Thursday, December 23, 2010

Two "Brothers"

These two cute spoiled brats live not far away from my house. They are happy little dogs and love each other like brothers. I was asked to paint commission portrait of the skinny one named Icki. He is ill and his days are coming to the end. The owners wanted to have a memory of this sweet little thing. I've decided to paint both "brothers" for them for Christmas. I hope they will like the portraits. .......................................................................................................................... 8"x 10" Watercolor on Paper, 140 Cold Press Arches

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More than a thousand artworks ranging from realism to a decorative abstract and detailed botanical painting by Irina Sztukowski are presented now on her website  www.artirina.com 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Transforming Your Blog Into A Book

To have your blog on the computer is one thing, to have it in a printed format is totally another. ............................................................................................................ Today I was exploring this option playing with the Blog2Print website. It was pretty exciting to see the book about the blog; some kind of art-diary. If you are interested in making a book out of your own blog; the web site is pretty easy to operate: you would just need to enter your blog's URL and decide what date (blog posts' date) you want to start your book with. There is also option to delete posts that you don't want to show. And the good part is that you don't need to buy it right away. But if you do here is the approximate pricing: Book about 30 page long will cost you $14 for soft cover and $30 for hard cover. The Standard shipping is free (in US) and if you ship upgraded charges it will be from $9.35 - 18.00 depending on what time you want it to arrive. ............................................................................................................ There is no limit for blogging :) !!!

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More than a thousand artworks ranging from realism to a decorative abstract and detailed botanical painting by Irina Sztukowski are presented now on her website  www.artirina.com 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sketchbook Project "Down My Street"

This year I signed up for the Sketchbook Project. The theme that I chose is called "Down My Street". Below is the short info about the project and a few first sketches that are in my book. This is an exiting endeavor and I cannot wait to see the outcome :) ......................................................................................................................... Per Project organizers: Thousands of sketchbooks will be exhibited at galleries and museums as they make their way on tour across the country. After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Art Library, where they will be barcoded and available for the public to view. 28763 artists from 94 countries around the world are participating. The tour starts February, 2011

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More than a thousand artworks ranging from realism to a decorative abstract and detailed botanical painting by Irina Sztukowski are presented now on her website  www.artirina.com 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sequoia National Park








Every time either relatives or friends visit us here in California we bring them to Sequoia National Park to share the beauty of the Nature and spend good time together. I am always fascinated by Giant Trees Forest, great mountains, wild life, huge rocks, and extra clean air... A human life seems to be so small so short compare to thousand and thousands years old trees. And any problems you might have become so insignificant. Every single time when I go there I promise myself to paint some scenes. And here is my first attempt: to keep my promise (to Sequoia) :) ............................................................................................................................. Watercolor on Paper 8"x10" , Arches 140 Cold Press

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More than a thousand artworks ranging from realism to a decorative abstract and detailed botanical painting by Irina Sztukowski are presented now on her website  www.artirina.com 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

White & Red Christmas Spirit




I loved painting a variety of Poinsettia in this piece: white, red, pink. The most exciting part was to paint the white one: pure reflections from the lights shining through to the pink violet and blue. I also decided to place white Poinsettia on the top as it is lighter; although the dark background would point out a good recognizable shape. This bunch will make pretty good Christmas Cards :) ........................................................................................................................... Watercolor on Paper; Size 8"x10"

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More than a thousand artworks ranging from realism to a decorative abstract and detailed botanical painting by Irina Sztukowski are presented now on her website  www.artirina.com 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Holiday Season - Opening

Needless to say the media and advertising is already skipping Thanksgiving and moved on to the Christmas promotion. And here I am, feeling like Holidays now. This season I've committed to paint at least three Poinsettias for the Holiday cards. This painting is my first try. The challenge was to actually stay away from scarlet red ( I used to think that Poinsettias are only red and green; but this one was kind of purple-ish) .................................................................................................................... I have also made a small cards out of this painting and today I actually sold one. So, this is true then, people really do feel like Holidays already :). Thank you Media!... .................................................................................................................... The original Painting is 9"x12" Canson 140 lb watercolor paper. I have noticed that this particular brand is very good for decorative paintings or for illustrations due to its pretty smooth yet very absorbing surface.

