Sunday, October 11, 2015

New show at Steeps

Who is the first one? Koi paintings by Natasa Vretenar


It is amazing how fast the fish swim toward food - it is a rough competition and the biggest ones often win the prize (get to the food faster).

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Reflections, koi painting by Natasa Vretenar


I am continuing my work on the pond paintings. I love koi ponds with water lilies in bloom. One of my favourite koi ponds is the one in the Albuquerque Botanical Garden in NM. It is a large pond, with beautiful waterfalls and many koi. We spent countless hours by that pond observing the fish and other animals that would come around. The last time we visited - we got lucky and watched a young blue heron stalking and hunting fish in the pond.

I am using a lot of different mediums for this series - gels, coarse medium, flakes etc.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Lease signed for the art studio!

I have been painting at home all these years. I am so happy that I got a space at Harcourt House here in Edmonton. I waited for about year to get the space. It is an affordable studio and it will be great for me to have a private studio, without distractions, to work in. While waiting for the studio to open up at Harcourt, I looked all over Edmonton for an affordable studio and I could not find anything. I am glad that I will be in a place that has over 40 artist studios and offers other opportunities (workshops, drop in drawing sessions etc). I have not had time to network locally much, and am hoping that this will change in the near future.
At home I always get distracted and do other things instead of just painting (like laundry, vacuuming, organizing, cooking etc).

So excited - I am moving in on November 1st!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Koi paintings by Natasa Vretenar

Feeding Frenzy 11x14"

" Two rather large koi fish swam about in a pond. The pond shimmered in the sunlight that it was under. Two koi fish swam, looking for food. No food was in sight, none at all. One day, a surprise came for these two critters, as small, fluffy, pieces of something strange floated in the water. "Bread," the koi fish heard the strange beings that called themselves 'hu-mans' say as they threw it into the water. "

I am working a few koi paintings right now. They are all 11x14" and an adventure in different mediums and textures. I am using golden mediums for fish textures and fluid acrylics for water.

This summer we spent a lot of time by the pond filled with koi - I must have taken thousands of reference photos so there will be a few more paintings of the pond in the future.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Make it Edmonton countdown!

So, the countdown begins - MakeIt! Edmonton is in less than 2 months. I am starting to prepare for the show.  This is my first time in this show so I am curious how it will be. It is a big show with many crafters, artisans and 20ish fine artists. I signed up for it this year - let's see what happens.

I am debating if I should bring large works or small ones to this show. I am leaning to a mix of both, but sticking to one theme (like wildlife).

Monday, October 5, 2015

Medicine Lake, 36x24" by Natasa Vretenar

I reworked this painting as well. I like it much better with more texture and more layers in the water. This painting is also going to Glenrose Rehab Hospital later on this month!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Beargrass, by Natasa Vretenar

I reworked this painting, added lot more texture and more color! It is 24x36", and will be included in my upcoming show at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in October. The exhibit "Alberta Landscapes" will be up until mid-December.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Waterfowl Lake I and II, by Natasa Vretenar

I love the Canadian Rockies. This lake is on the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper. This is one of the most fascinating roads that I have traveled on.

Each of these paintings is 30x30" big and has many layers of paint on it. I also used some pouring medium for the water.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Painting the edges

Recently I got some feedback on the way I handled edges of my paintings. I paint with a palette knife mainly and use brushes to soften the painting in the final few layers. In the early days of my painting career I opted to paint on gallery wrapped canvases, and I painted the edges black for a lot of paintings. Some of the paint from the front of the painting would get on the edges and on a few paintings I forgot to touch up the black paint. I honestly did not think much about it until the extra paint was referred to as "damage".

The comments got me thinking about how important it is to have a good presentation all around. Many times in the museums I visited - I saw large paintings that had unpainted edges, or really messy edges, and that apparently did not stop the museum from displaying or purchasing the work. That being said, over time I stopped painting the edges black and started painting around the edges. I like that look much better. My paintings are contemporary and can be hung without the frame (although I do believe every painting looks better with a frame!). And I have to admit - they look much better withe the edges painted as a continuation of the painting itself.

Today I pulled three landscape paintings from storage and repainted them! No painting is safe from rework while still in my possession. All three now have nicely painted edges (without "damage"). I am continuing work on the other two large paintings. I also ordered a ton of thick polyethylene bags to protect my larger paintings in transport to and from the shows. 

Here is a picture of work in progress from today. Yes, I am in the landscape mode! 


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