Friday, May 31, 2013

Cuteness in my journal

A line of sweet characters lives in my journal. Ok - the last one on the right is not cute at all and I don't like her and she might quietly disappear into the night, but the other three are sweet enough to make me smile.
I love taking online workshops! As there are more and more of them, I became very picky. But I still do it because I am curious and because they make me feel like I'm not alone in my studio. I adore watching how others paint and how their magic happens.
"Paint Happy" - a workshop by The Secret Hermit (aka Micki Wilde) made me really happy. It is probably one of the best workshops I ever had. It made me want to paint - you know the feeling when you can't wait to wake up in the morning so you can paint? That's pretty much how I felt.
I actually did many of the exercises she shows. One of them is a combination of words and paint, but in way that I have never seen before. The process was really healing so I plan to use often.
So that's mostly what I've been doing this week. I made something less cheerful too, but I will leave it for a separate post. It's Friday and almost June! Happy weekend!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Giveaway winner

Thank you for participating in the giveaway! I didn't want to use the this time to pick the winner, so I made individual cards and quickly sketched different illustrations on them. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it! I put a time limit to it - 60 min, so there was no way to over-think anything. When I finished, I saw that something wasn't quite right with the numbers... I guess I can sketch, but I can't count :-) That didn't worry me, because my plan was to pull a card from a bowl, so numbers were not even needed.
bird sketches Zorana art
bird sketches Zorana art
bird sketches Zorana art
  I placed the cards in the lovely fabric pouch Sharon made for me, mixed them well and pulled out one, as you will see in the video (the video doesn't show in Google Reader, but you can see it on the blog).
Congratulations Linda! I hope that you will enjoy the book as much as I do :-)
Thank you, once again, to all the participated!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Playing with paint

mixed media painting  canvas bird crown Zorana art Zoranaland
It is very difficult to read a book about techniques in acrylics and not pull out the brushes and play. My work looks nothing like the work of Julie or Chris Cozen, which is a good thing, as it would be really sad if we all made copies of each other, but I used many of the techniques they describe, and smashed them all together in my three paintings. As you can see - I stayed in my comfort zone with the theme :-)
mixed media painting  canvas bird crown Zorana art Zoranaland
mixed media painting  canvas bird crown Zorana art Zoranaland
mixed media painting  canvas bird crown Zorana art Zoranaland
There are two more days to sign for the giveaway! If you didn't already - go to the previous post and leave a comment. I'll be back on Friday to announce the winner!
These three paintings are listed in my etsy shop - worth seeing even if only to laugh at the name I gave them.  I admire the people that find or think of meaningful names for their paintings. I am (obviously) not one of them :-) 

Friday, May 17, 2013


It is so nice when someone you know gets published! I used to jump up and down in book stores showing my daughter articles in magazines written by my online friends. When it comes to a book, it is even a bigger deal. "Acrylic Solutions" by Chris Cozen and Julie Prichard definitely gives me a reason to smile and say "I know her and look - she has a great book!".
This is a book meant to be used, not just placed on a bookshelf. It is a hard cover book, with spiral binding, which enables it to lay flat open (always a plus). All pictures (photographed by Julie) are crisp and clear, and instructions (by Chris Cozen and Julie Prichard) are easy to follow. 
I read it cover to cover and you can see that there are several things I want to try. I am obviously not afraid to mark my book :) The technique showed above is scheduled for me to play with this evening.
It is interesting that even though I have been painting for many years, I found new (to me) information inside these pages. I now have a new favorite art supply that I have used in every single painting since I read about it, and can't imagine how I ever lived without it. I also know exactly why we need to varnish our finished work (I thought that information was fascinating). 
It really is a book that is pretty to browse through, and useful in the studio. If you would like a chance to win a copy of "Acrylic Solutions - exploring mixed media layer by layer", please leave a comment to this post, and I will randomly choose a winner next Friday (May 24th). Make sure that I have a way to contact you (your email address please). This giveaway is open to everyone - international readers welcome!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy layers

I have been reading this book, and it inspired me to pull out my supplies and start painting, layering, scratching... making a happy mess in my room.
I hope that you will come back on Friday, as I will have a giveway that I am sure you will like :-)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Day

Happy day!
Every woman I know is caring, nurturing, selfless and wonderful, so I wish you all a very happy day.
zorana zoranaland art painting encaustic bird portrait enough
The little bird has a message scratched into the wood - "You are enough". We all are. Even when we forget it and feel miserable for this reason or that - it is something to keep in mind.
zorana zoranaland art painting encaustic bird portrait enough
zorana zoranaland art painting encaustic bird portrait enough cracks distressed
I've poured a layer of thick, milky encaustic medium over this painting, leaving some parts of the wood exposed. I love how it is cloudy and super shiny at the same time.
zorana zoranaland art painting encaustic bird portrait enough cracks distressed
Couldn't resist showing the wonder of random cracks and colors. I hope you like them as much as I do.
zorana zoranaland art painting  cracks distressed

