Thursday, September 27, 2012

Plein Air Paintings

In October I'm starting a new Class. Even though we still  left  out some color mixing topics , including painting water, trees, rocks , but I decided to incorporate those subjects in my new block of studies.
So the whole new segment will  be dedicated to detailed study of Composition.
Sergey Bongart once said , "Value and Design set the painting. All else builds from them"   That's why composition is a second  most important part of successful painting.
We will study :
1. Space devision 
2. Focal Point
3. Eye movement
4. Variety
5. Line
 I think it will be a perfect opportunity to include those left out color subjects , as water, trees, rocks into the "Composition" class  
My highly recommended  list of books:
 "Color Choices "by Stephen Quiller 
"Blue and Yellow don'r make green" by Michael Wilcox
"Color and Light" by James Gurney

And here are a new group of plein air sketches made at the Bloedel Reserve this weekend .

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


From my experience of being an instructor, attending countless workshops, open studios , painting sessions, I came to understanding , that  most  artists struggling  with 3 major aspects : Seeing correct values, seeing and choosing good composition and seeing   big shapes. There is a small magic you can use to improve all of those three aspects in your painting.  Just knowing and using this little magic for at  least a month, will safe you so much grief( embracement on the workshops)  and money  ( buying those workshops )
So, if you are committed to being a better artist , and serious about to achieve certain level of painting  technic, you need to start seeing in values !
Make yourself a rule TO START your creative day with a small monocrome study.
Just use  4 values (white and black included) to portray your subject. It's really better to paint from life. So set up a tiny vignette . It will force you to make decisions about where values must be pushed darker or lighter to stay within the limited range. This exercises will help you to see values, patterns, and organization of a simple shapes  Result: strong design all of sudden knocking in the back door while you're busy thinking about reducing values. That's your  magic!
If you are a proud  owner of a Ipad - you can download an incredibly helpful aplications for artists:

You can go enven further with monochromes - But this will be subject of another post !

 I was painting plein air all last weekend , with two different group. It was so much fun!
Here is the painting from that session . It
s for sale @ 500.00

Friday, September 21, 2012

"Provence Ruelle" from the series "Suitcase of Pastorales"

It's a foggy, gray day here in Seattle,  and  all of sudden you realise that, yes, it's a Fall after all. The problem with Indian Summers is, it's  usually sweet ..but short.
I hope the weather will  improve for my paint out session on Bainbridge Island tomorrow. I'm taking off to Pulsbor now, and wanted to give some scoop om my latest discoveries, art  tips and helpful little tricks.
1. If you accidentally drop a good chunk of oil paint on the carpet, dress, furniture, your new couch, so on , the best solution is immediately dry it out with the paper towel and spray with the cheapest possible hair spray.
 The cheaper the spray the better It work . Guaranteed !
2. To clean your brushes and keep its chapes , simply rub in castile soap. Don't wash it with the water!
3.To keep a large piles of oil on you palette fresh and oily for longer, before  putting it away in the refrigerator, drop tiny little drops of clove oil in every pile ( I use lot's of oil, so it's literally   "piles") the then put it in the refrigerator . That strong clove odor will keep the paint fresh .
That will be it for todays words of wisdom :-)

And here is painting # 3 from the workshop. It's belong now to my series " Suitcase of Pastorales" - Provence Ruelle" . It's for sale - $ 500.00

My Fall's Art Shows schedule

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Zion's Walls" oil on linen, 12x16

Today, during Yoga class my gorgeous instructor MJ said something resonated with me deeply.
She said " Transformation of the body, spirit and talent happens on the edge. Only if you push yourself our of comfort zone you can reach the level of changes  you desire . Don't be afraid to fail, even if you felt on your butt, just get yourself  up, do it again  and push  little stronger . It's also applies to art  and painting. If you just will paint familiar "territories" you will never grow . Make a small resolution for the next week - to go and try to paint, draw something completely out of habit. Go for a figure drawing,  plein air painting, or just paint with a extremely limited palette . Do something different! Find your edge!
So here is another painting from the series "Suitcase of pastorales" called "Zion's Walls"
I painted it on my latest workshop with the zero help from the instructor , so it will be painting @ 2 from the workshop  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Some of my latest paintings in Russian Cultural Center in Seattle

If you are in Seattle , you have a chance to see interesting show of 3 artists in Russian Cultural Center i. I also have a small display of my latest paintings. Please visit us at 704 19th Avenue East  Seattle, WA 98112. The gallery will be open for 2 weeks . Hours of operation is from 2-6 on week days, and 11-6 on weekends

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"RIVER SONG" 9x12 oil on linen

Of, course - there is always a reason for any bad or good outcomes of events. I know exactly what the reason was for taking a pretty poorly structured workshop I attended  last week. Some, even the most genius, artists are just not cut for teaching. And this was the case, I don't want to mention any names though.
But the great reason for all the troubles was meeting new wonderful artists, seeing old, good friends, painting together and sharing so many exciting tips and info. Here is one of the 6 new paintings.

                                            I called it "River's Song". You can buy it here

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Morning Stroll" from the series "Suitcase of Pastorales"

Taking off to Whidbey Island for the workshop with Kathryn Stats. Much anticipated and well deserved brake  from teaching, organizing, communicating, connecting, dancing and stressing.
Here is the fresh from the easel little piece called "Morning Stroll - Coupeville  WA"

It's for sale! Price is $200.00

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"A Big Brother" oil on canvas board, 14x18

Another Gorgeous morning on the beautiful PCF Northwest - it's been officially 44 days without the rain, in the notoriously rainy Seattle, and I've been productive like no tomorrow :-) I have 3 shows lined up , and want to create totally new collection ( in fact 3 )
I just want to share the thoughts on being fiercely creative versus fiercely blocked. The blocks on the way to our creativity are nothing but fears! Fears of rejections , fears of failure , fears of unknown.
We are holding on to what we know and comfortable with, but in order to find a real happiness, real love, real passion ( and the creativity is all of the above ) we need to let go...It's not's scary's unknown territory. But trust me ...The unknown is the biggest gift of all! So give it  to yourself!
That's where is the pick of creativity  lies .
You can read more on the removing creative blocks in the fantastic book, which helped me, my friends and thousands of artists " The Artist Way" by Julia Cameron .

In a meanwhile, here is my new painting form the series " Fair Sees and Following Winds" called "A Big Brother" , the size is 14x18, oil on canvas board . And it's for sale - 550$, and free shipping!