The long journey to a ready painting and deals continue for 3 more days

I have no choice, but to continue with advertising my art sale. 3 ladies responded. I am genuinely thankful for their support, and I hope they like their purchased paintings, however, taking into account the large number of items for which I do not have left any wall space and any storage space, which is due to the specific features of these premises, I would need much more sales happening. I have 3 days for keeping this going, and I hope to get maybe some walk-in people, as well.

I work a lot and hard to create my paintings. I know how much easier it is to make abstract art because that takes origin only in one’s imagination, and artists sometimes simply try to comply with market trends. Unfortunately, I am not in abstracts that much.

I’m too good with drawing, therefore, I cannot and do not want to skip that part. Over almost 50 years, I have developed excellent eye-brain-hand coordination and I do not need any grids, any photos, any help lines even when drawing portraits which I used to do a lot some 20 years ago. I stopped drawing faces because I always need a model which I really like (like my daughter, my niece, etc.), and I need this model to be patient enough to sit through painting sessions. Very few people have time nowadays for that, but I just do not like producing paintings from photographic source, and I dislike even more when somebody is copying photos. Meanwhile, so many artists take credits for literally editing and then copying the picture whether on a larger scale or on the same size paper or canvas. I don’t think that takes talent or is a gift and specific vision, this requires only patience, time and ability to apply paint accordingly with the photo. This is more executive work as opposed to creative work which involves only original scene, object or set-up without the use any additional tools.

The general opinion is usually that camera gets it right, and that is true to some extent only. If the distance between camera and object is small, or the distance within the scene is huge, camera will produce wrong proportions. Camera draws closer the closest part of the scene or objects, widens the middle portion and creates way more distant background part. You’ve all seen this how nose looks very large in regard to the rest of face when taking too close pictures. This is also very easy to see in case of reflections: when artist follows exactly the picture, not the scene in nature, the reflections of some not that far away objects will be stretched out for miles which is totally wrong when you compare that with reflection in nature.

Therefore, my point is that many instructions will make one not trust their vision, eyes and ability to recreate the same proportion, edge and line relationship and color transitions without additional tools. That is not true. However, to get to the level when one can do the so-called “blind drawing” which means you do not persistently look at paper or canvas but rather at your object and scene, takes trusting our brain and eyes, making decisions and allowing the eye-brain signals to be transmitted to our hand with pencil or brush. That means trusting ourselves more than camera or grid and believing that we can do everything what somebody else has already done. It also takes simply practicing daily and, at the end, this activity improves the brain functionality and flexibility to an incredibly high level, thus preventing loss of neurons, creating new synapses and taking care of good memory.

artforsalefallshow

Rural buildings

artforsalefallshow

A few of very many fall scenery paintings

When we sometimes look at a painting, it seems it didn’t take any time or efforts. It is due to the fact, that good art shouldn’t exhibit artistic struggles and technical difficulties, but mood and atmosphere of the painted scene or object. When we get past such struggles, the real creation takes place. Some of my paintings took 2 years to bring to a stage when I liked them. In average, each painting takes about 1 week to month to get it to the point when I am more or less satisfied with it. There are smaller watercolors which only take one to two days to accomplish, but any larger work requires much more time because most of my paintings are rather representative than abstract.

artforsalefallshow

Snow and winter scenes

artforsalefallshow

A bit different view: snow, winter and fir trees

Why do I love showing paintings in groups better than just posting one image at a time?

Internet display has huge drawbacks when it comes to art.

Firstly, small 8 x 10 inch paintings virtually look the same size as 3 feet by 4 feet paintings;

secondly, colors are much truer in group photos;

thirdly, the look of a painting and its colors will greatly depend on your device and its settings.

The differences are huge. I’ve also noticed that my paintings on Fine Art America site do not have the exactly the same color: some look completely green, and they are not in reality, some look very brown, but in reality these are grey shades. Certainly, the best way to know whether the painting speaks to you or not, is to see it in real size, to view it framed or unframed and to experience the personal impact it makes or doesn’t.

artforsalefallshow

A few of pink and white flowers paintings

artforsalefallshow

Wider view of white and pink flowers

The sale deals are still in effect, but shipping is extra because I learned by now that it can be high for very remote or difficult to access places. Everything is $100 to $450, but if you are interested and let me know your budget, we might work out some special deal. Fine Art America site for prints and other products:

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

I hope, there are more people who would like some of my art. I’m posting only acrylics at the moment. Taking these pictures is time-consuming, as well; I also need a good light which can be a problem.

