Saturday, December 16, 2017

Holidays

I like to keep away from all the holiday madness, and shopping, and consumerism. December is a month of self-reflection and spiritual growth for me.

Yesterday we woke up to icy roads because it rained overnight. It is difficult to walk and drive on slick surfaces, but we all got up and went about business as usual. Living in Canada is not for the faint of heart, and it has been a humbling experience for sure.

I am working hard on my new series, which is "Mother" themed. It is a difficult, and at the same time, a delightful topic for me. It makes me think deeply about my female ancestors, and the legacy I am leaving to my children. Being a mother changed me in so many ways, and it intensified everything I am and ever was.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Presents

I asked my kids to write their lists for Santa. They could only come up with 2-3 items each, and as I looked at their modest requests, I reflected on this entire year and time we spent with kids.

Both my husband and I are workaholics of sorts - we constantly add tasks and projects to our schedules. However, we spend all our free time with family, walking in the ravine, playing in different parks, hiking in the mountains, cooking together, watching movies, telling stories in front of the fireplace, and most recently we started playing board games again.

Kids are happy, creative and healthy. They make presents for each other and their friends (this however is not appreciated sometimes by their friends lol). I am glad that we raise them to not be so consumption oriented in spite of all the pressure from their peers. We weed out a huge number of potential friends simply by living the way we live, but at the end of the day the most kind, creative and interesting people remain in our circle. Life is a gift, and I cherish every day.



Monday, December 4, 2017

Mother




I have occasionally included human figures in my work, but for the next year I plan to combine figure with animals and do more storytelling. I spent this whole year exploring elements that I want to include in my future paintings: studied different animals' anatomy and behavior, attended live figure painting sessions, mixed different colors. The whole year was quite experimental, and I hope I can really narrow things down, in terms of theme, color and texture. I have been doing a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge for the past 4 years in January, and will start 2018 with a series of paintings about Mother. I have been carefully avoiding the subject of motherhood so far, even though it is a main part of my life now. I feel it will be a good start for the Ancestors theme for the entire year. My starting point is my "Our Lady" series. Let's see what happens!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Education

I always emphasize the importance of continuous learning in life, and Mark Twain's quote "Don't let education get in the way of your learning" comes to mind when I utter the word "education". I believe that if one is into science and engineering, that person has to go through a period of hard working, grueling study years that can only be obtained through rigorous process of taking classes on undergraduate and graduate level at the University. There is no way to learn that level of math and engineering knowledge on one's own, unless you are of course a genius (but realistically, how many geniuses are really out there?). I went through the educational grind and worked many years as an engineer on creative projects, and was able to do this because of the sound understanding of underlying math and science behind the experimental work in the lab.

As an artist, I find myself somewhat repulsed by formal education. There are many reasons for this and I will explain in other posts. However, I am always looking for ways to learn - about myself, about my process, about how to convey the messages and stories from my head onto the canvas.

I got lucky this year - I closed my 10 year old FB account and stayed off for 6 months. Then I realized I missed interactions with my friends and other artists. I made another FB account recently and kept a low profile, and something amazing happened. All of a sudden FB introduced me to artists that I have never seen before (and I had thousands of "friends" before), and one of them was taking a class from http://www.ardithgoodwin.com/. I signed up for the class and after only two weeks of class I feel that I have grown so much as an artist! I highly recommend Ardith's class - it is a year long class, and I already feel like the fee for the class was well worth it after only 2 weeks! I cannot wait to see how things develop during the next year!

One of the things we did is to look for unexpected images in our surroundings. I took this picture in Edmonton - it was a short moment when all the geese were lined up like that.


Being at the right place at the right time is important, but it is just as important to know where to look, and how to look at things.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Horses

I am on a quest to focus on things that really fascinate me and inspire me. To help pinpoint these things, I am going back to the beginning of my art practice and see what it is that keeps showing in my work. It turns out horses have been the love and the bane of my existence as an artist.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Moose


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Decorating for Christmas

The tree is up and many more handmade ornaments are on it this year. Every year kids make ornaments and we put them up on the tree. This year I added my own art ornaments and everyone says they look great! I am happy how they turned out and will definitely plan to make more ornaments next year.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Work days

Every day is a work day for me. I am even dreaming about art and ideas for future work! My little gray cells are on constantly. I have been preoccupied with my next series of paintings and preparing the substrates and finalizing ideas for them. It takes a lot of planning to organize all of the substrates. The first few paintings are usually well planned but as I paint more of them in a series, the paintings kind of take me on unexpected paths.

I started taking an online class with Ardith Goodwin and it is already helping me focus on a few things in my creative endeavors. It is a year long class and although it has only been a few weeks, I feel like it is worth the cost already! She is an amazing teacher and I cannot wait to see where this year long journey takes me and my art. I am also grateful for all the other creatives in this class - so much energy and support! It is just what I need!


Here is a picture of some of the substrates in progress. The edges will be painted black on each of them. These are custom made approximately 1x2 ft on a 3/4" thick MDF. I am enjoying painting on this surface - it is smooth, durable and easy to work on.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Ayam Cemani

On this Black Friday I decided to share this black rooster I did a few years back. They are a fascinating breed that has hyper pigmentation and their whole body (including the inside organs) is black.


The only thing I like to shop for are art supplies and food in a few specialty stores. Any other shopping is a chore and annoyance to me. You will never see me shopping on black Friday, I avoid stores on that day like a plague.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year we are not celebrating American Thanksgiving, but this holiday certainly brings back so many good memories for me! Every year since I lived in US I spent Thanksgiving with my American families and friends. I am so grateful.



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