Wishing you joy, love and peace!
Please remember: love never ends!
Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
Wishing you joy, love and peace!
Please remember: love never ends!
Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
Get some inspiration for last minute Christmas gifts: it is easy to personalize your gift by just adding some specific lettering or making up a set of something you know that person prefers.
I think that last minute gifts make up a lot of Christmas fun. For people like me who do not have all their family within reach, that is the best part of Christmas. I love making gifts, creating greeting cards and giving gifts. I wish I had more money, so more people could get their gifts and feel happy about them.
Shiny crystal necklace and center pieces in gold and silver
Canvas with shiny golden stars and fitting center piece
Country style with birds
Mixing up styles
Cozy and let it snow
Everything comes together and
this is my Christmas, with
lots of fun, work, inspiration, love and hope!
Shop, shop, buy, save: you have heard it a lot recently. Be grateful if you can do that and afford things not only for yourself, but also for somebody else.
The year is getting close to its finish line. Before we jump over to the next chapter in our life, we can still do something nice. For somebody who hasn’t had much luck.
I hope that I can still make some things happen and possibly sell some of my art. Art is all I have. There is nothing else because every day when I could make myself do something I was painting, drawing and creating. Even on these days when it felt almost impossible. The rest of time went by as if in fog. No energy, no desire to move. Big tiredness and exhaustion.
Life isn’t always easy. I have had 4 bad years in a row which really tested me. It would be great I could say the rough times are over, but I don’t know yet. I’m seeing the surgeon on December 22. I am not sure what he will schedule or decide. Therefore, I’m not very excited about the upcoming Christmas.
Everything else did not go right either. The city decided to do construction work around my place; they were taking off and changing sidewalks. My place became inaccessible for quite a few weeks. Before and after that I got sick and my main conditions worsened. The construction workers cut off our internet cable accidentally and it was not ok with me because I don’t see much on the phone screen and I cannot do posting from the phone screen. Neither do I read news and other stuff, it’s just too small and causes strong headache.
I feel like I am a bit better now, but, unfortunately, my resources have dried up. Well, 4 years of struggles without normally working can do that.
Therefore, I will be pursuing what I had intended about a month ago: featuring some creations and paintings.
I am aware that very few people read any posts. Most bloggers click on “like” from the Reader, and that’s it. However, if you do read this, please help spreading the word. Anything ships and anything sells. The best would be somebody locally walks in and buys some painting or decoration. That would be the best gift for me, hence, that would allow me getting gifts for my family. Well, I might sound a bit off, but I am not trying to paint the reality darker than it is. There are bad times and good times. It is amazing how fast time becomes past. Please help to fill the upcoming days with some hope and excitement.
I wanted this to be some kind of a promotional text. However, my hand was typing something else. Against my will, isn’t that hilarious? Not the bright and glossy words which I was intending to put in this post, but rather the painful and sobering realization of the lost days and weeks. So, there is no promotion and advertising text, but the idea remains the same: I simply have to sell some beautiful, heartwarming pieces of art to make a few little wishes happen. I know it is going to be difficult, yet, we all hope for the best. Don’t we? Please let me know if you have ever seen on this website art that you liked so much you could buy it; for a gift or for pleasure, that definitely does not matter.
I placed the birds in their natural habitat. They come with a rustic frame, too. I didn’t get to take pictures of everything. It was quite dark here and daylight is over very rapidly.
I believe, this is a very unique and attractive art which also makes a great gift, as well as fantastic wall decoration. I have put in these artworks all my best thoughts. Nature has been always close to my heart and perception. I am not trying to copy it, but represent in a way I am feeling about it.
So, please shop for art. Shopping for art is rewarding to every involved party. I mean, that refers to these who have something left over from their spending budget.
I will keep posting more beautiful pictures on days when I can do that. Please share if you can, and please follow and share on Facebook or Twitter, too. Links are on the right side. Thanks!
