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

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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.

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Snow and winter scenes

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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.

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A few of pink and white flowers paintings

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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.

Lost in time and duties: the tough return

I was away for so long, that returning started to seem impossible. However, it’s time. Meanwhile, the globe has been through insane troubles, and I don’t want to talk about that again. We need peace and we need to recover, therefore, it is time to return to work. I don’t know any better medicine than being occupied with something which takes over our mind and body.

I have done so much, a lot, in fact, but these are mostly all works in progress, and many are just at the drawing and sketching stage, therefore, there’s not that much to show for. I did not have time to take pictures, yet I have brought almost to the finish one painting. That was my version of our current classwork. It is not signed yet, but the small adjustment I might do some time later. I could not post anything and I probably won’t be that active for some 2 more weeks because a large commissioned work keeps me totally busy. It is complicated and it consists of many paintings, therefore, my blog has to be patient.

The autumn boats Acrylic painting

The autumn boats Acrylic painting, soon for sale

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

The only thing I would like to remind all beginning artists about is this one: do not kill your intentions before you have had an opportunity to see for yourself that they work and they have a future. I mean, we all have moments when we doubt anything. Too much self-criticism and too much of negative self-evaluation does not help. We should not program ourselves for a failure before we have even gotten to do something. Painting has the ability to take us anywhere we want to go. That includes great achievements and personal improvement, recognition from other people and understanding ourselves better. Do not give up any creative activity after the first unsuccessful attempt since our patient efforts get awarded sooner or later.

The Life school blog reveals my poetic thoughts about autumn as a season and our life as we get older:

The soothing Sunday thoughts: late autumn midnight

Create art and make your soul sing

We all have our routine duties, we all have to make our living, but how about the soul? What are we doing to feed not only the body, but also our soul? Some people express themselves playing music or dancing, some are writing poetry or stories, and some love to create.

I don’t think anything compares with the wonderful feeling when I have a white pure canvas or sheet of watercolor paper in front of me, and I’m about to put down the first lines or brush strokes. Creation is the straight opposite to consumption, and I really have deep respect for people who love to create and give something to others instead of just taking and using.

Creating art is a rewarding way of self-expression. It takes away from our daily troubles and routines, and this time is never wasted.

Adult acrylic painting class

Our adult acrylic painting class for beginners: rural scene

Paintings by our students

Beautifully done painting

 

Wonderful first acrylic painting

Great painting of farmhouse

Great farmhouse painting in acrylic

We had busy October and November: there were lots of meetings with interested people, many adult and teen classes, and also the November workshop was successful.

We were discussing the magazine article which will be published in Laura’s online site devoted to making lives of women richer and more satisfying:

www.More2Life4Women.ca

This article will describe my personal and art concepts, I will also share my experience living both, in Europe and in Canada.

I had two extremely devoted and diligent students: Sharon and Christine. They created fairly large paintings to decorate their living and dining rooms along with small nature scenes.

 

Wild rose fields by Sharon

We spent approximately 6 hours doing large decorative floral paintings.

Christine’s poppy painting

No doubt, these paintings will make every space look more attractive and inviting.

I started Wednesday night acrylic painting class for adult beginners.

The first painting came out very nice, even though nobody had too much experience painting with acrylics.

I am running workshops once or twice a month. This time we decided to paint winter landscape, and we think a flower painting would be great subject for the next workshop. Workshop takes about 3.30-4.30 hours, and we get done the entire painting during these hours. I’m providing with template to speed up the drawing and planning part, that way we have more time for application of paint.

Ladies with their ready-to hang winter landscape paintings. Even absolute beginners can achieve great results.

Beautiful snow scene paintings

We had one more younger attendant, but she left a bit earlier because she already had done two winter and fir-tree paintings with watercolor. Watercolor is a faster medium, especially when painting winter and snow, lots of spots can be left white.

We are working on an old farmhouse painting with the adult group, and I will post ready paintings next Wednesday.

Great TV show, and don’t be lazy in summer

I really enjoyed participating in the Rogers TV Durham Daytime show. Hosts Julia and Christian were very welcoming and supportive, there was actually nothing to worry about. TV presentations are my favorite events from now on.

I’m getting more and more very appreciative comments on my website, and more people are asking me also, how come that all my art is so much loaded with positive and uplifting energy. The answer is very simple: I’m creating my art in a loving way, and every little bit of my good energy goes into my paintings. It is true that placing such painting in a room brightens up the entire room. When my art goes to exhibitions, some walls are quite empty for a while, and it feels like big part of me is missing.

One of questions I was asked during the TV show was related to my attraction and devotion to art. I think, art has become pretty much everything for me:

Art is my cure for stress.

Art is my escape from troubles.

Art is my shelter when life is too stormy and unpleasant.

Art gives me the feeling of great balance, harmony and self-fulfillment. It is like a cosy armchair after tiring day, like a warm sweater in windy weather. It’s like music which makes you forget everything else.

There are moments when I’d be lost without being able to dive and completely disappear into the art creation jungle. And I’m so thankful for this gift, this ability to capture all the beautiful things with my pencil and brush.

When I was young, I was having hard times back in Europe. I was short of money regardless of long hours I spent teaching at 2 high schools, and there was nothing at all for dinner quite often, but I used to think, isn’t that wonderful that I can draw just about anything I need? That might be the reason some of my stuff looks genuinely realistic, however, I don’t do actually realistic paintings; even though, they’d seem to be of that type. I’m calling my style “romantically inclined realism”or in some cases it is “realistically inclined romanticism”. Both versions describe my paintings extremely well.

I’m trying to convince those who are doubting whether they should take classes  during summer. The season actually doesn’t matter. It is great to be part of something, it is fantastic to belong somewhere. Learning art and engaging in art is worth every single second you’ve spent doing it. It’s also worth every penny spent on materials and classes. Ancient romans were smart and highly insightful, and they used to say what I’m repeating here:

LIFE IS SHORT, ART IS TIMELESS.

Isn’t that fantastic: to be a part of something timeless?

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed, and see you in my art classes!