Thursday, February 26, 2015

Facebook and art pages by Natasa Vretenar

When  I first made my FB art page - it was a lot of fun to build it up and get fans. I was able to reach out to a lot of people and used it quite often. Then FB decided to block all the posts and my page became completely useless. The post would reach 2 people, if that. FB wants $ to promote the page with limited reach (say 40 people reached for $20 per day). I just do not see the value in it, so I finally deleted my art FB page. It was a nice idea, and it worked well until they blocked the pages unless you pay.

I decided to focus on my blog again and write more and hopefully every day. This blog is good for me, as it helps me document my progress, and it makes it easy to look back and see what I have done each month.


I am working on a few paintings, although life keeps getting in a way of painting. Looking into expanding my spirit animals series and a few more paintings of NM. I will be going back soon!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Elk Island, 3x6 ft by Natasa Vretenar

This painting is large 3x6 ft painting. It takes me a while to finish large paintings like this, and I usually work on a few smaller ones concurrently.

I am not sure if i am done with it - may work more on it later but for now i will leave as is.

Elk Island is a beautiful national park and it is very close to us - less than an hour drive from Edmonton. I like aspens and they were one of the first things I painted while I lived in NM and CO. Aspen groves here are a bit different than those in New Mexico and Colorado. Aspens are skinnier and branches are thick and undergrowth is very thick.  Branches also stay on the trees, and are not taken down by animals or weather, so no "eyes" on the trees like in Colorado. Fascinating really, but a nightmare for a painter haha!

This painting has a bit of a different colour palette - I initially wanted it to be a winter painting and muted all my colours but as I progressed I added more colour to it and  I like it  a lot more!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Hollyhocks, 12x24" by Natasa Vretenar


My other favorite flower from NM! Hollyhocks!
They also can plant their seeds in some most unlikely places and thrive :). THey also come in a variety of colors and can grow to be very tall.

Check out other painters' interpretation of a reference photo at

Friday, February 13, 2015

Red Sunflowers by Natasa Vretenar


I love painting many things, and places. One of my favorite places on Earth is New Mexico. I try and visit NM whenever I can. I will hopefully go there this summer again. In the mean time here is a painting with two different kinds of sunflowers that grow wild in NM. They pop up everywhere - some are completely yellow and some are with orange/red coloring like the three on the top! Real pretty and colorful.

There is a group of artists that paints from a NM reference photo. It is really fun to see how different artists interpret one reference photo. Some of the reference photos are quite a challenge too.

website is

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Mysterious Forest by Natasa Vretenar

4x6 ft

I am so happy that this painting is now in a public collection in Alberta! It is a large painting - 48x72" and has a lot of texture!!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Pink Hollyhocks, 12x24" by Natasa Vretenar


Another hollyhock painting from NM!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Supports at home by Natasa Vretenar

I used up all the smaller painting supports I had at home for this last 30 in 30 days challenge. I am checking my inventory of available supports and I promised myself that I will not go buy any more supports until I paint every single panel or canvas I have here. I am not sure if i will make it as I am craving working on a very large canvas :). We will see... I am trying to apply this "optimizing life" philosophy we are living for many years to my art supplies as well, so I do not have too much stuff lying around our condo, which also doubles up as my studio for now.

Now is time to paint New Mexico again. It is one of my most favourite places in the world!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wrapping it up by Natasa Vretenar

Today was the last day of my show at Milner Gallery and we picked up the paintings. Thank you to all who had a chance to stop by and look at my paintings - hope you enjoyed the show!

This month went by really quickly - I stuck with the challenge and am glad I painted 30 paintings in 30 days. I painted several large paintings and that is an accomplishment as well, especially considering that someone in my family was sick every day this month (including me for a few weeks!). We are all feeling better after a nice week of wonderful, warm weather (above zero in January!).

My goal in painting daily small paintings is to practice, to try out new materials, techniques, different brand paints and media. This month I used Kroma paint from a manufacturer in BC. I like the brightness of colour, and have mixed feelings about the thickness of the paint. It works great for me when I use modelling paste to build up the layers in my painting. I find it is not as great to use in huge thick chunks as it dries slower than Golden acrylic paint and is thinner so bubbles may form. For me that could be a bonus though - depending what I am painting. I will continue playing with Kroma paint, and will order more colours soon. So far, I used yellows and reds, and they are wonderful.

All of the challenge paintings are on my pinterest page as well :).

Here is the collage of my 30 in 30 days paintings from January 2015.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Day 30, 30 in 30 days, Poppies in the wheat field by Natasa Vretenar

Wow, I made it through the challenge. It was not an easy one for several reasons. First, someone was sick every day this month in our family - we just could not shake off the colds, coughs, fever etc.  A lot of thinking went into this series and I stuck to happy subjects and lovely landscapes, symbols, historical details from my motherland.

All of these paintings are somehow related to Bosnia and Hercegovina, and a lot of them are something that reminds me of my childhood and bring back happy memories of growing up in the former Yugoslavia. I wanted to work on a series of paintings about Bosnia for a long time and doing daily paintings for 30 days in a row was a good way to start it!

When doing a theme like this for a whole month, it keeps me focused and I don't expect to make a great painting every day. I consider each painting a practice, an exercise for trying new techniques, new materials, new supports. And each painting is an idea. A snapshot of something that can be used later for a larger painting in the future.

The last painting for day 30 is a wheat field with poppies and a farm house before the storm. It is 24x36".

Thursday, January 29, 2015


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