Sunday, April 22, 2018

Seashells Seascapes And Artist's Inspirations


I was approached by a Great Britain college student who explored my art for a research paper. It is great that young generation is interested in realistic watercolor paintings. This particular person was interested in my Seashells and Seascapes paintings.

I answered a few questions for this little interview; and, I am happy to share them here.



1. How did you start to make these paintings? What got you into it?

Seashells and beach treasures always fascinated my artist’s soul. Since the childhood I would be sketching my findings at the beach. My dad told me that each seashell holds a sound of the sea; and, as a kid I would be placing the large seashells, listening for a long time, imagining where it came from. At home, we had a large collection of seashells, which friends of the family brought from all over the world. Needless to say, my favorite book those days was Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid fairy-tale. My favorite jewelry was a little string of pearls that my grandma gave me. 

2. What do these pieces say/express about you?

Later on in life, I was fascinated with Old Masters Dutch Still Life paintings and Renaissance realism. I’ve research the symbolism of seashells, pearls and water in paintings. I found out that the seashells represented the world of exploration, power and wealth, scientific discovery, and brief passing of time on the planet Earth. Opened seashell suggested vanitas overtones of the brevity of life, or could be interpreted as having erotic implications. And a different shell might represent each continent as visual tribute to the exploratory travel and scientific discoveries of the day. I also learned that Pearls symbolize prosperity and vanity, wisdom and Imperial authority. Both pearls and water have long been symbols of purity and femininity. I started painting seashells, pearls and seascape artworks challenging myself to realism in watercolor when learning from oil masterpieces. I think, all this fascination and thorough research express my love to the history of art, painting techniques, and endless desire to succeed. 

3. What motivated you to create your pieces?

My motivation in creating seashells and other beach treasures paintings was to present not only beauty of Nature but the realistic approach in watercolor that can brings together history and contemporary times, classic oils versus fluid properties of only century and half old medium.

4. Describe your creative process?

When painting still life with shells and pearls, I carefully research the subject. I usually have my models right in front of me. I make a sketch. I take a few photographs. Then I draw detailed drawing but very lightly that the pencil does not overwhelm future watercolor transparency. I never use white (opaque) paint; I leave the white of paper shine through. Sometimes, for the background I use sea salt to make the water and color “curl” and “spread” in unpredictable ways. 
When I create semi-realistic decorative paintings with seashells and water, I marry realistic approach with abstraction. The watercolor is an amazing medium, it can do it all. 
When painting seascapes I follow two types of techniques. One is spontaneous Impressionistic style painting En-Plein-Air, e.g. painting in Nature at the spot. Or, I paint from memory and multiple photographs that I take on my travels. The studio paintings turn out usually more detailed as I invest more time not being tied up by weather condition and sun moving fast.

5. What are the messages/feelings are you trying to get across or expect people to have when interacting with your artwork?

I convey my love to the Nature, timeless beauty of the seashells, pearls, and water into my artworks with a strong desire for my Art Collectors feel my fascination of what the World can offer. A small finding from the beach, a seascape painting inspired by a walk along the shore with my husband, documenting the beauty in my art are priceless. I feel that no treasure of the World can be compared with these simple things. 




Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!






Thursday, April 19, 2018

Coloring Book Update - Proof - Testing


Today the proof copy arrived in the mail. 

Today I worked in my studio exploring the proof copy. I loved it! The pages are crisp and white. 

I believe my customers will be very happy:

Coloring Book about Flowers
Flowers - Coloring Book by artists Irina Sztukowski and Masha Batkova


And here is a little video that Masha Batkova created when testing the California Poppies botanical painting:

YouTube Link is HERE





Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!



Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Flowers Coloring Book Sneak Peek To The Cover

Photo of Pencils Brushes Markers on Coloring Book Flowers

A sneak peek to the front and back cover of a new Coloring Book devoted to Botanical Drawing of Flowers, illustrated by Masha Batkova and Irina Sztukowski.

