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.

I had to forget about art for a while

It’s been a while. Again. I haven’t disappeared, I was just having a surgery because my worsening condition did not provide with a better option. If you are following my secondary blog, you probably know how I had to struggle with post-surgery complications. Updates are here: https://inesepogalifeschool.com/2016/07/18/the-inappreciative-patient-and-my-lost-summer-pleasures/

It didn’t go as smooth as we expected.

It is the first day since long time when I can type a small article. It was rough, that’s all I can say. My student Liz came to see me and brought me some nutritious food when I realistically was unable to do anything. Thanks Liz, that was the best care ever!

Liz and Gord had also left a beautiful flower bouquet, card with wishes to get better soon and a gardening book. Very thoughtful. I do not have many friends here, if any at all, so this was I appreciated sincerely. Here you can see what’s left from the colorful bouquet by now. Honestly, I was so bad I could not even speak with them on the day they came, and I am genuinely sorry for that. The small bird was attached, too, and you know, I just love birds.

health and art 4

Small bit left over from the cheerful bouquet 

Artistic projects and any painting did not cross my mind, although, it helps doing something. I just couldn’t. When I was not in a nightmarish sleep, I was dizzy and shaky, basically side of this treatment are not pleasant. Well, I am just starting to see things clearly and walk around slowly and carefully.

Last class was in first half of June, and that’s how the gallery looked like at that moment.

Art sale Whitby Ontario

Before heading to surgery, I tried to keep calm and work on finishing some small 16 x 20 inches paintings that were left unfinished. I will call them “Idyllic 1” and “Idyllic 2″which means to me a place which is totally different from the current reality. More idyllic images will follow.

Art for your cottage

They might need some work, but I intend to leave them as they are because these paintings are for ever linked to this pre-surgery moment when I needed dreamscapes to avoid the daily anxieties and suffering.

Art for your cottage

If everything goes better and smoother, I could restart some classes as early as in August. We will see.

The sale to raise funds for my treatment was very short because I had to deal with health issues. I would love to invite anybody to either look at Fine Art America site (on the right side is a link), or just scroll through my paintings and the blog. Ironically, when expenses reach peak levels, there is no energy and chance to make any income. If you are somebody who won’t be hurt by spending $50-$100, I could send you some originals, especially small to medium size watercolors. FAA has all kinds of products from prints, phone cases, pillows, T-shirts, purses and bags to shower curtains and more . I receive a little bit, $2-$10 from each sale, but that is still great. I am hoping to recover soon to the point when I can do something: it is so intolerable to just sleep and stay in bed when there is so abnormally much to do. I also hope the crisis is over and, therefore, the future will be definitely better.

Artistic freedom and risks taking to a higher level of ourselves

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.

Acrylic painting for adults, new classroom

New easels

Art classes Whitby Ontario, new classroom for adult artists

Arranging everything

Acrylic painting classes Whitby Ontraio

New classroom settings

Artistic freedom Thursday class has 6 students

Pleasure lives here

Garden demo, too bad on cardboard

 

Garden demo for Wednesday, here only starting out, lots of work required yet, we will work on this for 2 more weeks

Acrylic painting Poppies Demo 1.5 hours

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.

Happy and creative New Year: do not forget your artistic side

Belief is like light that never goes out as long as we have strength to overcome our weaknesses and doubts.

New Year inspiration

The year is almost over, just a few hours, and we will be writing 2016. Was 2015 a year what I expected it to be?

Yes and no. I usually do not write any New Year’s resolutions since I am simply doing what I have decided. If I have made a decision, I will bring it to implementation no matter what. For me it is always: speak less, do more.

Time disappears too fast, that is for sure. Although, January 1st is just a point in time which we are using as a date to mark the beginning of a new year, many people associate lots of expectations and hopes  with this date. It feels like a new chance to refresh, to regroup and to start with renewed energy and more understanding. It certainly is a good time to review what went wrong in the previous year and what should be changed in the New Year. Realistically, any date for changes is as good as this one because any changes are up to us. When the desire to achieve something is strong enough, I cannot see why it would not take place.

New Year love and happiness

I also hope that more people will include their artistic and creative side in their self-improvement programs. That is incredibly important especially because we are spending way too much time looking at screens of different devices. Therefore, keep your artistic activities away from devices, food and drinks.

Our brain has a wonderful ability to adjust. We are able to learn something new regardless of our age and so we should. Learning, challenging our capacities is the key to staying young longer. That does not involve a facelift, but that refers to a much more important part of our existence: memory, thinking and decision-making ability and brain flexibility. Therefore, I wish those who have at least the smallest intention to devote some time to drawing, sketching and painting: do it. For the sake of more relaxed you, for the sake of happier you, and to multiply and grow great things around us.

I would like to say also a huge Thank you to all my fellow bloggers who stopped at this blog for numerous times, commented, made me laugh and think, made me explore and dig deeper, made me a better me. Thank you, and without you my dear friends, my world would have much fewer colors as it does now.

