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


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

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

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

Sunday, August 22, 2010

From Russia with Love-20min Challenge

This painting was born today after my sister sent me the picture that she took in Russia. I saw this picture on her Facebook and begged her to give me permission to paint. These flowers were implying to be painted by watercolors. I gave it a shot. I decided to make 20 minute sketch first; and here it is. I've painted whole painting in 15 minutes and then breathed out; looked at it for a moment and applied more values to the shadows in the next 5 minutes. This actually gave the flowers possibility to pop-up. Thanks, Irina Size: 8.5"x11" Canson 140 lb Watercolor Paper

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

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Creative Itch

My 2.5"x3.5" miniature rose became a Queen of the Ball last weekend. I decided to open a blog on how to make creative things and the first project there was a magnet making one. There is a glass square involved and I thought it was interesting to place the glass over the painting that is featuring the glass. You can see how it went by visiting my new baby-blog: www.ArtGiftsFromIrina.blogspot.com If you would like you can let your friends who have kids or friends who are interested in making cute stuff themselves to visit that blog once in a while. I am planning on posting different handmade projects there :) .

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

Monday, August 16, 2010

Yellow Iris

Prints in various sizes are HERE

I was in the process of painting two Iris flowers: one Yellow from my front porch and another one Purple/Violet from my back yard. The yellow one is done (a little bit overdone I think), and the purple one is on its way; it's sitting on my desk and looking half pretty. I'd love to see them together. The idea about the contrast inspires me to finish the second painting. 8x8" Cold Press Arches Watercolor Paper

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

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Japanese Garden in Golden Gate Park - San Francisco

San Francisco Landscapes

The original painting is SOLD

But the art collectors throughout the World are purchasing prints. They vary depending on what the customer wants.

There are canvas prints with this painting of Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco Bay Area:

watercolor painting by Irina Sztukowski
There is a possibility to order framed artwork of Japanese Tea Garden:

Framed Watercolor Painting by Irina Sztukowski

The website even offer metal prints and acrylic decorative artworks:

print of watercolor painting by Irina Sztukowski

The decorative ideas are endless. The pillows with Japanese Tea Garden became quite popular:

Throw Pillow art by Irina Sztukowski home decor idea

Even tote bags with this artwork are available:

Tote Bag with watercolor painting by Irina Sztukowski

And for those who wants to bring a memory of Japanese Tea Garden from Golden Gate Park of San Francisco, there are cell phone cases with this art:

cell phone case with painting by Irina Sztukowski

This painting was an inspiration after walking in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. My Dad and I were stunned by a beauty of the Japanese Tea Garden there. I've seen this part of the garden many times, but I've never seen it so pretty as that Spring

A Little bit of history and facts about Japanese Garden:

The Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco, California, is a popular feature of Golden Gate Park, originally built as part of a sprawling World's Fair, the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. Tours are offered every day by San Francisco City Guides. 
The oldest public Japanese garden in the United States, this complex of many paths, ponds and a teahouse features native Japanese and Chinese plants. The garden's 5 acres contain many sculptures and bridges. 

After the conclusion of the 1894 World's Fair, Makoto Hagiwara, a Japanese immigrant and gardener, approached John McLaren with the idea to convert the temporary exhibit into a permanent park. Hagiwara personally oversaw the building of the Japanese Tea Garden and was official caretaker of the garden from 1895 to 1925. He specifically requested that one thousand flowering cherry trees be imported from Japan, as well as other native plants, birds, and the now famous goldfish. After San Francisco's 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition closed, he obtained the two large ornamental wooden gates, and probably also the Tea Garden's prominent five-tiered pagoda, from that fair's Japanese enclave.[1] 
The Hagiwara family lived in and maintained the Japanese Tea Garden until 1942, when Executive Order 9066 forced them to leave San Francisco and relocate to an internment camp with thousands of other Japanese-American families. The garden was renamed the "Oriental Tea Garden" and fell into disarray. 
In 1949, a large bronze Buddha, originally cast in Tajima, Japan in 1790, was presented to the garden by the S & G Gump Company. The name "Japanese Tea Garden" was officially reinstated in 1952. In 1953 the Zen Garden, designed by Nagao Sakurai and representing a modern version of kare sansui (a dry garden which symbolizes a miniature mountain scene complete with a stone waterfall and small island surrounded by a gravel river) was dedicated at the same time as the 9,000-pound (4,100 kg) Lantern of Peace, which was purchased by contributions from Japanese children and presented on their behalf as a symbol of friendship for future generations.
(info is courtesy of wiki)

Click on this LINK to see the details of this painting of Japanese Tea Garden  

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

More beautiful watercolor artworks are HERE
Available Original paintings are HERE
paintings by Irina Sztukowski

More Art by Irina Sztukowski is presented on her website

Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Funny Visitor

...........................................................................................................................................................................This little creature jumped out of the woods.
 I loved painting his "up-to-something" eyes and his curly tale. It was also interesting to work on the skin texture and on the color fluctuation.
Two watercolor paintings each 9 x 13" 140 lb Cold Press Arches

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

Watercolor Mandarin On Packaging of Saison Yogurt

Saison Mandarin Yogurt  -  new product on European market with my watercolor peeled and whole mandarin illustrations that I've pai...