Second featured painting
Original art has a special attraction, energy and flare to it. I don’t think there can be too much art on any walls. I have usually some 200 works of art on display in my Art plus Life gallery, and it does not feel overwhelming or crowded. I rotate my art depending on demand and season. It feels very appropriate to have snow scenes and winter villages on display when Christmas is around the corner, and it is very obvious that spring flowers blossom around the gallery in spring.
I have a special love to small birds. I preferred them to any other creatures already as a kid. I assume that one should only paint what they know. I watch these birds during any season, and I have hundreds of sketches which I can turn into artworks later. I painted this particular painting “Robins, winter” last year. I painted 6 bird paintings. As it frequently happens, I felt I wanted to improve the color balance. So, I worked a few more weeks on this painting. I believe it became better and birds are more bird-like, as well, as the entire scene is lovely and welcoming and speaks for itself.
Robins, winter, 16 x 20 in (41 cm x 51 cm) acrylic painting on canvas
It is also on Daily Paintworks
I do invite everybody to participate in a festive workshop at the beginning of December to try out how nice of an adventure it is to create something heart-warming and cheerful. We can choose the image, and some people usually prefer winter scenes, some illustration or wall decoration type of art, as well as some might go for birds. We also paint poinsettias almost every winter. I must admit, that is a subject which always works well on canvas and paper and looks great.
Workshop is on Sunday, December 10. It takes place between 12.30 and 3 pm. We will paint attractive 12 x 16 in images. Workshops are always fun. Participants also go home with a nice piece of art. I am attaching the “Robins, winter” painting for illustration, but I will certainly post more images as we get closer to the workshop date.
The best way to get into Christmas mood is to create art that suits the season. Let us celebrate in style with original art this year! Please let me know if you like “Robins, winter” painting and whether you’d love me to ship it to you!
Art products are available from Fine Art America.
My favorite from all products with this particular painting is the spiral notebook. It looks unbelievably good! Mugs also look impressive, so do actually lots of my art products and prints.
Art is even more than meditation. It transfers us to a different place, it happens in a different dimension and it results in a completely different experience.
I need, just like most of us, to shut off the world here and there.
To recharge, regain energy and clean my internal, soul-bound me.
I know that somebody might say: well, there are important subject and totally unimportant, and trying to paint unimportant things is just waste of time.
It doesn’t really matter, not one small bit.
It is totally possible to forget to eat, to forget what the weather outdoors is; what day it is and whether there are some urgent chores to be done.
The funny thing is that everybody can get into it.
I certainly would advise to let everything disappear time to time.
These are my lovely veggies
Love veggies is available from studio, this website and DailyPaintworks site:
$150 plus shipping in Canada $20 and to USA shipping is $25 because this is a large painting Love veggies
At least on my computer, better color balance is visible: ash berries or rowan berries, watercolor, The fall branch is also on DailyPaintworks:
I also got finally better pictures of sunflower sketch and ash berries. Well, in order these pictures were normally visible, every picture should be featured at the beginning of post. I just really do not care about many things, and frequency of posting is one of them. I am in the middle of a creative uplifting swing. I hope it takes me somewhere higher.
… is using pen and watercolor wash.
We all want our art to be great and impressive. However, if you are new to some medium or absolutely new to drawing and painting, you have to bear in mind: nothing happens right away and with the first brush stroke. I have had absolute beginners who were somewhat disappointed that their first piece of art wasn’t exhibition quality. Well, that is normal.
Every skill takes time, efforts and work.
Creation of drawing or painting involves lots and lots of information. Some people are courageous by nature and love to experiment, and that is a very good start. Some people are perfectionists and they believe everything they do must be either perfect or they are ready to give it up; and that is a completely wrong approach.
My personal attitude towards something new in painting: different subject, medium, tools or technique never focuses on perfection. I focus on potential. Something might work out and something might not. There will be easy parts and probably difficult parts. That way. I call this attitude: let us see what happens.
