Saturday, September 14, 2019

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

Travel With Me Sketchbook Project.

The Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood)

, an amazing piece of architecture that was built in early 1900s. I used to live 10 minutes walk from this church but was able to visit it only in the late 90s as it was closed for restoration for more than 30 years. 
The building is decorated with tiny pieces of mosaics, gold, blue, terracotta. Each inch is worth looking at and admire.
This is the first sketch for my book

Live To Create! 

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Corner Shop Of Little Town Camas Watercolor Plein Air Day

Downtown Camas State Of Washington Watercolor illustration by Irina Sztukowski

Last Friday was a beautiful sunny day in downtown Camas, state of Washington. It was the best day for the artist of Clark County to meet for an annual Plein-Air Day.

It was fun sitting at a cute cafe and paint small Shop Around The Corner with fountain, trees, and street light.

Plein Air Day at Downtown Camas State Of Washington
Artist Irina Sztukowski Paints at Plein Air Day in Camas WA

I met and chatted with many wonderful artists who were painting on the streets of downtown that day:

irArtists are painting in downtown Camas, state of Washington, Plein-Air Day

Live To Create!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Abstract Paintings in Portland Cafe

Green Abstract Painting Organic Grass artist Irina Sztukowski

At the day of the art presentation I was a little nervous about how my green and brown abstract paintings will look on the new Portland cafe walls. 

I grabbed the tools and supplies together with completed artworks, and drove to the heart of Portland with excitement and enthusiasm. 

General manager of the cafe, Drea Shelepova, greeted me and helped to situate myself. We decided on what wall and how far apart my continues abstract paintings should be placed on the wall. I had to make a few finishing touches on the green panels after they were placed one above each other:

Artist Irina Sztukowski works on Green Abstract Artwork for Portland Cafe

The large scale of paintings was quite unusual for me (I wrote about it in the previous article HERE ), but I managed to finish the pieces and present them well:

Artist Irina Sztukowski works on Green Abstract Artwork for Portland Cafe

It was a lot of good exercise to go up and down the ladder. I am glad we decided not to do murals under the ceiling as it would surely "kill" my knees, and possibly my Artist Spirit ;) . I am glad we are sticking up to abstract style in green and brown. 

After all the hard work was done, Drea and I posed at the paintings for the history. The art on the walls made this cafe a special place for sure. When cafe opens its doors to the customers, and serves delicious chocolate, herbal teas, and coffee; I am sure that clients will feel welcomed and cozy in this new place:

Artist Irina Sztukowski and Cafe Manager Drea Shelepova at Portland Cafe

And when the job was done, we enjoyed the first cup of coffee in this new Portland cafe to celebrate a great beginning:

Portland new Cafe with coffee chocolate and herbs. Decor by artist Irina Sztukowski

But for me as an artist, it was only half of the job done. I will have to paint several more paintings for decoration of this cafe. 

So far the new art pieces originals, six of them, are presented there. But my clients can enjoy prints that I've created and posted on my website:

Brown Abstract Artworks:

And a few green art pieces:

Live To Create!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Coffee Chocolate And Herbs - Abstract Paintings

I was recently invited to help decorating a new cafe in Portland, OR. 
When back in 2012, I showed six of my realistic and semi-realistic paintings in Coco Cafe in San Francisco, the owners of the cafe loved my work so much that they asked if they can purchase all the paintings from me to keep them in the cafe (here is an article about it: When Paris Comes To San Francisco ) . That is how my art is now permanently showing in San Francisco. You can say it was easy: I had art, customer liked it, they bought it.

In Portland the situation was quite new to me. I was asked to help to decorate absolutely new cafe from scratch. And on a top of it, there are some challenges along the way for me as an artist, which I certainly embrace and love. 

First of all, the cafe in Portland is unusual. It is cafe that will be serving Kosher Chocolate with healing herbs (extracts) , coffee, and herbal teas. 
Second challenge, I had to use materials that I already have on hand, as the manager of the cafe is trying to make a statement and have as little footprint on Earth as possible. Besides new production equipment and materials, everything else is thought to be either reclaimed, repurposed, or made of recycled materials. It is going to be filled with cute interesting finds.Which is a super great idea.

 And I jumped into the project without hesitation. 

We've met with general manager of the cafe, Drea Shelepova, and discussed the concept, materials, and ideas. It took us a few hours to come up to the conclusion on what we can accomplish for the decor. 
First, we exercised an idea on Art Nouveau . We thought the murals with elements of this style will be looking good on the walls. However, the execution of the idea was very pricey and permanent walls' art would not allow enough space for the activity and events board. 
Finally, we came up with a fresh idea to make abstract art that would resemble Chocolate and Herbs, e.g. rich brown color would be played against warm muted green as "herb" statement. 

With excitement and the feel of a great beginning we started drafting:

I had some high quality acrylic paint in my possession for more than a year (it was used for some other project, but I had plenty left-overs), and I also had a few art boards and stretched canvases that were never used as I painted primarily in watercolor and on paper. I've received those blank canvases long time ago as a gift. So the idea about reclaiming and recycling was pretty closely reached. I was glad that my stash of forgotten art supplies will meet my creativity soon. 

I've painted multiple samples and we agreed on the conceptual designs:

Another challenge for me was the sizes of the pieces. The art was supposed to be larger than my usual watercolor art. It was to be painted in acrylic. And I needed to paint abstract with a thought of organically incorporating herbs and chocolate elements. 

When painting abstract it is important to remember about the composition. And it probably seems at a glance that abstract is easy to accomplish, but I would say it is quite contrary, abstract art needs to be thought through from very beginning when artist applies the paint and carried though the very end when the last brush stroke is completed. 

Besides, painting in acrylic requires quick application as this paint dries very fast. 

But it appears that my excitement was transformed to the canvases and I had a feeling that the paint pretty much painted itself:

At the end of painting big, I had to make a few little adjustments to keep the edges clean and neat:

I can't wait to see how the painting will look on the walls of this new cafe!!!

Live To Create!

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...