Monday, January 16, 2017

#16 "Dolphin", Canada 150 paintings by Natasa Vretenar

There are so many ocean creatures that call Canada home. One of my favourites is of course a dolphin! 
Since I have been rather productive already this year, I took a few hours today to label and organize the Canada 150 paintings. I am separating them with the cardboard for now, but I ordered some plastic bags from ULine to keep them in.

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

#15 "Doe, Canada 150 paintings by Natasa Vretenar

Things are going well on this project, I am actually a bit ahead :). I will continue to post a painting a day until I am finished with all 150 paintings! 

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To summarize all 15 paintings so far:

Saturday, January 14, 2017

#14 "Deer", Canada 150 paintings by Natasa Vretenar

It is exciting to put up a show and I get motivated to do more work. Yesterday I varnished a bunch of paintings, and prepared more new substrates for the Canada 150 project. Today we are also taking down our Christmas tree. It is always a bit bitter sweet to take it down. 

11" diameter 3/4" thick birch plywood substrate, custom made.

Friday, January 13, 2017

"Koi" Exhibit at Muttart Conservatory until February 2017

This morning I put up my "Koi" exhibit at Muttart Conservatory here in Edmonton, with a lot of help from Neil (events coordinator at Muttart) and my hubby (a big guy who needed to get an extra cup of coffee to get through this task lol). Thank you both for your help! 

Muttart Conservatory is such a beautiful place and I am humbled to be juried in to show my art. This is my second exhibit there. My "Koi" Exhibit is up at Muttart until Feb 17, 2017. So happy to be able to show in this beautiful space - especially now that the feature pyramid has a koi pond in it! My art is also in fine company of Keith Walker's "Biota" and Alex Janvier's "Circle of Life". Please visit this beautiful place if you have time. Feature pyramid is amazing as always!

Here is a rare sighting of a reclusive artist out in public. One of my goals this year is to go to more art related local events - especially in winter. There are so many things to do in Edmonton, it is really hard to pick which events to check out! I hope people can come to Muttart and see all the art on display, as well as enjoy the beautiful pyramids.

I have been working on circular substrates for a while now. Mark from Captive Cutting in Leduc makes the substrates for me and this was the first batch he made. When I got them home I just thought of bubbles and water and voila - the whole koi series was born! I think it is interesting how a different shape of the substrate, and the material of it (canvas or solid support) can influence how the finished painting looks or even how it starts!

#13 "Raven", Canada 150 paintings by Natasa Vretenar

Today is Friday the 13th. Here is a bit of history on the date I thought raven would be a good one to post on this day. It is interesting to me that in some buildings here in Edmonton there is no 13th floor. 

11" diameter 3/4" thick birch plywood substrate, custom made.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

#12 "Bold Eagle", Canada 150 paintings by Natasa Vretenar

Last night and this morning we had the coldest weather so far - -45deg with a windchill! That is cold. I did venture out to do a few things though. I also picked up about 150 new substrates (you guessed it - 11" diameter 3/4" thick). Mark from Captive Cutting in Leduc made them for me and I already prepped 15 substrates with black gesso. Today was a busy day with varnishing as well - I varnished 29 paintings with two layers of varnish! Yeah! That is a lot of prep and finishing work in one day, but it is something that needs to be done. 
I am constantly thinking about this series and what is the next painting or ten of them going to be :). 
I keep adding new things to refine my list for 150 paintings. 

11" diameter 3/4" thick birch plywood substrate, custom made.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

#11 "Caribou", Canada 150 paintings by Natasa Vretenar

I started this project in part because I wanted to learn more about Canada. Before moving to Alberta we did a bit of homework, but did not really understand what life is like here until we moved and settled a bit. In the previous years, everyone in our family learned so much about Alberta and Canada, and yet there is always something new one can learn. I would wholeheartedly recommend a visit to Alberta Legislature to anyone who wants to learn history about Alberta - it is fascinating and quite different from other parts of Canada. Furthermore, Borealis gallery in the Visitor's centre has great shows throughout the year - right now they are showing Storytellers, a collection from AFA with a variety of work from Alberta artists. It is a good exhibit - worth visiting!

My plan for the Canada 150 paintings is to first paint animals that live in Canada. Usually, I take a lot of reference pictures while traveling through Alberta and sketch if at all possible on location. It is a special treat to see wildlife in its natural habitat and I cherish the times we were lucky to see some animals in the wild.

The first time I saw caribou in the wild was in Jasper, AB in 2013. These magnificent animals were on the side of the road - a pair, both with beautiful set of antlers. 

11" diameter 3/4" thick birch plywood substrate, custom made.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Monday, January 9, 2017

#9 "Barn Owl", Canada 150 paintings by Natasa Vretenar

When I work on a project that I enjoy, things just seem to flow. This is the case with this project! Animals just keep appearing and I am having tons of fun painting them. The more I work, the more I want to work and create more paintings! 
11" diameter 3/4" thick birch plywood substrate, custom made.


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