Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pears Trio

watercolor pears

Oh Pears, Pears! Each time I paint them I think about a figure painting. They are just like humans: not two pears are alike, are they?

These three ladies I painted on special Watercolor Canvas made by Fredrix. I loved to experiment. If to look closely, there is texture of the canvas is seen. 

The pears were from Farmers Market. They perfectly showing their imperfection: pretty as Nature intended.
The shelf that they are sitting on is made of Myrtle Wood. My husband and I picked the wood from the shop in Oregon; and, then he made the lovely shelf that I cherish.
Myrtle wood has quite interesting texture and it is one of the rare woods in the world.

Per www.myrtlewood.com 
No other hardwood excels Oregon Myrtlewood in beauty of grain and variety of coloring. Golden tans and muted reds, yellow greens and soft grays, ash blonds and seal browns, often patterned with velvet black for striking designs within the wood. Here is nature's artistry unsurpassed!
 (read more here)

I had fun not only painting those pears, but also got lost in the grain of the wood. At some point, while painting it, I was thinking I painted marble shelf, not a wooden one.

Now, back to the pears. 
Here are just a few pears for the road
 :0)

They do look good when they sprinkled with a few drops of water:
still life painting
SOLD


A single pear on a watercolor board Aquabord does make a personal statement 
(the story about it is in the previous post here): 
realistic painting
SOLD


And, even with coffee, pears look appealing, playful, and yummy: 
cerafe
SOLD
(prints are available in my Still Life Gallery here)

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Original Painting Three Pears on The Myrtle Wood Shelf is 8"x10" Watercolor on Fredrix Canvas


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

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Painting California Poppies

orange painting

California Poppies (scientific name Eschscholzia Californica) sometimes are called a Cup of Gold. They are official California state flowers.

I found this small golden field when going one day to Blake Garden in Berkeley Hills for a plain-air session. I was so occupied painting another field of Red Poppies that I only had a few minutes to run around the park and take some photos. In contrary to the poppies that I painted that day (see painting below), these orange cuties were volunteers. They just spread around the park glowing and bringing light and cheer.

poppy painting
SOLD
(previous post is here, and the prints are available here)
As I recall, it was a little meadow with the Red and Pink poppies hiding in the forest like garden.

The red ones were planted by people. 

The orange ones were probably brought by birds and wind. 

They decided to locate themselves wherever was comfortable: on a pathway that brought the artists to a marvelous view of the San Francisco Bay
I painted an artist there who came to paint California Poppies; so, that there is more to the story. When the viewer comes to the painting, the fist thing he/she sees are the poppies: bright, orange, big. Yet with more careful observation, you can notice that somebody else is there admiring the orange flowers at the Bay. 

In the last couple of years I painted quite a few of those orange flowers. But the painting above is probably the largest one 
(original painting California Poppies is 23"x17" on Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor paper) 
 and it has a story
:0)

Here are just a few of those "Golden Pots":
floral

framed art
SOLD

fine art
SOLD

open floral
SOLD



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


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Judging An Art Show - Alameda County Fair

Still Life with ink and pencil

I was invited to judge kids' art show at Alameda County Fair. CWA is giving monetary awards this year to three lucky winners.

There were around 20 paintings from the grade 6 through 12. 
This was my first time judging an art show. Before that I was on another side of the fence: being judged. Sometimes I was not chosen, some times I won. 

I knew that judging is not an easy task. Yet, I didn't know how NOT easy it is! 

All those paintings already won 1st places from different schools in order to enter Alameda County Fair art show. So, my task was to choose best of the best. 

Art is quite difficult subject for judging. You can't just place an art on a scale like a tube of paint and say: Yes, this one is "heavy" enough and it is worth getting/winning. Art speaks different language.

Carefully observing each age category I walked down the aisle with the pen, writing comments about each painting:
Art Show

My helper, and a professional photographer Maria Batkova took photos of each painting for us to be able to check them out one by one, with no environmental interruption for values (when needed to look at photos): 
selective watercolor art

I explored composition, subject, and yes, I did look at the technique as well. 
As hard as it was, but I've managed to pick three best of the best watercolor paintings that day! 
Alameda Fairgrounds

I hope the winners will be happy and will save their Award of Excellence certificates for future Artist Portfolios. 

When I was 15 years old, I won the first place for a still life that I named Ultramarine. But, unfortunately for me, the certificate was lost, and the painting for some reason vanished. I probably should recreate that painting from my memory one day..hm maybe I will :0)

  


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Evening Primrose - Another Purple Flower

Pink Lady Flower

Though this flower sometimes is called Evening Pink Primrose, I got lucky and met it in purple. 

One more painting of Bay Area Flowers series is completed. 