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More than a thousand artworks ranging from realism to a decorative abstract and detailed botanical painting by Irina Sztukowski are presented now on her website  www.artirina.com 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

70 Years Together

This Thanksgiving we are going to Maryland and Virginia to visit our Grandpa and Grandma and other relatives. The relatives are throwing a surprise party for Grandparents to celebrate their 70th Wedding Anniversary ( !!!) And this is a still surprise and Grandparents will not know about the party even after I place this post as they don't have computer :)... I have decided to paint the happy couple as a gift card (using only Burnt Sienna, Raw Amber, and Sepia). The first idea was to paint the picture and then to paint the heart made of flowers around the couple. But now I am kind of hesitating. I probably will make a mat in a shape of the heart and paint flowers on the mat. And all relatives can sign the mat with their best wishes to Grandpa and Grandma. .................................................................................................................. The painting is 11"x14" , Cold Press 300 lb Arches Watercolor Paper

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More than a thousand artworks ranging from realism to a decorative abstract and detailed botanical painting by Irina Sztukowski are presented now on her website  www.artirina.com 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marketing Advice for Artists

For those artists that are interested in promoting their art online: I found very interesting website where you can listen to a podcasts/webinars for free. The publisher of this website is an artist himself and he created this web site to help other artists. I love to listen to his mini lessons while I am actually painting or doing my crafts. If you would like to explore this web site here is the link http://www.artpalaver.com/online-marketing-mentality-artists-free-webinar/

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pink Lilies

I keep exploring the character of Strathmore watercolor paper and I keep confirming to myself that this paper is really not that bad for fast sketches. In the painting with the glass I was focusing on glass itself. The lights were electrical and glass had lots of foreign reflections. The single lily was done as a study of the flower itself. These lilies are growing in our garden; and they are very high maintenance (compare to large white calla lilies). As an example they bloom only when they want and they skipped last blooming season completely. However, when I cut them for the still life, they appeared fresh and good looking for almost a week. What a paradox!

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More Art by Irina Sztukowski is presented on her website  www.artirina.com

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Three Suns in the Dark



And here is the completed painting. The dark background changes perspective and the colors of the flowers, even I have not touched flowers color at all.................................................................................................................................................................. Watercolor on Paper, Arches 140 lb Cold Press

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More than a thousand artworks ranging from realism to a decorative abstract and detailed botanical painting by Irina Sztukowski are presented now on her website  www.artirina.com 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Three Suns - Work In Process

Sunflowers became my recent love. The story behind is very simple yet mysterious a little. Let me know if this or similar things ever happened to you. I was going through the recent Watercolor Artist magazine and it was advertising page with the girl painting sunflowers. The flowers were so beautiful that I kept admiring them for minutes thinking I'd love to paint them some time.. But like a lot of time happens the idea never gets to the paper due to different excuses (not enough time is the one of them) am I right?.................................................................................................................................. Couple of hours later I received the request from the client if I could paint some Sunflowers for her daughter (she wanted to give her a notebook with my painting on the front to her daughter for Christmas). Wow, that made me get to work pretty fast. I found incredible image of Sunflowers and started creating the same day.................................................................................................................................................. The watercolor painting of sunflowers that is attached is the work in process. The finished painting will have dark background. But I was thinking that this in-process one is also pretty sufficient. It would look super cute on the postcards, thank you notes, coasters.. I am saving this image in my library before I get to the background. And tell you the truth I am a little frightened now to even start the background. Usually I paint surroundings first and the main subject less. What a challenge!! :)............................................................................................................................................................. Sunflower painting, Watercolor on paper, 140 Cold Press Arches,

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More than a thousand artworks ranging from realism to a decorative abstract and detailed botanical painting by Irina Sztukowski are presented now on her website  www.artirina.com 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Watercolors at Work

I know it is just a little early to think about Christmas; but, it is never early to think about gifts. I had the painting that I made couple years ago for Christmas Cards and I decided to make this painting into a gift tags this year. But not just a gift tag, THE unique one. I printed the business cards at Vista Print ( 250 for free plus upload $2.49) and personalized it with the red yarn. I think it looks cute :) The step-by-step project is on my ArtGiftsFromIrina