Many people clicked on “like”, however, only a handful actually read the previous post. Well, that’s just one more manifestation of never-enough-time-for-anything life we have.

I regret there was very little interest, and most likely the content of my previous post didn’t seem to touch too many people. I also understand that very many other artists who are among my followers will not buy any art, so the invitation goes out to the rest, and especially those who are only in a driving distance.

Art is the most space enhancing feature which there only can be. Just removing a few paintings from the wall, makes it look virtually empty, and my personal experience shows that there simply cannot be too much art around us.

Nothing compares to summer painting outdoors

Summer days are running away so fast that it is pretty clear: this summer is completely lost for me. I am usually waiting for summer so much that I do not even live during winter. It is certainly the best time to grab our paint box, some paper and go outside.

The weather isn’t too friendly in Ontario: I cannot recall so many heat waves and so many days without a drop of rain while I am here. My mornings are spent at a clinic, afternoons: fighting fatigue, so I just will have to put off my outdoor painting for some weeks yet.

When people ask: what should I start painting or drawing with, the answer is very simple. Draw and paint anything around you. There is nothing better than drawing from real objects and real scenes. Once you get used to it, you will notice how everything is more vibrant and livelier when we paint from life.

Summer paintings 1 chikadee

Lots of instructions start with: take a picture. I would love to say, however, if you have something set up or around you, do not take any pictures. I mean, if it is a large work and you are afraid, you’d forget the scene, well, you might also take a reference picture. The problem is that most people want to copy their reference photos instead of just using them. I might sound like an old vinyl, but it’s so silly to copy the photo and then pretend you painted it from scratch.

That’s why we have eyes and brain; we are supposed to use them as intensively as possible.

The next thing which matters is this: once you learn drawing, you are able to draw ANYTHING. This happens because you have exercised your visual perception, developed eye-hand coordination and your hand starts perceiving impulses from your brain.

Summer painting 3 old fence

My backyard

Is it important to stick with colors which somebody else is using? Not at all. It is much more interesting to explore and develop your PERSONAL color combinations. I also find that paints of different brands act very differently. My favorite watercolor paints are St. Petersburg artist grade paints. I haven’t seen anything else which has such transparency and allows mixing up all sorts of shades that easily. It is almost impossible to get a dull painting with these paints. The secret is the natural and pure pigments they use as opposed to many paint manufacturers who pretty much cheat and replace pigments with filers and binders. That means chemicals which do not enhance color or paint application.

Along with paints and brushes (I usually use just large round approx. size 12 and one size 6 brush for any medium size up to 20 x 24 in watercolor painting) an extremely important thing for watercolor is paper. When I am asking a student: why are you using this really thin and bad paper, they’d normally say, they are just learning and it’s not worth to spend money on a good thick paper. This is profoundly wrong assumption. Every paper will act differently. The thinner and lighter papers do not even absorb paint: it floats on a surface and creates ugly marks. It is also quite easy to lift paint, but not that easy to add more. My most favorite paper is not Arches. I do not like how paint keeps traveling through layers of paper even quite a few minutes after its application. I am using other heavy, cold press papers whenever possible.

Summer painting 2 Backyard summer

My lovely old fence post

If you practice on a bad paper, you won’t know how much easier it is to paint on a good paper. Watercolor paper is definitely the most important part of all supplies for watercolor painting.

I haven’t done much recently because I am trying to recover. It’s already a month after surgery, but it seems like I will need a lot more time.

The current lifeschool blog post tells a story about the ugly side of success and how this can destroy lives:

I would appreciate more than anything else a purchase of any of my paintings. After such a long period of time not being able to work, any financial support would mean a lot. I can certainly offer very good deals on originals, and prints and other products on Fine Art America site are inexpensive anyway. Since people rarely read these posts, this might go unnoticed, but anyway, I hope I can get something sold, there are about 600 paintings of all sizes.

Take a moment and paint it

The blooming outdoors was and still is taking our breath away. Endless cloud of fragrances and all colors of the rainbow: how not to love this spring time? I think, I only live in spring. Summer brings its pleasure, too, but I’m already concerned in the fall because that means the dreadful winter is not far away. That’s just how I am, a spring and sun person.

