Friday, March 27, 2015

Sleepyhead, by Natasa Vretenar

This guy just came out of hibernation. 36x24"

Today is a beautiful day in Edmonton, supposed to be 14 degrees high! Yeah Spring!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Midnight Bear by Natasa Vretenar

This one is 36x24"

I used my polymer clay creations for the stars - there are two different shapes. They were attached with acrylic gel (I am testing Kroma Acrylics gel) and I painted over them with acrylic paints. When dried the stars are solid and are not going anywhere! They add a nice 3D touch to the painting. I also used the clear acrylic gel for the fur.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Polymer clay Natasa Vretenar

I bought a pasta machine and a bunch of white polymer clay to play with. I also got a toaster oven just to bake the polymer clay in and I am so glad I did that!
It turns out it is a great project for kids as well and we made a ton of little shapes and baked them. They clay burned in the oven and it took some time to figure out the right temperature and the right time it needs to bake. For our oven we needed to reduce the time from recommended 15 minutes to about 7-10 depending on the thickness of the clay.

Now I have a bunch of little shapes I can use in my new paintings.

The first experiment is with my bear painting - i am using little polymer clay stars in the background. Awesome thing is that polymer clay is basically just plastic and can be added to acrylic painting, glued on with acrylic gel and can also be painted over with acrylic paint.

I am having a lot of fun doing my bear paintings - I will share some pictures soon!

In the mean time here is a picture of a beautiful sunrise in Edmonton.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mishka by Natasa Vretenar


Over the years I have visited many zoos and animal sanctuaries. I liked to observe wild animals since I was a little kid. The most fascinating to this day are wolves and bears.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Purple Poppies by Natasa Vretenar

Each painting is 24x12" on gallery mounted birch panel.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Poppies by Natasa Vretenar

I am working on several large paintings of bears. I like to create a series of paintings on one subject. For a while I was painting poppies, and I still love painting them! Here is a triptych of poppies - each is 24x12" on wooden panel. 

Each painting can go by itself or in combination with the other two.

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


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