Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Anxiety (journal page)

Anxiety is useless - Jillian Michaels says so... 
I just finished this page trying to get that message in my head.
It didn't really work... but at least the time went faster.
I'm about to go to the dentist and I don't think it will be a pleasant visit.
I wish they made some magic potions that would heal the teeth without them having to do whatever they are doing....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Intuitive and colorful

Too colorful? You should see how it started.
Actually - you WILL see it if you look at the following photo:
Before this it was a bright red canvas with white flowers.... catastrophe... I was trying something and it didn't work out. Someone would say that this didn't work out either, but it made me happy to create it and it makes me happy to look at it.
I was very much inspired by the process that I think Flora Bowley uses... and I'm extra happy to say that, in a couple of weeks, I will have an opportunity to watch her paint for two full days!!! I can't wait to see what kind of cools things I'll learn and incorporate in my art.
- 24"x36" on canvas -

Friday, April 22, 2011

Simple ATCs

It's so funny that there is no sense of size when you look at things online... I just uploaded these photos and they look like they are the same size as my 24"x36"paintings, but they are not. These are three little ATC cards (2.5"x3.5") and they are just pretending to be big.
I spent a couple of hours in the company of this lovely lady (she teaches zentangles, Janet you were very much on my mind) and played with some of my collage sheets. It is always so relaxing to create ATCs.  Sometimes I think that whatever you combine in that little space turns out cute.
 I don't think that I told you that I re-opened my etsy shop. No more original art in it, only my digital collage sheets. That's what I used to make these.
Weekend is almost here! I wish you all Happy Easter!
Our boy is coming home for the weekend, which means that I am about to happily start a big cooking production. The first thing will not be something that he or I will eat, but it's so pretty that I have to make it (actually, Hana will do the most work and she'll eat them too). I've been thinking about these colorful treats since Alice Burke posted them. Take a look here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Trust Angel

 She is the last one in the series. She has the word "trust" on her chest mostly because I was fighting with this painting and had to remind myself to trust the process, to continue painting because everything will turn out right at the end.
After many, many, many, MANY layers of paint it really worked. I think she is my favorite of the three... and maybe not. I'm attached to all three.
Trust the process. Continue painting even if it looks nothing like you wanted... eventually it will.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Interrupting the string of angels by a completely unexpected visit from a Funny Chicken... I have never painted poultry or had a wish to, but when I saw the picture here, I couldn't resist.
- 6.5" x 9.75" mixed media on paper and wood -

Not only did I paint it, I had to play some more.
 This is a half-blind sketch with a Sketch&Wash pencil and pan pastels.
 I just love this chicken... and I really don't know why. Inspiration comes from the most unexpected places. :-)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wish Angel

This is the first thing I painted after more than three weeks. I think it took me less time to paint her than to photograph her. It is a narrow and long canvas (12"x36") and I couldn't get the image not to be blurred, or too light, or too dark, or fuzzy... Finally I scanned her in little parts and 'stitched' her together in Photoshop. Now I can see the texture and it's not fuzzy, but some of the colors lost their depth...  It will have to do.
It was a lucky thing that Jane DesRosier launched her new workshop at the time I was struggling with my canvas... While I didn't use her techniques for portrait painting on this particular piece, I did play with the collage technique that did two things: 1 - covered the marker lines, 2 - made a wonderful textured background for the painting.
Another angel followed this one. Now on my fight to get good photos of it, and I'll be able to post her too.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Different views on art

While my eyes were searching for art in architectural details of the old city... daughter's attention was focused on a completely different art form:
 This is where her interests lay her right now:
 And while I'll agree that graffiti art is fascinating, and I admire the shapes and colors (although I can't read anything) - I also think that it doesn't beautify the surroundings in most occasions and do not approve of graffiti art everywhere.
Luckily, she does her graffiti art on paper and tapes it to the wall. Except in one case.
She started one on my 12"x36" canvas using markers. After the letters were placed, she decided that it's not going to look the way she planned it, so she returned the canvas. I painted two layers of black gesso over it and covered all the marks. Then I started painting a face. At first the purple (on the left side) started to seep through and I liked the effect. After I allowed the first layers to dry I was surprised to see the marker showing through. I painted a layer of heavy gel medium over it, then added more paint and yet - more marker marks showed up. How interesting! Who would have guessed that gesso and mediums and paint wouldn't work to cover it... I said bye bye to this face and solved the problem in a different way (which I will show you soon).

