Last minute gifts: one of a kind and personalized

Last minute Christmas gifts

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.

Last minute Christmas gifts

Shiny crystal necklace and center pieces in gold and silver

Last minute Christmas gifts

Canvas with shiny golden stars and fitting center piece

Last minute Christmas gifts

Silver cones

Last minute Christmas gifts

Country style with birds

Last minute Christmas gifts

Closer look

Last minute Christmas gifts

Twig frames

Last minute Christmas gifts

Mixing up styles

Last minute Christmas gifts

Cozy and let it snow

Last minute Christmas gifts

Everything comes together and

Last minute Christmas gifts

this is my Christmas, with

Last minute Christmas gifts

lots of fun, work, inspiration, love and hope!

Enjoy!

Last minute Christmas gifts and inspiration

last minute Christmas gifts in red

Last minute gifts are usually the best because they are happy findings. You might also feel inspired by some of decorating ideas.

Here are some ideas: country, Scandinavian, red, silver and gold. I have used materials from my backyard and something to make Christmas shine and sparkle, as well.

You might borrow some of mine ideas. I regret that neither phone, nor regular camera love artificial light and sparkles. Well, pictures are still festive and attractive.

Lots of people have not wrapped up all their gifts yet. Lots of people are still looking for the perfect decorations or suitable art to make the walls look more festive. Creating Christmas decorations, ornaments and art is easy because this creativity originates in love.

last minute Christmas gifts in red

Everything sells also, especially locally, at Art plus Life Studio-Gallery which is located in downtown of Whitby, Ontario. Open late and every day up to Christmas!

Last minute gifts Christmas gifts

Golden conesLast minute gifts Christmas gifts

Shiny and snowy

Last minute gifts Christmas gifts

Reds and golds

Last minute gifts Christmas gifts

Lovely combination

Last minute gifts Christmas gifts Country style

Living up to Christmas

last minute Christmas gifts in red

 

Reds, golds and all kinds of festive

Last minute gifts

And really enjoy and stop by if you are in Whitby, Ontario or not far from it! I love people just dropping in!

last minute Christmas gifts in red

Very lively, very warm, very attractive!

 

 

Shop for heartwarming and unique nature art

Shop for nature art

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.

Shop for nature art

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.

Shop for nature art

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.

Shop for nature art

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.

Shop for art: merry and bright

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!

Celebrate in style: the best way to get into Christmas mood

Celebrate in style, Christmas gifts

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.

Bird painting for sale, holiday and Christmas art

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!

Robins, winter, bird painting for sale

Art products are available from Fine Art America.

Celebrate in style, Christmas gifts

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.

 

Celebrate in style: art that suits any taste, first featured painting

Celebrate in style: art that suits any taste, first featured painting

Celebrate in style will include my creations which I will try to post as frequently as I can taking into account that painting takes between 6-8 hours a day, classes about 4 hours a day with set-up and clean-up twice a week, setting up for photos, editing, posting online and promoting my art takes abnormally many hours and nobody has cancelled doctor’s appointments, treatments and the daily chores. I do also create decorations and have to put up some in the front, that takes additional 4 hours a day, plus the mess … I have to sell something so that I can buy my gifts, therefore, I hope for some response.

I have painted and created over years lots of art that can be a great gift or a fantastic decoration.

This time, I am featuring a rustic Christmas tree painting. This painting is acrylic and mixed media on 20 x 16 in canvas (or 51 x 41 cm). The background imitates wood, and it is created on canvas and also painted around the edges, so it does not need any frame.

Winter trees are so adorable, and when the first snow is falling … that means getting into the holiday and Christmas spirit immediately. Having this simple, yet beautiful tree on a wall is also a pleasure. I finished painting this tree image and I could not stop enjoying and looking at it.

The idea comes from the internet. I saw somebody had painted things and text on wood, and I really liked the idea of creating such a look. I just had to figure out how to achieve this without wood. I simply did not have any, especially somewhat suitable pieces. Well, I usually create what I do not have. This painting has also touchable and visible texture, so, it even feels like wood.

