Mother’s Day card: check it out

I recently finished a watercolor painting which already initially was intended to serve as image for Mother’s day card. We started to draw birds at our teens painting class and got the painting done during 2-3 classes.

Chickadee mother's day card

I worked out two versions: one without text (when ordering, anybody can place their own text on the inside) and with short text.

Mother's day greetings

Both versions can be found and ordered as cards via Fine Art America website:

It’s needless to say that any painting can be bought as a print of many different types and with hundreds of framing choices at very reasonable prices and in excellent quality. Any purchase comes with 30-day money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with some aspect.

Fine Art America offers to download a free app if you are using any kind of smart phone, iPhone, iPad or similar device which has camera to view the particular painting in the chosen frame (there are really hundreds) or without a frame on the exact wall space or room space where you intend to place it. The app will apply your chosen size, therefore, you can see everything according to real proportions.

Basic/Intermediate level acrylic painting workshops

In order to participate in these acrylic painting workshops, some experience in painting with acrylics is required.

Relaxing activities in a pleasant atmosphere:

creating ourselves through fulfilling our dreams

Each workshop consists of painting for 3.5 hours during two consecutive Sundays. We are painting for 7 total hours, and your painting should be done or almost done by the end of day 2.

The subject for April 21 and April 28 workshop is Georgian Bay shores at different atmospheric conditions and daytimes, thus, it is possible to choose the scenery which speaks to you most.

Gerorgian bay shores worksh

April 21, Day 1 and April 28, Day 2

Each day 1 pm – 4.30 pm

Each workshop day is $35, 2 days, total 7 hours: $70

Minimum 4, maximum 8 participants.

Minimum canvas size: 16 x 20 in

Paints: acrylic paints

Payne’s grey, titanium white, lemon yellow, cadmium yellow light, quinacridone crimson or naphtol red medium, hooker’s green permanent, sap green or olive green, brilliant yellow green or mix up your own greens, burnt sienna, burnt umber, yellow ochre, ultramarine and cerulean blue, brilliant purple or prism violet

3 brushes: flat, at least 1.5 in wide or wider, round with fine tip, size 10-12, rough bristle brush (Walmart for painting walls or windows, about 1-1. 5 in wide which can be slight adjusted by cutting out some parts)

Paper towel, paper plate

Choice of scenery: at dusk, twilight, daylight

Basic/Intermediate level ACRYLIC PAINTING WORKSHOP:

En plein air painting of garden/backyard scene

Downtown Whitby

Relaxing activities in pleasant atmosphere:

Creating ourselves through fulfilling our dreams

May 26, Day 1

June 2, Day 2

Each day 1 pm – 4.30 pm

Some experience in painting with acrylics is required.

Materials not included.

Subject for painting includes anything you prefer seeing in a backyard or garden scene since my location has it all: irises, lilacs, blossoming apple trees, old maple trees, blossoming dogwood and lots of other wild plants like lily of the wally or simple dandelions in nice settings. There is an old picturesque fence, old fashioned gate and small shed, back porch and shadows on walls, briefly, the scenery is very artistic and offers a great choice of attractive subjects.

Collage image for acrylic painting workshop

Minimum canvas size: 16 x 20 in

Paints: acrylic paints

Payne’s grey, titanium white, lemon yellow, cadmium yellow light, quinacridone crimson or naphtol red medium, hooker’s green permanent, sap green or olive green, brilliant yellow green or mix up your own greens, burnt sienna, burnt umber, yellow ochre, ultramarine and cerulean blue, brilliant purple or prism violet

3 brushes: flat, at least 1.5 in wide or wider, round with fine tip, size 10-12, rough bristle brush (Walmart for painting walls or windows, about 1-1. 5 in wide which can be slight adjusted by cutting out some parts)

Paper towel, paper plate

Each workshop day is $35, 2 days, total 7 hours: $70

Minimum 4, maximum 8 participants.

Painting spring during snow storm feels really great

I am receiving plenty of e-mails about painting and art classes. Many potential students come straight to the studio-gallery, as well. No doubt, there’s interest in creation and self-accomplishment, there’s a need to express our artistic side and our hidden potential. We all have some dream which can easily come true. All we have to do is JUST GO FOR IT. Sounds very simple, doesn’t it?

