Saturday, December 30, 2017

Summary of 2017

I cannot believe the end of 2017 is already here!

I started 2017 with a  #30paintingsin30days project. Many thanks to Leslie Saeta who organizes this challenge every year (she does it 2 times per year!). This project helped me jump start the year in a productive way and establish a work routine after the holidays. It has become a tradition for me to start the year with this challenge, and I love to do it!
2017 was Canada's 150th anniversary of confederation, so I thought it would be good to learn a bit more about the country I currently live in. The entire project grew from my 30 in 30 days January project to a 150 paintings in 150 days. I kept up the pace and painted one painting per day (and sometimes more than one) for four months! These paintings depict flora, fauna and daily life.




I talked to many people about what being Canadian means to them. It was a pleasure to do this project, and I feel like there will be more paintings (possibly larger format) in the future inspired by these 11" round paintings. While painting, I also learned about Canada's people, culture, flora, fauna, politics, constitution, and history. 

My first solo exhibit this year was at the Muttart Conservatory - there are only six artists juried in every year and I feel fortunate to have had two shows there in the past three years. I showed my koi series paintings - it was such a good pairing with the main pyramid exhibit - they actually had a pond with live koi in there while my paintings were up!!!



Here are my paintings in good company!



Another solo exhibit was at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital during the summer in the Mezzanine Gallery. This exhibit "Transformation" tells a story of strength and reaching a goal in spite of obstacles in the way. I am honored to present my work at GRH - many patients see it on a daily basis and some have express their gratitude for having my art on display to lift their spirits while in recovery. This was my fourth year in a row to share a bit of beauty with GRH.


Harcourt House Member annual show was another wonderful exhibit that I am happy to participate in every year. I had three pieces in it and "Neighbourhood Watch" found a new home!


Every year I paint a few smaller paintings on different subjects and one of the subjects are my "Our Lady" paintings. These paintings have 3D painted roses on all sides and are on a 1.5" thick cradled birch panel.

I continued to work on several series, including the Territorial series. This series is a natural continuation of exploring the animal world and forces that shape natural order of things. Most of the paintings in this series are medium (12x24" and 16x20") and large size (24x36") paintings.


I usually only do 30 in 30 days project in January (it has become a tradition), but this September I embarked on another 30 in 30 days journey and I painted 30 small abstract figure paintings. This was a bit out of my comfort zone, but this challenge was an excellent opportunity to try new things. My friend encouraged me to go to live model drawing sessions to hone our skills. Harcourt House has uninstructed drop-ins with nude models and provides local artists with an opportunity to improve their figure drawing/painting skills. Here is a collage of all the figurative paintings I completed during the challenge.


To wrap up the year, I made ornaments using images of my paintings I did this year. The ornaments are 3 and 4 inches in diameter and they turned out great! I had a lot of interest in them, so I will probably do more ornaments (most likely different design) next year.


I hope that the new year will bring many exciting projects - I am planning several painting series based on all the travels we took this year. I have been thinking about a landscape series for a while, and I may start the new year with a few landscape paintings. 2017 has been a fabulous year and it seems it went by too quickly. If you would like to see what I am up to in the future, please visit my website at www.artbynv.com, or my blog at www.artbynv.blogspot.com.

On the first day of 2018 I will be posting the first painting photo for the 30 in 30 days January challenge. It is a new series of paintings focusing on Mother.
Huge thanks to all my collectors - I am grateful for all your support this year and in the previous years. You make me work harder and push my boundaries all the time!

Happy 2018 and best wishes to all!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all! 


We have a very cold front coming in Edmonton - it will go down to almost -40 degrees tonight with windchill! It is a good day to cozy up in front of the fireplace and do some crafts after opening presents this morning! 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Deep Freeze Festival




These four paintings will be at the Deep Freeze Festival in January (13th and 14th).

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!

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