Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vatican City - Travel With Me - Sketchbook Project


During my visit to Italy I cannot miss the State of Vatican City, the smallest independent state in the world, which has a whole complex of different museums. My main goal is to observe the old frescoes in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and Raphael's Rooms. I just want to see with my own eyes these 16th century masterpieces.
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4" x 6" Watercolor Sketch on 90lb Cold Pressed Paper

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Siena, Italy - Travel With Me - Sketchbook Project


Italia! Italia! I always wanted to go there. And my desire doubled if not tripled when last Summer I started learning about Medieval and Renaissance art in my Art History class. Italy became the center of art and culture many centuries ago. Artists from different countries went to learn art in Italy from old masters. Throughout the times the history was well preserved there. And I believe that unlike some of other European cities Italian ones keep their charm and remain untouched by civilization with its concrete-glass-high scrapers; or, at least I want to believe. I've also heard that Italian people are very nice. My friend lived in Italy for several years and when she came to Russia she said that the character of Russian people, their charisma reminded her Italian character a lot.
When I am in Italy, my first destination will be most likely Florence, Rome, and Venice. But if time and money permits I would love to visit Siena (you see on the sketch and will understand me why) and Positano. And wherever I go I want to paint, take tons of pictures, visit museums and churches and of course to see the original art in person. My sister and I even started learn Italian together. She is more advanced in this language than I am; yet I’ve recently learned one but very good phrase: Anno nuovo vita nuova! (which means New Year New Life!) There is something in this sentence very inspiring and promising, isn’t it!? :)
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4"x6" Watercolor Sketch on 90lb Cold Pressed Paper

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

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Helsinki, Finland - Travel With Me - Sketchbook Project

I’ve used to go to Finland at least 5-7 times a year and visited Helsinki if not 20 then probably close to 20 times back in 90s. The reason was that I have shared two jobs at a Travel Company. One of them was a Marketing Manager and another was a tour guide. And because Marketing duties did not allow me to leave the country for a long period of time, 2-3 days trips to Finland suited me well. It took only a few hours to get to Helsinki by bus from Saint Petersburg (not counting hours of standing at the customs and checking luggage and papers of relatively big group of tourists). When my job of bringing my group to the City Tour and accommodating them to the hotel was done, I loved to walk to the pier, visit farmers market or Museum of Modern Art. And I came many times to the beautiful square and listened to music at this Lutheran Cathedral. I loved going to Helsinki, even it was intense work. I still found time for myself while my tourist were running around the city and shopping. Finland those days seemed to me cleaner and calmer than busy 6 million-people Saint Petersburg
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4"x6" Watercolor Sketch on 90lb Cold Pressed Paper

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

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Barcelona, Spain - Travel With Me - Sketchbook Project

Watercolor travel sketch
http://irina-sztukowski.artistwebsites.com/featured/barcelona-spain-irina-sztukowski.html
Spain is the country that woke up my love to the color. Being born in the North of Russia, in the city that has half year winter, and another half cloudy skies and gray weather; and when the Sun is literally shining only around 30 days in whole year (except the cold winter days with below 30 Celsius when you don’t want to show up your nose out of the door); in Spain I was welcomed by a warm sea, sunny days, friendly people, hot music, and absolutely stunning architecture. I thought nothing can impress me after leaving in the great City of Saint Petersburg. When I visited Barcelona and saw future Gaudi’s inspiration Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, it reminded me a sand castle made by a genius Giant. Looking fragile but meantime timelessly strong and eternal the Cathedral of Barcelona captivated my attention for a long time. I found myself in between time zones when I stopped keeping track on what was happening around and remained looking at the piece of art, centimeter by centimeter, exploring its beauty.

More sketches are in my new book Travel Sketches

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

Friday, January 13, 2012

Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt - Travel With Me - Sketchbook Project

I went to Egypt with my son and my mom back in 1998. My son was only 9 years old and when we went to visit Karnak Temple and all adults were ah-&-oh looking at this thousands-years old wonder, my son decided to play Peek-a-boo with his Grandma. I found it funny how kids don't really care about the history, they always find something to have fun with. My mom on another hand was so excited that she, the engineer with 20 years career behind her shoulders, wrote a long poem about that day. I found gorgeous panorama where you can feel your are right there and feel yourself so small and young compare to the history. Here it is, courtesy of http://www.panoramas.dk/fullscreen7/f22-karnak-egypt.html
And here are some interesting facts about Karnak Temple:
The major difference between the Karnak Temple and many of the other sites in Egypt is how long the temple took to develop, as well as how long it was used. The construction of the temple started during the 16th century B.C. About 30 pharaohs gave a contribution to the buildings, which enabled it to reach a diversity, complexity, and size that isn’t seen anywhere else in the world. There aren’t many unique individual features of Karnak, but the number and size of the features is amazing.( from (http://famouswonders.com))
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4"x6" Watercolor Sketch on 90lb Cold Pressed Paper

Thursday, January 12, 2012

San Francisco, California - Travel With Me - Sketchbook Project

Here is the place where I live now; or no-no, not right next to the Golden Gate Bridge; but just an hour drive from it, the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. My husband and I love to come here some weekends and just walk along the bridge, feeling like tourists and getting some exercise. It is fun to walk to the middle of the bridge and look down. If you lucky you can see dolphins or sea lions below. Sure enough you should choose the weather with no fog; otherwise, you will only see the visitors that are walking next to you..
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4"x6" Watercolor Sketch on 90lb Cold Pressed Paper

Saint Petersburg - Blood Cathedral - Travel With Me - Sketchbook Project

Travel With Me Sketchbook Project.   Blood Cathedral ( The Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood) , an amazing piece of arc...