Art studio: my reality needs a place to create, dream and live

Art studio is a place to create, recharge, work, relax, nurture big ideas, turn ideas into reality and dream. I like keeping my art studio well organized, neat and clean. It is because I’m used to that since early childhood: we had to clean all rooms in the house on Saturday, so that we can take a relaxing break in a dust-free and neat home on Sunday and start fresh on Monday. Early childhood habits stay with us for a long time, and I am grateful to my mom who always showed such a fantastic example of how to decorate with self-made things, how to sew something that really makes us stand out and how to use flowers and outdoor finds to make the space extremely cozy, lovely and welcoming. Thanks, mom!

I was a good student.

Therefore, my desk is always tidy and not overloaded; my painting tables are always organized so that everything I need is within reach. People who paint something more complicated than abstracted washes are aware that sometimes every minute we lose in crucial moments later requires working for hours to bring back the effect we had achieved. Timing is everything with water media, either acrylic or watercolor. That’s why I cannot answer phone, as well, if I’m in the middle of painting. Calling somebody is really bad habit unless there’s real urgency. I rarely use phone for calls, except when contacting doctor’s office or similar places. Phone is always at the wrong time. Always. There might be extremely rare exceptions when we are expecting a call, and even that is disturbing.

So, the studio is organized, tools and materials are in their right places, and cleaning never takes too much time. The golden rule is very simple: if you want to never look for something, find a suitable place for every type of items or every particular frequently used thing and always put it back where you got it from. I have no problem finding everything even when the power goes out: I do place everything back where I take it from and I also have a very good visual memory. Photographic memory, I’d say. Extremely good visual memory is the result of drawing and painting. I do not need any lists or written schedules since my head keeps it in the right order and allows recalling exactly when I need it.

It’s just so that if I am not assigning to something a label: important, memorize, I might or might not recall it exactly. I do make my brain aware of things that need to be remembered by paying a special attention or looking or reading that spot twice.

In my case, more technology has killed everything I was doing, and that has led to not that brilliant sequences. Therefore, I do not use and I am not willing to use any technology in my painting process. That means drawing and painting mostly from either real scenes and subjects, or imagination. That works well.

When I was studying at the University and even after that, I was really in portrait and figure drawing. Some people later in my life destroyed any desire to draw portraits. I just started to feel that only nature won’t present itself with lies and in a pretentious manner. I found beauty where I had not noticed it before, like in some simple piece of weathered wood, withered leaf, opening bud or branch of half-dry tree with bird sitting on it. I mean that type of things. Classes require painting more robust scenes because my personal preferences do not necessarily suit the vision of somebody else.

It is a huge advantage to have a specifically designed place for arts and crafts. I have a specific sewing place upstairs where fabrics, threads, buttons, zippers and all kinds of additional materials are neatly sorted in boxes and on shelves. I definitely need a place where everything is ready and waiting for creative outburst. I do not understand how difficult it must be doing arts or crafts at kitchen table since that can be used only for limited time. That is a bad situation.

When we were looking for a place, I noticed that Canadian houses are absolutely not suited for creativity: there is a kitchen, dining room, bedroom, one or more bathrooms, but nothing where to create. Basement doesn’t work, in fact, for art because artificial lighting regardless of how good or white it is will always distort the color. Colors are true only by the real daylight and for somebody like me who is extremely sensitive to shift in a shade of color this is crucial. Being in a basement doesn’t do any good for nobody because we need the daylight and, especially, sunlight.

Art studio: inspiration

Art studio: achievements

Art studio: beauty

Art studio: memories

Art studio: pleasure

Art studio: work

Art studio:  inviting and rewarding space

If you do not have a place for your art studio but are very much interested in creativity and recycling things, sewing, crafting and similar activities: fight for it. We do not live only to sleep, eat and entertain ourselves at screens. I assume people who do not have any passion boring and just filling in the space where we could allow our creative spirit to lift us in previously unseen heights.

