Thursday, April 16, 2015

Painting 59 "Spring Cleaning"

"Spring Cleaning" oil on linen, 11x14

”– you know, I’ve either had a family, a job,
something has always been in the way
but now
I’ve sold my house, I’ve found this place, a large studio, you should see the space and
the light. for the first time in my life I’m going to have
a place and the time to create.”
no baby, if you’re going to create
you’re going to create whether you work
16 hours a day in a coal mine
you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children
while you’re on welfare,
you’re going to create with part of your mind and your body blown
away, you’re going to create blind, crippled
you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your back while
the whole city trembles in earthquake, bombardment,
flood and fire.
baby, air and light and time and space
have nothing to do with it
and don’t create anything
except maybe a longer life to find
new excuses for.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Painting # 58 "Rhododendron"

Data Proves Blue Is Hottest Color in the Art World

The Hottest color is BLUE...

You can’t tell by her expression, but blue is hot, hot, hot. Pablo Picasso’s Woman with Folded Arms. (Credit:
The hottest color in art over the past 100 years is blue.
That may sound like just one expert’s opinion, but it’s not. It’s the result of a computer analysis of nearly 100,000 celebrated works of art, most created since the year 1800.
A Swedish psychology student and data wiz named Martin Bellanderran the data and published the results on his blog, where theSmithsonian Magazine spotted it and highlighted its conclusions.
“There seems to be a reliable trend of increasingly blue paintings throughout the 20th century!” Bellander writes. “Actually almost all colors seem to increase at the expense of orange.”


A breakdown of most-used colors in the artworks, by year. (Credit: Martin Bellander)
The graphic shows his work. Paintings up to the early 20th Century barely had any blue in them at all. Instead, orange dominated the palette, along with some red and yellow.


A look at just the data since 1800 clearly shows the rise of blue. (Credit: Martin Bellander)
But over the last hundred or so years, blue has been on the upswing. (Green seems to be climbing in popularity, too, but not as much as blue.)
Bellander used online databases of paintings from sites like the BBC,Google Art ProjectWikiartWikimedia Commons, and various museums. He details his methodology on his site.
Bellander doesn’t claim to have a definitive explanation for the trend toward more blue. But he discusses four theories offered by his friends and online commenters.  
  • The aging resins have affected the original colors of the works.
  • Changes in price of different pigments.
  • It’s just a trend among artists.
  • People didn’t have a word for the color blue until relatively recently. (Bellander finds this one the least plausible.)
Blue pigment was scarce and very expensive until relatively recently in human history. The famous 20,000-year-old cave paintings in Lascaux, France, have no blue, noted the New York Times in 2012.
“Early mankind had no access to blue, because blue is not what you call an earth color,” Dr. Heinz Berke, a chemist who studied the history of blue pigment, told the newspaper. That started to change in the 19th century, however.
The availability of blue pigment may help to explain Bellander’s findings, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only reason behind blue’s rise.
“Of course the changes in color might be a results of a combination of factors,” Bellander writes.
He suggests that artistic trends are at least a partial explanation.


Gallery technicians carry Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘L'Allee des Alyscamps’, painted in 1888, past Mark Rothko’s 'Untitled (Yellow and Blue), 1954. (Credit: Getty Images)
“The marked increase of blue at the time of the First World War, might actually reflect a true trend in color use.”

Well...that was an interesting info , but let's get back to my own, painting # 58, which is nothing to do with color blue. I think I will regret about it in a long run, but love for a challenge makes me keep painting high key ....Here is  another one ..."Rhododendron"

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Painting # 57 , " Strong Accent"

Every time I finish a new piece, I'm trying to continue the story behind the painting  with the flashy, interesting, meaningful title. I love giving short but deep names to my babies ( my paintings) . So this painting I called "Strong Accent" and I really hope it tells it all...I hope it will emulate some emotions,  perspective and energy and you will create your own story of this beautiful, strong woman with accent ....
Strong Accent oil on linen, 12x16

Painting 56.. "Heart on a Sleeve"

