Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse

Happy to nerd out today with my kiddos. We managed to take some nice eclipse photos (68% partial eclipse here in Edmonton, AB) without damaging the camera and blinding anyone!
That is an achievement :).

Here are multiple pinhole images we observed through a home made series of pinholes (yes, they spell out ECLIPSE 2017).

Direct image through the camera (with a filter of course).

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Polarizing, 24x12"

I am continuing my Territorial series. This one is still a work in progress (well all of them are), but for now I am leaving it aside and will look at it again when I finish the entire series I have in mind. I am painting 12 of these for now - they will mostly be 12x24" and a few will be 16x20". 

In the past few days I prepped 30 substrates for the challenge in September. I am excited about it. The key to doing a project like that is to prepare and to think about the topic before hand. As usual, life gets in the way and sometimes not all 30 paintings can be done on a consecutive day, but that is really not the point. The idea is to get into a work routine every day. I usually finish several bigger canvases during these challenges because I am motivated to work and I get lost in the creative process for hours.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Preparing the substrates for the challenge

Today I prepared 30 substrates for the September challenge. I know what I am going to paint too! It is a bit out of my comfort zone but it should be fun. When I work on the smaller paintings I see it as a chance for experimentation - a chance to throw a new medium in and see what kind of new textures I can achieve! I am excited about the project!

Oh, I am also going to try and limit my palette for this series. Wish me luck on that one.

I am already missing the mountains - this is a picture of the Abraham Lake - it is such a beautiful area of Alberta. It reminds me a bit of southern Colorado part between the Pagosa Springs and I-25, but with more lakes.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

30 in 30 days challenge

I am up to my old tricks - just signed up for another Leslie Saeta 30 in 30 days challenge in September. I usually only do the January one, but feel up to it next month to get me energized for the winter! I am thinking about the topic!
Here is the first one I did.

Bosnia paintings

Canada paintings

Looking forward to another challenge!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Transformation show is over, but transformation is not!

I took down the Transformation show today at the Glenrose Rehab Hospital. I am happy that I was able to show my work there for the last three years and make, in a small way, life more bearable for the patients there. I am always happy to return my "babies" aka paintings home.

I wish I had more places to show my work, but it looks like there will be no shows in Edmonton for me for the 12 months or so. I applied to more than 30 calls last and this year - not one was accepted. Maybe it is for the best, because my decision is to focus on creating more art.

I asked myself "How important is it to show my work publicly?", and realized that I thought that it is very important to me at this stage in my career. Every painting, every series I do, is well planned (or not so well planned sometimes) as an idea and then executed over time using my ever evolving techniques. A lot of thinking, planning, and physical work goes into every painting I make. When it is done - I do want to share my creations with the world! Showing my work in public also pushes me to work harder due to deadlines. However, this desire to show my art put a lot of stress on me, and I put a lot of emphasis on getting validation from external sources.

After so many rejections, I felt discouraged. Then I reminded myself that art is subjective, and that I am not interested in creating art that looks like some famous artist's work. It is hard to pave your own path and express your own ideas, using your own techniques... Creating original art is uncomfortable, not only for the artist, but for the audience as well. In order to avoid further rejections and potentially falling into a despair over it, I decided that I would focus solely on creating art in the next year. Once the stress of writing applications and anxiously awaiting the rejec... i mean response is gone, I feel this freedom to just create. My own transformation as an artist has already been quite surprising, and I am looking forward to what this next 12 months will bring out in me.

I will continue sharing my art publicly, just online when it is not possible to show locally. I am grateful for all my friends all over the world who are there for me and who join me on my artistic journey.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Gridlock, by Natasa Vretenar

I have spent a lot of hours in various zoos across the world. When I was at the University, I used to go to Reid Zoo in Tucson and observe and sketch the animals. I was so grateful for those moments of solitude, as I was working crazy hours and taking usually 6, sometimes even more classes every semester. It was my escape from thinking about the war in Bosnia and uncertainties in my life at the time. All I wanted back then was for the war to be over and that my family survives. Spending time around the animals at the zoo somehow eased the suffering. 


Territorial series

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Territorial series

 "OK. I lost. No need to rabbit in." 12x24"

I find it a bit hard to get back into my work schedule after traveling this summer. We had a great time and I am still under the influence of all the exciting things we did and saw on our trips. I am ready to get back to work and create for the territorial series I have been sketching and thinking about for a long time. Every series that I do starts as an idea in my head and sits there for a while - these ideas can morph over time and turn into something else.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Solitude is important for an artist. I was feeling the weight of social media, obligations in real life etc., and decided to take a step back and stay away from internet for a while. It is good for the soul and for creativity.
We have been traveling to places we have not been before. I am thrilled to explore, but it is great to be back home. I have been delaying cleaning out my closet and organizing pictures, albums and scrapbooks for years, and I started doing it yesterday night. A friend of mine got me into making scrapbooks when my first child was born and I was able to finally complete a few of these scrapbooks, only 13 years later lol. It was great to go down the memory lane, and somewhat terrifying to reflect on how fast all those years went by.

The weather here in Edmonton is rainy, so I am thinking about catching up with my Let's paint NM challenges.

Here is a painting of Jemez river I already completed for one of the challenges.

Another one 11" diameter

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Transformation show is up at GRH until the 16th!

Stop by the Glenrose Mezzanine Gallery and see my paintings if you have a chance! They will be on display until the 16th of this month. I am honoured that my art has been chosen to be displayed in this space, and I hope that it can inspire people to keep working hard on their recovery.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Canada 150 paintings

My 150 paintings project is for now safely tucked away in boxes at home. I am taking the ideas and techniques I experimented while doing my Canada 150 project to larger substrates to see what happens next. I find that different size substrates and different mediums inspire me to do different paintings. Right now I have several series in mind (continuing some old ideas and building on them, and also a new idea that has been brewing in my head for a long time). I feel that the rest of this year will be fun and interesting in terms of what may materialize.

The Messenger of Immortality 12x24"