Monday, April 29, 2013

Travel Sketches Book is Published

World Sketches

My business plan for this year included publishing one or two books with my art. 

One book is out! 

I started with publishing a small 26 pages, 9"x6" book that contains 70 travel sketches. Some of these sketches I made for NY Library between 2010 - 2013; and, some were created for one upcoming art show in San Francisco. 

I thought it would be great to combine all of them in one book 

country sketches

The e-book in 
PDF file
Anyone can order by clicking on this

The hard copy is on below:
Travel Sketches by Irina Sztukowski | Make Your Own Book

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

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sweet Memories

mouse painting
(prints are available HERE)

One mysterious thing happened to me a few days ago. 

I had to paint a cat, who died last year. For this sweet memory artwork, the owner sent me a photo. Together with the first photo, she sent a picture of her new cat. Ok, I thought, I'll place both cats on one painting. The cat that was gone will be on the framed photo and the alive one will look through the window. 

Just as I was ready to paint I've learned a terrible news: the other cat was found dead on the street next to his house. So sad...

...I started working on the painting. My plan for the composition did not change, except, that for some reason I decided to place a mouse next to the first kitty. The same toy I placed on the window. Why? I had no explanation, but "why not, each cat might have a mouse-toy at some point, right?"

But how little I knew. When the painting was delivered to the owner; she almost burst in tears. Her beloved cats were "speaking" to her from the painting looking so much like in real life. She also asked how I KNEW about the mouse story. What story?!

 And here it goes: 

When the first cat died, she packed all his toys and placed them to the attic. Yet one toy was missing: his favorite mouse. Later, when she invited a second pet, he found the toy and it became one of his favorite, as if the first cat passed it to the new one as a generous gift.

Original Painting Sweet Memories is 8"x10" on 140lb Fabriano Watercolor Paper

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

Monday, April 22, 2013

Inspiration Point - Orinda - California

Orinda Inspiration Point

Last Saturday plein-air outing with CWA group brought us to Tilden Park in Orinda hills. Gorgeous place, and the name of the view point is quite matching - The Inspiration Point - beautiful California landscape

Original Painting Inspiration Point is 10"x14" on 300lb Watercolor Paper
More Plein-air paintings are HERE

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

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Watercolor Hibiscus

floral painting

Here is a simple hibiscus flower. When it was the right season, I saw it every day going down my street. When the light was right, I took a photo. And when the time was right, I painted it. 

Personally, hibiscus flower reminds me a happy dancer whose skirt is spinning in the air with the speed of Nature.

Later on, I've learned so much about this simple, yet quiet interesting flower. 

From online research, I’ve discovered that there are several 
 hundred species of Hibiscus Flower are known in the world. It has so many
 uses in so many areas. For example, in landscaping, it is used to
 attract butterflies and hummingbirds. But not only beauty of the
 flower is useful; there is also some hibiscus species that are used in
 paper production. 

In everyday life, hibiscus leaves would make you
 a sweet refreshing tea. Yet not just that: in some regions of the
 world hibiscus is used as a vegetable and as natural food coloring.
 Some countries such Haiti, Malaysia, and South Korea chose this 
gorgeous flower as their national symbol. And  as the symbol, the
 red hibiscus is traditionally worn by Tahitian women. When tucked
 behind the ear, it indicates that the woman is single and ready for a

The social aspect of the hibiscus is competing with its
 medical use. Besides hibiscus tea, which by the way is found to
 lower high blood pressure; its roots are used to make various
 mixtures believed to cure cough, hair loss or hair greying. 
(courtesy of Wiki)

Wow! What a flower!! 


Original Artwork Hibiscus is 20"x16" on 300lb Watercolor Paper

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

Monday, April 15, 2013

Paintnig Red Poppies and Apples - Walt Disney Family Museum

Botanical Art

The weekend at the Walt Disney Family Museum went great. 
While painting Apples and waiting for the Stage #4 to dry, I offered to show students how to paint a simple poppy flower with wet-on-wet technique. 

I had a few flowers pinned on a board for a better visual experience and my original painting Poppies Field:
Presidio Museum San Francisco

It was interesting to see how much fun the students (from age 4 to  60+) had watching the paint intermingle while creating a new unpredictable pattern.  

open studio artits
(Photos by my sister, Maria Batkova)

Also, my sister, like a true "paparazzi", caught me thinking about a new project :0)
 (I guess I was counting how many poppies to place on the blank paper):
Starting painting

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

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Disney Family Museum Workshop

How To Paint An Apple in Six Easy Steps 
Three Simple Colors

Disney Family Museum

This upcoming weekend I was invited by Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco for an Open Studio event, which is the part of a special exhibition 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: 
The Creation of a Classic

I am going to paint and show the public some basic watercolor techniques. I've decided to play with an apple painting and paint it with only three colors, with more symbolic and elementary approach. My goal was to make it simple, desirable, and easy to accomplish; that anybody would be able to at least try to make their own apple painting. 

I've created a board with six drawings and paintings that show a few stages:
step-by-step process

The challenge was to paint an exact apple. So, I created a few stencils that apples on my papers and papers of the students will look alike. It will people not to be scared about a drawing, yet give them more time for watercolor applications.

Step-by-step instructions are given above, under FREE button. Enjoy!!

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

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Watercolor Rose Painting

pink roses

I am celebrating a Rose Petals Day today. And even though I found out that an official Rose Day is somewhere in February, on my blog it is here and now :0)..

Why do I love roses? I think for their multiple generous petals, which at the first glance are looking alike yet not the same. Each petal is unique when, after all, unites into a gorgeous flower. 

Why else? Hm...I also like these flowers for the challenge. When the artist paints a rose, she has to put herself in some meditation stage, painting one petal after another.. and, again, never forget about stepping away and see the whole flower. 

When painting this rose, I almost got lost in the petals, in their beauty, and their abstracted realism.

Just take a look at the fragments of the same rose, isn't it a lovely abstract suggested in the turn of petals?



petal study

Celebrate a Rose Day with me. I pulled all my recent roses and combined them in a PhotoShop "bouquet" for you :0)

rose garden

Original painting Rose (above all) is Watercolor on 20"x16" 300lb Cold Pressed Paper

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...