Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Successful Art Event

Arbutus Beach, 30x30, original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

The West of Main Art Walk event was my main project over the past few weeks and it has been a great success in all aspects. I've befriended some wonderful artists, met a few potential business partners, and expanded my collector base. Most importantly, I was thrilled by how my art was displayed and felt satisfaction from the positive feedback I received from the visitors. Sending several paintings off to their new homes was a cherry on the cake.

Over the years, I have participated in numerous art events and if I learned one thing about them it's that they are all very different from each other and one can never assume which one will be a success and which one will flop. 

I gave this a lot of thought and these days, I am very selective in picking and choosing where to direct my resources and my art. 

Here are a few lessons I've learned:

1. Should I?

Be very clear what you expect from an event. It may be sales, promotion, fun, education, collaboration, or something else. Whatever it is, research the prospective event to make sure there is evidence that it has what you require. Ask fellow artists who participated in previous years and search the internet for clues. If the event isn't a real deal, someone out there will have said it.

West of Main Art Walk 2019
Gala opening at the Roundhouse Community Center in Vancouver, BC.
It's a well-organized and well-visited event where art is king.

2. Can I?

Make sure you satisfy the requirements of the event. Do you have enough art available? Can you deliver it, present it, and do all the other things needed for successful participation? Can you afford the resources required? Is the timing right and can you realistically plan all the steps from the moment you commit to the actual event? For this event, I wasn't sure how to transport and mount my paintings, but luckily, I found a solution I could implement. It included purchasing several display easels and testing how much stuff I can pack into my car. 

How many easels fit into one Acura? Eight! :-)

3. Make it Happen!

Once you are pretty sure it's a good match for you, planning is crucial. Consider what art you need to make or modify, how you are going to promote your participation in the event, and all the logistics including the spendings and actions you must take over the period of time you have. Your list might include art materials, frames, display gadgets, labels, shipping/delivery, promo materials, communication with your fans and collaborators. None of this is to be taken lightly or left for the last minute. In planning, attention to detail and timeliness rule. For example, I used an area of my home to stage my display and that helped me in deciding which paintings to include and how to finish them.

West of Main Art Walk - Kitsilano Neighbourhood House venue
Easels and grid walls galore.
 "I am impressed," one visitor exclaimed. "There's no sloppy art here!" 

Have Fun!

Last but not least, take some time to think about having a great time yourself. It's important because your own personal satisfaction will be reflected in your art. Social events are hard on us introverts but we can learn to enjoy them. Prepare well and take care of yourself. What makes you happy when you are out there? A glass of wine? Cool clothes? A friendly face? A chat with someone you trust? Do you enjoy doing a demo? Plan your event around these goodies and avoid things that you don't like. 

It was a good day for a demo!

Easier said than done, but we can do it for the sake of our art!

In other news, my painting Whyte Islet received an honorable mention in the FCA postcard competition. Watch for the cards with these lovely images over the next year in the Federation Gallery on Granville Island.

May your next art event be a great success!


P.S. My acrylic painting workshops are filling in quickly so make sure you sign up soon if you were planning to. The North Vancouver one is in just two weeks! More info on my website HERE.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Painting Trees

Coastal Arbutus, 12x12,
original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

This little darling is one of several pieces from my latest series of small tree studies to be shown at the West of Main Art Walk on May 11/12 2019 at the Kitsilano Neighborhood House in Vancouver.

Painting trees is extremely satisfying, especially at this time of the year when there is a huge variety of blossoming species in our parks. If you look carefully, you can see each tree's character reflected in its shape, color, texture, and how it relates to the objects around it.

It's as if trees have attitudes akin to us humans. Some are clustered in social groups, others are rugged loners. Some bask in rich colorful blooms reflected in mirror-like ponds, others are elegant in fashionable grays. But they are all visually fascinating.

Here are a few more examples of my recent tree-portraits. I am sure you can see that I had a lot of fun sketching them with my brush as I didn't shy away from using bold colors and brush marks.

 To see more, visit me and a bunch of local inspiring artists at the West of Main Art Walk. Rain or shine, it will be fun. Don't miss the opening gala at the Roundhouse Community Centre on May 9.

We'll bring a lot of art and all we need to make this event a success is you!


Monday, 15 April 2019

West of Main Art Walk

Morning on the Island, 30x40, original painting
by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

Location for May 11/12 only!

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Art on the Stage

Glacial Reflections, 20x44 diptych,  original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki
(available in the Grant Berg Gallery, Grande Prairie)

Have you tried staging your art in virtual rooms online?

It's a lot of fun and there are numerous apps that do this. Some are free and some you have to purchase. For the image above, I used a free app from I loved this fun-looking room because it helped me imagine my painting in the home of someone who loves the outdoors as I do.

Try it yourself. It may give you ideas on how to present and display your art.