We will have workshop on December 9th. If you are not that far and reside in Durham region, Ontario, you certainly could take part and paint something similar for your own pleasure. Please apply here:  https://inesepogagallery.com/classes-workshops-schedule/

Celebrate in style: art that suits any taste, first featured painting

Let us celebrate in style this year! It is nice to have something original, not a print on the wall. It is absolutely ok to create something when we cannot buy it. Enjoy and let me know if I can ship this wonderful rustic tree painting to you!

Who benefits from art and artists

When you look at art for sale, it can sometimes seem the artist is probably under drugs and wants to extremely profit from their paintings, drawings or other type of art. It seems so.
I once asked a lady who was enquiring about my paintings: do you know anybody who would work for about two months, every day, about 6-8 hours a day and then receive for all this work 200 bucks minus materials? It isn’t that I tried to get her to pay more or whatever, it’s just the reality.
She was a nice lady, and she honestly said she didn’t know anybody who would work on such terms. I could add to this that I don’t know either, except fellow artists who for different reasons are in the same boat.
A brief list of these who benefit not only from  full-time artists, but anybody who creates art and tries to sell their art:
companies that make pencils, papers, tracing papers, graphite papers, drawing sketching, watercolor and all kinds of art papers,
companies that manufacture canvas, canvas panels, canvas boards, stretcher bars and canvas fabric,
companies that make paints, pigments, mediums for paints, solvents, vanishes, and all kinds of chemicals that are necessary for putting paint on canvas or paper at different stages or preserving the ready art,
companies that make easels, supports and all kinds of frame manufacturers, framing places and manufacturers of framing supplies, that includes mats, matting paper, glass, Plexiglas and similar materials;
every artists needs a website or blog, as well as social media presentation, so there are lots of platforms and hosting companies which sell everything from security certificates, to software for managing website, hosting, themes, plugins and many tools in order the website stayed functional;
companies that manufacture computers, tablets, ipads, cameras, video cameras and phones since we need to get the image somewhat captured and transferred to online space;
any landlord who leases studio or showroom space;
any utility provider who sells power, gas and water to the studio;
any show, gallery, exhibition, fair, including juried shows, online competitions and online shows which charge a fee for putting the artwork out there;
any online sales or art print sales provider which charges membership fee and commission;
money collecting and payment processing companies, i. e. Paypal, banks, etc.
That is not the entire list, and to some extent it is similar to expenses that are inevitable for any freelance or self-employed person, but the creation of art is definitely at the higher end of expenses, costs of materials and time consumption.
Artist obviously pays for paints, paper, canvasses, frames and framing, fees for shows and gallery representation and any utilities, as well as monthly payment for studio regardless of whether there is going to be some profit or not. Even when the art ends up in the waste basket, it still involves cost.
I know one would say: anybody who creates a product must create it first and there is never a guarantee of selling it. True, however, most products which are 100% unique, handmade and original sell for much more than the materials and labor that goes into them.
So, we have arrived at the most crucial question: who enables the artist to benefit? Who makes it possible for the artist to profit from their talent, work and efforts?
The artist can only profit from his or her clients who purchase the work whether as a product with art image on or in it, or as an original painting and drawing.
That is you. Somebody who loves and appreciates art. Somebody who has some money and is willing to spend it not on food, not on outfit, not on make-up or furniture, but art. Art is not a medication and it won’t cover you as a blanket, but it can feel that way, too. I know people who can stand for half an hour at some of my paintings and they feel exactly that: warmth and energy, and healing power.
I hope when you go to an art show next time and when you look at some painting, you will be aware that along with artist’s efforts, talent, time and soul there goes in a lot of other expense. That is an expense which is not covered quite frequently.
Being a freelance writer and artist is not easy by any means. There is a lot of insecurity: I do not know when some new work request arrives, I cannot ever guess with certainty when some painting will sell. I obviously cannot work when I’m not well, and that causes other problems. The domino effect.
Why to do this? At the present moment, this is the only option I have.
I am not sure if I will have to post something else before I fly to Latvia next Monday, yes, I unintentionally have chosen the full solar eclipse day, but whatever; I am presenting a few paintings which come as result of giving the flower painting class.

