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