To find a bit of lasting happiness

Well, some of you probably noticed, I wasn’t posting for almost 2 weeks. Quite a while, but I obviously was busy, and the art blog starts to put a bit of pressure on me because I love inserting illustrations, but don’t have them ready sometimes.

It was a fairly important date last week: my studio-gallery has been 5 years at its current location, in Whitby, Ontario. It was the 5th anniversary since I started Art plus Life. Wondering where is … plus life? The other blog will come soon.

Although, I didn’t think it was a very remarkable date at first, as I scrolled through all pictures (I have many thousands of them), I could see that there has been huge progress, in fact, and a lot has been achieved and done during these 5 years.

I will not try to comment on all pictures, but since I thought seeing was more than telling, here we go: please have a look at the retrospective pictures gallery.

I started out with one student. I had 2 students after a week, and some more joined after a month. Wednesday class was the first one to become regular once a week class, with small interruptions it has been running since fall 2012. Teens Tuesday class was on since March 2012, as well. I started to hold Saturday workshops only about 8 months ago, it proved to be useful thing, so these will continue next September.

I look at these pictures, and it is hard to describe the mixed feelings: sort of satisfaction, sort of so much work in preparation, and lots of happiness, I have to admit. When most people come to this studio, they start from zero, since they have never drawn or painted before. We learn about paints, colors, brushes, papers and canvasses. I have been watching many talents unfolding and I have seen many depressed, exhausted and desperate persons turning into happy ones.

The Wednesday group feels like a family, we’ve been together for a long time. Diana used to be in this group, as well, but her life made a jump, and so we regretfully are not seeing her. Well, we welcome new students all the time, and the most incorrect assumption one can have is this one: painting and drawing is for those who want to be artists. Not at all! It is for everybody, to find peace, to rejoin with their soul, to spend great time, to make a good use of days when the weather is bad, to conquer addictions, to overcome fear and lack of confidence, to find a bit of happiness.

 

I have been working on my creeks which students already got done, and the brown cottage is our current project.

Recent art projects for adult painting classes

It’s clear that we are excited about blue at the moment.

Recent works in progress

To put some nice accent on this round date: 5 years, a show, sale and hands-on event follows in June 6 and 7.

 

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.

Fall Art Show at Camp Samac: Sunday

The Fall Art Festival at Camp Samac not only allows one to explore a wide variety of different artists works, but also gathers many hundreds of people interested in art, crafts and creative achievements. It was not surprising that the majority of artists presented smaller size art, art prints and art cards. Even though, there was a fairly large crowd of visitors at some art displays throughout the show, the most buying activity involved smaller, more inexpensive original pieces and art prints. The impression was that the original art was loved and admired, but not that much purchased.

However, taking into account the large number of participating artists (71) and the even larger number of art presented, I must say this event had great success and resulted in many nice transactions for artists and gorgeous acquisitions for art lovers.

We had many thoughtful conversations and discussions, but I only could get a few pictures from this event (with kind consent of the respective artists) since general photo taking was not allowed.

Judith Harper

Judith presented nature, floral, landscape and even figurative paintings in warm attractive colors. We had a great talk about different art issues and this show, and I was really happy to meet her in person.

Light in some of her landscapes was really impressive, and the gentle capture of nature made me think that Judith loves to paint objects which are meaningful and close to her.

Mike McGowan

Mike told his painting ideas originated in his imagination, and he had no need for photo references or direct object set-ups. His colorful abstract paintings and collages attracted many visitors, and he was very often involved in enthusiastic conversations with them.

The vivid colors were really  eye-catching, and he couldn’t complain about lack of interest. Mike also helped me with advice and explanations which I highly appreciated.

More info about Mike’s art can be found at:

http://www.mcgowanart.com/

Anne Labelle Johnson

Anne is well-known for her sensitive beautiful watercolor and acrylic paintings which depict various nature themes. She finds the beauty and magnificence in simple objects which we are often just passing by.

Anne uses a very specific dreamy blue in many of her paintings, and maybe the symbolism of blue is adding another feminine touch to these impressive paintings.

More information about Anne’s art can be found at her website:

http://www.bluewillowstudio.ca/

More information about these and other participating artists can be found at:

http://www.oshawaartassociation.com/

and http://www.pineridgearts.org/index.html

I was very satisfied with this show. This was a great opportunity to get better understanding of the local art scene, make friends, get to know other artists, and sell some paintings. 3 of my originals were sold, and I thought that was great because I did not bother with printing cards or getting art prints.

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.

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

 

 

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:

http://www.snappickering.com/index.php?option=com_sngevents&id%5B0%5D=297146&lang=en

http://www.snapwhitby.com/index.php?option=com_sngevents&id%5B%5D=310621

http://www.snappickering.com/index.php?option=com_sngevents&id%5B%5D=297144

http://www.snaposhawa.com/index.php?option=com_sngevents&id%5B%5D=292971

Focusing on still life and garden scenes

It’s a great time to engage in plein-air painting.

I recently did a garden scene called “Take a Rest” with some flowers and garden tools.

I use real scenes and real set-ups to create my paintings, I somehow cannot paint using photos, I just can’t.

First I do a freehand drawing. The weather was very good for a while, so I could paint every day outdoors.

The other painting is a still life called “Kitchen Symphony”.

I set up all items in my gallery where is a good light,

and I also did a large freehand drawing first.

I think, both paintings came out quite nicely, however, it was very late when I took a photo of my garden scene, so the light might be not that perfect.

Hope you enjoy such art.