Progress is usually gradual. That is why we start with simple things and move to more complicated things.
Pen and watercolor wash is a great technique for beginning watercolorists. Some like it so much that they stick to this technique and turn it into their personal style.
If you are insecure about drawing lines with pen, sketch them in using pencil. You can draw over with pen and delete everything else. We have now clean drawing in black ink, and the white paper is not damaged.
Anything can serve as a subject: from your morning coffee cup to flowers in a vase or at the fence, from a bird at your window to sprouting vegetables in a garden. Any scene with some object is good, but flowers look extremely nice when done in pen and watercolor.
When somebody says they cannot draw, I don’t believe that. Most often that means they tried 1 or 2 drawings and these drawings were not splendid. So, they make a conclusion that they cannot draw. Talk to me after 200-300 drawings. That is a decent start. It is also much easier to point out what else one should do in order to create better art when they have done some attempts.
Pen and watercolor flowers and spring scenes
Flowers are extremely suitable subject for this type of watercolor application
Apple blooms in pen and watercolor: great starting subject
Birds fit in this category, as well
Spring mood with butterflies: excellent subject for beginners in watercolor
This exercise is for absolute beginners
Why to start with pen and watercolor? It is forgiving, it is easy and fast, and it allows learning watercolor application more effortlessly. The pen lines provide additional support. It is a flattering technique since practically any painting or drawing looks good regardless of how sufficient one is with watercolor only.
I have done numerous pen and watercolor paintings over years, just because it is fun, it is easy and looks fantastic.
Art is timeless, and for a reason. To remind us not to waste our time, but rather create. These who do not create, can still support creativity by buying art and giving art as gift.
Before you leave this site, please, spend a short moment with my other blog which is not that visible since it’s secondary (WordPress, it’s time to change that!!!), and the post tells a fairy-tale about Christmas: https://inesepogalifeschool.com/2016/12/22/christmas-fairy-tale-going-home/
Show, large room, right side
Show, large room, left side
Sun slightly disturbing, but the light was excellent
It’s good to wrap up things and have the feeling of “I have done everything I could, and it is what it is”. It would be certainly way better to finish the year in more elevated mood, like “Was this ever fantastic!” That’s not going to happen this time.
It’s good not to have any classes for a while because that allows getting back to me: doing things that I want and prefer, not only classwork. Giving classes is a big responsibility; it takes a lot of energy and time-consuming preparation work.
I certainly would like to move to my personal themes and my personal visions in art, but unfinished paintings are really standing in the way: you look at some, and it says: hey, just add a few brush strokes, just wash in some more background, it’s not going to be that much of your time! I end up spending a lot of time, and since these are paintings that I started a long time ago, my internal critic disagrees with some aspects. Why did I start this at all? Right, during the class. Why did I choose that much detail? Why didn’t I make it simple and with large accents? Basically, it’s difficult because I have moved on and it feels like catching up on some long time ago forgotten thought or idea.
I will try to be more disciplined and not start that many new paintings, but then again when I didn’t do demos on canvas, I suddenly painted a few great paintings … on messed up cardboard. The wavy texture shines through, and they are not any good for display. It’s even impossible to take any picture of them. You never know with painting: something good can appear where one didn’t expect that and everything can go wrong when we had high expectations. There are so many forces and energies involved that it isn’t by far as simple as “just do it right or according to your plan”.
Classes also put a lot of pressure on any teacher because teaching is also not that simple. I usually think and plan and sketch until I find the right image for a particular group. I also have to think about simplified ways how to put it on canvas or paper.
Magnolia, the small version
Finally, got a better picture of poinsettia
Ones side still pale, but I didn’t have any picture of these red poppies, sold
They all looked so attractive
We did recently this reflection, everybody loved painting it
This was the subject for a Saturday workshop
We are often painting birches
This is one of recent class paintings
I had put up a beautiful show, those who came were really impressed, but I believe, my timing was a bit off. I will start to prepare the next show “Blooms and Leaves” fairly soon, and that might be ready by the end of April or by May. Anyway, there is not such a thing as lack of paintings for sale at my gallery. It’s always open and available to anybody over the internet. Just ask.
