Sunday, 30 December 2018

The Last Mile


Okanagan Lake Study, 11x14
original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki


I am topping up the 2018 with a few quick studies. After painting steadily throughout the year, finishing these few darlings felt a bit like running the last mile of a marathon - tough but also incredibly satisfying.


Pitt River Trail Study, 12x9
original painting by TatjanaMirkov-Popovicki


To all my art friends who have been feeling creatively productive lately, I hope the momentum follows through into the new year. For those who have been struggling, I wish the tide turns and the new year finds you re-charged for new creations.


Blueberry Fields Study, 11x14
original painting by TatjanaMirkov-Popovicki


My French-speaking supporters may enjoy reading this article for which I was interviewed by The Source newspaper which focuses on the diversity of our community. 



Happy new year everyone!

Tatjana

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Whytecliff Park

Whyte Islet (2018), 30x30, original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki
awarded by the International Society of Acrylic Painters


I am thrilled to share a good news that my recent painting Whyte Islet featured above won a second place award in the annual all-members show hosted by the International Society of Acrylic Painters this year. Thank you ISAP and congratulations to all the participants!

It's such a joy to see our favorite darlings do well in the world!

Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver is one of those special places that keep inspiring my art again and again.



Whyte Islet (2012), 20x24, original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki


A search of my art database returns about twenty paintings with the word "Whyte" in the title.  Quite a few of them have identical titles (oops).

I am sure that I will keep painting Whytecliff scenery in the years to come because this place is spectacular at any time of the day and every season. Whenever I visit, I discover something new that delights my painter's eye.



Whyte Islet (2011), 20x24, original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki


I am sharing here a few pieces that I made over several years. It's fun to see how my painting style has evolved, and it keeps evolving. This ever-changing journey, with its delightful twists and discoveries, is what keeps me enchanted and inspired to keep creating. I hope you feel the same about your own creative endeavors.



Whytecliff Park Sunny Morning (2001), 9x12,
original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki.
This was my very first plein air painting! 


My award-winning Whyte Islet painting is presently on display in the Federation Gallery on Granville Island, Vancouver, BC until December 23, 2018. Please visit if you are in the area.  Five of my paintings are featured in this prestigious exhibit by the FCA Senior Members. Whichever art style is your favorite, you will find something for your taste in this show.



Tatjana's paintings in the 2018 Senior Members Medal Show
in the Federation Gallery on Granville Island,
on display and available for sale until December 23, 2018


Happy Holidays my artful friends and thank you very much for your interest in my art journey!

Tatjana

Friday, 30 November 2018

Art Brightens the Day

Frozen Creek, 8x8, original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki


There were so many good news on the art front lately, even the infamous Vancouver rain doesn't feel too dreary. 

While the You are Here exhibit and the Anonymous Art Show are still being enjoyed by visitors, five of my paintings have just been juried into a prestigious annual exhibit hosted by the Federation of Canadian Artists - SFCA Signature Medal Exhibition: Senior Members.




It is always a great honor to participate in art exhibits with my fellow SFCAs and this year I feel especially lucky. Having five pieces in a group show of this level of quality is an amazing opportunity to show a substantial body of my latest work.

Please join us at the opening reception on Thursday, December 6th, 6-8PM in the Federation Gallery, 1241 Cartwright Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 4B7.



If you are looking for some artsy yet practical stocking-stuffers, which work hard to raise funds for great causes, I have two ideas for you.

2019 You are Here Calendar -  the proceeds go toward supporting non-profit art events in the community. My Winter Trail is featured on the January page.




2019 Soroptimist Calendar, Western Canada Region - the proceeds support the Soroptimist International organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls locally and around the world. I am thrilled to have my art featured on the cover.




When the weather fails, there is always art to brighten the day!

Tatjana

Thursday, 15 November 2018

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

Monday, 5 November 2018

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!




Wednesday, 31 October 2018

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

Monday, 15 October 2018

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

Saturday, 29 September 2018

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

Saturday, 15 September 2018

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

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

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

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

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

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

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

Saturday, 14 July 2018

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




Friday, 29 June 2018

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

Friday, 15 June 2018

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!