Thursday, September 24, 2015

Farewell To The Summer


When my friends started asking me this week how was my Summer vacation, I had to admit that I haven't left the house for more than five days in the raw. 

I asked myself:"Oh, Gosh! What I actually did this Summer?" as it flew by so very quickly.

Besides finishing two large commission pieces.

bicycle basket cats flowers window

and

sorrento lemon

and wrapping up the Yogurt Labels project with one Irish customer:

This project included sweets like Blueberries and Raspberries, Lemons and Forest Berries, Rhubarb and Vanilla; and, even Caramel Fudge images for yogurt lables. But the most interesting challenge all of them were in the black and white, were placed on different backgrounds in special PNG format of the image. A totally new approach for me as an artist, who mostly painted in watercolor.

So, I guess, instead of going on long vacations, I did take a mini-ones, mostly for the inspiration. 

The Trip To The Woods (my latest post) was a good example of it.

Or, going to San Francisco museums left a good impression and inspired me to  research an Old Masters paintings, such William Turner (the post pretty soon will come up) or Dutch Still Life Masters art
I've even painted one seascape following a good traditions of Great Britain masters this Summer:
Old Masters tradition

This Summer was really big for me in understanding better the illustration part of my art business.
I started creating many images with Floral Patterns (ha-ha, Summer really helped to get into the flowery mood :0) 

I also got kinda crazy about ballet and ballerinas silhouettes, which led to the opening a whole new Dance Gallery. I will elaborate on this in one of the upcoming articles. Here is a sneak peek:

Abstract Watercolor

And the last but not least I have added a Baby Room Gallery to my website; that became a quite popular among my customers and art collectors.
Just recently a client from Pinehurst, North Carolina purchased a bulk of cute pillows with my designs:



Wow, my Summer was big, BIG!! No wonder that I didn't travel much in the last three months :)

Instead, my art did. This Summer my artworks prints traveled to the states such CO, NY, FL, AZ, NC, CA, NV, TX, MA, MI, IL, UT, CT. And some of the artworks ended up in  England, Ireland, Kuwait, and Australia. 

I envy my art is traveling more than I do :)

But I do have to admit, if I didn't spend so much time in my studio this Summer, my Summer wouldn't be so successful!! 

Big virtual hugs to all my Followers and Art Collectors!!



www.artirina.com





Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Quiet Morning Abstract - Published In Australia


Back in August, I was approached by a Promotions Manager for St Michael's Uniting Church in Melbourne Australia with an interesting proposal.

 The organization wanted to use my image Calm Quiet Morning Abstract Collage as a hero image for their upcoming September St Michael's Day celebrations:

blue painting
  
Each year, St Michael’s UC presents two people with The St Michael’s Medallions in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the community. 
The award is designed to recognize their work in the prevention of violence, trauma and destructiveness, and promoting growth, health and well-being.

Beautiful St.Michael's Cathedral, 
Melbourne Australia:
(Courtesy to Google and WiKi images) 

The theme for 2015 awards was Quietness and when administration was searching for an image that captures the sentiment of quiet, the Promotion Manager found Calm Quiet Morning Abstract Collage online. 
I am glad my abstract design was chosen to be published on the cover of the event booklet; and, it was serving a good cause. 



www.artirina.com

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Into The Woods - Forest Creek Landscape

wood river California watercolor

Not a long time ago I was on the painting trip to Northern California. The Nature there is so much different from San Francisco Bay Area where I live. 
I was fascinated by giant redwood trees, creeks and mountains. 
Gorgeous landscapes were asking to paint them right there, on the spot.

I painted this Forest Creek in impressionistic style, creating this artwork plein-air (outdoor), using fast brush strokes, capturing the beauty of the rising morning sun in the deep monumental forest. 

The mountain creek was rolling its waters and creating a lovely meditative scene, where you can be alone but not lonely. I was truly admiring the beauty of the Nature. It was a great place for relaxation, to stay connected, and rejuvenate.


www.artirina.com

Monday, September 14, 2015

Amalfi Coast Italy - Mediterranean Seascape

realism in watercolor

Remembering one great trip to Italy a few years ago, I painted this summer seascape; and, I felt as if I returned to visit Sorrento and Amalfi Coast all over again.

The beauty of the coast is undesirable. What strikes me there it's the diversity of that 50-kilometers (almost 30 miles) of Amalfi coastline. The natural beauty of cliffs and grottoes compete with the beauty of man-made kind: gorgeous churches, rustic towns, lemon orchards. No wonder it is the point of destination for so many tourists. When we drove the coastal road, we had chance to visit Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. 

In my art collection (e.g. Italy Gallery)  I have a few sketches of Amalfi Coast and its surroundings.

A view of volcano Vesuvius from Sorrento shore:

watercolor sketches of Italy

A little pass from the hotel to a rocky beach:

Watercolor sketches of Italy

A lovely cafe on the top of the cliff:

watercolor sketches of Italy

Impressionistic sunset above the Mediterranean Sea:

watercolor sketch of Italy

Rocky road alone the shore in the evening:

watercolor sketch of Italy

And, Streets Of Sorrento:

Italy

I yet had chance to paint Ravello or Amalfi towns, but there is Positano famous town here in my Italian collection of watercolors:

realism in watercolor

I love how the buildings are melting together with the mountains and flowers here.