Lovely pinks

I compared also Arches 300 paper with Saunders Waterford 300.

Saturday rose is available at $150 plus shipping Saturday rose

Sunday rose is available at $150 plus shipping, Daily Paintworks, Sunday rose

Unfortunately, both papers were not bright white. If you have enough time to dry paper decently between layers, Arches is better. It is very easy to paint on it. However, I did not have time to dry paper, so Saunders Waterford was better because it does not keep flowing that much.


I do appreciate any sale through this site, at studio or through any other site because that allows me to benefit small bit from my creations.

Taking pictures of art and displaying: it is a challenge

Taking pictures of art is my never-ending challenge. I have been dealing with some other issues, too.

What happened to all good themes on WordPress.org?

Oh well.

I’ve been sitting at computer way too long. As I told before, I don’t have a better theme on my website right now for a very silly reason: I just couldn’t find a good one. It seems almost impossible.

All of them look great as demos.

Once I started to adapt them to what I want, I ended up seeing that:

one page themes don’t work;

with all kinds of fancy stuff overloaded themes don’t work;

completely plain and totally flat themes don’t work, so on and so on. I tried 8 themes, lost money on one, and here I am: with the same 2017.

I decided to leave it as is because while I was doing my theme adjustments, I worked as a slave for two weeks, 14 hours a day and that was affecting my life and everything else I had to do.

I am going to Latvia, but prospects traveling without cash are not very attractive.

Joining the Daily paintworks

I finally signed up for Daily paintworks where one tries to sell original art, not prints.

It took me five years to decide, and it is rather a desperate measure. All online art sites are crowded and there is a confusing amount of artworks to choose from.

Participation is quite costly, too, so one is pretty much under pressure to sell something.

Well, extremely cheap and tiny art sells well there, but I don’t have anything smaller than 11 x 14 inches. Very few old pieces might be 8 x 10 inches. So, I signed up and one can place only one artwork per day, so I have two paintings there at the moment.

Summer fence is available at $120 plus shipping

 Summer fence watercolor

Purple variety painting

Once again, I will try to do something also locally which is very unlikely to be a successful thing because this neighborhood is quite dead.

And I will try to sell something also over the internet from this same site.

Taking pictures of art: it isn’t easy

My biggest problem has been inability to capture on image the art as it really is; and this problem is persistent for many years. I don’t think it’s only mine problem. Camera looks at painting differently, and the color balance really depends on colors in painting.

Blue shades, greys and blue green colors look better.

Red, orange and yellow is a huge problem. I have paintings which have a lot of red and I cannot show them online because the color comes out weird, and it is not at all as in my painting. It is usually impossible to bring back the color balance with editing either.

Taking pictures of art in context and with background

I have noticed that watercolor artists use to take pictures of their paintings using contextual background. I started to take such picture of my art intuitively: some 8 years ago or so.

I paid attention very soon to the fact that everything that did not display only the cropped painting image looked fine. I mean, painting regained all natural colors and its good look.

That also gives some idea about the size because it is quite annoying to see how on some sites my very large art is displayed smaller than my small art.

Just placing something next to painting or photographing paintings in a bunch, having some surroundings show behind or taking art picture when it is on the wall, or using for decoration whatever, results in a photo that has all colors well balanced.

Taking pictures of art and displaying online

This particular theme does not allow also displaying everything as I would love to. The featured image becomes too huge. I tried to add my own css when doing theme adjustments, so I made the blog posts page larger size, but decreasing the widget area resulted in losing the number of followers. I will have to live with this display for a while because too much editing the theme caused all content text disappearing completely.

