Monday, October 31, 2016

Miniature paintings

In early October while cleaning my studio space I have found a stack of miniature canvases (4"x4" and 2.5"x3.5") and decided I should try to paint really small. Most of the paintings are still life with fruits. They have magnets on the back  and can be placed on a fridge (or any other metal surface). Many people start morning with opening a refrigerator and what can be better than to see an original small piece of art with juicy and yummy still life in front of your eyes on the fridge door? Beautiful art raises mood, increases appetite for life, brings joy...
Here are the miniatures:
"Purple burst" acrylic on canvas; 4"x4"

"Sunny side" acrylic on canvas; 4"x4"

"Harvest I" acrylic on canvas; 4"x4"

"Harvest II" acrylic on canvas; 4"x4"

"Fresh start" acrylic on canvas; 4"x4"

"Two plus one" acrylic on canvas; 2.5"x3.5"

"Harvest III" acrylic on canvas; 2.5"x3.5"

"Apples and grapes" acrylic on canvas; 2.5"x3.5"

"Juicy plums" acrylic on canvas; 2.5"x3.5"

"Fresh green" acrylic on canvas; 2.5"x3.5"

Friday, September 30, 2016

17 paintings of September - #17

Hurray, one more for Spring! "Under pink shade" is all about the beautiful blooming Spring - you just want to spend the whole day under those blooming trees...
"Under pink shade" acrylic on canvas; 14"x11"

16 Paintings of September - #16

I'm so happy I was able to paint one more painting - and it's about Spring! Here is "Snowbreak":
"Snowbreak" acrylic on canvas; 12"x12"

Monday, September 26, 2016

15 paintings of September - #15

I know it's the last one to reach to goal! And I promised to include paintings of Spring season... So more paintings to come! I just couldn't skip this winter dramatic scene - a couple of years ago I went skiing to Maine and saw this beautiful row of trees in snow and ice lit by the sun. Here is "Frontier":
"Frontier" acrylic on canvas; 12"x12"

Sunday, September 25, 2016

15 paintings of September - #14

Even though I have to paint only two paintings to complete the Challenge, I decided to continue painting winter. Who said I cannot paint more than 15 paintings? :-)
Here is "Uncovered" - a winter scene after snowing with the river left uncovered with snow.
"Uncovered" acrylic on canvas; 12"x12'

Saturday, September 24, 2016

15 paintings of September - #13

I know, the Fall season has just started... But I'm already painting winter scenes! I promise I will do more paintings of red leaves, I just want to capture all seasons in my 15 paintings of September Challenge... Here is the "Winter Morning" - do you like it? I feel fresh air and almost smell the fresh snow!
"Winter morning" acrylic on canvas; 12"x12"

Thursday, September 22, 2016

15 paintings of September - #12

Once I was so captivated by a winter sunset (I think it was last year) that I promised myself to paint it. I found a sketch and couldn't help painting it though the size of the work is falling out of the row - it's a 14"x11" (I wanted all the 15 paintings of September be one size of 12"x12"). I tried to crop it but it wouldn't be the same as the portrait layout that shows the tall trees. So here is "Standing tall"
"Standing tall" acrylic on canvas; 14"x11"

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

15 paintings of September - #11

Painting sunlight is always a challenge! This lake view with the sun shining through the trees makes me remember what good happened today... There is always something good!
"Evening at the lake" acrylic on canvas; 12"x12"  

Sunday, September 18, 2016

15 paintings of September - #10

This is one of my favorite paintings so far - "At peace"
"At peace" acrylic on canvas; 12"x12"

Saturday, September 17, 2016

15 paintings of September - #9

Here is one more painting with beautiful slim birch trees in September - "Turning gold"
"Turning gold" acrylic on canvas; 12"x12"

Friday, September 16, 2016

15 paintings of September - #8

There is something magical about the sunset light that makes the nature look so lushful!
"Lushful moment" acrylic on canvas; 12"x12"

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

15 paintings of September - #7

My seventh painting is all about the beautiful season of Fall in New England - yellow and red leaves look like flame on the tree! Here is "Bright New Day"
"Bright New Day" acrylic on canvas; 12"x12"

Sunday, September 11, 2016

15 paintings of September - #6

Here is the sixth painting of the Challenge - "Endless beauty". Even if all almost all leaves are gone, nature always stays beautiful. Especially on a sunny November day.

"Endless beauty" acrylic on canvas; 12"x12"

Saturday, September 10, 2016

15 paintings of September - #5

Finished my fifth painting! Here is "On the edge"

"On the edge" acrylic on canvas; 12"x12"

Thursday, September 8, 2016

15 paintings of September - #4

Landscape #4 - "Into the woods" (Oh, I love birch trees!.. any trees!)

