark proportion.

If you think that some painting is not good enough and it is not worth trying to make it right, you can cover the entire canvas (previous painting) with a mix of gesso and some colors and start a new painting. The small imprints from old painting lines will add more texture, they most often look interesting and you can build up a thicker layer above the basic layers.

It takes a lot to damage an acrylic painting completely since you can paint it over for as many times as you wish and have time for (or patience). Being afraid to do something wrong in acrylic painting has no reason: you can correct practically anything. It will take more work, time and paint, that’s all.

Summer acrylic paintings flower meadow 1

3-hour workshop painting demo of summer flower meadow

Spring road acrylic painting for adult painting class

We were painting the spring road with Wednesday class

Spring road 2, Fun and pleasure workshop painting

Spring road 2, 3-hour Fun and pleasure workshop painting

White daisies Workshop painting

White daisies 3-hour Fun and pleasure Workshop painting demo

Summer flower fields, acrylic painting

Summer flower fields, acrylic painting which we were doing during the last 3-hour Fun and pleasure painting workshop

Wild flower fields, acrylic painting

Wild flower fields, acrylic painting which we were doing during another 3-hour Saturday workshop

Poppy field, acrylic painting

We are quite often painting poppies during classes and workshops because everybody loves them and they are very easy

Birches and bluebells, acrylic painting

Small birches and bluebells we were painting during the last 3 adult acrylic painting classes

True colors of wildflower fields

True colors of wildflower fields: trying to get a good picture

One thing which is very difficult for me is the inability to capture the exact look of the painting when taking a photo. Well, I never have time enough, and the lighting is not that great, as well. To see the real colors I had to take some pics where paintings are in an angle.

True colors of daisies, acrylic painting photos

True colors of daisies, acrylic painting photos

More painting details

More painting details

The correct angle to capture the real color

The correct angle to capture the real color

Happy summer painting!

To find a bit of lasting happiness

Well, some of you probably noticed, I wasn’t posting for almost 2 weeks. Quite a while, but I obviously was busy, and the art blog starts to put a bit of pressure on me because I love inserting illustrations, but don’t have them ready sometimes.

It was a fairly important date last week: my studio-gallery has been 5 years at its current location, in Whitby, Ontario. It was the 5th anniversary since I started Art plus Life. Wondering where is … plus life? The other blog will come soon.

Although, I didn’t think it was a very remarkable date at first, as I scrolled through all pictures (I have many thousands of them), I could see that there has been huge progress, in fact, and a lot has been achieved and done during these 5 years.

I will not try to comment on all pictures, but since I thought seeing was more than telling, here we go: please have a look at the retrospective pictures gallery.

I started out with one student. I had 2 students after a week, and some more joined after a month. Wednesday class was the first one to become regular once a week class, with small interruptions it has been running since fall 2012. Teens Tuesday class was on since March 2012, as well. I started to hold Saturday workshops only about 8 months ago, it proved to be useful thing, so these will continue next September.

I look at these pictures, and it is hard to describe the mixed feelings: sort of satisfaction, sort of so much work in preparation, and lots of happiness, I have to admit. When most people come to this studio, they start from zero, since they have never drawn or painted before. We learn about paints, colors, brushes, papers and canvasses. I have been watching many talents unfolding and I have seen many depressed, exhausted and desperate persons turning into happy ones.

The Wednesday group feels like a family, we’ve been together for a long time. Diana used to be in this group, as well, but her life made a jump, and so we regretfully are not seeing her. Well, we welcome new students all the time, and the most incorrect assumption one can have is this one: painting and drawing is for those who want to be artists. Not at all! It is for everybody, to find peace, to rejoin with their soul, to spend great time, to make a good use of days when the weather is bad, to conquer addictions, to overcome fear and lack of confidence, to find a bit of happiness.

 

I have been working on my creeks which students already got done, and the brown cottage is our current project.

Recent art projects for adult painting classes

It’s clear that we are excited about blue at the moment.

Recent works in progress

To put some nice accent on this round date: 5 years, a show, sale and hands-on event follows in June 6 and 7.

 

Is too much knowledge preventing you from getting started with something?

I’ve noticed when observing all kinds of students of different ages when they are about to pick up some new skill or try to do something they haven’t been trying before: too much preparation can result in never getting started with anything.

Children usually are very successful with absolutely new stuff: they don’t try to over-prepare and don’t try to collect all possible and imaginable tools and references in order to get started. That has been the case with anything in my very long teaching career: it was the same when I was teaching German language and literature, or Latvian, or design, or art.

