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.

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!!!

Fun while traveling, Latvian musicians, Rose Festival, commissioned paintings and my farewell cake

My long trip is almost over. Just one more day in Latvia, and I’m flying home.

This was such a pleasurable travel experience, even though, the weather was not showing its sunny side at first.

Not only was I enjoying a lot, but I also got some useful things done.

My daughter had arranged a very interesting come-together in her garden. The funny part was borsch which her guests cooked straight over the fire in a special pot since modern pots would simply split apart. The taste of this soup was superb since it cooked slowly and became like an extract of all good and fresh things within it.

The real Russian borsch on a fire

Cooking outdoors borsch

The surprise guest was the famous Latvian musician Gacho who did not mind attending this small party since he is a friend of my daughter’s friend. Gacho’s musical genre is best described as a mix of electronic music, hip-hop and punk rock, and his shows are attracting plenty of audience which is taken away by his charming manner of performance. Why do I like his music? I’m not that young: getting close to 56. The content of Gacho’s music is not limited to plain rhythmic experiences decorated with some equally simple lyrics.

 

The well-known and amazing Latvian musician Gacho (Gatis Irbe) did not mind to have some photos taken

Gacho: hip hop musician and me

Here we go: Gacho enjoying our delicious snacks, and I am enjoying the entire party and guests

Garden party at my daughter' s place with Gacho and friends, including author of lyrics Victors

I admire mostly the very rich lyrics, the feeling of something behind tunes and words in his songs. He also has a rich, impressive personality, and we had an amazing talk about his background, family (mom artist, dad sportsman), and it was surprising how he was not trying to make himself more important or less approachable than just a regular guy. Anyway, that was a big pleasure. His manners were excellent, too. He sent a thank you message for the nice conversation. I wish Gacho (his real name is Gatis Irbe) lots of new shows (he just had one huge in Liepaja, Latvia), plenty of luck and musical inspiration. I’d love to thank him, as well.

Commissioned poppy painting in acrylic

The first of two paintings

Red poppies: commissioned acrylic painting

My paintings of poppies in acrylic

I managed to get done two poppy paintings which I had promised a while ago. Time was pushing me, but the client was very satisfied after these paintings were installed on the wall. The worst part was, I had very little time to take some pictures, and no chance to take some pictures in a good light. Oh well, they loved these paintings, and who cares how their images look like?

Side by side view: poppy paintings in acrylic

Side by side: commissioned poppy paintings

We had a chance to attend the Rose Festival in a small Latvian town Tukums.

Almost the entire family

My family, however, the oldest grandson and my husband were not present, and my son-in-law was taking this picture

The wreath made of real roses

The huge wreath was made only of live roses. Just imagine how many should be there!

Small town Tukums

Small town: Tukums

The Rose Festival

The Rose Festival was well attended

Poppies along the road

Poppies along the road

This town was very attractive. Beautiful views were on both sides of the road, but twilight was getting closer really rapidly, so my small camera was unable to take good pictures of wild poppies.

My farewell cake

My farewell cake: delicious and beautiful

Anyway, my grandson has started to worry about his computer, so I have to finish my writing. I’d love to finish it with a beautiful and fantastically tasting, oh-so delicious farewell cake. My sister made it knowing how much I love home-made cakes, all from scratch with real fresh garden strawberries. Thanks my dear sister! The cake was wonderful.

Unique places on the Earth: the Hill of Crosses for peace and spirituality in Lithuania

 

Can you imagine a huge hill built up of crosses and crucifixes? I was not even aware there was such a hill until our trip to Lithuania. I will not try to interpret the symbolic and other meanings of this hill since I do not speak Lithuanian and I did not notice any explanations anywhere, but that was a place where prayers go to the sky, peace surrounds the pilgrim as a soft and comforting scarf and eternity comes a bit closer. I had never seen such a place before.

There were just a few sunny days during my stay in Latvia so far.

I cannot do much about the weather, but I am definitely trying to have good time despite  mother nature’ s moods.

We decided to take a drive to Rundale, a castle and village in Latvia since there was a Rose Festival, but we somehow ended up on the road to Lithuania since there was road construction and we somehow got lost. Somebody had heard there was a pilgrimage place which was entirely built up of approximately 100,000 crosses, crucifixes and rosaries. This sacred place was not far, the sun was shining (what a surprise!), so we changed our plans.

Numerous crosses and crucifixes

The view was actually more than impressive. I would say this was an absolutely unique site, and I had never heard about a similar place anywhere on the earth. This pilgrimage site attracts people from all over the globe with peace, spirituality and its sacred nature. It said, the first crosses were place on the hill around 1831. Even though its main idea may not be what it felt like to me, I could see the Hill of Crosses as a place where to show our gratitude, thankfulness, love for peace and freedom.

 

Somebody told these crosses were not from cemeteries, they were placed there by people who were looking for their inner peace and probably for healing. There were written prayers or letters of gratitude attached to some crosses.

Path going up

I do not read and understand Lithuanian, but judging by people who spoke German, French, English, Russian and Latvian, I believe many had come here to express their gratitude or to send prayers for somebody’ s well-being, health, peace or other matters. Looking up to huge crosses and statues made me think of things and people I had lost along the way, and the energy on the hill was definitely filled with positive vibrations, hope and blessings.

Many people were walking in silence and lots of prayers were sent out from here.

This is a place which makes one forget about the small daily chores and think about spirituality and eternal matters.

The path along entrance The Hill of Crosses

 

My daughter and my mom

The Hill of Crosses attracts people with peace and spirituality: my daughter and my mom

Path along the Hill of Crosses

Many people from all the globe were visiting the Hill of Crosses

We have to remember that each cross was placed by somebody.