However, there are people who will start attending classes and become great artists and decorators, who won’t be looking any further because they have found themselves in painting; and there are those who will keep talking about how much they love art and how much they would like to learn painting or drawing, or both, but this will never happen because it’s just a talk. Whatever our intentions, everything requires some effort. Painting actually is a lot of work, intense focusing, thinking and trying and takes some time, as well.

Groups are very different. I am happy that along with students who quickly drop in and out there are always the serious and devoted ones who will stop at nothing and achieve what they came here for: the CREATIVE SUCCESS.

It seems the adult acrylic painting group students are just like that: focused, committed and interested in learning. The Wednesday group was a bit too large, thus, I had to start the Tuesday acrylic painting group, as well.

First par of spring scene painting

It was a pleasure to see how satisfied everyone was with the previous painting we just finished. I chose a simple spring scene this time. It came out so good probably because we all are longing for spring in our hearts.

Besides, what can be nicer than painting a warm spring scene when outdoors is a snow storm how it recently happened? It is unbelievable how fast the time disappears when we are painting.

Some people compare the painting process with a deep meditation: getting lost in colors, shapes and imaginative scenes takes our mind to a meditative state.

Tuesday acrylic painting class

Tuesday group: that was a happy painting session

Pictures are taken fairly late, light may have been better, however, all paintings looked very good in reality

Wednesday acrylic painting class for adults

Wednesday acrylic painting group: this was their first painting for two ladies in this group

Acrylic spring scene paintings: adult beginners class

All paintings lined up: I wish I had a special place where to display them

We just started a nature scene with blossoming apple trees, that definitely will make great paintings.

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


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.

Wake up and get in mood for spring

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Living in more and more civilized world, we are loosing our ties with nature and seasonal cycles. Light and sunshine are very important factors which can tremendously facililate our energetic resource regeneration and our recreation, but lack of these essential elements causes inevitable destruction and death of anything organic and alive.

Lux aeterna – the eternal light, is the light in its highest meaning, light as a symbol of timeless flourishing and development.

I don’t think, it’s coincidence that “luxury” and Latin “lux” (light) have the same linguistic root. And, yes, the sunlight is a luxury which we are taking for granted.

Animals and plants are more involved in natural processes, and, no wonder, they thrive and bloom, and are at their energetic top-levels in spring. I suppose, humans were pretty much the same, but the artificial surroundings, which allow us to imitate any season and, thus, facilitate our functions regardless of the weather, don’t require us to feel and understand nature any more. Most of us have our shelters, and who actually cares, how long it’s going to rain or snow.

However, those of us who have still maintained the extraordinary sensitivity to underlying processes of nature, would probably agree that spring has not lost its importance as a driving force of the new seasonal cycle.

Nature wakes up, live juices start to circulate in trunks of trees, grasses and weeds lift up their tiny heads, buds are getting bigger and bigger with every second, first blossoms show their faces to the sun, and birds give the best concert of the year, especially when the day is bright and sunny.

Well, it’s really the right time for new initiatives, new challenges and wake-up activities. This is the renaissance time of our town, city, area, land, country, hemisphere. This is such a breathtaking renewal of our mind and soul, and our body shouldn’t be left behind.

We are welcoming the return of spring with our colourful floral paintings in my studio-gallery, and I will show  in my next post how we are drawing and painting these artworks.

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



Invest in yourself

“The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.”

/James M. Barrie/

When you invest something in yourself, you become much happier and much more confident person. You could have huge amounts on your bank accounts and still suffer from loneliness and desertion. There’s more to life than only fulfilling your physical needs and following your daily routines.

Do you know that feeling when you have created and completed an artwork, a song, a poem, a story? The feeling of incredible fulfillment and accomplishment? The feeling of touching heaven, even though, sometimes it lasts only a small while?

This is what we are trying to achieve. We are learning step by step how to avoid embarrassment and frustration when our artwork does not happen the way we expected, we are learning to overcome tiny obstacles in order to reach higher goals. Lifelong learning is a great way not to feel useless or lonely. Here we have a chance to create our own world using our own ideas and tools. These tools are so simple: imagination and its implementation on paper or canvas.