Art gets done so many unbelievably good tasks: decreases addictions, helps overcome depression and bad mood, makes us more confident and self-aware, allows feeling not lonely, takes away sadness and despair, opens our eyes to new possibilities, fills us with gratefulness and appreciation and, finally: it is the best way of meditation ever because we have created something enjoyable and usable at the end, too.

Definitely, it’s time your family has an art and craft studio, too: to take a break from screens and to realize that genuine happiness means creation, not only consumption.

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.

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/

 

We and our creations are one of a kind

I recently read an art blog, and the artist was sharing her doubts whether to paint simple nature objects or not since there was nothing new to say about them.

It’s definitely tough because when we check out all the art which has been created during the last two thousand years, we have to come to conclusion that practically everything has been painted, written, composed and done. It’s amazing, but abstracts and minimalism, modernism and naturalism, naivism, impressionism, symbolism and so on and on existed way ago. Not always the style and genre was given a name, and art was not categorized like nowadays, but it existed, it was created and it still reminds the simple truth: there is usually more of everything than meets the eye. However, stubborn as we are, we keep writing, painting, doing.

Have you ever seen the happiness in child’s eyes when he or she has drawn or painted something for the first time? Tree, flower, house, mom or himself. These may be just some lines, some attempt, some distant capture of what we would assume painting or drawing should be. For kid who painted his or her first painting, this is the biggest discovery, the hugest achievement, a whole new world, an excitement and satisfaction, belief in himself. The kid has seen something wonderful happening. The kid does not really care that there exist millions of other paintings, probably way better since they are based on theories and knowledge and practice. This one is the best, the most wonderful, the most amazing.

Being an artist quite often requires becoming like that kid: we sure are aware there is everything imaginable and unimaginable available already, there was and there will be, but we grab the brush, we take the pencil, we through the paint on canvas, and the magic is happening. Right in this moment, straight with us, and something wonderful is being created. Regardless whether it is the best or the worst painting of the century, we have turned our vision into something touchable and visible which other people can perceive and experience, as well. We are sharing our vision about the being, existence, life, future, past, birth, death and eternity. Whatever our subject and it does not really matter whether one paints breakfast dishes or streetscape of a huge city, we are all drawing, painting, writing ourselves and telling the story about us: who we are, why we are and how the world looks like according to us.

That’s why it still makes sense to paint pansy, rose, road, fence, some face, some scene, some tree, sky, fog, field even though we know somebody has already painted this all, and maybe the other paintings were better. They were definitely different, and that is all what matters: we are unique just as our DNA is, as our fingerprints are. We are seeing every single object completely distinctively and we are painting it that way, too.  Therefore, we can say: welcome the millionth version of rose, of street scene, of sky and water! Since this is one of a kind.

The garden of my dreams acrylic painting

As you walk along this path, you may understand what I wanted to tell you. At least people who were looking at the real painting could.

The studio-gallery entrance

I got a chance to display some paintings straight on the porch. If you happen to be in downtown of Whitby, Ontario, drop in. I’m always happy to meet people who enjoy art.

Christmas decorating ideas, art and craft sale

White is beautiful for Christmas decorationsThis has been very busy time. I have crafted quite a lot of different show items and using a lot of my imagination and creativity to make this show happen.

Some gifts and Christmas decorations sold very fast, so I had to make additional stuff for the silent auction.

Christmas art and craft show is exhibited on two floors: in the upstairs showroom and in the downstairs showroom. There is quite a lot of interest in creation of such Christmas decorations and DIY gifts, I suppose, I will continue doing something similar in the new year, as well.

Upstairs showroom: the white corner

Christmas art and craft show

Christmas is all about coziness and lovely atmosphere

Christmas craft ideas

Christmas craft show: upstairs showroom

Christmas art

Christmas art: downstairs showroom

Watercolor winter paintings

Some new watercolor paintings: winter scene paintings and bird paintings in the downstairs showroom

Some paintings are brand new, created specially for this show.