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More than a thousand artworks ranging from realism to a decorative abstract and detailed botanical painting by Irina Sztukowski are presented now on her website  www.artirina.com 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Leaf on Fire

And here we go.. my (most likely) last leaf for this Fall Season. I was looking for some subjects for my Sketchbook project which title is Down My Street and I found this little treasure laying on a ground and looking so pretty that I couldn't resist to paint. It is surprising how almost rotten, practically half eaten and torn apart object can be so attractive and beautiful :) ................. Original Watercolor on Paper; Size 9"x12" Canson 140 Cold Press

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More than a thousand artworks ranging from realism to a decorative abstract and detailed botanical painting by Irina Sztukowski are presented now on her website  www.artirina.com 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

King Shadow

I can't stop painting the leaves. I guess it is the Fall Mood finally came here. I just posted this one on line and it was picked up by somebody into the Fall Gallery on Handmade Spak . How sweet. In this paintings shadow is definitely The King. Its little crown keeps attention and I tried to make it interesting. I've painted this one from picture that my baby sister (professional photographer) took back in 2008. I always admire her ability to see beauty in the simple things. And I wanted to paint this leaf since then. It took me two Falls to get there finally :) Watercolor on Paper Size: 9"x12" Canson 140 Cold Press

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More than a thousand artworks ranging from realism to a decorative abstract and detailed botanical painting by Irina Sztukowski are presented now on her website  www.artirina.com 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Leaf and Shadow Study

I found this glowing leaf today and got inspired right away. Fall is considered to be kind of sad season, but bright colors of the fallen leaves make us artist busy :0) Size: 9"x12" Canson 140 Cold Press Watercolor Paper

More Art by Irina Sztukowski is presented on her website  www.artirina.com 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cherries In The Bowl



The summer is almost over. These bright juicy cherries reminded me about it when I was setting up the still life. Berries didn't listen to my order and kept falling off the small bowl. But I really wanted to paint this exact bowl as I made it by hands in one of my wheel-through ceramics class. I just left the cherries along and painted still life as it is. Size 9"x12" Winsor & Newton Watercolor on 140 lb Cold Press Canson Paper

More Art by Irina Sztukowski is presented on her website  www.artirina.com 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

From Realism to Abstract

Flowers always fascinate me. There is such a thin line between realism and abstraction-ism when painting a flower. Sometimes when I paint petal after petal I get lost in the form; but after the work is done it looks pretty real. I was thinking about this when dividing my Pink Rose painting (not painting, print of course) into six equal pieces. I decided to make casters last weekend. And I wanted to step out of the box and combine puzzle idea and my painting with utilizing the artful piece into a useful one. You can see how it turned out by clicking here: http://artgiftsfromirina.blogspot.com/ The original Rose: Size 5"x7" 140 Cold Press Watercolor Paper

More Art by Irina Sztukowski is presented on her website  www.artirina.com 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Marketing Tool I've learned

I have learned one very good marketing tool that every Artist that has web site should do when starting publishing art work on-line. I am so glad I got the book (How To Market and Sell Your Art... by Lee Rowley, ISBN-13: 978-1-60138-146-0). When I started reading this book I was a little skeptical. Fist couple dozens of pages are a little bit slow; mostly for the beginners. But getting closer to the middle, the author is giving a really good advise: every artist that shows on-line should register at Google, MSN, and Yahoo. I didn't know. If you didn't know as well, here is a tip. Go www.google.com/addurl submit your web site. Do the same with Yahoo by going to https://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/submit They also mentioned MSN but I got no luck to get to the link (it automatically brought me to Bing.com; if you want to try here is the link: http://search.msn.com.sg/docs/submit.aspx The author also said that artists should repeat the submissions but not more often than once a month otherwise search engines could remove the web site from the search. I tried to register my blog address; but seems that it would only work with the personal web site address. I hope for those of you who didn't do it yet; this little hint will help to promote your web sites and art work :) Take care, Irina

In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Rose In The Blue Vase

Irina Sztukowski

I painted this beautiful rose in a blue vase back in 2009. The original found home in the private collection in Virginia. And I placed the print in my Art Shop on Etsy today. I am so happy that people are interested in buying prints from original watercolors. This gives opportunity to the art to go around and bring joy to not just one person. Today I sold the piece and the piece is ready to to to NY state. I am thinking that we should not be skeptical about making and selling the copies of our art. With an effort on our part the prints, cards, posters can give a second life to the piece that was already sold or is not for sale.

