Anonymous Art Show!



The Anonymous Art Show is back!

Here is an exciting message from North Van Arts: 



We were thrilled with the response from the artistic community and are busy preparing to display 738 works of art on the gallery walls. 

This year we have over 300 artists participating - if we all share in promoting this fundraiser, we can make it the most successful fundraiser in Anonymous Art Show history! 

You, your friends, your family, and your network of supporters are all invited to join us in the festivities of opening night on November 22 and for the ongoing sale of artwork until December 15.

Fundraiser Sale Opening: Thursday, November 22, 7 - 9:30pm
Sale Continues until December 15, 2018

Help spread the word online! Use #AAS18 and tag us @NorthVanArts 



This is an excellent opportunity to start collecting original art on the budget. Each piece is priced $100 for the duration of the show.  Make sure you know how the event works because it's very popular and the paintings fly off the walls quickly. 




Garibaldi Patterns was my piece that sold in the Anonymous Show 2017

Artists, this is a unique chance to experience art from the collector's point of view without breaking the bank. The lesson learned from looking at art as a buyer rather than as a creator is very valuable. 

When I create, I see art as a part of the creative process and my body of work.  But when I purchase art, I discover a completely different kind of art appreciation. It gives me a glimpse of what collectors look for. This can be quite surprising and sobering. You think those slightly smudged edges don't matter? Think again.

The selection process while browsing hundreds of pieces is fascinating and the commitment to exchange money for art provides an interesting pressure. There is a search for something thrilling, surprising, endearing, something that impresses and humbles. Something I want to have in my home to share with my dear ones.

I think that every art collector has a unique set of criteria and there is no way of guessing what yours might be until you do it. This show is a great chance to get your collector-feet wet.


How fun is this? The Anonymous Art Show 2017 opening with artist and volunteer Maria Josenhans


I have three pieces in the Anonymous Art Show 2018 and I hope they find loving homes.

I love helping raise funds for North Van Arts, a wonderful art organization which supports artists and the art-loving community by organizing numerous exhibits and events throughout the year.

Let's go out and by us some amazing art!

Happy art-shopping,

Tatjana

You Are Here





Please join us for the opening reception
Thursday, November 8, 6-8pm
at Delbrook Community Recreation Centre
851 W Queens Road, North Vancouver

to see the original artwork and meet the artists from the 2019 You Are Here Calendar

The calendar includes 12 North Shore images by 12 local artists and supports the North Shore Cultural Mapping project.
Preview the calendar here.  Calendars will be available for purchase at the opening, $20 each – buy 3 get 1 free!
Learn more about the North Shore Cultural Mapping Project here.


The exhibit is on view at this location until December  7, 2018. It's a beautiful space bursting with activity. Please visit if you can!




Little Gems



Mt Baker, 8x8, original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



Last year at this time, I visited the fabulous art museums of Ontario and was blown away by seeing the collections of works by my favorite historical Canadian artists - The Group of Seven.

The beauty I've seen on the walls filled with masterful art was indescribable, but what made the biggest impact on me were the collections of exquisite small landscape paintings, mostly plein air sketches.

The way these collections have been assembled and displayed puts those little gems into a grand perspective of national significance which touched me more than any single piece of art I've seen in a long time.



Paintings by Tom Thomson in the McMichael Canadian Art Collection



The experience must have inspired me on a very deep level because looking back on what I have done over the past year, I am struck by how many small paintings I have painted, and how popular they have been with my art collectors. 



Garibaldi Patterns, 8x8, original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



These little works are really fun to paint. All you need is a piece of canvas which doesn't even need to be stretched. You can easily mount it on some kind of support later. You can even crop and spruce up a part of a banished painting.

Another advantage of working small is that these pieces come together quickly and lend themselves nicely to joyful experimentation. It's easy to feel adventurous when there is no risk of ruining a huge expensive canvas.

This is a great way to quickly try out inventive compositions, unusual color combinations, and new techniques.




Mt. Seymour Patterns, 8x8, original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki


These paintings may be small in size, but they sure are big in attitude!

Happy painting,

Tatjana

Weddings Partisans Traffic

Wedding by Tatjana age 12


I often get asked when it was that I knew I wanted to be an artist, or when did I start painting. I've been drawing since I was first able to hold a pencil (actually my dad's fancy multi-color ballpen). But my first introduction to painting was, like for most people, in school.

