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,