We are flooded with huge amounts of information: every second, every minute when we have turned on TV or are sitting at computer, or are checking out our phone. This information can be related or totally unrelated, true or false, meaningless or crucial to whatever we are doing and we are supposed to absorb at least some of it. Should we? To some extent we obviously should be aware of what’s going on and do research when we are exploring something, learning something or trying to figure things out.

However, with so many sources and with such infinite amounts of advice, we most likely will feel rather lost.

This refers very directly to drawing, painting and any other creative activity. I know people who would not start drawing or painting because they assume they don’t know everything about it. They are trying to get ready for this activity, to learn “the basics”, to explore techniques and mediums in order to decide what exactly is that they’d like. Many of them never get to any drawing or painting. Why? There are millions of different techniques, approaches and ways to do that.

How it is then possible to find out whether painting is what one wants to do? Extremely simple: give it a try. Nobody knows everything about anything. We can follow hundreds of websites, we can watch thousands of “how to” videos and read endless articles or books about painting. There’s lots of advice out there, and some of that is even useful for us in particular, but most of it will not promote one’s start-up in art. Why not? We have to do before we can decide if we like that or not. Only those who get their hands on that something can hope to get something done.

Other good feature of students who don’t have too much knowledge is that they have no fear. They are not afraid to damage paper or canvas and they fearlessly apply courageous strokes of paint or put down lines on paper. That results in a good or satisfactory first painting. They do not think it is some kind of superb masterpiece but realistically evaluate it, try to understand what went wrong or didn’t come out as expected, and so they can keep improving themselves with the next painting. The knowledge comes through doing and that is the only way to gain experience. Experience is an excellent building block of mastery.

This is how hands-on activities are contributing to fast development of any skill: you see it happening and you try it immediately. Something went wrong: try it again. Watching other people doing and showing things can give us an idea about how we should proceed, but until we haven’t tried it out for real, we will never know how exactly it is done. We can learn all kinds of composition and color theories, but when the paint dries out fast and when the brush is moving, there’s no time to recall all lectures and articles. The way we can make our own color theory happen is to mix, to test, to check and to apply paint. This might take some time until the brain remembers what hands were doing and how this was matching our creative intentions, but eventually we will have it: our own elaborated theory on anything.

The first steps are the most difficult. Those who are afraid to get wet won’t ever learn swimming.

It will be interesting to compare some of these first works with art they’ll be doing in a year or two.

 

Gallery

Attraction of opposites and how to handle tough subjects with ease

Why are live art classes so much loved when all kinds of online and offline art learning materials are available? For established artists or someone who has quite a lot of painting experience, watching tutorial videos can be beneficial.  They know what the demo is about, they understand how to achieve what is told they would, and there is usually no problem with following the guidance material, even though it can take pretty much time.

It is a bit different with beginning artists or students who have no real painting experience. For people who have encountered tough situations when painting on their own, for students who struggle with some parts of painting, some colors or application of some techniques and never get the result they are looking for, for somebody who tried and was ready to give up painting because of difficulties, nothing can replace live direct teaching and personal approach in a real art class.

It is very obvious that knowledge can be achieved thanks to learning, trying and experimenting. I like shortcuts in all areas of life, so I am teaching how to get great results in painting without having to engage in struggles and frustration. It is no secret that many people give up painting, drawing or art because they assume it is something they will never manage or make work for them.

Acrylic is a specific painting medium: along with huge advantages it possesses some drawbacks, too. The most frustration is probably caused by very fast drying times which sort of gives no time to work out parts of painting properly. However, once one gets familiar with these features, acrylic does not feel any more difficult than any other medium. We learn treating a painting in such a way that we can work in layers and on segments.

Tips for art students: you do not have to overdo with blending. Instead of brushing all along from dark to light and from light to dark which very often will cause everything become the same color, try applying paint exactly on those spots where it needs to be. Place darks where you see them, place medium shades where they belong and finish up with lights. They come together with light stroke of damp clean brush, usually flat brush.

Great artwork usually contains many or some opposites: lights, darks, weak and strong values, sharp and soft edges, contrasting colors, both in tone and temperature, lines, layouts and shapes. Often problems arise when there is no contrast in the painting; it looks all flat and unimpressive. Try not brushing too much but move smoothly from one color to another by applying paint in segments so that no darks are lost. If you lose your darks or sketch lines or drawing has disappeared, re-establish the darks and sketch in new lines or shapes.