"Into the woods" (acrylic on canvas; 12"x12")

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sunday, September 4, 2016

15 paintings of September - #2

Here is the second landscape - "Guardians":
"Guardians" (acrylic on canvas; 12"x12")

Friday, September 2, 2016

15 paintings of September - #1

Last September I participated in the worldwide art Challenge "30 Paintings in 30 Days". While my little baby was sleeping I was able to complete 16 drawing and paintings. All of them were from 6"x6" to 6"x8" (approximately 15cm x 15cm and15cm x 20cm, respectively) in size. I learned a lot from that challenge, especially how to be and stay organized. It was also a great boost of my painting and drawing skills and I was committed to work every day. I was excited in the beginning, tired in the middle and had a breakthrough at the end which made me look critically on my painting process and myself as an artist.
This year I'm going to make September an intensive-painting month again. I decided to paint 15 paintings but larger size - mostly from 8"x8" to 12"x12" (approximately 20cm x 20cm to 30cm x 30cm, respectively). I also chose landscape as a main theme to follow during the Challenge.

So, here is the first painting - "Summer Day":

"Summer Day" (acrylic on canvas; 12"x12")

Saturday, August 27, 2016

From a photograph to a painting

Several weeks ago one of my friends posted a photograph which spoke to me and inspired me for a painting. It had a special end-of-the-day feeling (Oh, I love sunsets so much!)

Photography by Olga Pasikova
What I liked about this picture was:
1) the landscape;
2) the evening light;
3) the atmospheric feeling;
4) the tree (which looks like it's dancing).

First thing I wanted to change was the size of the image - instead of square I chose portrait layout (14"x11"). The reason for that is to improve composition (which I still had to correct later while painting).

Also, I wanted to paint the sky with fewer clouds to show the blue colors of the evening sky and half-transparent evening moon (shown below). I always start with the sky as it serves me as a background; then I paint everything else: trees in the background, a house, road curve...
 Next, the "dancing tree": I started with the trunk and branches carefully choosing the colors to show the sun lit parts and shadows.
 Covering the tree with leaves I kept in mind that I wanted the sky to be visible through the leaves. For sunlit leaves I used Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue and Light Yellow.

 Once I was able to see how the layout of the leafage, I painted the moon. I also decided to make the house roof red which didn't satisfy me at all. I saw a problem with the composition: the roof was aligned with the tops of the trees making a one boring line. And no matter what color the house is, there still would be feeling that something is wrong with the painting. 
 So I decided to break that horizontal line by turning and changing the house completely. I also added some puddles on the road to connect the blue sky to the green foreground. It still did not satisfy me and I put off the painting for several days...


Every time I passed by the painting I was thinking about what to do to bring harmony to the visual image. I liked the tree, sky, the moon, just the awkward house would not sync in.
So I decided to paint not a house but an old weathered barn to stress the feeling of the coming to an end day. As for the composition, I painted the barn and the a small structure in the shadow on the side as well as a wood wheel to create a diagonal line crossing the horizontal and vertical ones which made the painting look more interesting. And here is the final result - "Lost in time" (acrylic on board; 14"x11")

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Process of painting flowers

It's been a great summer full of events, beautiful moments and inspiration for painting!

While away from my studio for several weeks, I  continued to work and was able to finish two floral paintings - "Poetry of flowers" with beautiful hydrangea in a white pitcher and "Peony cloud" with light pink peonies that I'm so crazy about. Both flowers are growing in my mother's garden and both my mother and grandmother take care of them so every year they bloom bigger and better than before.

I love flowers and painting them brings me lots of joy, however they are challenging to paint and every time I struggle with some details. Despite my wish to paint more expressively, I find it hard to go away from painting details in realistic manner. But I'm trying and I think that with the second painting "Peony cloud" I was able to leave some detalization out and made it more loose painting. 


The short clips below show the development of the paintings:

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Artful Piano project

It's been a while since my last post: lots of projects and my son require so much time... Finally, I got some time to write about one interesting project I participated in in March and April called "The Artful Pianos Project" sponsored by the City of Newton. 
Piano to be painted over
Nine pianos were placed around the city in April and many events are happening around them during the Spring Art Festival. One of the pianos was painted by several Newton Art Association artist members including me! 
My part was the right side of the piano where I have painted a beautiful garden statue of a young woman among roses. I also chose to paint roses on the back of the piano. The project was challenging as I have never painted on a musical instrument before: the surface is so different from canvas or paper; especially the multi-surface back of the piano. Painting almost life-size statue was testing my skills; this was a really great experience which made me get out of my comfort zone and work harder.

Work in progress - right side of the piano
Work in progress - back side of the piano

The "Garden of Musical Delights" is now finished! The piano is placed near the Waban Library. Here you can find a brochure with the full details about the events that are going to happen with the piano.

I'm happy I was invited to participate in this extraordinary project! I hope that my statue and roses painted on the side and the back of the piano will be delight to all the visitor's that stop by.



Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sketches of MIT

Recently I was asked to paint MIT Dome with the front garden. I wanted to do some watercolor studies on location but chilly weather made me take reference photographs and complete the sketches in my studio instead. The trees are still naked here in Boston and it's a month or so until the cherry trees start blooming; so I had to imagine how the late spring would look like.
Here are the three studies I did; they can be bought at $25 each.