My daughter at the Hill

My daughter at the Hill

One more picture of me

One picture of me

So many crosses

So many crosses

The Sacred place Hill of Crosses

View from the stairs

View from the stairs

Folkart of the Hill of Crosses

Genuine art to express the gratitude and hope

The Hill of Crosses Lithuania

The Hill of Crosses in Lithuania: pilgrimage site and place of peace and healing, hope and gratitude.

I had to update the article since there were some misunderstandings.

I would think great minds stand above any religious disparities since in my opinion belief should not set people apart, but make them respect more things which they share or don’t. Religious symbolism is present in any culture. The governing religion in Lithuania is catholic, just like in many other countries. My personal attitude does not really matter whether I travel to Mexico, Spain or Italy or any other place since the monuments of the past are supposed to lift our spirits and help realizing the potential of humanity through its struggles and victories, and art, architecture, monuments are the beautiful implementations of our history. We may belong to different races or religions, but all of us share the appreciation for human achievements. I mean, any beautiful and remarkable place on the Earth deserves our respect and admiration just because we all are human and we all need a hope.

The breeze from ancient times: sunny walk through the Old Town of Riga, Latvia

Some things never stop amazing us: times come and go, but there are places which always embrace us with  that hard to describe feeling of being a part of history and the universe.

Such places never lose their magic appeal and keep reminding us how eternity can be reached and experienced when the breeze from ancient times plays in our hair and shadows from the past walk along with us on the cobblestones.

The Old Town of Riga, capital city of Latvia has always been like that. It does not matter whether it rains, snows, late fall leaves fly in the air or early buds open up to the sun: this part of the city has some secret to reveal and some story to tell every time when one walks here.

I did not have plenty of time to spend there, and, in fact, I did not need it, as well, since I have been there numerous times. I used to live in Riga for about 25 years, so I obviously have been walking down and up these streets at any time of the day and in all seasons. Nevertheless, I never stop enjoying such a walk whether short or long because one can look at these ancient buildings and streets never getting tired of this fantastic scenery.

As I told before, I have very limited access to the Internet, not to mention I cannot crop, watermark or do other manipulations with these pictures. I am leaving that for the moment when I return home.

Please respect the copyrights.

 

Ancient streets of the very old town

Girls in national costumes walking in the Philharmonia square

I had got some girls in national costumes walking in the Philharmonia Square  on my picture

Narrow and welcoming streets

The past and the present

Clouds over the Old Town

Astonishingly attractive architecture

Beautiful old buildings

Beautiful old buildings, and they are so well kept

Busy Old Town of Riga

It is always busy in the Old Town of Riga

St. Peter's Church

St. Peter’s Church: big attraction for tourists with a museum and other facilities

It is equally nice to rest, dine or go for a walk in the  Old Town of Riga

One more view

One more view

The Philharmonia Square

The Philharmonia Square

The Monument Of Freedom: Latvian symbol and landmark at the same time

The Monument of Freedom: this is Latvian symbol and landmark at the same time since it raises high above the central part of Riga

I forgot to mention that this was one of the very few days when it was raining only sometimes, most days I spent here were rainy and quite cold.

Learning midsummer lessons under the rainbow arch

The Latvian midsummer met me with cold showers and fairly nasty wind gusts. This time of the year used to be my favorite. Everything is usually in full bloom: meadows, forests, fields and gardens; fresh and rich scents of flowers and flavors of ripening fruits travel through the air and long and light filled days are promising: the entire summer is yours. Just enjoy and relax!

Well, still learning that nasty summer days happen and bad weather can occur in the middle of summer, too. I suppose it is always like that: the more you wait for something, the less of expectations come true! My art projects will have to wait for some nicer temperatures, as well, and I will have to be more patient. Hopefully, the rest of my stay in Latvia will not disappoint. Plein air or outdoor painting is a wonderful thing, it is also hard to find more suitable place than countryside of Latvia for such an activity, the only obstacle is the weather at the moment. It has been raining so heavily and so often that I couldn’t take even decent pictures, not to mention manage some drawing or painting with the student groups.

However, nature does not seem to be too worried: all things are happening as they should, even though some delay is noticeable. Double rainbow arch

The rainfalls occurring together with sunshine allowed enjoying fantastically bright and extremely huge rainbows. I have to really regret now I did not have space in my luggage for the professional camera, most part was given to my meds since I am spending here quite a while. Anyway, I took whatever pictures I could.

Sunset sky

The sun creates beautiful scenery in the after-rain sky.

Clouds above summer fields

Even clouds seem to be extremely artistic here.

Sunset in Latvia

I have not visited many places so far, I am leaving that for a moment when temperature reaches at least 20 degrees Celsius.

The garden is full with all kinds of useful plants and vegetables, however, the dominant color is green at the moment. It will take a while until fruits are ready to pick.

I usually love the Latvian wild flower fields, especially poppy, wild daisy and corn-flower fields. I managed to see mostly roadsides thickly covered by the whites of queen Anne’s lace.

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne’s lace: white, fragile beauty

Summer garden

Red Currant berries

Potatoes in bloom

Potatoes are blossoming, too

Wild rose in the garden

Wild rose buds

Garden marigolds

Small garden carnations

There is always something to admire, love, paint and enjoy: cannot wait until a day when it will be possible to paint or draw.

Strawberries have suffered slightly under too much moisture, nevertheless, their taste is excellent.

garden strawberries

 

Sweet cherries

Meanwhile, I am walking under the rainbow arch: such a pretty view!

Under the rainbow arch