Is it really silly, stupid, or even dangerous to wear your heart on your sleeve? 
Is it crazy to show vulnerability? To try new things, or invest in love and new relationships when there is no guarantee?  
What is the secret to leading life wholeheartedly? Where is a path to a deeper connection, empathy, a sense of belonging ... love?
Brene Brown is my hero. She has scientifically proven that in order to live life to the fullest we MUST embrace our vulnerability. It is not a weakness! In fact, it takes a great deal of courage to show vulnerability. Most importantly, vulnerability is a birthplace for love, renovation, creativity and change. 
Watch this:

In a meanwhile - my painting 56, "Red on Pink" revisited

"Red on Pink" oil on board, 11x10

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Painting 54.."Spring Equinox"

Almost forgot about my painting #54 - "Spring Equinox" which I painted alla prima in two sessions ..I found it really handy to start with a very quick and direct sketch to throw right colors on canvas. 40 minutes for the first session. Next day at the same light situation took me 2 hours to finish it . I'm happy with the result :)

"Spring Equinox" oil on board , 12x16

Day 55 " Ceramic and Bloom"

As my high key painting saga continues, so my personal life saga unfolds, bringing new interesting twists and turns...Someone said "At least your life is not boring!" Yeaa, far from it ...The truth is I welcome all those changes, shifts and twists ...I Love it ..It keeps me excited ..makes me feel so alive and energized ;) How I wish to write this blog in Russian, as it almost impossible to express what I really feel about my Art  and experiencing my Life in other language...'s all good, and here is another little piece and a demo for my class. "Ceramic and Bloom"

"Ceramic and Bloom" oil on linen, 9x12

Monday, March 23, 2015

Notes from Alexander Zimin workshop

So, I finally have a moment to put my notes together from the Sacha workshop.
A few artist friends asked me to act like a stenographer, and take down everything of interest from the lectures with Zimin.
Even though we had an excellent professional translator, oil painting vocabulary is often so specific that many things simply get lost in the translation. 
Here are some of the highlights from the lectures and private conversations with Sacha:
1. Before setting up your still life, think about the concept and plan, and set the tonal key of your future piece. What is a tonal key? There are four basic ones:
a. predominant white value, two mid-subdominant values and dark discord;
b. predominant light mid-tone, subdominant darks and white discord;
c. predominant dark mid-tone, subdominant black and white and light mid-tone discord;
d. predominant darkest, subdominant mid-tones, white discord.
2. After you have decided on your tonal key and are done setting up the still life, it is a good idea to make a small thumbnail tonal sketch and a small color sketch.
3. Alexander never starts with toning the canvas, or any sort of underpainting, washes, etc. He calls himself "Sniper". His concept is shoot straight and don't beat around the bush, find the right color and place it boldly and assertively (well, if only we all can do that!). He never maps the colors -- just through a right tone on the canvas. 
4. Sacha uses a mix of turpentine (the stinky one) and damar varnish -- well you can imagine the smell, but he feels that that exact mix never fails him, versus Gamsol or other mediums. He doesn't use any oils at all. He constantly reminded that it's just HIS way, and may not work for everyone.
5. The high key painting Sacha starts with is a neutral drawing of big masses and general shapes, or what we call "envelope". And placement of a big masses .
6. And right after that he mixes big piles of mid-tones for shadows.
7. It's all about temperature shifts -- not light against dark, but cool against warm, and vise versa.
8. He starts with 2, 3 tones to set up the whole atmosphere of the painting.
9. From general shapes, he transitions to more details, constantly paying attention to the relationship between subjects, background and foreground. But first he is blocking the canvas with his midtones.
10. When we asked about colors, we learned an interesting approach -- Sacha, although he uses lots of colors on his palette, almost never paints with fugitive colors like Alizarin, Veridian and Ultramarin. He still has Ultramarin on his palette. He prefers Cadmiums and Cobalts. He likes Prussian Blue and Golden Green that is "darker and warmer than sap".
11. Lots of big brushes, and lots of oil paint. ... Don't really clean the brushes between strokes. ... putting aside, taking a fresh one and so on. ... It keeps painting fresh and adds texture.
12. And lastly, he stressed that it all depends on "Setting the goal, planning and finding the tonal key''.

"Roses and Lemons" oil on linen, 18x24