Monday, April 4, 2011


I'm back.... and I'm having a difficult time returning to normal blogging. I was going through 800+ photos trying to decide what to show, what to write... thinking about making several posts, then changing my mind and deciding not to write about the trip at all.... over-thinking it to the max. Opposite of that, I had no trouble at all writing to my friend, and because I think of you as friends too, I thought the best way would be if I share the email. 
Hello again!
Somehow I don't feel like writing a long email now.... I have no idea where to start and what to write about. The more I think of our trip the more I realize how amazing it was. I glanced at some of my photos and am getting a bit speechless.... So I'll try the short approach.
At first I thought that I love it there; I'm familiar with everything and everyone, it's home... but I don't feel like I belong there (as I never did). I also know that I don't belong here either. Now that the time passed and we returned I still feel like I don't belong anywhere, but I'm over the feeling that I don't have a "home" anymore... it's more like I have two homes (because going there felt like going home, and coming back felt like coming home too), so that's a good thing.
We were spending each day with two or three different "sets" of friends/relatives.... It was like going from one smiling face to another, from one full table to the next one. It's funny how different it is when you've known someone while growing up (childhood, young adulthood). I can't explain how "normal" it was, how there was absolutely no 10-year long gap in communication with anyone, no awkward silences or forced dialogs... just complete and total acceptance everywhere. And love. What a feeling, eh?
Going to my parents' house was like touching your childhood. My Mom had boxes that I had packed 10 years ago waiting for me to sort through. I had no idea what was in them. Treasures. My kid's first shoes, my dolls, my journals, letters, postcards, stuff like that... Touching things that belonged to my grandmother and reconnecting with my early childhood was something I'll need time to process. It just brings peace to my heart.
So did the visit to that old graveyard I told you about. Believe it or not, it was Hana's first visit to a place like this, and I was glad that she had a chance to see where my grandparents' resting places are. 
I always loved our churches... Could be the fact that they are so old, or it could be the thing that you can walk in them at any time of the day, any day and no one will bother you. You find peace just by walking int. So we went to several... 
Almost every home we visited had a special wine that "so and so" made or brandy from "this and that" fruit or place and they were all amazing.
Totally amazing. 
And the food.... don't even start me on that.... I had every single thing that I wished for. Didn't have to search for it. It was all there. And although very fattening I didn't gain a pound from it.... weird.
We had another visit with a legendary 83-year old sculptor (Svetomir Arsic Basara) in one of his studios... (last time was 10y ago). He very generously allowed me to take pictures of whatever I wanted, said that I should feel like I'm at my own home... so I did. 
I can't describe how that visit felt. They way he talks, thinks, the sound of his voice.... and the way he forms sentences. My goodness!!!! At one point I was totally hypnotized.... I think Sasha moved or something and broke the spell that I didn't realize I was under.
He was talking about the act of creating, the way he feels it, things he found out about art, things he thought about his own art. It was b e a u t i f u l!!!! 
It was coming from his soul, yet at the same time it felt like it was coming from my soul and I had tears in my eyes. Unexplainable... and a once in a lifetime kind of thing. I can't stop thinking about it. It's like it was coming from the deepest parts of me, the parts I don't even know. Weird!!! Very weird!!!

I spent some time (not nearly enough) with a dear, dear friend that is very sick; marveled at how gracefully and positively he is accepting it. Please send some positive thoughts to him. He needs all the good wishes he can get.

I was glad that Sasha's sister joined us in our walk through the oldest part of Belgrade fortress (btw - Belgrade was formed by Celts, in 3rd century B.C. and had a very long history of different invaders, so it's very cool there; not to mention that the fortress overlooks the river Danube). We had a perfect spring day, ate ice-cream, took pictures and simply relaxed...
Oh my. It is turning into a long email. I'll stop. I didn't mean to sound boring, but I guess there is no "short" way about it.
I stopped.
Care to see any photos?