Why not to give it a try?

We are having new:

March break workshops for students 10-18 years:

Tuesday, March 13, Wednesday, March 14, Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16 from 1pm to 3 pm,

and therefore are inviting everybody to attend:

2 free introductory classes: Sunday, February 26 at 2 pm; Sunday, March 4 at 2 pm.

Please take your previous work with you.

I sometimes regret I didn’t take photos of all paintings which were created by our students. That would make a wonderful exhibition, however, I took some pictures, and I will publish them here.

This artist is 13 years old, and loves watercolours.

Working on simple images

Bright and impressive watercolours

Niagara Fall’s painting created by Diana

Treating oneself with color and flow of lines

Art classes are theoretically for everyone. Neither experience, nor lack of it is crucial, and age is not a limiting factor. Art classes can successfully replace useless hours in front of TV and give somebody’s life a new direction and purpose. Not to mention, that such experience makes us richer, more complete and adds another edge to our character. It is well known, that investing in ourselves always makes more sense than any other investment. The gains of learning and studying, unlike material gains, are very long-lasting, and never ending, in fact. So, we should ask: what’s stopping people from engaging in arts? While paints, brushes, paper, canvas, pencils and some additional materials can cost some money (however, we always can choose something on our budget), art classes are not an expensive way of self-improvement. The student obtains skills which never expire regardless of technical progress and development.

I have been teaching, tutoring and dealing with visual arts for over two decades. This experience allows to make some conclusions and observations. People sometimes don’t know what that is they actually want. Some students are pretty sure they would like to draw, or do watercolours, or acrylics, however, they are not that sure how long this interest would last.

What are the most causes of frustration or disappointment? Expectations that somebody can paint or draw like a master within one or two hours, which is a profoundly wrong assumption. Can you learn dancing, singing, playing an instrument or alike within one or two hours? Art is not different. Learning will require efforts and time.

Many students are short of time. Here is the good news: I have classes for people who would like to do something artistic, but don’t have much time and don’t intend to be real artists. They would do this for pleasure and excitement, they can play around with color, image and implement  with abstract brushstrokes their thoughts and problems or their feelings.

These classes are intended to be relaxing and pleasurable activity without having to worry about becoming a serious artist. Please see the schedule.

New Year, New Art and New Experience

Happy New Year!

The new year should make us richer with new ideas, intentions and goals, help us better understand ourselves and never let us down, as we go through our life and this time.

I woke up this morning and suddenly realized how happy I was. There was nothing to complain about. The morning was crisp and sunny, it almost seemed like spring.

I could spend the entire day as I wish. Nothing was hurting me, there were no regrets about the previous day. I had complete freedom over my decisions and intentions, and the day was just about to start. It was like a promise, and I had no doubts this promise will be kept.

What is holding us back when we are unable to turn our dreams into reality? Small issues, big issues or imaginative issues which might be not even existing?

In fact, it is very simple in most cases:

Identify what is disturbing you, and get rid of it.

When it’s impossible to get rid of it, try to handle it in the best way.

I tried to take pictures of my most recent paintings. They might be not the best ones on the globe, but this is how I’m starting this year.

My African violets are in full bloom, three are purple, one is pink, and one is white. They blossom every year around this time, and that’s when I paint them.


This is a small watercolour which we were doing in some December classes.


We also started this small rural watercolour scene during one December class.


This is my most recent stll life, fairly large.

Other news will follow this week.

This summer in local media

I participated in Sundays on the Porch with SilverStone gallery in Pickering. My husband Don was playing guitar and singing.

That was wonderful experience which allowed to meet new people and also give some painting demonstrations.

The weather was good, and there were people stopping by and checking out paintings we had taken with us, and also the very nice SilverStone gallery.

Everyone liked Don’s performance.

This Sunday in August was pretty windy, we really had to watch paintings, it seemed they might fly away.


This summer we appeared quite a few times in Oshawa, Pickering and Whitby SNAPs.

Here are the links: