Monday, December 30, 2013

Watercolorful Fireworks - Happy New Year And Lovely Holidays!

bright artwork

Cheers and best wishes to ALL in the new Year 2014. 

I am forever grateful for a productive, interesting, and unforgettable passing year. At some point it did feel that I had 2013 things to do; but step by step, I did it...

I have done many great artful things this year:

Painted and exhibited
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Studied and taught
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Sold art and bought art
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Inspired by traveling in the US and abroad
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Published a book and got published
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Met many cool artists
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 Volunteered for an art organization
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Created! Created! Created!

I can only hope to have the next year as exciting as this one :0)

Happy New Year to All!

And for my family and friend in Russia, where they celebrate Christmas on January 7th, 2014
Merry Christmas:


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


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Moving Or Still, Nude Or Clothed: Still Strikingly Stunning

realism human woman body

The blog post subject applies to a human body, in this case especially to a woman's figure. Yet, any body is beautiful: the lines, the muscles, the curves that Nature gifted all of us independently of gender, race, etc.; are stunning. 

From August through December of this year I had a great opportunity to be in a Figure Drawing Class with one of the best art professors in San Francisco Bay Area, Jane Fisher. 
In this class we learned the terms and definitions of human body anatomy; particularly the bones. 
The main reason that I've attended this class was a priceless chance to draw the live models from San Francisco Art Model agency.

"Study of the human figure has traditionally been considered the best way to learning how to draw, beginning in the late Renaissance and continuing to the present"
(Kimon Nicolaides, The Natural Way to Draw, ISBN 0395205484)

When our professor told us that she fell in love with human anatomy, especially bones, I was questioning it: how can you be in love with, let's say, skull or rib cage, or coccyx (the "tale-bone").. But after drawing quite a few sketches of skeletons and gestures of live models, I have to admit: The human body IS AMAZING. There is no straight line, all bones and muscles ARE meant to be in the right place for a right function! Unbelievable!

In this class (which is actually a first part of complete course of Figure Drawing) I've done probably more than 100 quick sketches of the fast (2, 5, or 10 min) movements; around 20 long studies of the body, many body parts drawings from anatomy books and old masters artworks. That was quite an experience. The class was intense, filled with condensed knowledge, lots of interesting slides, facts, and inspirations for a future research. 

Here are just a few drawings of the models. Some of them are in charcoal some in ink, some of them on white paper, others on toned: 

Nude woman

Sleeping On The Beach

charcoal drawing

Seated Woman

... and many more drawings are in the Nude gallery, which will be growing not only with classic studies, but also with somewhat abstract or romantic paintings.  


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



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pardon "Mon" French

decorative design
One day I was feeling like creating some abstract in yellow and purple (two complementary colors that can balance each other very well). The idea didn't have to wait too long to come. My inspiration that day was right at my desk in the studio: a bunch of French Curves

French Curve is a special tool that artists and drafters use to create a curvy line. I love the shape of the french curve for the soft organic forms, which when applied together can create an interesting whimsical design.

And that how the above artworks got created, not mentioning the next ones: 
watercolor

and the next:
French Curve Yellow Purple

All of those and many other French Curve creations landed in my Decorative Design gallery on FAA.

But my "feeling French" mood didn't stop at just an abstract artwork. I've decided to combine two of my favorite "French" paintings into one, creating a cute Hallmark style design..

And Vuola! I am happy to present:

realism in watercolor French painting

I thought that the portrait of a little girl, a daughter of my friend (whose mom, by the way, came to the U.S. from France); this girl would look very nice with the Eiffel Tower on the back and those fluffy purple clouds.
:0)


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



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Drawing Faces, and Beyond

realistic art

In the last several month I had an opportunity to draw many portraits with models and from the photograph.
Above is the portrait of my niece when she was just about 10. She is holding her beloved pet here, wrapping him in her arms like a cozy blanket. 

All other portraits were from studio time. It was fun to draw live; it requires sense of measurement, value study, and understanding an anatomy of the face.

female portrait


charcoal drawing head

Drawing

The last one below is the skull of the man above. Oh, no, the man was alive, thank God! I just had to imagine what skull he has by placing a tracing paper on a drawing above and tracing imaginary bones there:
Anatomical Study



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

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Seashell Collection - A Great Beginning

watercolor art

This decorative collage with seashells, pearls, seaweed, and sea stars was a follow-up on my new collection painted on handmade paper. 
One of my students wanted to learn how to paint realistic water drops. I had a cool idea to teach while painting myself; but, not only plain water drops. As I like to challenge myself, I've set up a whole scene with my seashells collection, surrounded with pearls and water drops:


It was fun to paint not from photograph, but live, creating a composition on this lovely handmade paper. 
Here are the four first examples of the outcome. The paper has uneven edges, which makes it look authentically handmade. When scanning the artworks on my computer I placed a rough canvas behind to emphasize the edges of the paper:

realism in watercolor
(click on image or HERE to see the details)

I created the sand-like background using a toothbrush technique, when you load the watercolor on a toothbrush and then brush your finger (carefully!!) across the bristles creating uneven yet very cool texture:

water drops in watercolor
(click on image or HERE to see the details)

I had the sea stars, pearls and shells in my collection. But I had to find the seaweed online to see how to paint it:

Watercolor Realism
(click on image or HERE to see the details)

In this painting (below) it was a real challenge. When I pulled the masking liquid from the paper (where the shell is), the glue of the liquid pulled the first tiny layer of the paper for me... Thanks to handmade product! At first, I thought I've ruined my artwork. But when I started painting the seashell itself, the roughness of the paper actually helped to create the cool natural seashell body texture:
(click on image or HERE to see the details)

And that how my Seashell collection started. Huge thanks to my friend who gave me those cute seashells more than 5 years ago.

I've also looked at my previous watercolors with seashells (last post is here). And created one more collage with those shells:

painting sea shells

Somebody might say, oh she is crazy about those seashells! And I'd say YES. More than that: I didn't stop on painting those shells and creating collages. I've even got myself more gorgeous shells online: some seashells from Philippines, Mexico and India. So, there are more seashells paintings to come!

I guess I still have that Little Girl inside me that loves the ocean, fresh breeze, while walking on the beach and searching for the shells:
watercolor painting
(click on image or HERE to see the details)


My seashell collection is growing so much now, that I had to create a special gallery on FineArtAmerica, which I called 
 (click HERE to see it)


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



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fine Art That Liked To Be Framed - Realism In Watercolor

portrait reading book

It is becoming a great tradition to post some pictures from my customers with artworks framed in their environment. 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day and I am very happy to thank all my art collectors who not only purchased my art, but sent me photos of the framed art pieces. 

Here are just a few of them from this wonderful and productive year.

One of my great customers from Albuquerque, New Mexico ordered this commission painting of Ranunculus Flowers for her mom:
watercolor still life

Art collector and long time customer of mine from Alamo, California, framed this humorous painting Bee Happy for her friend. She also had one of my Fall paintings Still Life With Pumpkin on a wall renting it for last year Thanksgiving dinner:
watercolor realism

My dear art collector from Floral Park, New York, framed this White Jasmine painting in a cute intricate silver frame that gave a great feeling of continuation of the Silver-like mellow background of the painting: 

paint glass


I love how my art collector from American Canyon, California, placed painting of A Fashion Girl with white background into a light mat but separated it with complimenting color blue trim:
watercolor art

One of my new customers from Poca City, Oklahoma, chose exclusively colorful and cheerful mats for my Roses In The Blue Vase painting:
painting fine art


Art collector from Elk Grove, California, converted her bedroom in a magic garden decorating her house with my prints and original paintings:

floral art

New customer from Livingston, Alabama, chose my first two paintings of Seashells Collection for her living room:

realism in watercolor

Many thanks to the winner-customer of this year from Brentwood, California, for purchasing many large paintings for his private collection: 
Tulips
I am glad that they all found a great wall to hang on and now they are bringing the joy, the beauty, and their stories to a nice family and its guests. 

Lemon Apricot Tulips Garden

As I have my paintings sold in the form of prints on Fine Art America, most of the times I have no communication with the customers. Yet one great customer from Malaysia contacted me through FAA, purchased the prints, had them framed, and sent  me a lovely pictures of the artworks ready to be hung on the wall of the new house:


Golden Gate Bridge California


As I pointed out at the beginning, it was productive year. It was great to paint commission pieces as well as the artworks of my choice. Also, I had a chance and honor to participate in Parkinson Cure Gala and donated two paintings. One of them settled at the house of an art collector from Vancouver, WA: 
Onion Peas Bellpepper Jalapegnos


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For more photos with the framing ideas from my customers click HERE
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In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul












Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Caution!! A Few Beautiful Nudes

In order to see closer view, click on images.

watercolor painting Impressionism

Couple of weekends in a row, I was invited to paint with one local  art organization in Walnut Creek, California. 