Happy New Year dreams and hope

Happy New Year! See you on the other side.

If you get a chance, please follow also my other blog http://inesepogalifeschool.com/

The current post talks about New Year’s resolutions and goals: Setting steps and path to achievements

The pleasant laziness on cozy Christmas day

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.

Peaceful Christmas day paintings and home decorations

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.

Peaceful Christmas day Snow painting and decorations

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.

Peaceful Christmas day beautiful decorations

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.

Peaceful Christmas day

Sending hugs, love and prayers to everybody who shares peace, hope and love at Christmas!

Latvian radio Christmas music:

Latvian Radio 2

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

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

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

Autumn night, silence, acrylic 20 x 20 in painting for sale

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

The new blog: who knows it exists?

I have new posts on Lifeschool blog, the most recent one is The patient, calming and adorable garden neighbor cucumber

I was getting ready for this new blog for a long time. I was quite disappointed because I only later was able to find out that one blogger can have only one account, meaning one blog is the primary which is the art blog, and subsequently it will be very difficult to get people to even see this new blog because it will appear on all comments and likes as this primary site. Therefore, I’d appreciate people who find interesting my primary blog checked out and if interested followed the other Lifeschool blog. Unfortunately, WordPress will charge you for the new domain name and for theme and everything associated, but the other blog/s will only be some kind of attachment to the main or primary blog. I simply wanted to keep art matters separate from life matters, but as I found out, it hardly makes any sense because it’s virtually impossible to direct traffic there, unless I would switch these blogs places, but I’m not interested to do so at the moment.

When I announced the other blog for the first time, many fellow bloggers simply clicked on “like”, most likely from the Reader, and they never read the body of the post. If that happens again again, oh well, I at least tried to something about the situation.

Dill the wonder herb

2 pictures from the other blog, there are lots of them, and I work hard and make professional setups for picture taking, so, please try to stop by!

Garden vegetables cucumber

From the first likes I can see, it’s happening for the second time: nobody clicks on links, but follows and likes this blog. Well, thanks for the follow, but this seems to be incurable: nobody has time to read any single line. I still hope, at least somebody pays attention!!!

Stolen painting: alert for illustrators and artists

Thanks to a fellow blogger, I was notified this morning that some blogger at WordPress is publishing my painting as her own on her blog.

I checked this out and could not believe my eyes: not only had she created a copy of this painting, but had a nerve to attach some kind of her signature to it, as well!

I published this painting on my blog last July:

https://inesepogagallery.com/2013/07/18/i-love-birds-and-natural-awakenings-publishes-my-painting-on-the-august-issue-cover/

and added it to my Fine Art America painting site:

http://inese-poga.artistwebsites.com/featured/chaffinch-2-inese-poga.html

http://inese-poga.artistwebsites.com/art/all/birds/all

Full sheet bird watercolor paintings

I was preparing these paintings for a show, so I painted more on one sheet and later separated.

Chaffinch 2: watercolor painting

This is how I attached the finished paintings to wood panels, and they were ready to go to the art show:

Watercolor paintings for bird art show

Here is the blog address of the thief:

http://artembrace.wordpress.com/

http://artembrace.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/14-02-2014/

http://artembrace.wordpress.com/author/acvetkoska/

http://artembrace.wordpress.com/author/acvetkoska/

http://artembrace.wordpress.com/my-paintings/

If you check out “My paintings” (that’s where my chaffinch appears, too) and “My drawings”, you would notice how different all of these paintings and drawings are, they look no way as one artists works. I guess, there may be more art which does not belong to A. Cvetkoska.

If you see a painting which belongs to somebody you know, don’t be lazy and please contact these artists, as well.

It says under “About” on this blog the following:

A.Cvetkoska is a young girl who express the way she feels trough her paintings. She lives in Ohrid and studies at a local high- school.

Is that terrible or what? It’s great that many young and old people are willing to learn draw and paint, but some of them obviously don’t want to spend any time on this. It’s much nicer and easier just to receive compliments.

Well, I’m not aware how to deal with this copyright infringement, however, I’d appreciate somebody lets me know if WordPress can be notified in such cases. I will make a note on Facebook, as well, and tweet this stuff.

Why is this not acceptable? It’s not only the bitter feeling that somebody takes credits for your hard work, but obviously prints of paintings can be sold from any site.

It is already the second occasion recently when I find my art under somebody else’s name. Well, I don’t like that, but the only way here is probably to either photograph art so that it cannot be used for re-sale or place the watermark all over. I used to apply only small watermark at the bottom, and it didn’t help. She just cut it off.

Please contact me if you have some suggestions. I would really appreciate that.

I just found out that the purple bird is painted by Dean Crouser. My guess is, she copied everything from Pinterest.

Opening the first page of the new calendar

Let the river of time take away our troubles and worries!