While any advice can be helpful, in direct class we can learn how to avoid most problematic areas, what effects to use, what techniques to avoid and the art teacher is there to provide immediate help when some problem arises. Any issue gets fixed straight where it occurred.

Painting barn: acrylic painting class for adults

We learned to use attractive grey shades of green and blue

Wedensday night painting class for adults

Grey is a fantastic color to make reds stand out

Red barn painting: acrylic art class

We had a beautiful object to paint

Painting in progress: layering acrylic

Painting in progress: layering acrylic

Blocking in the main shapes

Blocking in the main shapes

Barn painting: acrylic painting class

Barn painting: acrylic painting requires layering

Lots of texture

Lots of texture: Liz always prefers plenty of paint and multiple thick layers, this is just the beginning, results are stunning

Focused on reflections

Reflections require focus and fairly abstract approach

Painting class for adults: this painting is done

This painting is done: Joan works fast and loves detail, results are fantastic

Acrylic painting classes for adults

Our very friendly and inspiring Wednesday night group

Great atmosphere in the studio

Great atmosphere in the studio is a key for successful classes

Acrylic painting demo

This picture shows the demo board. Group teacher does not have plenty of time, demos have to be done fast and they must show the most important aspects. The demo board which can be renewed before every other class, is very useful, it allows showing many different objects, color mixing and other techniques at the same time.

Tip for art teachers: if you are giving many classes a week or more painting classes a day, consider using instead of separate canvasses or canvas boards a larger size lightweight board. I am using recently just large cardboard which is covered with gesso and some middle tone. I prefer brownish-grayish tones since they facilitate quick demo.

Tip for art students: unless your painting requires lots and lots of pure white, use toned canvasses and canvas boards since human perception works better with medium dark backgrounds. It is easy to add darkest darks and lightest lights on pre-toned canvas.

Tip for everybody who loves creating art: do not stop doing it when you encounter some problem. When some painting does not work out, instead of pressuring yourself and painting, set it aside, give it some time, place it somewhere you can see it when walking around, and the right solution will cross your mind at some point. You will later understand easily what exactly you have to do with this painting. Anger is a bad advisor, and frustration is even worse.

If you are using photo reference, remember that painting becomes the primary as it develops, and the photo is secondary. Chose always what better suits painting, not what it is on the photo. That refers to color, shapes and details, as well. The task of art is not to recreate a photo, but to create something completely new which is perceived on its own.

Happy painting!

The perfect gift for Mother’s Day

My students have frequently told how well my art classes are working for them. It is a great time not only for them, I have to admit that these classes have become an inevitable part of my week, as well. It almost feels like I am missing something during the vacations. Some students feel like real good friends to me since they have been coming to our weekly classes for about 3 years. I suppose, this is not only because of learning, it is fantastic to have this time together. It is true that we all have choice: we can kill our sadness or troubles in a company of a wine bottle, in a bar, dancing, doing sports, overeating or starving, walking in a park or creating something. These people have chosen to create something, to learn something and to have a very relaxing and enjoyable time.

We all know mothers who have brushes, paints and canvasses; they are however, not on their easels or painting desks. They are pushed deep in drawers or hidden in storage boxes for the day “when I have more time”. We know life is hectic; there are so many duties, obligations and tasks to deal with! Many years ago when I was in my thirties, I had an older woman as my friend. I was wondering often how she got everything done and had still time for concerts, outings, trips and visits to friends’ places. She told me this. “You know, dishes, laundry, cleaning: that is something endless, there’s always more of it and there’s never time enough to do it perfectly. I chose to simply take some time off when I need to and nothing too crucial has happened so far neither with our dishes, house, nor clothes. I realize, my house is not perfectly polished at some moments, but do I want to say at the end of the day all I did was cleaning, washing up dishes and doing work around the house? There’s more life out there, so I just had to disregard some not that urgent stuff and make nice things happen for me.” I followed this advice and ever since I had all weekends for doing something more than just routine duties.

One more thing is that we have to learn to say “no”. I have no time for this, and I no, I am not going to this event, and no, I’m not watching this. No, my dear family, I will not be cooking tonight since I have art class. That’s exactly how it works. Once in the studio, they are out of reach for all troubles and nuisances and annoying daily obligations, even phone conversations, bills and other provocative and stressful stuff. That takes care about a nice break during the week and that way one has always something to look for.

I painted this gift certificate as the second one for special occasions. I love that the receiver has something beautiful to look at. I’m not taking these certificates back; I’m only recording this in my register.