Photos of colored flowers from coloring book Botanical names


And here are the Biography information about the illustrators of this wonderful Coloring Book of Flowers:

Irina Sztukowski is an award winning artist and illustrator. Her art has been published in Best Of Artists - Watermedia - Volume II, Somatic Psychotherapy Today magazine, Spirit Seeker magazine, and People magazine online. Her illustrated sketchbooks Travel With Me, Down My Street, and Travelogy are in one of the NY Public Library. She won her first award at age 15 during the Junior Art Show in St. Petersburg, Russia. Since then, she has been recognized by numerous organizations and galleries. A few years ago, Irina became an American Art Award Winner in Realism category. Her passion is painting with watercolors, her main style is contemporary realism and yet the abstract paintings and decorative designs are not left behind. Most of Irina Sztukowski's original paintings are in private collections throughout the world. To name a few locations, besides the U.S., her artworks are presented in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Netherlands, Russia, and Spain. She is a proud member of AWS - American Watercolor Society and a Life Member of TWSA -Transparent Watercolor Society of America. She also served as the director of the Outreach Program for CWA - California Watercolor Association, teaching kids from 6 to 92 how to paint in watercolor.




Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!



Update effective 04/20/18
Coloring Book Link:

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Lavender Botanical Drawing And Painting - Coloring Book Update


It was so much fun to create a Lavender painting from the Coloring Book that soon will be published on my Author Page; and, it was even more fun to document the painting process in a small video with the help of my co-author Masha Batkova:







Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!


Update effective 04/20/18
Coloring Book Link:

Friday, April 13, 2018

Botanical Drawing - Coloring Book - Framed Art



In the process of preparation for the coloring book that I am working on with the artist  Maria Batkova , we check  all the flowers that we draw Black & White first thoughtfully , then we color them passionately ; and even place them on a wall to see how it will look framed. 
This book is about botanical flowers, we've researched antique botanical paintings in the library archive; then, we stylized the old masters approach into a modern, fresh look for a contemporary interior. 
So, we are testing every piece of art that we create, coloring it with pencils, watercolors, and markers; and, even framing the pieces to see how they will look in the home interior decor. 

Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!


Update effective 04/20/18
Coloring Book Link:

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Botanical Flowers Drawings and Paintings - Coloring Book Journey



Creating a book, even a black and white coloring one, is a tedious process. One has to learn a lot of interesting things along the way such publishing structure, various computer programs to bring the art into electronic form and to bring a book to life. 
As the book that I am working on with the artist  Maria Batkova is about botanical flowers, we've researched antique botanical paintings in the library archive. 
We are testing every piece of art that we create, coloring it with pencils, watercolors, and markers; and, even framing the pieces to see how they will look in the home interior decor. 

Today, I found an interesting video from Getty Museum educational channel. It is how in old days the manuscripts were made. Very interesting process. I feel so relieved now that I have computer and all the luxuries of 21st Century.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=nuNfdHNTv9o



 Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!


Update effective 04/20/18
Coloring Book Link:

Monday, April 2, 2018

Seduction Of Europe - Legion Of Honor Exhibition Review


Roses Under The Sun framed artwork by Irina Sztukowski . Link to the print is HERE
  

Flowers And Music by Irina Sztukowski. Link to the canvas print is HERE
Blue Music by Irina Sztukowski. Link to print is HERE

An interesting combination of objects and subjects came to my mind when exploring a new exhibition Casanova: The Seduction Of Europe that is now presented in Legion Of Honor Museum in San Francisco. I thought about combined beauty of Flowers, Gold, Nude, and Music. The exhibition has many more subjects mix there. 