In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Garden


SOLD                       SOLD                        SOLD

 It is amazing how many bright and vibrant colors Nature offers to us. These miniatures ( 2.5"x3.5" I painted mostly from the fruits and veggies from our garden here in California Bay Area) My husband grows and nurtures our garden and I feed from it physically and emotionally :)

In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Plain Air - San Francisco - Park Presidio

realism in watercolorLast weekend I have participated in annual Plain Air event with California Watercolor Association ( http://www.californiawatercolor.org/) . I have totally forgotten what it is when you stand in open area with the wind blowing and direct sun; trying to protect your paper and easel from flipping over. But I managed it. Four hours went by like one moment. They say that if you get lost in time when you do something it is real thing; the thing that you are supposed to do in this life time. Last weekend I've experienced it again :)
Size: 18 x 24" Strathmore 140 lb watercolor paper Cold Press

In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Saturday, August 28, 2010

IT IS ALL RELATIVE

Realism In watercolor

Web Definition: A pearl is a hard, generally spherical object produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a mollusk, a pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&defl=en&q=define:pearl&sa=X&ei=OO95TMD8DZT6swOi1KnsCg&sqi=2&ved=0CBUQkAE)
  • How long does it take for mollusk to produce a pearl?
  • How long does it take for a jeweler to make a pearl necklace?
  • How long does it take for an artist to paint a pearl?
IT IS ALL RELATIVE ........................................................................................................................ Today I took a pearl, I made a necklace and I painted it. It was all fun! 5x7" 140 Cold Press Watercolor Paper ................................................................................................................................................................ In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Friday, August 27, 2010

Transparent Butterfly

realism in watercolor

Transparent Butterfly Painting

My friend sent me the picture by e-mail yesterday and I could not believe that there are creatures like Transparent Butterflies somewhere in the World. Oh, how little I knew.
And of course my first intention was … guess…yes to paint this beauty! How many times I used to tell myself: “Ah, it is so beautiful, I need to paint it!” the next thought is usually going like that: “I’ll definitely paint it.. Someday ..” and the afterthought is always something like that: “ Aha.. as soon I have the time” .
So this time I found THE time; I just came home, got to my studio and started painting. One hour and half later the baby was born. I placed this butterfly and the Twenty Minute One (http://twentyminutechallenge.blogspot.com/2010/08/butterfly-irina-sztukowski.html) in 8x10” mats and gave it to my friend today. Turned out not for free: she insisted to pay for my lunch :)
Size 8"x10" Strathmore watercolor paper 140 lb Cold Press


In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Two Brothers

realism in watecolorrealism in watercolor
















SOLD
Prints are available HERE

Here are two Iris flowers: one Yellow from my front porch and another one Purple from my back yard. I thought it was difficult to paint the yellow one, but somehow the yellow flower turned out to be the easiest. But purple iris really made me think: how many colors in one purple iris? I discovered that pallet of this flower is so diverse so not expected: alizarin crimson, ultramarine, opera rose, sepia, and a little bit violet. Go figure!
(Size: 8"x10" - Arches 140lb watercolor paper)


In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Castle


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One of my favorite artists showed her studio in her recent post and I had an idea that it would be so great if all artists will do the same independently if you work in a small room or in spacious studio. We all know of course the art that comes out of it is that what counts. And studio is the place where the art gets born. I see my studio as a sacred place, my castle. I dream there and make my dreams come true. And like another of my favorite artists said: Yesterday's dream is Today's truth and Tomorrow's reality. My studio brings it all together. Although, sometimes I look at the clutter there and think: “Oh Gosh! It is hard to believe that art can find some free space and miss Muse won’t step into the glue or paint here” ; )

In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Published Art

My watercolor painting Dancing Fire is published on the cover of the booklet of Oncology Symposium that takes place in Kolkata, India ...