Some mothers already have it all, and it is not that easy to find a perfect gift for them. The best gift for many people nowadays is time for themselves or time for doing something peaceful, relaxing and enjoyable.

Beautiful gift certificate for mothers who love art, drawing or painting
Beautiful gift certificate for mothers who love art, drawing or painting

Gift certificate for art classes is a perfect solution for daughters who cannot spend a fortune for Mother’s Day, but would love to still give their mother a meaningful, valuable gift which does not get eaten up right away and does not wither within two next days.

Payments can be made in person, using e-mail transfer or Paypal.

The gift certificate can be picked up at the studio or I can send it to your e-mail.

Some of our projects for adult acrylic painting class, most students are beginners, besides

Liz poject paintings 1

Liz has painted these

Flowers on hill acrylic painting class for adults

More flowers on hills

Red tree project adult acrylic painting class

Red trees

The creativity crisis – there is simple, but magic cure

In addition to all kinds of disastrous social symptoms, we are recently hearing about the creativity crisis. Really? How come? Why do we even need such a personal feature as creativity?

I doubt anybody with more or less understanding of personal development would argue that it is very important to develop our creative side and work on it. Creative activities help lessening different mental conditions and make life more cheerful by raising serotonin levels and, thus, add to our inner balance. Balance is the key to everything: good health, well-being, success and prosperity. Long-term and broad research shows that creative children are more likely to succeed and cope with any situation which comes up in their lifetime, they will feel more confident and less lost if something unexpected happens than those lacking creativity.  Creative activities can make one’s life easier, more interesting, fuller, more exiting and less stressful.

I was reading recently how becoming creative was described as getting into some state of mind and intentionally trying to make that happen. I am very sure it won’t happen that way. Becoming smart, interesting, enthusiastic and creative is not following five easy steps. This takes work, efforts, numerous experiments and perseverance. Creativity is not somebody will pour over you, and nobody can actually teach you how exactly to be creative. There are so many definitions, approaches, tests and scores to detect whether you are or are not a creative person. Creativity has to originate from the inside of an individual. It is possible to get advice, technical and practical guidance in any activities, but the process is up to you.

Creativity is a very attractive feature similar to being interesting, imaginative ability and innovative talent that empowers a person. We all have some desire to be noticed, to be loved and appreciated. By doing something creative we are opening the doors for love, appreciation, new friendships.

Whenever the talk touches creativity, nobody has told so far they know for sure they’d hate to be creative. I am most often receiving completely contrary messages. People complain their life is boring, dull, it is lacking any interesting or magic aspect and they would love to become somehow involved with creative things. So what’s stopping them?

Many people give up quickly anything which does not happen the way they thought it would right away. Some give up activity they just started to find out about because the results did not show after first half an hour or first attempt. Some are feeling sorry to spend any money on what they think is simply a pastime.

Spending some money on creative activities is inevitable. The least costly thing is probably writing poetry or stories. However, writing sad stories or poems, composing sad songs or listening to them can trigger low-spirits and depressive episodes, thus, sensitive people should rather participate in some artistic groups until they feel strong enough to do something on their own.

So, yes, you will have to spend some money for your fabrics or papers, for sewing machine or brushes, for garden or crafting tools. I would say that is definitely less than one spends on fast poisonous foods, useless drinks or antidepressant pills.

Depending on your creative activity, there are also real benefits because we spend way less money for anything we have created than bought ready-made. The creative mind works like this: I have some stuff, I’d need maybe some small bit of other stuff and I probably could make something great out of it. The consumerist’s mind works such a way: where do I get it and how much will it cost?

Where to get inspiration or idea what is that you would like? There are hundreds of options: all craft and art shows, all creativity meetings, local meetings of writers and photographers, amateur song and dance festivals, amateur theater performances, garden shows, musical gatherings like open mikes, galleries, art and craft stores and departments, fabric stores and more. Besides, there are always people at these events and places who will give a good advice on where to start.

Yet, surveys and research tell us, the creativity is dramatically decreasing and something needs to be done to reintroduce more creative activities in our families, schools and society.

It is never too late to engage in creative things. Local people who are interested in art could join my art classes and attend the creative workshops. I am not surprised some of my students love these art classes so much that they return year after year, and they would miss anything else, but the weekly art class. It is obviously doing something good for them!