Christmas Show and Sale: Art, Crafts, Gifts

It’s Christmas time again, and we are having our annual Christmas sale. It is richer and more interesting than ever before. I have no doubt, everyone can find something great, whether it’s a Christmas decoration, nice, hearty, one of a kind gift, painting, card or gift certificate. Gift certificates for classes and workshops are available every day, not only during the sale.

You can enjoy and possibly purchase more than 200 paintings and crafted gift items.

All decorations and gifts are crafted in the gallery and range in style from traditional to modern and trendy, both, regarding the color scheme and design. We have used mostly nature materials: fir and pine cones, apple-tree and maple branches, spruce tree branches and also some paints, glitter, tissue paper and interesting containers. You should definitely check out the one of a kind gift boxes, note books, diaries and photo albums.

We are offering only original paintings and art, including three-dimensional acrylic nature paintings in subtle and soothing colors.

Variety of Christmas cards can be ordered from the Fine Art America site: Inese Poga’s art collections

Please have a look at some gifts and decorations for sale.

Traditional Christmas colors

Crafted Christmas gift boxes

Crafted Christmas gift boxes

IMG_5178

Gold and red

Red and green: tissue paper roses and glitter on branches

Christmas gift box and red roses

Christmas gift box, very elegant and delicate, matches the Christmas decoration very well

Celebrating the light and warmth

White and red: Christmas gift boxes

Festive and uplifting, sparkle and shine: Christmas settings

I hope you enjoyed the decorating ideas!

Spring Classes and Summer Art Camps

Spring has finally arrived, and the beautiful blossoming keeps us busy at my art studio. It is always inspiring to paint something which makes us happier and cheers up. Colors are so lively and impressive, shapes so gracious and captivating that brush paints almost from itself.

Some Saturday class students (ages 12-16) kept working on their favorite flowers, some moved onto their toy animals.

Experience shows that the object can be practically anything, the most important part is how we are presenting it, how we are making the viewer to see what inspired us and made us to paint the particular object on watercolour paper or canvas.

Happy and busy

Diana painting pansies

Kristina is painting a hanging flower pot

Diana’s spring pansies

Kristina enjoys the colorful flower pot painting

SUMMER ART CAMPS FOR YOUNG ARTISTS 10-16 

I am offering creative arts day camps for 3 weeks this year.

Each week is filled with exciting artistic activities and involves exploration of art approaches, learning of new techniques, improvement of skills, development of visual perception, drawing objects from direct observations, both indoors and outdoors, sketching, journaling and painting with watercolors and in mixed media technique.

I’m adding also some 3-dimensional techniques this year for students to try out absolutely new and unexpected effects which can be achieved using imagination and creativity.

Results are usually extremely good, and paintings which were done during this week can serve as a wonderful wall decor in student’s room or as a gift.

This location features large, light and well equipped indoor art studio and beautiful huge outdoor space for plein air painting, it is very easy to access (downtown Whitby).

The garden is surrounded by old trees which provide relaxing shadow during hot summer days.

There’s always something blossoming.

Such surroundings and environment always boost artist’s imagination, and nobody has to look for special inspiration.

I hope, I will hear from you soon once you have checked this out.

Please watch Rogers TV, Durham Daytime Show on May 23 at 11am-12. I will be presenting my art classes and creative arts summer camp.

Check this out: Results speak for themselves

I’m very proud that all students have found my classes very useful and exciting so far. They admit, they have learned something new and improved their skills every time they attended my studio-gallery classes.

Most students were absolute beginners, some of them were having art classes at school before. It is great experience to watch my students progressing so fast and developing nice technical and surprising creative approach.

My studio-gallery is a place which really inspires, it also has increadibly artistic atmosphere. I have learned patience working as a high school teacher back in Europe for many years, and I also happen to have profound methodical and theoretical background along with practical drawing and painting skills.

We usually start with creation of a pencil sketch.