Merry Christmas to these who celebrate it and fantastic holidays to those who have other celebrations!
Whatever we are doing, we need some kind of a draft in our head or some plan which we keep in mind. However, it is easier said than done. That especially refers to classes. I have noticed that most people want to draw or paint without any plan and without any thinking. It might be so that when starting out it is hard to know what parts or segments should be paid most attention to. There are lots of simple things which make the object look multi-dimensional. By far, those are not only darker and stronger values. Strongly emphasized edges or absence thereof, always darker spots behind the lighter areas also contribute a lot to the spatial perception, not to mention color if it is used. I remember from early years I was told that the darkest dark should meet the lightest light. It can be tough to implement, especially when not having a real reference, but just a photography or sketch. I am personally not excited about patterns which repeat in a regular rhythm such as petals or trees along the path, blooms on a branch and similar things which we unintentionally place on our canvas when there is no firm plan or sketch.
Magnolias, recent class demo and I always work together with students straight in front of the class
Why am I saying: pay attention to reference? Because most people don’t do that. When we are just beginning the painting, they would have a look at the reference image or set-up. After a while, I notice nobody looks any more at the reference. You have to! The only exception is when it is a completely abstract work which has been drafted in one’s imagination or when we paint from memory. Painting from memory takes practice, however, and beginning artists cannot handle that too well. Reference or value drawing (if you have created such) has all the answers: where to use dark color, where to make strong edge, where to wash edges to lose them, where to place highlights and what exactly the shape of something is. It is extremely important, much more important than what brush to use. Talking about brushes: always use these ones which you feel comfortable with and which suit the size of the area you are working on. Very simple. We can use no brush at all, use a sponge or palette knife, that is a matter of a preference and choice. I know how some instructors want to make rules about everything. There are no rules in the use of tools. It is very obvious that using a very wide brush for tiny spot is simply difficult and vice versa. I know a lot of artists who create the entire painting with just one brush. I do that sometimes, too.
The Pink rose, recent class demo
So, the conclusion is: do not change things around dramatically or completely when the work is halfway through and always keep an eye on the reference. That’s why it is so rewarding to paint from real objects, live is live and photo is just a photo. Live comes with smell, touch, very visible shape and very noticeable values. Do not pressurize yourself and painting: there are moments when we need to stop and make a decision about the next step.
Purple pansies, finished just yesterday
Paintings and drawings really hate when they are not treated with due respect. It is much better to allow everything to develop in a natural way. For illustration I have attached the recent flower paintings. There are many more, but they just need finalizing touches. You know: painting is never done, right?
Time … Time … How to make it slow down and stop for a moment? I have the answer, but unfortunately, this doesn’t help me getting done everything. We can capture a moment in a painting, and that doesn’t mean we can capture only the scene we are drawing or painting, we are also making impressions of our senses, our mood and feelings.
Although, I’ve been working hard and working a lot, my art and lifeschool blog were left alone again. Well, if I’m so tired that I’m almost fainting, I certainly won’t be posting anything. I believe doing our best can be not enough sometimes, but that is the only result we are able to have here and there. I do not push myself, as well. Rest is important, so is sleep.
My classroom got a face-lift. There are so many flaws with easels which are sold at the art store that I had to finally get to the issue and design my own easels for the use in classroom. They are extremely light and perfectly stable; nothing dances around, falls off or turns over. They allow painting when sitting and when standing. That took a while, and thanks to my husband and his skills, we have these easels working well now. I had to make also some smaller things like cardboard trays because I am seeing very often how disorganized the work-space is. That does not help. Work-space has to be easily approachable and everything has to be in the right place.