I've been digging through some old boxes and was cheered up when I found my early gouache artworks from the elementary school. I grew up in former Yugoslavia and some of the themes reflect the ideals of my native country and are in a way a record of a lost world.


Partisan Hospital by Tatjana age 11
(in case you are wondering, the hospital is a cave, it took me a while to remember that myself)


Most of all, I was amazed at how enthusiastically I approached all those odd assignments concocted by the teachers. I can honestly say that I've never again thought of painting a wedding scene, a WWII war hospital with Tito's Partisans, or a traffic intersection.



Intersection by Tatjana age 11
(there are some early signs that it would take me 12 attempts to acquire a driving license)

In my adult art life, I painted portraits for a while and an odd still life here an there, but my main subject matter for the past couple of decades has been Canadian landscape, which has been immensely inspirational and will remain to be the source of my work for years to come.

But these early darlings have something about them that reminds me to remain open to trying different things. There is a joy to be found in looking at the world from different points of view and giving attention to the things that don't normally spur inspiration.

Most importantly, we must keep the creative spark alive any way we can. How about some weddings, partisans, traffic...anyone?

Tatjana

Sketching With Paint

Bow River Study, acrylic sketch by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki


Here it is again, the glorious fall season rich with colors and textures, which happen to be two important elements of the painting process.

A great way to indulge in their bounty is to make many quick sketches using thick juicy paint without overplanning the composition and worrying what the resulting image should look like.



Waterfall  Study I


When creating these little darlings, I am trying to keep in mind just three things: color, texture, pattern.  That's plenty enough to consider in a quick sketch.


Waterfall Study II

This is a fun way to paint because there is no pressure to be perfect. The little pieces can stand on their own, and they can also be used as reference material for larger works, but let's not worry about all that yet. At this stage, it's all about joy. Keep your brushes and palette knives loaded and let your marks be playful.

Happy Autumn!

Tatjana

Back to Studio

Capilano, 30x24, original acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki


I don't know how this summer escaped me, but it did. It started early and it felt tropical and endless. Then we got smoke from the forest fires and then suddenly it's all over.

I kept postponing plein air outings for various reasons and now I ran out of summer and it's back to the studio.

My first studio piece, after being busy with several solo and group shows, is a summery scene from the gorgeous Capilano Canyon on the Vancouver's North Shore. I hope you will enjoy seeing the first three steps of my painting process.

This method is interesting because the painting is created without a preparatory drawing. It's a fun way to paint, but of course, it's not the only way. I love alternating different methods and always learning and practicing new ones. What I especially enjoy with this method is a freedom to develop the overall design and patterns as I go, without feeling constrained by the initial drawing.










The third image shows the painting very close to completion. I am putting it aside for now and will come back to finish it once I've had time to look at it with a critical eye for a while.

The Capilano Canyon is one of my favorite places. It's a perfect location to escape the summer heat although it is beautiful throughout the year. It is easily accessible from the Cleveland Park or from the Capilano River Hatchery entrance. I also enjoy a long walk from the Ambleside or Park Royal to the Cleveland Dam.

My solo art exhibit Patterns of Our Land is on display for one more week, until September 23, 2018. I hope you had a chance to see it. If not, there is still time.

I am grateful to the Silk Purse staff and volunteers and to the wonderful art friends who came to the opening. They made the event even more special. Here are a few memorable heartwarming moments with art and friends.


Patterns of Our Land - opening reception in the Silk Purse Art Centre Gallery


The leaves are turning and soon there will be fall colors on my palette.

Enjoy the last days of summer, my artsy friends!

Tatjana

Patterns of Our Land





Patterns of Our Land is the title of my new solo art exhibit starting on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 in the Silk Purse Art Center Gallery in West Vancouver.

Wondering about the title? It took me a while to come up with it, but when it emerged, it felt just perfect. Here's why.

I started studying art shortly after I immigrated to Canada in mid-nineties. I painted portraits and figurative works at first, but somewhere around the turn of the century, my interest shifted to the landscape painting.

Outside of art, the focus of my personal life was shifting as well. The initial pandemonium of establishing a home in, what used to be a foreign land, was settling down. My husband and I embarked on many trips across BC and Alberta, feeling a strong pull to get to know our spectacular new homeland, to get fully immersed in it, to feel that we belong.