I was so upset that my health decided to give me hard times exactly when everything just asks to be painted. Well, up to today, I didn’t get done much and kept everything to minimum, that unfortunately included posting, as well. Things seem to be easing up, so I’m quite hopeful that the improvement will finally start. I’m using that expensive pills at the moment that I pretty much should be skipping other stuff like the daily bread.

Even though struggles were inevitable, we managed to get done something very useful in the studio. The regular Wednesday class was painting wildflowers and so did the Saturday Fun and Pleasure acrylic painting event participants.

I had big difficulties with picture-taking because I don’t have filters that make a photographed acrylic or oil painting look nice, but nevertheless I took quite a few. I will let these pictures speak for me this time. Nothing makes me happier than somebody admitting they like my paintings.

Some pictures are of my paintings at the studio. Birches are sold.

I hope the buyers enjoy these paintings!

Also sold.

Soft and dreamy spring painting.

Update: most of these paintings have been sold by now. Thanks!

We and our creations are one of a kind

I recently read an art blog, and the artist was sharing her doubts whether to paint simple nature objects or not since there was nothing new to say about them.

It’s definitely tough because when we check out all the art which has been created during the last two thousand years, we have to come to conclusion that practically everything has been painted, written, composed and done. It’s amazing, but abstracts and minimalism, modernism and naturalism, naivism, impressionism, symbolism and so on and on existed way ago. Not always the style and genre was given a name, and art was not categorized like nowadays, but it existed, it was created and it still reminds the simple truth: there is usually more of everything than meets the eye. However, stubborn as we are, we keep writing, painting, doing.

Have you ever seen the happiness in child’s eyes when he or she has drawn or painted something for the first time? Tree, flower, house, mom or himself. These may be just some lines, some attempt, some distant capture of what we would assume painting or drawing should be. For kid who painted his or her first painting, this is the biggest discovery, the hugest achievement, a whole new world, an excitement and satisfaction, belief in himself. The kid has seen something wonderful happening. The kid does not really care that there exist millions of other paintings, probably way better since they are based on theories and knowledge and practice. This one is the best, the most wonderful, the most amazing.

Being an artist quite often requires becoming like that kid: we sure are aware there is everything imaginable and unimaginable available already, there was and there will be, but we grab the brush, we take the pencil, we through the paint on canvas, and the magic is happening. Right in this moment, straight with us, and something wonderful is being created. Regardless whether it is the best or the worst painting of the century, we have turned our vision into something touchable and visible which other people can perceive and experience, as well. We are sharing our vision about the being, existence, life, future, past, birth, death and eternity. Whatever our subject and it does not really matter whether one paints breakfast dishes or streetscape of a huge city, we are all drawing, painting, writing ourselves and telling the story about us: who we are, why we are and how the world looks like according to us.

That’s why it still makes sense to paint pansy, rose, road, fence, some face, some scene, some tree, sky, fog, field even though we know somebody has already painted this all, and maybe the other paintings were better. They were definitely different, and that is all what matters: we are unique just as our DNA is, as our fingerprints are. We are seeing every single object completely distinctively and we are painting it that way, too.  Therefore, we can say: welcome the millionth version of rose, of street scene, of sky and water! Since this is one of a kind.

The garden of my dreams acrylic painting

As you walk along this path, you may understand what I wanted to tell you. At least people who were looking at the real painting could.

The studio-gallery entrance

I got a chance to display some paintings straight on the porch. If you happen to be in downtown of Whitby, Ontario, drop in. I’m always happy to meet people who enjoy art.

My self-guiding brush and poetic blue gardens for Mother’s Day

There is a moment around February, March when I simply need some green color. I want to see it, paint, visualize it and implement everywhere. I know green paintings are sort of something nobody wants to engage into too much, but this need for green color after the dull dirty white and grey scenery is so irresistible that I do it again. I just paint some more green paintings showing imagined scenery which should become visible outdoors some time later, as well.