I was able to catch a close up of the flower in the evening Sun, which gave a good 3D effect to the painting. After the painting was finished I've made a little research on the flower as I didn't want to place the post on just "Another Purple Flower". I found out that:

Originally native only to central grasslands from Missouri and Nebraska south through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas to northeastern Mexico, Pink ladies or Pink evening primrose is an upright to sprawling, 1 1/2 ft. perennial, which spreads to form extensive colonies. Its large, four-petaled flowers, solitary from leaf axils, range in color from dark pink to white. Nodding buds, opening into pink or white flowers, are in the upper leaf axils on slender, downy stems. The delicate-textured, cup-shaped blossoms are lined with pink or red veins. Foliage is usually linear and pinnate, although leaves can be entire and lance-shaped depending on locality. A hardy and drought resistant species that can form colonies of considerable size. The flowers may be as small as 1 (2.5 cm) wide under drought conditions. The plant is frequently grown in gardens and escapes from cultivation.
As the common name implies, most evening primrose species open their flowers in the evening, closing them again early each morning. The flowers of some members of the genus open in the evening so rapidly that the movement can almost be observed. Pink evening primrose populations in the southern part of its natural range, however, open their flowers in the morning and close them each evening. To further complicate matters, populations in the northern parts of its range tend to open in the evening. 

After the research on Evening Primrose, I've accidentally, but to my amazement, discovered the name of those purple flowers that I've recently painted, yet struggled to find the name of the species:
Purple Flower
It turned out that this plant is called Madeira Cranebill
The old post on this painting is HERE


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Original Evening Primrose Flower painting is 20"x16" on 300lb Arches Watercolor Cold Pressed paper
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More exciting artworks are HERE
art

realistic paintings



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


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Farmers Market Delight

citrus fruits paintings

In the last couple of years I've painted many artworks that are different form my usual approach. Yet they do have their own distinguished style so to speak:  when the main object (usually fruit or vegetable) is painted in realistic style with the shadow, but the background remains white. 

Most of the paintings are sold: some through the art shows, others are through the Jam Labels project, and the several of them were sold off an auction. 

Last week I looked at the images of those paintings on my computer and wanted to bring all of them together in one series Farmers Market Delight. 

I've paired them by style, color and composition. And here they are. For example, all four paintings above Apple, Lemon, Orange, Pear were painted on Aquabord. It was fun to explore the quality of the board vs artistic paper 
( my previous post on Aquabord testing is here; and another study is here )

The next group of the paintings was representing some sweet, some hot, some red, some purple veggies (though, technically, tomato would be considered a berry and pineapple a fruit). 
I just loved the combination of colors there and the details of these realistic paintings:

sweet pea jalapeno painting

onions and jalapeno
Here are a few previous posts on these above paintings:



Then, I looked at some other paintings; and, a few fruits found a company in this sweet colorful quartet:
fruits berries paintings
My previous posts about jam labels and others are here:

And last but not least I picked four of my probably best watercolor paintings of berries so far and combined them by color and composition into a Very Very Berry collage:
berry watercolor paintings
I love those four because each of them have a story to tell; and, they did take quite a bit of time to paint due to many details. I also loved that each of them have not only berries, but leaves of the plant and a flower as if they say: "We do grow in the garden or on a farm, and we are grown with love from a tiny tiny flower to a gorgeous sweet berry!"

A few previous posts on these paintings are here:

Combining different paintings in one fruitful project was fun. The dance of colors and diversity of the species is that what makes those collages to say: 
Farmers Market Delight!! 
:0)

These days I get a lot of requests from the customers if they can purchase electronic versions of my art. The opportunity just recently opened its doors. Anyone can order now my art in electronic file through my Licensing Art Company by exploring my galleries on this website Licensing.IrinaSztukkowski


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




Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Red Hat Goes To A Tea Party

Vintage China Antique Dolly
SOLD
(prints are available HERE)

This still life was created from several antique objects. The lovely china is from 1921. It was made in Bavaria, then one family from Russia purchased it and later on they brought it to America. The doll is from 50s. I borrowed it from my friend for the still life set. And the quilt on the background is made by my husbands great grandmother long long time ago when they did do each stitch by hand. 

I love the vintage feeling of the sweet coffee cups. It was a challenge though to paint them white-on-white (white cups against a light quilt's background, but I kept it that way to bring a light to this art work):
orchid teacup

The most fun I had of course when painting polka-dotted Redhead Red Hat Girl. This lady really knew when to come for a tea party. Though she was waiting in the box for half century for that.
Red Hat

I'v even created a few designs with cards to celebrate the Old Times with the sweet messages:

greeting

Happy Birthday Celebration


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 ...