Amalfi coast is beautiful. The Nature melts with man-made beauty so well. Though, I definitely loved Italian cities such Pisa, Rome, Venice, and Sienna for its monumental beauty:

realism in watercolor

realism in watercolor



My trip to Italy continues now on paper, and my vehicle in this case is painting tubes and brushes :) 


www.artirina.com




Thursday, September 10, 2015

Interview With The Artist


I was quite excited to be asked to join one artists' team new project where the artists share about themselves. Various artists throughout the country were asked questions about their artistic influences. It was fun to be a part of this creative project and I decided to share the interview with my followers. 

The Interview

1. As a child, do you recall a significant moment when you felt truly affected or inspired by any particular artwork or artist?

As a child I can't recall a day without a pencil, a brush, or a book in my hand. My family was encouraging my sister and I to be creative. Due to the Soviet era, and non existence of electronic devices we used our imagination by painting, drawing, making up our own stories in handmade books, cutting out and dressing up the paper-dolls, writing a family newspaper, constructing mini-theaters out of shoe boxes, supplying them with cardboard furniture, and our own mini-artworks.
Irina (left) with her sister Maria

Living in the historical center of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Saint Petersburg; we, literally, lived right behind the corner of several National museums:

travel sketches in watercolor
watercolor travel sketch
watercolor painting
My Dad often took my sister and I to the museums where I could see first hand the works of the famous artists.
My first introduction to the Old  Dutch Masters inspired me to paint my own still life paintings. I was stunned when I saw great marine scenes of Russian artist Ivan Aivazovsky, or portraits of the society and Italian country scenes by the artist Karl Brullov

But the most and the first inspirational group of people in my life were my relatives. Grandma Maria was an exceptional craft artist. Her needlepoint and lace hand crafted artworks were amazing. My Dad, Nikolai, painted, made sculptures and created beautiful ceramics. Both, Dad and Grandma, shared their knowledge with me. My mom, Larisa, worked as an engineer and taught me drafting and perspective. Another Grandma Vera, a famous engineer in metallurgy, in her retirement years got obsessed with gardening, which definitely influenced my love to Nature. 

2. As an artist, what do you hope to convey with your work?

My artist’s goal is to achieve a balance and harmony between the beauty provided by Nature and the ability of the artist to convey this beauty on two dimensional surfaces. When this harmony is accomplished it evokes a visual experience and generates the emotions between the viewer and the painting. I believe that watercolor is the medium that can do it all. 
My passion is painting with watercolors, my main style is contemporary realism, yet I am also interested in abstract paintings and illustrations.
realism in watercolor

I do want to try all styles and explore all possibilities in art. 
realism in watercolor


abstraction

realism in watercolor


Only one rule will be followed religiously: it will be beautiful. I know I can do it. I have only one challenge along the way; the shortness of the linear time of this one life on Earth :0)

3. What memorable responses have you had to your work?

I love to see the eyes of my art collectors when they receive the artwork. One look worth thousand words. 
A lot of time I communicate to my customers electronically, and send artworks by mail, so I receive heart warming e-mails. 
All of them are important for me. They melt my artist's soul, they give me wings. 
Here, I want to mention one, that was quite memorable. 

Last year, I completed a commission piece for my customer. The artwork was a reflection of the poem that was given me before the process. The story was written, my job was to paint it:

seascape watercolor art

When the painting was finished and the customer looked at it, she said: Irina, if in your life you painted only ONE painting,THIS one; your life purpose as an artist would be accomplished right there!

4. What is your dream project?

Strangely enough, I have no dream project.
 Maybe because I try to make my dreams come true. 
I trust my intuition, 
I go with the flow. 

The Artist's life do bring me projects by serendipity. A good example was a Jam Label project when a customer from Ireland was contacting me offering a long-term illustration assignment, which reminded me how much I love realistic paintings and botanical art:

realism
I am so grateful to ALL my art collectors and customers! They make me tick. 

5. What artists, of any medium, do you admire? (Famous or not!)

I admire artists that can see the beauty of the world and have the courage to share this beauty with us. 

I kneel before the artists that polish their skill and make their craft better and better year after the year. And if the hand starts shaking and brush might not "listen to" the mind, these artists find the way to continue their shine and pass the knowledge. 

I respect the artists that sell their art without selling their soul. 

I appreciate when the artists help their clients to feel that they are the part of the creative process (in case of commission paintings). And if the customer is purchasing already made artwork or print, I admire the ability of the artist to invite the viewer to "live" the artwork, to be a part of the story, to feel united with the beauty of the art-piece.

If I name a few artists here, the post will not be enough. 
Ok, I'll try:
Fiodor Tolstoy, Ivan Aivazovsky, Ilia Repin, Karl Briulov, Pieter Claesz, Rafael, Michelangelo, Nikolai Dudorov, Maria Batkova, Steve Hanks, Artemisia Gentilleschi, Henry Matisse, James Tissot, Patience Brewster, Jacqueline Gnott, Judith Leyster, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Beatrix Potter, Vera Lysenko, August Renoir. Berthe Morisot, John Stuart Ingle, Elena Bazanova, Jan Kunz, Birgit O'Connor, William Turner, Alfredina Nocera, Claude Monet, Tan Chun Chiu, Henrietta Johnston, and many many many more!


www.artirina.com




Published Art

My watercolor painting Dancing Fire is published on the cover of the booklet of Oncology Symposium that takes place in Kolkata, India ...