Blooming fields Acrylic painting of spring nature

Blooming fields 1

Blooming fields: acrylic painting of spring meadow

Blooming fields 2

Blue road through spring Acrylic painting trees, nature, road

Blue road

Spring path: sculpted three-dimensional art

Sculpted spring path: three-dimensional

Purple flower hill Acrylic painting of flowers, trees, nature

Hill flowers

Spring was 2 months late this year. Lilac is usually blossoming on my names day, it always has been. This year lilac trees are only getting leaves, they are very far from blooming yet, and my name’s day is on May 18. Besides, everybody celebrates name’s or angel’s day in Latvia. Every name has been assigned one day in the calendar, and very rare names get rare name’s day, lots of them together. It’s one of the best celebrations since guests can simply show up without any invitation, and that’s what they often do.

Anyway, I got tired of painting green fairly quickly. It lasted some couple of weeks this year. I actually need to change either subject or medium often because I hate doing one and the same thing over and over again. After being busy with greens, I am immersing into poetic blue shades. Blue always was one of my favorite colors, and I also accidentally found a great blue shade in the art store not long ago, and that’s why I’m applying it everywhere. That allows creating some kind of very attractive shade: dreamy, surreal and very deep blue. I enjoy this quite a lot at the moment, who knows for how long.

Painting waterc in acrylic: painting in progress

On the go: water scenes

Acrylic painting of lake and river: progress

Progress: water scenes

The poetic blue gardens

The faded version in too bright electric light of Blue romantic gardens

The poetic blue gardens: brighter, but darker acrylic painting version

The dark version of Blue romantic gardens

I also thought, I was not somebody who would ever carefully copy, edit and repaint photos. I hardly use any because I have photographic memory and huge imaginative capacity. I noticed it when I was already at school age. I learned by heart all pages in the ABC since I could not figure out (my grandma was teaching me reading, and she had strange ways to present the spelling). My parents thought at first I could read without any errors, and had learned everything unbelievably fast, but they discovered soon that when I didn’t see pictures next to each letter, I lost all reading abilities. I simply had associated all content with visual images in the book. I never had problems remembering large articles, poems, and it really made it easy to study. It still helps with my medical writing because I can recall a tough term which I was dealing with some 5 years ago and I know exactly which document contains it. No need for any lists, too. Well, my visual memory has always been much stronger than the auditory. That’s why I am most often painting some scene which resides somewhere in the labyrinths of my visual universe. I know the realistic paintings are nice because they have all shadows in the right places and all details are worked out perfectly, but I simply don’t care about that. I suppose, we all have some main focus area when painting or drawing. Mine is pretty much the emotional part and colors. My brush actually does this for me. I am trying to keep it away from obviously plain or aggressive colors, but it would stubbornly pick up some terribly bright yellow or offensively strong red, and there it goes: color is placed on my canvas before I even realize I had squeezed it out of tube. That’s why I have a self-guiding brush, and it does all the painting for me. Here and there I have to assist it with some ideas, but generally my brush never gives up and it challenges me instantly to get used to new color combinations which I hardly dare to think about. I hope you have some pencil or brush with unusual features, as well.

My mom loves my paintings; she never says there’s something wrong with them even if there is. I hope somebody will show her this newest post and she can have a look at my recent work, as well. I ordered flowers (it’s so great that’s possible being across the Ocean!), but flowers don’t mind some added value which could be this post.

The blue stuff is not finished yet. I tried to take some pictures at electric light, but they either came out faded or dark. Whatever, it’s tough to take a realistic pic of painting when there no proper light anyway, but I will be very busy next week. I am also aware the timing is not right for posting this right now, but that’s Ok, too.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers on the globe!

 

For the love of texture, color and warmth

Texture and color make art very attractive. Especially, tree art.

Lots of art has been created, and everybody who likes decorating, getting great deals and collecting art should be heading straight to the Fall Art Festival at Camp Samac, Oshawa since it is still on tomorrow and after tomorrow: Saturday, October 5th and Sunday, October 6th.
About 70 artists are participating this year, and the selection is just breathtaking. Does it make sense to buy a print when it is possible to obtain an original piece of art at a very reasonable and attractive price? Probably not because prices at this show are more than affordable.

Art sale and show Whitby Ontario

For the above mentioned reasons: texture, color and warmth, I have created some floral and tree paintings using a technique which allows to obtain rich texture, and these acrylic artworks look 3-dimensional, to some point even on photos.

Most of my paintings always come in sets of 2, 3 and 4, and that way they are perfect for decoration purposes. Colors are kept warm, cozy and gentle in order to make somebody’s neutral walls less boring.