Painted acrylic scene in sleepless night

My experience after teaching at high schools, colleges, individually, in groups allows concluding the following. The idea of becoming creative most often is present in the family and it is passed over from generation to generation. Kids who pick up arts, crafts, sewing, writing, dancing, playing an instrument in early childhood most likely will continue engaging in some creative activities all life. There is much less depression, anxiety, upset moods, loss of interest in life, engaging in drugs, alcohol and troubles among teens who love creative life style and who paint, write, dance, sing, play an instrument, compose than in those who only spend all their free time on the street, in parties and at computer. The same goes for adults. People who do a lot of creative stuff are much less complaining about loneliness, depression, feeling lost, seeing no meaning or purpose in life than those who at the best go to the bar or sit in front of TV.

Painterly Saturday afternoons

Fun and pleasure painting afternoons on Saturdays is a new guided art activity at my studio-gallery.

Who and what is this activity suitable for?

It is for people of all ages who would like to try drawing or painting and experience a nice atmosphere, friendly company and plenty of inspiration.

It is for those who look for inspiration, or need some advice or help with their art. It is also for those who have stuck or don’t know how to get back to creation of art. We have sometimes started an artwork, but are not sure how to proceed. What to do next? What color to use? What other steps to take? When is the painting finished? How much of detail should be implemented? How to correct unsuccessfully painted spots? Why does the painting have no impact? I can suggest answers to these and other questions you are facing with your artistic endeavors.

It is for those who think they already depend too much on mobile devices and their computers. Take a break and employ your artistic side of the brain! While addiction to devices frequently stresses out even young kids, drawing and painting activities allow to calm down and recharge for any upcoming events which one may anticipate.

It is for those who feel lonely and upset and wish they had something nice to engage in during their leisure. It is not always the finished artwork which matters, sometimes the re-gained self-confidence and relaxed state of mind are much more important!

It is for those who feel bored, tired and exhausted. Why not to do something completely different? It’s always worth a try. You may be surprised how much pleasure is in simple artistic task.

Fall birches collage: acrylic painting project

It is for those who complain they never have their own time. Take your time and enjoy some quiet moment in the stormy life.

Materials for regular painting styles in watercolor and acrylic, as well as drawing paper and pencils are sold or offered (depends on size and type of materials), and anybody can take their own stuff, as well.

Winter creek project: acrylic for adults

You could find out about new techniques or approaches, you would be able to refresh your artistic senses or learn something, too. It is not a regular class or workshop, but I am always offering tips, ideas, help and advice. I specialize in nature, still life, floral and scenery drawing and painting, and that is pretty much the skill I can share.

Orchards in bloom: acrylic painting project

Real flowers, fruits and vegetables most often will not be available during winter months, however, there are usually some. References photos for scenery, floral and still life painting are offered if you would like to try this type of drawing and painting.

Abstract scenes or abstract art can be created easily, as well, and I will provide with additional materials.

Gift Certificates for Art Classes and Art

Gift certificates for teen and adult art classes are really loved since everybody can enjoy them way beyond the holiday weeks. Some people who receive classes as a gift keep attending them and create fantastic art works.

Our small groups are very friendly, and the creative atmosphere is just fantastic during these classes. We have mothers and daughters in every class: they attend together watercolor and sketching, acrylic landscape elements and acrylic large flowers. Daughters usually get so many compliments since some are just 11 or 12 years old!

I was sorting out the images which we had used during previous classes, and I was surprised myself how many there were. So many classes have taken place in this gallery, unbelievable! Well, there are at least 3 classes every week for the most part of the year. It is amazing how each image allows to recall the group and particular students who were creating their art based on that image.

Adult art classes winter 2013

Please let me know if you’d like to purchase a gift certificate for art classes. You can pick it up at the studio-gallery, or you can pay by e-mail transfer and get it sent to your inbox. I can send a gift certificate by regular mail, as well. Please, don’t forget to specify for which class the certificate is: e. g., Tuesday Watercolor, drawing, sketching; Wednesday Landscape acrylic; Thursday Flowers acrylic; or choose from listed workshops.

All classes will resume in the second/third week of January.

Gift certificate for painting classes

Just like every year, I have created nice DIY decorations. I used lots of pine and spruce cones this year, I hope they will be liked.

Christmas decorations DIY

There’s always new art, cards and 3-dimensional artworks for sale. Art is a long-lasting gift and will remind the person who received it even after many years.

Christmas decorations DIY

Christmas decorations DIY

Easy DIY Christmas projects: fresh greens from the backyard, pine cones, paper flowers, some simple ribbons and Styrofoam balls.

Crafted Christmas gift boxes