I can display on my website my art as I prefer, but when I have to post it somewhere else, it needs to be cropped and possibly edited, but I have noticed if the colors aren’t right, no editing will make that painting look as it is.

Most art looks better in reality. It can be so annoying at times that after taking about 30 pictures of some painting not one is good enough to post somewhere.

My art deals

I will be offering nice deals on my art up to August 19, and I will ship my paintings anywhere, but shipping will be extra. I got in big trouble last year because I was using UPS; and the shipping was costing more (isn’t that insane?) than my paintings I was shipping. I was so upset that I decided not to use UPS again. I’ve been shipping quite large art to Europe just by Canada post and the cost was somewhat ok, it was at least better.

Anyway, have a look at my art and I will also post more exercises for those who love painting with watercolor and are learning and experimenting with sketching and watercolor.

Maybe I should make a specific Facebook page for that? We’ll see how it goes.

I believe pictures of paintings look better in a context and on a background.

It is worth experimenting with that, as well.

White and pink flowers to enjoy the presence of spring

The best part of being able to create is probably that we only depend on our intentions and goals. There are no limitations in subjects or ways to create something. It is almost an absolute freedom, and pretty much nothing but our personal situation can be a set-back.

Freedom in creation means doing what one wants and prefers.  If it is technique that doesn’t work for you yet, you will just have to practice more.

I meet all the time people who think creating a painting is extremely easy. Most likely, instructions that say: paint like a master in one hour or time-lapse demos where a few hours of work are squeezed in just 1 minute make somebody believe that a decent size art takes only a few minutes. Well, try to paint just a wall or better start with smaller surfaces like a door. Even that takes time.

Creation takes time and efforts. When somebody looks at painting they sometimes doubt how that can possibly take 2 or 3 weeks working every day for about 6 hours. It depends on medium, definitely. Acrylic is much slower medium than watercolor. Whenever some part is dry, it is almost as if starting everything from new. Acrylic is much slower than oils also. That is why it takes a lot of layers and building up color and value.

The attitude totally changes when somebody tries doing painting themselves. There are people who believe that not that attractive first layers are sign of a hopeless art. That is profoundly wrong. I sometimes demonstrate how we can change and improve any painting (that includes my own art) by just adding dark shades and highlights or modifying perspective and number of details or elements. In that regard, acrylic is very forgiving and very user-friendly. The only limitation is time we spend on some art and time we are willing to spend on it. When it is a small painting, I do not feel always I want to continue working on it. Our personal attitude and preferences change over time, as well. That’s no surprise that we might not like subject we adored a while ago or we like colors we hated before.

That is normal. That is progress one or another direction.

Gallery view

Having painted blooms all around makes one feel fantastic. Even when my health is giving glitches, it’s a pleasure to be in the gallery and enjoy the elegant lines and uplifting colors.

If you never tried to create any art, it is a wonderful time to start out. The sketching season will be on soon, and that is just a pure pleasure being outdoors and literally absorbing the surrounding life, nature and beauty.

I hope to get some followers back since I lost of all of them while migrating the blog. I don’t think I have set up even all buttons yet, so, everything will come, just give it some time.

Dreaming goes on because art is timeless

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/

Inese Poga's art show

Show, large room, right side

Inese Poga's art show

Show, large room, left side

 

Sun slightly disturbing, but the light was excellent

artbylocalartist Inese Poga

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.

16 x 12 orchid by Inese Poga

Magnolia, the small version

Gerbera daisy

Gerbera daisy

artbylocalartist my favorite

Finally, got a better picture of poinsettia

artbylocalartist very red poppies

Ones side still pale, but I didn’t have any picture of these red poppies, sold

art Toronto artist

They all looked so attractive

artbylocalartist Barn reflection

We did recently this reflection, everybody loved painting it

artbylocalartist Sunset over shores

This was the subject for a Saturday workshop

artbylocalartist some birches

We are often painting birches

artbylocalartist autumn and 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!

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/