Per organizers:
In the dynamic world of mid-eighteenth century Europe, people, ideas, and aesthetics crossed national boundaries. For an intelligent, curious, confident, and lucky person like Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798), the possibilities must have seemed endless. Stretching the limits of both social and physical mobility, he traveled from his native Venice to Paris, London, Dresden, and even Russia and the Ottoman Empire. He charmed—and was charmed by—every level of European society, from scoundrels to kings.Casanova went everywhere, knew everyone, and wrote it all down. His twelve-volume autobiography—The Story of My Life—provides an unrivaled account of eighteenth-century society. Casanova was famously a womanizer and a cheat. He broke promises, perpetrated frauds, and skipped out on creditors. Many of his sexual exploits were scandalous and criminal in his own time, and, for different reasons, would be considered reprehensible today. But he was also a multitalented and multilingual intellectual and a keen observer of society, endowed with a surprisingly modern candor and capacity for self-invention. Many of the trends in our own society—from our obsession with celebrity culture to the confessions we make on social media—find precedents in Casanova’s writings and experiences.

I loved exploring the art of 18th Century with its range from hyper realism to an obvious impressionistic approach for boudoir love scenes. 

Here are a few examples of city scapes from the beginning of the century:

Giovanni Antonio Canal, The Grand Canal from Campo San Vio, 1730-35

Bernardo Bellotto, View Of Dresden 1747

a fragment close up view of gorgeous oil painting:

A part of exhibition was devoted to portrait paintings of famous people of that time
Anton Rafael Mengs, Self Portrait 1776

Jean-Marc Nattier, Manon Balletti, 1757



A large part, as the Casanova's famous name was associated with theater, love, and adventure was devoted to love scenes that were kept in bedrooms for an aesthetics and pleasure:


Jean-Marc Nattier, Talia, Muse Of Comedy 1739:


Jean Baptiste Le Prince, Fear, 1769:



Luis Jean Fransois Lagrenee, Mars And Venus, Allegory Of Peace, 1770:

The artworks of passion and love:



But my favorite of all from this exhibition was Rococo large paintings that depicted scene from ancient Roman literature.

Per Encyclopedia Britannica:
Rococo style, style in interior design, the decorative arts, painting, architecture, and sculpture that originated in Paris in the early 18th century but was soon adopted throughout France and later in other countries, principally Germany and Austria. It is characterized by lightness, elegance, and an exuberant use of curving, natural forms in ornamentation. The word Rococo is derived from the French word rocaille, which denoted the shell-covered rock work that was used to decorate artificial grottoes.

François Boucher (September 29, 1703 - May 30, 1770) was a French painter, a proponent of Rococo taste, known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes, decorative allegories representing the arts or pastoral occupations, and intended as a sort of two-dimensional furniture. He also painted several portraits of his illustrious patroness, Madame de Pompadour.

Six Methological paintings by François Boucher, 1769:

  
With its gorgeous details:







I also was pleasantly surprised to find a few artworks painted with watercolors by Muller and Parr at this exhibition. 



 Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!










   



Sunday, March 25, 2018

Watercolor Cover Journal - Evening In Paris


I have designed a new Journal for people who believe that a written note is a powerful tool in gaining peace of mind and confidence. There are 160 pages. The pages are lined and have intricate ink design that I first painted by hand and then applied to every page using publishing tools. 
I've selected one of my favorite watercolor paintings: Evening In Paris for a cover of this journal. Two girls walking towards the Eiffel Tower symbolize a friendship and traveling: two things that I cherish and adore (not mentioning the dogs of course ;)...

This Evening In Paris Journal is available HERE

Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Watercolor Flowers Close Up - Flowers To Art Inspiration

Close Up Paintings of Watercolor Flowers
Watercolor Flowers Close Up Paintings by the artist Irina Sztukowski 
The inspiration to create a special gallery with watercolor Flowers Close Up came after visiting an exceptionally beautiful exhibition at the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. The organizers of the exhibition placed gorgeous ikebana compositions next to the pieces of art. These wonderful still life creations correlated with the artworks by color, mood, expression. I loved it to my bones; and, it certainly inspired me to paint more flowers with my medium of choice, watercolors.

Here is a sneak peak to the expo. It was only there for four short days, and I want as many people as could be to see this stunning artful show













   
Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!

Seashells Seascapes And Artist's Inspirations

I was approached by a Great Britain college student who explored my art for a research paper. It is great that young generation is int...