Winter night: the last light

The New Year is standing at our doorstep; we should welcome it with a great meal, candle light and warm thoughts.

Let’s look up to the sky: maybe some nice surprise is waiting for us, maybe the New Year’s inspiration will take us to new heights and allow more dreams to come true.

Winter sky: the path to eternity

Candle lights are alive, and the bad energies are destroyed in fire. As we look at this light, we should imagine all great things we would like to happen, and they just might come true. At least during this wonderful holiday season and at the moment of entering the New Year, we should have only positive thoughts, provide the encouragement to the sad and care for the sick, wish more good things to everybody, not only ourselves.

The New Year’s color is blue, I’m sure we can find something blue in our closet.

The more candles we have lightened up at midnight, the more chances we have our wishes are fulfilled. We can write one of our wishes on paper straight before midnight, this should be a very definite wish for some particular thing, and we burn it afterwards, and scatter the ashes outdoors so they’d go with the wind.

Happy New Year! Warm hearts and shelters, good health and abundance of things you need, true love and lots of honestly earned money!

Happy New Year 2014!

We are about to open the first page of the New Year’s calendar. Let’s hope all following pages are filled with events, results and achievements we wished for.

2013: Afterthoughts

It seems, it was a small while ago when we celebrated the beginning of 2013. One of my old-time friends asked if I knew why time passed so quick once we have gotten older. I had many possible reasons to list, but she mentioned this one: everything takes longer to get done. However, days appear to me noticeably shorter than they were when I was 20 or 30. Here we go: the New Year is almost here.

I cannot complain, this year was not bad. It was marked by my daughter’s fantastic wedding and our trips to Europe, Latvia and Mexico. Both trips were great, and we have lots of memories to share and hundreds of pictures to look at.

The business was growing, but I didn’t get painted or drawn my own stuff as much as I expected. The more classes I give, the less time I have for doing my own work. I never understood when somebody was complaining they were having no inspiration or some kind of artist’s block, or lack of material for painting. I have instant inspiration, millions of new ideas, concepts and even perfectly worked out projects and plans (all in my head, I don’t write any lists, resolutions or similar intentions). There was NOT ENOUGH time. I was cutting out anything I could avoid doing, I have decreased the TV time to about 2 hours a week or left it for moments when my condition becomes really bad and I can only sit or lie down. I have decreased the computer time: I would only spend the hours I need for my paid medical translations or medical research and blog or advertising, I rarely talk on the phone, I am multitasking every single moment, and there’s still NOT ENOUGH time. I have so often wanted days were twice as long and my energy lasted longer, as well.

Even though money has never been my main concern, it would be so good to have more of it in order to finally do only what I always wanted most: just draw, paint, design, create, disappear in these creations. That is a dream which has not come true so far. My health and daily routines eat up way too large portion of my valuable time, however, I cannot just simply one day refuse from taking my medicines or monitoring my conditions closely. It’s a hassle, but I know, it could be a lot worse. Therefore, I’m really grateful that nobody in our family experienced anything terrible this year, and I genuinely hope, I can look back at the 2014 with the same peaceful gratitude next year. When we have good or at least tolerably good health, so many things become possible.

I have met hundreds of excellent, talented, smart and in any way inspirational people in this WordPress blogging site. As we read about their daily chores, about their discoveries, about their struggles and achievements, we get to know that the world is much wider and broader than we assumed before. We find out there’s always something new to learn and to make happen. Thank you my fellow bloggers for support and instant inspiration!

We were never writing any New Year’s resolutions in my homeland Latvia. I mean, why should we? If I want something strong enough, I will make it happen assuming this depends mostly on me and my input. If I dream about something and this absolutely does not depend on me: I won’t give up and I will keep trying until I achieve what I have decided I should.

I suppose, we sometimes need to write things down in order to see them more clearly and to take off a burden of our consciousness. However, we shouldn’t stop there, even though, it feels like this is almost done after we have put it down. Well, I wish our intentions and projects would match our abilities to carry them out to some extent. Persistence, consistency and patience are good guides in achieving anything.

I wish we all could spend and have more of value time. We shouldn’t have to or be pressurized to waste this time on meaningless things.

Just like every year I’m trying to finish up some paintings.

Small birds: I love them!

Small bird: watercolor

Bullfinch is one of the most loved winter birds in Europe, Latvia.

Frosty December Bullfinch Watercolor on canvas

Painting for charity Birch Walk

Painting for charity event

I hope, the New Year brings more opportunities to create, enjoy and sell art. How about these 2017 or whatever billionaires? If every one of them just bought some 1000 of living artists works at some 100 000 each, imagine how happy these artists would be? There would be lots of artist guys buying new paints and canvasses and decorating all schools, nursery schools, public spaces and hospitals, and old folks homes for free. That’s completely possible. Too bad, billionaires are not aware of this great deal.

Well, ars longa, vita brevis: we should enjoy more of both in 2014!