A couple of decades later, I am still pondering the same question: what does it mean to belong somewhere?

I have been awed by this land from the moment my feet touched the ground of the Vancouver's YVR airport in1994, but my discovery of its beauty still continues.  I try to get to as many places I can, high up on the mountains, far west on the wild beaches, anywhere my travels take me.

There aren't many ways to say this. I love this land and I aim to show my feelings for it in my art.

Does the love for a place make one belong? I hope so.


Early Snow, 12x12, original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki




The exhibit will be open for viewing and purchase until September 23.

I hope to see you at the opening reception!

Tatjana

Artfully Late Summer



As we enter the late summer, I have a solo show and a group show to share with you. My paintings in both exhibits are inspired by the amazing colors, shapes, and textures found in nature in Western Canada, my beloved adopted homeland.

I hope you can make it to one or both. 

Everyone is invited!




There is nothing like seeing original art in person. I have put a lot of TLC into preparing these paintings for the art-loving visitors. I really hope that they will be enjoyed in the gallery exhibits and in their new homes.

All my best,

Tatjana

Summer Art Life

Evening on the Lake, 20x24, original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



Last weekend, my husband and I found ourselves on the top of Mount Seymour, gazing toward the smoke-covered city. Vancouver looked smoking hot with action. Sadly the smoke was from one of those wildfires we came to expect every summer.

There was almost no one around, just the 360 degrees of spectacular scenery, despite the haze. My muse was hovering among the distant mountaintops in the north.

When did summers become such hurricanes of art-ctivity? This year we have open studios, art walks, art festivals, plein air competitions. Everyone and their dog wants to see art, and what a joy it is for artists to oblige.


A top-notch art community of Nakusp gathered in the Studio Connexion Gallery to see my art and cheer me on. The show is on until Aug 4, 2018, please visit if you can.


This morning, I dropped off The Arbutus Beach Study to the Harmony Festival Group Show in West Van, and the Winter Trail Mount Seymour to the Lynn Valley Public Library Gallery for the You Are Here exhibit. North Shore looks wonderful today, buzzing with art!






I remember long lazy days of lounging in the garden, occasionally picking up a brush to capture the summer mood en plein air. Those were good times too.

To each artist their own. Some thrive in pandemonium, others in a quiet solitude. My inspiration blooms in nature. I seek the huge rugged shapes formed by the elements, crystalline waters, intricate patterns of plants.

I have to get myself up on the mountain more often and spend less time chasing my tail. I am scratching off a few items from my calendar and adding some new hiking trails.

The opportunities that truly matter are those that take us to the places where our muse hangs out. Mine seems to like the vistas of our spectacular land.



Spending time with my muse on Mt. Seymour


Happy high summer!

Tatjana

Naturally Magical


Twenty new paintings and studies inspired by our naturally magical land will be featured in this exhibit. Please join us on July 20th for the opening reception. This will be a great opportunity to chat about the mysteries of the creative process.



Alpine Summer, 11×14


The Studio Connexion Gallery is located nearby the town’s center, on a delightfully quaint little street.
203 Fifth Avenue N.W. (239.99 mi)
Nakusp, British Columbia V0G 1R0
phone: (250) 265-3586

We would be thrilled to welcome our old art friends and meet new ones.
 
 
As a part of your Nakusp trip, you can enjoy many local events and activities in this scenic area.
 
Check the Nakusp and Arrow Lakes Community Calendar to find the current events.
 
I enjoyed the colorful Farmers’ Market and the Nakusp and District Museum which features some truly mind-boggling artifacts.
 
Check out my Nakusp Pinterest board for more ideas.
 
 
Here are a few photos from the last year’s event which was a great success in many ways.
 
You can see what a charming space The Studio Connexion Gallery is and the friendly characters who make it buzz with the passion for art.



Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
 
 
See you in Nakusp on Friday, July 20, 2018.
 
No need for RSVP, just show up as you are.
 
 
The exhibit will continue until Aug 4, 2018.
 
 
Tell your friends!
 