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Playing with clay

Looking at my digital pages reminded me that I've never shared my brief explorations of precious metal clay. I don't make jewelry, but when my friend Rae (who creates amazing jewelry - take a look at her website asked me if I would take a workshop - I couldn't wait. This is my iPad journal page - I love that I can write on it with a stylus and the result looks like my handwriting (somewhat). 
Crucible, silver clay, PMC, jewelry, art, Zorana
We worked with silver and copper clay in different forms. The instructor guided us through many techniques... It is pretty amazing, the creative possibilities seem endless. Here are some of the things I made - some better than others. I didn't worry about the outcome, as this is completely new to me.
Crucible, silver clay, PMC, jewelry, art, Zorana
This is my hollow, domed copper bead. I can't decide what to do with it...
Crucible, copper clay, jewelry, art, Zorana
I wear these earrings all the time. Can't believe that my hands made them (and there are fingerprints in the silver that show it!!!)
Crucible, silver clay, PMC, jewelry, art, Zorana, earrings
I'm so grateful that I had a chance to try something new and can't wait for another workshop in a couple of months where I'll play with PMC one more time :-)
Crucible, silver clay, PMC, jewelry, art, Zorana, earrings

Monday, May 6, 2013

Journaling on iPad mini in March

I know it's May, but I just realized that I didn't post my digital pages for March or April. Not that anyone will miss them, but I count this blog as one of my journals, so I need them here. I also hope that they might inspire you to do some digital journaling too (if you use any type of notepads).
digital journaling, iPad mini journal
Just glancing at these pages shows me how life was rich in March. Nothing big, just regular home stuff - sicknesses and birthdays, flowers and snow, lazy mornings, long walks, work, art.... My March was 32 days long, not 31. Our son ran his first half-marathon and I was so proud of him that I decided that I can choose to add a page just for that (as he was sharing the "real" date page with some furniture that we got on the same day). One of the pages shows that there was a school lockdown, when someone with a knife hid in my daughter's high school (or maybe not - it ended without the police finding anyone). 
digital journaling, iPad mini journal, Zorana
I tried my hand at digital painting using app called Procreate. I love that app because it allows the option of layers, which can then be combined in many interesting ways. I used it as the background for my 03.02. page.
digital painting, iPad mini, Procreate, Zorana, art
Played with a different app to desaturate the image. Love the way it looks like that. 
digital painting, iPad mini, Procreate, Zorana, art
There is one more page that I want to share with you, but this post is getting too long, so I will leave it for some other time.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Big painting finished :-)

Zorana painting art angels wings mixed media
It is done! 73" x 43" - the biggest painting I've done so far...
This is how it began: I didn't want to use stretch bars for the canvas, as they are not well suited for the way I paint. After some thought, my oh-so-handy husband asked if it would help if we temporarily stretch it on a hard surface. So it started with a visit to Home Depot, measuring and attaching the canvas to plywood. That is temporary thing, as the canvas will be sent rolled up and framed later. 
Where do you start when so much white is staring back at you? It took me two days to make myself begin. Then I started bravely with brushstrokes of dark colors and covered the whole surface. 
After that it was easier. I just attacked it. Day after day, after day. I didn't rush to finish it. I knew that the colors were supposed to be brown/tan, the background muted, three angels as the focal, so I worked in thin glazes of color to give it depth.
Zorana painting art angels wings mixed media
You can't see it here, but there were many textural elements added at this point, and it was interesting to see how the colors interact and glide over them.
Before the faces above turned into faces below. I had to ask for help.
Zorana painting art angels wings mixed media close up
So many times I do something with the eyes that I don't like, and I don't know how to correct it. Luckily, my daughter sees the problem with one glance.
Hana painting art angels wings mixed media
I asked her if she can correct it, and without hesitation - she took the paintbrush and did. I was so happy with the result that I promptly asked her to help with the angel on the right too. What will I do when she leaves for college in couple of short months?
Hana painting art angels wings mixed media
I might stick to textures, colors and other things I know how to do.
texture painting art angels wings mixed media close up
 texture painting art angels wings mixed media close up
I'm holding my head here because I was waiting for my husband "forever" to push the button and take the picture, and I was extremely uncomfortable. Unfortunately the colors didn't turn right and I didn't want to repeat posing, so it is what it is. At least I have a document of it.
Zorana painting art angels wings mixed media
I loved painting big a lot. I also loved the calm, almost monochrome palette  But now I'm very ready to go back to many happy colors and my journal, birds and other regular stuff. Thank you for following this painting from the beginning to the finish line and for cheering me along the way!