Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Garden Art

Bird Feeder, 14x11, original acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki now available in the FCA Gallery in Vancouver

My garden has been blooming like crazy since March, thanks to the mild winter and early arrival of spring. The peonies and roses are especially glorious. My favorite paintings scenes, however are of the greenery, tress and the play of light and shadow. Above is one example which is presently displayed in the Federation of Canadian Artists gallery on Granville Island in Vancouver. It's tucked in among the masterpieces by my peers from this wonderful art organization. This coming weekend is the last chance to see the show, so please drop by if you can.

It's always a pleasure to spend time painting in my garden, but recently I have been additionally inspired by seeing the fabulous movie Painting the Modern Garden:Monet to Matisse. It shows the marriage of gardens and art at its best. I recommend this movie to anyone who loves flowers and the impressionists' art. The movie even features some master gardeners who explain how those famous artsy gardens were created. It is beautifully filmed and shots of flowers and paintings are a real treat for the eyes.

The painting adventures of summer begin with an artist in residence day in The Crystal Lodge Art Gallery in Whistler Village. I will be there this Sunday, June 5, between noon and 4pm.  A lot of art can happen in four hours, especially in such a wonderful and inspiring place and under care of Penny and the enthusiastic gallerinas. It would be great to see art lovers who can be there, so please drop by if you are in the area!

Here is a shot from the last paint-out with Penny and Kathy. Great time was had by everyone!

Talking about gorgeous gardens, here are a few pics from a beautiful rainy day in Monet's garden in Giverny, France - from exactly two years ago. One can feel the spirit of the great artist in every single flower.

photograph copyright Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki 2016

photograph copyright Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki 2016

photograph copyright Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki 2016

I love visiting public gardens and luckily there is hardly a city without one. Each garden is an opportunity to paint or sketch, or just enjoy the greenery and unwind. I am starting to make my list of "must see" gardens for this summer. The new ones for me this year are the Japanese Garden and Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. Real beauties!

I wish you a summer of blooming gardens and shady trees!


Thursday, 12 May 2016

Big and Small

Elfin Lakes, 30x40, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki available in the Buckland Southerst Gallery

Elfin Lakes, 20x24, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

The problem with paintings is that they tend to have ideas of their own. Mine are especially picky abut their size. Some are megalomaniacs. I paint a small one and it wants to be bigger. I paint a bigger one and sometimes even that isn't enough.

"I want to be really big!" it begs.

What am I to do? I can't possibly spend all my time making larger versions of my paintings. Or can I?

Now that I think of it, that's all I have been doing for the last few weeks. There is a lineup of smallish things all around the easel, and a pile of large new canvasses in the wait. And I am nowhere near its end.

Work in progress - Elfin Lakes, 30x40 version

It serves me right for losing myself in all those little sketches throughout the winter. It felt so good to churn out one after another. Well, here I am now. Too many of little darlings want to grow up. Learn from the error of my ways!

Seriously, I wish I could always predict which composition needs which size, but I can't. I do know my tendency, though; I typically go too small. I've done opposite too, but not that often.

Work in progress - enlarging an 11x14 sketch

A small comfort is that I am not alone. If you are like me, we are in a good company. There are many examples of well-known artists who repeated the same motif by varying its dimensions.

This can become an interesting exploration of the visual space, through cropping, expanding, or even skewing of the images. In fact, a whole new body of work can emerge from these experiments. Just look at these two masterpieces by Tom Thomson and how he translated his small sketches into large paintings.

The good news is that unlike with children, we can do whatever we like with our paintings. But there is a similarity too. I hope I don't spoil them with too much fussing.

Wish me luck!