I had a lovely opportunity to paint nude model in watercolor for the first time in my life.

The first painting (above) was painted in impressionistic fast brush stroke manner on student grade Strathmore 140lb watercolor paper.

The next one, I tried in realistic style on professional watercolor Artches 100% Cotton 140lb cold pressed. The difference in texture is obvious:
Nude art
(in order to see larger image, click on the painting)

And as a warm up before each painting session, there were a few gestures that the model did for 2 or 5 minutes. 
I am sharing here the most successful ones: spontaneous, fast, fresh

fast sketch

watercolor

painting

naked woman painting


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






Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lindsay Dirkx Brown Gallery - Art Show - San Ramon, California


I am glad to announce that two of my paintings are now in a juried Art Show at Lindsay Dirkx Brown Gallery in San Ramon, California. 


Running from November 9 through November 30 this Art Show includes more than 60 paintings that artists painted primarily in watercolor. 


Address:

Lindsay Dirkx Brown Gallery 
12501 Alcosta Blvd. 
San Ramon, CA 94583 
Hours:
Mon-Fri      9:00am - 5:00pm
Saturdays - 9:00am - 1:30pm

Apples Geranium Lemon

Corn Gourd Apples Impressionism style


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


Friday, November 8, 2013

Still Life With Sunflowers

Old Masters Realism Style

Above is completed still life with Sunflowers, lemons, and apples. I painted this still life following certain rules of composition, playing with colors and shapes.

Old Masters paintings, and in particular still life, always fascinated me. The details, techniques, the composition and perspective usually show a great deal of skill and many years of hard work learning and practicing.

I also fell in love with the fact that at the first glance simple objects placed on the canvas or paper get their own meaning, telling their own story, sometimes leaving the viewer wonder and imagine.
For example, in seventeenths century Dutch still life the Sunflowers were symbolizing faithfulness, divine love, and devotion. Fruits, let’s say a peeled lemon, were like life, attractive to look at, but bitter to taste. Apples, especially with a bite, would return us to a biblical story. Knife might suggest a transience of human life; but, together with some seafood, it would change the meaning towards the reproducing implication. 
And so on and on.

I placed the flowers and fruits not only because they are so pretty; but, also to show a combination of different colors, the gifts from Fall. My knife in the composition plays an important role as a transformation pointer. It connects one part of the still life (the one with apples and bottle) to a part with Sunflowers. I suggested that I cut the lemon with this knife before placing it on the plate.
Meantime the objects that are holding the fruits and flowers, each of them have a great history themselves:

- Metal vase with Sunflowers was an inheritance of my husband’s grandparents
- Elongated plate for cut lemon was given to me by my friend. It is a part of 1921 Bavarian set.
- The cutting board is made of salvaged 1800 century wood
- The ceramic bowl with apples is also special. I made it from clay 4 years ago.

It is interesting how simple objects of a still life painting can tell a lot; yet, just sitting there in the painting and looking pretty! 

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For more still life paintings visit my gallery:
Still Life


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


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Published in Spirit Seeker Magazine

November Issue

I received an offer that was hard to pass. Spirit Seeker magazine asked my permission to publish a part of my festive painting on the cover. 

With headquarters located in St. Louis, MO; 
"Spirit Seeker Magazine is a comprehensive, inspirational, holistic publication for the mind, body and spirit. In its’ 17th year, the magazine is recognized for its’ rich content and thought-provoking features, consistently showcasing the work of cutting edge authors, musicians and leaders in health, wellness, and spirituality. In this age of uncertainty, people are now, more than ever, looking for ways to connect with something bigger. Spirit Seeker Magazine has always been ahead of the curve, providing a tool for optimized living and enlightenment. Spirit Seeker Magazine is distributed widely throughout the Midwest as a print publication in Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, throughout Missouri, as well as published online, with national and international readers. Each issue is highly anticipated by both faithful and curious readers. Our readers are educated, spiritual consumers seeking information on products, services, and classes."
(quote from www.spiritseekermagazine.com )

November Issue is colorful and filled with Fall Spirit:

I am glad they chose the part of the painting that contained a pumpkin and Fall leaves. They have the most contrast of all. However, because the cover has vertical format, the whole painting (which is horizontal ) did not fit. My initial artwork was a "play" between realistic and impressionistic art. For example, if the whole still life part was executed in realism, the landscape behind the window is pure Impressionism:


I also like that the magazine mentioned my name as an artist and published a small article about me (on Page 4) 
:0)


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 ...