Saturday, December 31, 2016

Summary of 2016

Wow! It is hard to believe that this is the last day of 2016! It has been an interesting year.
I spent a lot of time developing my technique and contemplating what direction I would like to go in. My main focus has been painting different animals and exploring symbolism of animals in different cultures and mythologies.


I started the year with a series of small paintings of corvids. They have been a constant in my art throughout the years. It is becoming a tradition for me to start the year with 30 small paintings in January. It starts the year in a productive mode and it is fun to pick a theme and experiment with new paints, colours and textures on smaller canvases.

During the summer, I had two solo shows in Edmonton - one at the Inspire Gallery at GRH and one at the Mezzanine Gallery at GRH. It is a wonderful place to show my art - I am happy to be able to contribute in a small way to patients' recovery at the Glenrose Rehab Hospital. I am grateful for the opportunity to show in both of these spaces this year. It is hard to get juried into shows locally and I am honoured to be chosen among so many talented artists in Edmonton.

Later on in the summer I came back to one of my favourite subjects - painting koi fish. I got inspired by a young lady who went to the Olympics this year representing Canada. She had a tattoo of koi fish turning into a dragon and told me a Chinese story of persistence of one koi fish that was rewarded for its efforts to jump the tall waterfall by becoming a dragon.

This series of paintings was born, and I will be showing some of my koi paintings at Muttart in January, and dragon-koi paintings later on at the GRH in the summer.

My Windows series is a beginning of a major project that digs deeper into human interactions with nature. I strive to depict human characteristics by painting animals. 12 animals chosen for this first series are all animals that live in Bosnia where I was born and raised.

I am looking forward to 2017! I already have three solo shows scheduled for the year, and am waiting to hear results from more applications I sent in. It is important to get a juried exhibit space - it motivates me and keeps me in a creative mode. I have a good feeling about the next year - so many ideas and projects are already going on - I just have to make sure that I stay focused and keep painting every day!

Huge thank you to all my art collectors, supporters and friends who cheer me on and encourage me to continue creating! Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 26, 2016


It is always festive at our house for the holidays. I love this part of the year, and this year we got some snow for Christmas. For me it does not get busy, as I hate shopping. I also keep consumerism to a minimum. We share meaningful gifts - handmade items, artwork, fun cards, things one can build or carve, or gifts of events. Santa has been good this year and gave us tickets to Cirque - Toruk production here in Edmonton. It was a fun show and we all enjoyed it.

This painting "The Light Pillar" recently sold (12x12"). I personally love this painting - it shows the view from our place in the winter time. Light pillars are formed when it is really cold outside and the sky that day I saw this pillar was magnificent. Winter can be very colourful and beautiful. I enjoy the brief moments in which light explodes with colour and reflects from the fresh snow.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Setting up square payment in online store

Today I spent hours setting up the online store on square for Canadian orders. Orders have to be separated into US and Canadian, so I set up 2 accounts - one for Canada and one for the USA. It is a bit more complicated than using Paypal but it should work well. Let's hope that the new year is prosperous and productive for all.

These paintings are sold.

Friday, December 16, 2016

30 in 30 days

I am taking a few days to prep my substrates for the January challenge. I am working on the background layers for 30 paintings, deciding what colours to use, what texture (if any) etc. What I like about the challenge is that sometimes a whole new texture process comes out of working on these small substrates.

It took me a couple of days to gesso, and then build a first layer of paint on 30 substrates. My substrates were specially made by a local business - they are 3/4" thick and 11" diameter. I am trying out both birch plywood and lightweight MDF. Each one has its advantages. I like the smoothness of the MDF surface, which works out better for smaller substrate size as I do not usually build too much texture on smaller paintings. Birch is a more hard wood and it is also a good choice for this project. Either substrate is easy to hang with two D shaped picture hanger screwed into the back. I use a wire with plastic coating on it - it is more durable and it never breaks on me!
Of course, weight is not a consideration for substrates this small, but it is good to track these things for bigger sized projects in the future.

I work on our dining room table so that area was quite messy and busy during this process. I work in acrylics primarily because they are easier to work with, I can build a lot of texture very quickly and they do not require solvents and do not smell too bad (especially after they dry).

Another big part of the project is choosing the theme. I chose to paint things related to Canada, and first 30 paintings are of animals that live in Canada. I made a list of each animal and the list keeps growing every day. Each painting will be a colourful, fun painting.

It is also time to start thinking where I should exhibit the finished paintings. That is always a challenge in Edmonton! Wish me luck on that one.

One of the animals that made the list for January is a raven! Here is "Patriarch" a small 6x6" painting I painted a long time ago :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


December is an intense month for me, a month that brings an avalanche of memories, mixed with holiday cheer and crisp snow. Here is our poinsettia - it is really big and bright red. I love it and could not resist bringing it home from the store the other day.

I love to decorate the house and I usually do it early in December, but this year I am taking things slow and I just hung the stockings up on the mantle today. We love to spend Christmas in Canada - it has always been a white Christmas since we moved here four years ago. We already have some snow on the ground, but it looks like there will be more before the 25th. 

This year, I downsized our tree and got us a white pencil tree - it fits in our living room nicely and blends in our contemporary decor. It is so nice to sit by the fire (and we needed it in the last 2 weeks during the arctic air blast) and look at the tree when it gets dark.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Muttart Conservatory show in January-February

I am making final preparations for my show at the Muttart Conservatory. I am excited to show there again! It is one of my favourite places in Edmonton to visit - especially in the winter time. My koi series will be on display in the main atrium on the art wall from January 13th to February 17th 2017!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

30 paintings in 30 days

Yes, I am doing it again! I signed up for 30 in 30 days challenge.

It is a great challenge to get me going for the next year. I have a few things in mind already!

The Messenger of Immortality 12x24"