 

Drawing flowers and different still life objects develops the specific visual qualities which are very important for an artist, especially in early stages. Students elaborate skills of being able to capture real 3-dimensional objects at first; it’s their own choice later whether they reproduce photos, or continue painting and drawing the real stuff.

We are doing not only floral paintings, but it comes to us very natural to engage in floral art during springtime.

These are just the first steps. Some students like the drawing part more, some prefer application of paint and color.

Whatever we would paint, we usually have to decide on color palette which will be applied in painting as we go. It is great to implement unexpected effects (positive accidents) when some paint splashes occur exactly on that spot where they were needed.

 

I paint along with my students and provide demonstrations as we go. This includes small corrections or new approaches, anything, which helps to reveal the chosen object.

Spring daffodils

Sketching is an important preparation step. In my opinion, being able to draw allows an artist to employ so many opportunities. If there were no cameras or computers all of a sudden, drawing would still allow to capture any scene or object as good as photography, if not much better; because there would be nothing between vision and perception of the artist. Research suggests that our visual abilities are very unique, just like our finger prints. This means there’s no other person who sees the same thing exactly as you do.

Diana’s painting is very careful and incredibly patient, and results are great.

Spring crocuses: Diana’s painting

 

Diana has been attending my art classes every single week since July 2011, and she has decided to go to an art school.

Jerica’s Easter lilies

I think, art classes keep student busy, develop unique mental and visual perception, allow to obtain new skills, and they are fun, as well. Besides, students create impressive paintings which can be framed or varnished for use without any frame, and that way, they can already decorate their house, give their painting as a gift, or even sell it. Some students have sold their paintings.

I am participating in Oshawa Art Association Spring Studio Tour which takes place on May 5 and 6 between 10am- 4 pm.

Everybody, interested in art, is very welcome to attend my studio-gallery and get the tour brochure and list of all included artists. I will post additional OAA Spring Tour info next week.

We had exciting March break workshops

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.

Chninese proverb

That is so true, and I would like to add, that knowledge or skills cannot ever bother you or become an abuse. What you have learned, is a life-long gain and a never ending opportunity to find out how exciting and unlimited one’s life can be.

We had a busy March break week. During the first workshop days we did a landscape, or rather marshscape with some marsh grass, distant trees and water. It seemed that the image was very well chosen, because results were genuinely impressive. We didn’t waste any single minute, and got almost done one more small scene with purple spring crocuses.

I think workshops are good for students who would like to refresh their skills, or get some inspiration for a new artwork.

 

Developing drawing skills

The truth is that we first have to learn seeing a three dimesional object in order to put it on a paper or canvas and recreate its  all dimensions with art tools and means.

 

Painting spring flowers

Alia and her beautiful painting of marsh scene

 

 

Welcome to blog and art gallery by visual artist Inese Poga!

Art gallery is a necessity for any visual artist. I am lucky to have a real place which displays my art and has become my personal art gallery. I intend to post in this blog all news and events which are happening in my art studio and art gallery in downtown of Whitby, Ontario. I will also share my painting tips, my thoughts about art and creativity, as well as present my art philosophy here.

The weather has not been too nice this spring, but summer hopefully brings more sunny days for plein-air painting. Plein-air is the best way to get in touch with both: painting and nature.

My watercolor and acrylic paintings are often based on scenes just outside my studio. My huge backyard offers plenty of subjects for painting. There are more and more fresh ideas originating in my head as everything blossoms and gets more beautiful outside.

I hope everyone joining me at my art studio will have great time, gain very useful experience, good painting skills and become excellent in drawing. I also hope you will return to this blog again and again to get new inspiration and to possibly buy some art.

I paint very large watercolors, full sheet and larger and they exceed 1 meter 20 cm with frame in height and are about 80 cm wide and medium size acrylic paintings.

Blossoming apple trees, acrylic

Blue anemones, full sheet watercolor

Green spring water creek, large watercolor, full sheet

Sunny spring creek, full sheet watercolor

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at my art gallery and art studio,  and this also means a very warm “Hello!” to my future online friends.