Bird paintings also can be obtained in sets or as a single painting. I have varnished all watercolors and attached them onto art boards or stretched over canvases, which means they don’t need to be covered with glass and can be safely displayed with or without an additional frame. All materials are of archival quality, and neither watercolor paper, nor colors will be damaged over time.

Some bird paintings on panels

Small birds: watercolor on panel

This Fall Art Festival is worth checking out even if you don’t intend to buy anything, it’s a pleasure for your eyes and delight for your soul.

Should there always be a story behind the painting?

The story behind the painting is believed to be one of the best ways for selling art. Well, that really depends. When selling online, we don’t even know who’s bought the art, and when selling in person, it’s not always a good time for stories.

Spring forest: acrylic painting on canvas
Spring forest: acrylic painting on canvas

An interview with an old artist comes to mind when I’m thinking about how much art critics and art reviewers love rich wording.

Orchard in bloom: acrylic painting of apple trees in spring
Blossoming orchard: apple trees in bloom, acrylic painting

A young journalist pays visit to a much experienced, fairly rough artist and asks for permission to write an article about his art. The artist just keeps working, and seems to be neither too excited, nor too denying about this idea. Thus, the journalist takes out her notebook and starts questioning the old guy.
“How is that all of your art is structurally so multi-layered, multi-faceted and multi-reflective when depicting just routinely flat, boring and standard, sometimes underappreciated subjects? How can it show the underlying emotional hidden mystic concepts of these subjects in such an enormously effective and mentally enriching way?”
“Well, I just grab some paint and brush it on.”
“Sounds very simple, but how could you master describe the energetic overload in these trivial scenes which are jammed with overlaying structurally heavy, spontaneous brush strokes which seem to evoke in us the ancient and primary instincts and passions?”
“Well, I suppose, you see it now: I just grab some paint and brush it on.”
“Sure, your painting style is just fantastic and breathtaking. How about your artistic concepts when choosing these uninteresting subjects, but painting them in the way we experience things we never even knew about, not to mention we could see them captured in this vibrant, rigorously abundant manner which takes us to other dimensions and to futuristic domains of our mind?”
“Well, I don’t think, anything else says it better, as: grab some paint and brush it on.”
“Thank you, master. Would you like to share some of your secrets about implementing in your work this indescribably multifold capture and immediate expression of this vivid, eternally uplifting, intricately subdued and emotionally unvarnished light fractures?”
“Well, it’s kind of tough: just grab some paint and brush it on until you like it”.

Acrylic painting of fall scene: fields, trees and sky
Serene rural fall scenery: acrylic painting on canvas

Images which are attached to this post have been painted as demonstrations for classes. I finished them afterwards since I never get time enough during the class while I am trying to follow up on each student’s work. So, that’s the story: paintings of elements which we had to practice on.

Acrylic painting of white and pink amaryllis

Pink and white amaryllis: acrylic floral painting on canvas

It took me a while, but these paintings are available at the gallery now.

Don’t miss OAA Spring Studio Tour 2012

I hope you will be able to make time for the Oshawa Art Association Spring Studio Tour 2012 if you happen to be somewhere in Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa around next weekend.

Spring Studio Tour takes place on May 5th and 6th between 10 am and 4 pm. Please have a look at brochure, many artist studios are participating: http://www.oshawaartassociation.com/SpringStudioTour.htm

You will find me next to the number 3.

I have no doubt that everyone will enjoy this art tour, there are lots of interesting things to look at and possibly buy in order to use as a gift for the upcoming Mother’s Day. What can be more valuable as the joy of giving?

Besides, flowers wither and cake gets eaten up, but a nice painting will always remind the gift receiver of you, your relationship or friendship. Art is a very delicate thing, sometimes hard to describe, and it always makes sense to have a look with your own eyes at new creations of your local artists. Artists who I know, don’t actually complain too much, however, times are tough, and it is so easy to make somebody’s day when buying some inexpensive painting. So, think about it, and support your local artists, because these are folks who really need that: they will appreciate your interest, and small investment in art can go long ways.

Such tour is absolutely free, and many places will have more than exhibited paintings. I will offer advice on art materials, explain differences between classes and workshops, introduce new class schedule, new types of classes, give watercolour demonstration and challenge you to try watercolour washes or drawing.

Last year’s tour was well attended, and I think, benefits were mutual.

Some of my small paintings for sale

Wake up and get in mood for spring

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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