In other news, the spectacular Luminescence exhibit is still on in the Deer Lake Art Gallery. One more week to see it, closing on April 6, 2019.  Here are a few pics from the opening and my three paintings that celebrate the phenomenon of luminescence in nature.

Having a good time at the Luminescence show opening
with a watercolor artist Enda Bardell and her hubby

Chatter Creek, 20x24,
original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

Dusk Approaching, 8x10, 
original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

Whytecliff Park Sunset Study, 11x14, 
original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

Until April 6, 2019, these pieces are available for sale in the Deer Lake Art Gallery in Burnaby BC.

This exhibit consists of some fabulous 3D and 2D art pieces including a fire-spewing mechanical dragon - a photo just wouldn't do it justice. I hope you'll have a chance to visit before the show ends.

All my best,


Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Happening Now!

For the art lovers in Edmonton, I hope you can visit this group exhibit featuring three artists with different styles, unified by the theme of people and places.

In Burnaby, it's the fourth year of the Luminescence annual event. This one will be quite spectacular. More info and how to get your tickets:

See you there!


Thursday, 28 February 2019

Seven Steps

seven-step creative process

The most important step before all steps occurs when the spirituality of a moment connects with creativity. 

This one happened for me on a hiking trail. There have been many such moments, but what made this one special was the visceral joy that I experience when faced with an especially lyrical composition.

Step 1 -  Yellow imprimatura and a gestural block-in of dark areas with transparent red oxide. The canvas is 16x20 and I am using a #18 flat brush and heavy-body acrylic paint. I will only switch to a slightly smaller flat brush (#14) for the very last step.

Step 2 -  Going darker in the darkest-dark areas with diox purple. Same brush, same gestural technique. Adding dry-brush strokes to suggest the direction of branches. This is important because of the overall design that inspired in the first place.

Step 3 - Adding medium values and cool colors. The blue is a mix of pthalo blue, diox purple, and titanium white. The green is a mix of pthalo blue, cad yellow, and transparent red oxide. The strokes follow the design. The blue in this photo is overly vibrant.

Step 4 - Taming the overly vibrant blue with a red-violet made from the diox purple, transparent red oxide and titanium white.

Step 5 - Vibrant green makes the composition pop. It's the same green I made in step 3 with the addition of more cad yellow.

Step 6 -    The addition of light blue helps deepen the background and soften the shadows in the foreground while reinforcing the design. It's the same blue from step 3 plus more titanium white. 

Step 7 - It's the time for adding the lightest lights: a mix of transparent red oxide and titanium white in the sunlit path, cad yellow in the sunlit mosses and foliage, pure titanium white in a few lightest spots around the trees to suggest the sunrays.

The Spirit of Forest, original painting by TatjanaMirkov-Popovicki

At this point, more details can be added with a smaller brush and some areas could use a cleanup. For now, I let it be. I'll revisit it at a later time. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. You can try out the same process or come up with a different one to capture in paint your own moment of awe. 

Thank you for reading!


Friday, 15 February 2019

Finding Serenity in Art Exhibits

Lavender Field, 16x28, original painting by TatjanaMirkov-Popovicki

There's nothing like shoveling snow that makes me seek images of summer. Will it ever come?

It will, but not any time soon.

In the meantime, let's get transported to the long days graced by a fragrant breeze by the means of art. This painting reminds me of a visit to the Sacred Mountain Lavender Farm on the Salt Spring Island on the west coast of BC.

Ah, the colors, the aroma, the serenity!

This is yet another proof that art embodies the impressions and feelings rather than just depicting a scene.

Another way to find serenity in bad (and good) weather is to visit art museums. On my recent trip to Southern California, I discovered three museums I had somehow missed in the past.

1. Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena blew me away with its collection of Impressionist and other art by my favorite artists - Van Gogh, Cezanne, Frans Hals, and many, many other masters.

Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA

2. Huntington Library Art Collection, Museum, and Botanical Gardens, also in Pasadena, are well worth a long visit. The property is incredible, especially the gardens.  Aside from a stellar art collection, the museum also houses historical and scientific artifacts. There is something for everyone!

3. The Irvine Museum in Irvine, CA occupies just a corner of the ground floor in an office building, but its collection of California's Impressionist Art is a feast for the eyes. I warmly recommend paying it a visit.

After seeing all those works by so many masters, I feel grateful for any opportunity to show my work in group exhibits with my fellow artists.

This time, I have been invited to join a group of international painters with roots in the Balkans and thereabouts. I am thrilled to have four paintings included in this exhibit.

If you happen to be in the neighborhood, please come see us in Coquitlam!

Opening reception on February 26, 7-10pm, Restaurant Vayat, 1147 Austin Avenue, Coquitlam, BC. Everyone welcome! 

All my best,