New classroom settings
Pleasure lives here
Garden demo for Wednesday, here only starting out, lots of work required yet, we will work on this for 2 more weeks
My less than 2 hours demo today
Talking about supplies which we use: we shouldn’t try using the entire art store. I counted last night; we need 14 paint tubes at most. We can paint very well with just 8. That means a bit more mixing. We normally won’t be using 6 or even 10 brushes during a few hours. Most often, we can perfectly paint acrylic with just one medium size flat brush. Watercolor requires minimum 3 brushes, but not 10 either. I can understand why somebody tries to take everything to the class: it’s called just in case. The negative aspect of too much art supplies is that it causes confusion. Especially when somebody is starting out, they won’t even notice what each brush does, and they will get to using it even less.
We had a fantastic group painting today. I have 3 hour painting sessions on Saturdays. We start on blank canvas and at the end of these 3 hours we usually have something to show for. I loved that nobody was disappointed because sometimes people imagine they can go within 3 hours from “never painted or was holding brush in my hand” to “perfect art created by a master”. That does not happen, so I am happy with people who have reasonable expectations.
Creation of art has to be fun and relaxing activity. When I hear people saying I am afraid, I am really wondering how so? I can imagine how one is afraid from a surgery, even dentist, test, speech to thousands of TV viewers or a job interview which can change the entire life. What is the worst that can happen when we paint something not as we think we should? With acrylic, nothing at all. We will need a bit more paint and possibly time to start that particular spot from new. Therefore, being afraid to paint sounds strange. Most likely, that is why kids and people who love taking risks have very good results. Once we get over the barrier we placed in front of ourselves, we are fine. I wouldn’t even call this courage. I’d rather call this: pleasure to experiment, take plunges into unknown and experience freedom.
Artistic freedom is like no other freedom and it is the most uplifting one. When somebody tells me there are very many rules in art, I’d like to disagree. There is no one single other person who can see and experience the reality in the same way we do. Why our imagination and creative potential should then be squeezed in some kind of frame of regulations? It shouldn’t. Any other freedom comes paired with duties and obligations. Artistic freedom of creative self-expression is a complete alone standing freedom. There are no and there should not be any restrictions. There are tips and tricks, and common sense how to get things done faster, better, more sufficiently and more impressively in art. Yes, there are. We can either accept or disregard them and try to discover everything from new. Art and creativity mean a new world every single time we take the brush or pencil in our hand, I think we should build this new world in accordance with our personal preferences, likes and our vision.
I believe, many people like my approach, so my art groups have grown a lot. My space is limited to 12 participants, but I prefer not more than 10 artists for acrylic.
My wish to everybody starting out in art: do not take it too seriously, enjoy, have fun and you’ll find over time how nicely everything works out and falls in place. The above does not refer to people who make their living with art. That is a hard work, one of the hardest I know.
It is such a blessing to slow down, take a breath and enjoy doing nothing while listening to fantastic Christmas songs. The lights are on, some candles are burning. It is so peaceful, indoors and outdoors, in the soul and heart, that the feeling of happiness, gratitude and love is almost touchable.
I have put on the Latvian radio 2, they play non-stop Christmas songs, and these melodies are so sweet and touching that I couldn’t wish for a better music to accompany my memories tonight.
I hope all fellow bloggers are having a good time wherever they are, I hope they didn’t have to experience the rough weather which destroyed so many people’s homes this Christmas.
The weather is great in Whitby, Ontario. There is no wind, stars start showing up, the sky is almost clear and the silence covers everything.
Wishing everybody peace, warmth, love and light during this Christmas day and all the following holidays! Have a blessed evening and night! May stars and the full moon shine on you and remind that love never ends.
Sending hugs, love and prayers to everybody who shares peace, hope and love at Christmas!
Latvian radio Christmas music:
The most recent Lifeschool post reviews ways we can improve the way we feel by simply choosing the right nutrients and avoiding alcohol, drugs and medications: Feed your happiness, not depression