 
With gratitude,
 
Tatjana




Art at Council


Cascade Lakes, 24x30, original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki


My city, Port Moody, is also known as the City of Arts, and I recently got even more insight in what that means. Like most cities, Port Moody has a wonderful Arts Centre a public library that hosts monthly art exhibits, and active art clubs for sociable creatives. Our community is a constant source of support.

Wide smiles in a warm home with paintings on the walls


Things like these make artists feel welcome in the community, which is not uncommon across Canada. 

But wait, there is more!

The Port Moody City Council takes the city's artsy brand a step further. They invite local artists to present their creations directly to the Council. This initiative is called Art at Council, and this month it was my turn to show up at the podium in the city hall. You can see here how I got through it.






A special thank you goes to Councillor Zoe Royer for her invigorating questions and kind encouragement.

The idea felt a bit scary at first, but it proved to be really satisfying. It's good for us artists to get out of the studios and showcase what we do. People love talking with artists. Who knew?

I encourage you to seek the art-sharing opportunities in your community.

All my best,

Tatjana


P.S.  The preparations for my July solo art exhibit "Naturally Magical" in the Studio Connexion Gallery in Nakusp, BC are going well. Twenty landscape scenes featuring our magnificent province are waiting to be varnished and shipped. 

The show opens on July 17, 2018. The artist's reception is on July 20. 

Save the date and check out my Nakusp Pinterest board!


Nakustp Adventure

Art Quality

Tofino Study, 8x10, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



Quality is such a big word, it can mean many things to many people, and nothing to others. What does it mean for us artists? How can we convince ourselves that our creations have the quality that we expect from them? What in particular is within our control?

The criteria will be different for every person and can change over time. For example, when I started painting, I was obsessed with composition - my every piece had to follow the strict rules of the Dynamic Symmetry. Then, I studied many color theories and defined very specific criteria for selecting color mixtures. These days I am into mark making and will not consider a painting of mine satisfactory unless there is a variety of brush marks in it.



Work in progress - a piece for my solo exhibit in the Studio Connexion Gallery in Nakusp, BC in July - stay tuned!



My Art Quality Checklist


Step 1 - PREP

- The best materials and tools that I can afford (canvas bars straight, corners crisp, gesso layer thick, canvas tight like a drum, paints of artist quality, brushes well shaped)
- Generous palette (squeeze out huge blobs of paint)
- Lighting perfect
- Reference material clear and deeply inspiring


Step 2 - CRAFT

- Values
- Color
- Composition
- Lines and shapes
- Edges
- Marks
- Originality
- Freshness


Step 3 - REVIEW

- How does it look on the secondary easel?
- How does it look on the wall in my home?
- How does it look with or without a frame?
- Identify surface issues (sloppiness, ignored passages, craft-related issues)
- Identify deep issues (originality, emotional response, overall style, and direction)
- How does it fit with my body of work?
- What can I learn from this piece?


Step 4 - SEND-OFF

- Show it to my favorite gatekeepers
- Document it for my records
- Impeccable presentation (varnish, backing, edges, hanging hardware, frame, etc.)
- Where does this piece want to go?
- Show it to the world!


I hope this will help in defining your own creative quality checks if that's what you need.

Happy painting!

Tatjana

Huge thank you to everyone who visited during my artist residency in the Federation Gallery. It was a fun weekend in the company of wonderful art lovers!

Pop-up Art Studio






For this weekend's West of Main Art Walk, I am creating a pop-up art studio in the welcoming space of the Federation Gallery on Granville Island.

The idea is to create an ambiance that reflects my painting practice, in order to give the visitors an idea of where and how the creative process takes place. The setup will be something in between my home art studio and the plein-air setup for painting outside, in nature.

The Federation staff graciously allocated a nice area by the gallery window, so there will even be enough space to display pieces available for viewing and purchase.

There are a few more days for planning, which includes deciding what to bring and what to do while I am there. For once, deciding what to wear isn't a problem since most of my clothes are splattered with paint and thus, appropriate for this event.

We expect many visitors, and I hope you will make it there if you are in the area.

I am packing up examples of my work to bring with me. There will be a mix of finished pieces as well as a number of small unframed studies. These little darlings rarely leave my studio and I seldom get convinced to let them go. so this will be a unique opportunity to see them. They are great for getting a glimpse of my creative process, and they are quite affordable. I myself own several studies by my fellow colleagues which I snatched at similar art events over the years.


