Sunday, January 31, 2016

Burst of colour

Sunrises can be truly spectacular in the winter. I love to sip my morning coffee while looking at this view. 

Thinking about what to paint next :)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Work in progress

January is almost over, and I cannot believe it! This month has been very busy. I wanted to paint corvids for the whole month but life interfered. I still managed to squeeze in a few small paintings and 2 huge ones. I am not used to the cold weather yet - even though this is our 4th winter here in Canada. I am so grateful for the sun these days, and whenever we have a nice sunny day I try to get our family outside to catch a few rays.

I completely redesigned my website and here are a few links to my flora, fauna and landscapes pages.

I have committed to only one show so far this year. This year will be mainly a production year, since I will concentrate on creating a body of work that is centred on a theme or two. I want to see where my imagination takes me from where I am now. For this I need solitude, and I have set certain hours every day to work undisturbed.

Thankfully, my studio has provided me with much needed private space to create. I have a good feeling about this year and making art. So many ideas, so little time!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

North Saskatchewan River Walk I and II, Natasa Vretenar

Took this in my studio today with a phone camera. Each painting is 5 ft tall and 3 ft long. I have been building a lot of texture on this one and used quite a few different acrylic mediums. I will take better pictures soon to show the details and textures in these two pieces. It was really fun to paint a landscape on this scale and of my favourite season - Fall!

Edmonton is a beautiful place to live in. I am working on an ongoing series of paintings inspired by Edmonton's nature, people etc.

I consider these two paintings to be an equivalent of 30 small paintings (one sq foot or smaller) so technically my 30 in 30 days challenge is satisfied :). I will continue working on the smaller canvases until the end of the month, and hopefully be able to stick to corvids. Sometimes creativity flows in unexpected direction and one just has to take that direction and forget the initial plan for a while.

My studio

I finally took a few pictures of my work space. I have a lot of storage in my studio, and still a lot of space to work on large canvases. 
Here is my large easel - these two canvases are 5 ft tall by 3 feet wide each. The easel can easily accommodate even taller canvases but I am limiting myself to this size because of the transportation issues (and storage issues). I like that I have about 12 feet to walk back to look at the paintings in progress from a distance to see the "big picture". 

Storage of blank canvases, completed works and works in progress is always an issue. Moving into my new work space forced me to organize my inventory. Things are a bit more manageable now. Costco came to my rescue regarding the storage issue. I bought three shelves on wheels. If I ever need to move it will be a breeze to wheel these out. They fit perfectly onto one wall and I arranged the shelves so they can hold my 2x3 ft canvases as well as a lot of supplies and packaging things for shipping. I think that I have enough storage space for at least a year or two at my productivity rate. 
Here is my horizontal working surface table - 6 ft long. I use it a lot - to do varnishing and play with pouring media. It also holds my paints and brushes and palette knives when I am working on the big easel. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Full Moon, 20x16" wolf painting by Natasa Vretenar

I am finally getting to finish a few of my paintings I started. This year has been quite busy so far.


I did not have a chance to take a picture during the day, I will retake pictures tomorrow in a daylight. The weather is overcast which is great for photographing, but it was bone chilling out there today!

Friday, January 15, 2016

#7 Buffalo by Natasa Vretenar


Taking a little break from corvids.

It is going to dip below -24 deg C and it will feel like -35 deg C with wind tomorrow. This is not my favourite weather for sure, but it is nice to have shelter, heat and food in the fridge. I am grateful for that. I have never really liked winter, but I embrace it. Started cross country skiing and I am getting better at it and like it. I can't stop thinking about my first flight into AZ desert though - it was a love at first heat blast on my face! Some day I will write more about it. It is kind of funny how I ended up moving to a frozen prairie :)

I was trying to paint in a more muted palette recently and I got stuck. It was just not working for me. I had to bring out my bright colours and add them to my painting.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

#4 Looking back, Raven paintings by Natasa Vretenar


I have been working on several large paintings last week so I am behind on my 30 in 30 days paintings :). I am planning to make it up in the following week by painting more smaller paintings. I just felt more in the zone to paint large.

My journey to declutter continues in every sphere of our lives. We are focusing on decluttering our pantry and eating habits. This takes some planning and organization with growing children and adults' changing metabolism.

I am happy with my studio and my work space. It definitely helps me get motivated and focused on painting and creating new projects. I have been using every minute of my time in the studio to be productive, and will soon need to replenish my supplies.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Cock #27 by Natasa Vretenar

I will occasionally be posting a small painting for sale on this blog. To see a larger selection of my small and medium paintings please visit

CAD$100, shipping included


Monday, January 4, 2016

#3 Not Talking, magpie painting by Natasa Vretenar

I started this painting at the MakeIt Emdonton show and was finally able to work on it today. It is 20x16 in on a Ampersand panel. We have a lot of magpies in our neighbourhood and I have been sketching and observing them for a long time. I love the blue colour in their feathers.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

#2 "The Secret Keeper", raven painting by Natasa Vretenar

I painted this today. I will most likely return to each of these small paintings in the future and do more work on them. This challenge is more of an exercise in putting quick idea on a small canvas every day than exercise in trying to make a perfect painting.

I am trying to work with more muted colours but cannot escape from at least a small burst of colour!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Day 1, 30 in 30 days challenge 2016 - "Are you OK?"

It is always exciting to write a new year for the first time - yes it is 2016!
We danced our way into this year. I woke up at 9 and snuck out to my studio to paint for a few hours. It was the best way to start a new day and a new year.

After lunch I went xc skiing at Hawrelak park. This was my first time on skis in ages - last time was before the kids, when we lived in New Mexico, USA (some 13 years ago!). I only fell down once and got a decent workout, although I still have to work a lot on my balance.

This is my first painting in this year's 30 in 30 days challenge. It is 8x10" "Are you OK?" Ravens are real social creatures and have been observed to show compassion for their fellow unkindness members. Quite amusing that we humans call a group of ravens an unkindness.

I hope to see more kindness in my surroundings this year, and wish you all the same.

The Messenger of Immortality 12x24"