Details of a few paintings that will be available for viewing and purchase


Hopefully, there will be time to paint something on the spot between chatting with the art lovers, so I am bringing my paints and brushes. There will even be some freebies. This will be fun!

The event takes place this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, June 2&3, 2018, 10am-5pm, in the Federation Gallery on Granville Island, 1241 Cartwright Street, Vancouver, BC, V6H 4B7.

I hope to see you there!

Tatjana

West of Main Art Walk





Spring is a great season for art walks and they are happening everywhere. If you are in the Vancouver area, please come see the Roundhouse Exhibit on May 24, and visit me on the weekend of June 2/3 in studio #24 in the Federation Gallery on Granville Island.









You can download the full map here:




Happy spring!

Tatjana

Art in the Window


Whitewater Study, acrylic, 16x20


It's such a joy for artists to send our art out into the world. Finding a permanent home for art is awesome, but temporary homes are great too. This is where a supportive art-loving community plays a part.

Next week, my paintings are heading out in two such directions. In my last post, I mentioned a group art exhibit In the Blink of an Eye in the Port Moody Arts Centre, where three of my paintings will be included among many works of art by local artists. I am hoping to see you at the opening!

The second place where I am taking my paintings next week is the Roots store on Granville Street in Vancouver, where they will be displayed for the month of May, as a part of the West of Main Art Walk event.

I've never had my art in a merchant's store so this will be an interesting experience. I am very grateful to the Roots staff for accommodating my art display, and to the Artists in Our Midst art group for organizing this event.

If you happen to be in the area, take a peek at the store window, I hope you'll enjoy what you see. The best part is that you will see art in many other stores and venues in the area, all being a part of the same event.



Alpine Summer, acrylic, 11x14


Here are some pointers for artists who are thinking of displaying art in a similar venue:


  • Book the installation and take-down times with the venue staff and make sure this is done at the times that suit the venue.
  • Plan in advance how the art will be displayed, and what kind of props you'll need. Consider display easels of various sizes and styles, splints, hanging gadgets etc.
  • Make sure the art is finished and framed impeccably, but keep in mind that some damage may occur. Expecting a public or commercial environment to be safe for art is optimistic.
  • Write your contact info on the back of the art, and also give your contact info to the store staff.
  • Make clearly readable labels with the piece title, your name, and your website. You can add other info if you wish. I like to keep things simple.
  • If you want the visitors to be informed about some event or a gallery where they can see more of your art, ask if you can display additional marketing materials, like posters, brochures, business cards etc. Understand that this may not be possible.
  • Beware that there are risks in all this - the art may get damaged or even stolen. Once we take the risk, it is ours.


My goals in doing this are to add art to the community, gain fans for my work, and leave a positive impression on the people who help us so that they feel compelled to do it again.

I am looking forward to this experience and keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes well!

Tatjana

P.S. If you see someone running down the Granville Street with a handful of paintings during the month of May, consider a citizen's arrest!


Lighthouse Park, acrylic, 12x9


In the Blink of an Eye



In January 2005, I had my very first solo show in The Port Moody Art Center. This was an amazing opportunity for an aspiring artist. I invited everyone I knew, I was so happy to let the world know that I managed to put together a solo show. Looking back, I remember how eager I was to start my art adventures and I am immensely grateful to the Port Moody Arts Centre that hosted the show, to my hubby for the emotional support, and to the wonderful art lovers who purchased a few of my paintings from that show.


Some of my paintings from  2005


One of those memorable early art collectors was a passionate art-loving woman whom I had met three years earlier in West Vancouver where I was painting en plein air with my art class. She had told me that she would buy my painting if I ever decided to sell it. Three years later, I mailed her a photo of the painting and an invite to the show, and she came. She literally ran into the gallery shouting “Is it sold?”  I will never forget her!



The "Is it sold?" painting


You are invited to the anniversary group show featuring paintings by many artists who have shown their art in the Port Moody Arts Centre over 20 years. Let's celebrate the art and this wonderful community organization! All the details can be found on the poster above.

I will have three pieces in the show. I picked a mix of works created over the past few years, I hope you will enjoy seeing them!

See you in Port Moody!

Tatjana

Dappled Shade is one of my three paintings in this show.
Come visit us to see the rest!