Thursday, November 30, 2017


I always emphasize the importance of continuous learning in life, and Mark Twain's quote "Don't let education get in the way of your learning" comes to mind when I utter the word "education". I believe that if one is into science and engineering, that person has to go through a period of hard working, grueling study years that can only be obtained through rigorous process of taking classes on undergraduate and graduate level at the University. There is no way to learn that level of math and engineering knowledge on one's own, unless you are of course a genius (but realistically, how many geniuses are really out there?). I went through the educational grind and worked many years as an engineer on creative projects, and was able to do this because of the sound understanding of underlying math and science behind the experimental work in the lab.

As an artist, I find myself somewhat repulsed by formal education. There are many reasons for this and I will explain in other posts. However, I am always looking for ways to learn - about myself, about my process, about how to convey the messages and stories from my head onto the canvas.

I closed my 10 year old FB account and stayed off for 6 months. Then I realized I missed interactions with my friends and other artists. I made another FB account recently and kept a low profile, and something amazing happened. All of a sudden FB introduced me to artists that I have never seen before (and I had thousands of "friends" before), and one of them was taking a class from I signed up for the class and after only two weeks of class I feel that I have grown so much as an artist! I highly recommend Ardith's class - it is a year long class, and I already feel like the fee for the class was well worth it after only 2 weeks! I cannot wait to see how things develop during the next year!

One of the things we did is to look for unexpected images in our surroundings. I took this picture in Edmonton - it was a short moment when all the geese were lined up like that.

Being at the right place at the right time is important, but it is just as important to know where to look, and how to look at things.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


I am on a quest to focus on things that really fascinate me and inspire me. To help pinpoint these things, I am going back to the beginning of my art practice and see what it is that keeps showing in my work. It turns out horses have been the love and the bane of my existence as an artist.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Decorating for Christmas

The tree is up and many more handmade ornaments are on it this year. Every year kids make ornaments and we put them up on the tree. This year I added my own art ornaments and everyone says they look great! I am happy how they turned out and will definitely plan to make more ornaments next year.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Work days

Every day is a work day for me. I am even dreaming about art and ideas for future work! My little gray cells are on constantly. I have been preoccupied with my next series of paintings and preparing the substrates and finalizing ideas for them. It takes a lot of planning to organize all of the substrates. The first few paintings are usually well planned but as I paint more of them in a series, the paintings kind of take me on unexpected paths.

I started taking an online class with Ardith Goodwin and it is already helping me focus on a few things in my creative endeavors. It is a year long class and although it has only been a few weeks, I feel like it is worth the cost already! She is an amazing teacher and I cannot wait to see where this year long journey takes me and my art. I am also grateful for all the other creatives in this class - so much energy and support! It is just what I need!

Here is a picture of some of the substrates in progress. The edges will be painted black on each of them. These are custom made approximately 1x2 ft on a 3/4" thick MDF. I am enjoying painting on this surface - it is smooth, durable and easy to work on.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Ayam Cemani

On this Black Friday I decided to share this black rooster I did a few years back. They are a fascinating breed that has hyper pigmentation and their whole body (including the inside organs) is black.

The only thing I like to shop for are art supplies and food in a few specialty stores. Any other shopping is a chore and annoyance to me. You will never see me shopping on black Friday, I avoid stores on that day like a plague.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year we are not celebrating American Thanksgiving, but this holiday certainly brings back so many good memories for me! Every year since I lived in US I spent Thanksgiving with my American families and friends. I am so grateful.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Greeting Cards, Doe by Natasa Vretenar

This morning was very peaceful with a layer of fresh snow. I realized I have not been painting any snow scenes. As a matter of fact, I tend to paint bright, sunny scenes when winter comes to town. Maybe this season that changes.

I am doing a lot of behind the scenes work - preparing substrates and layering, painting borders etc. I also varnished a few paintings and finished all the ornaments I had to do! I purchased the hanging string for the ornaments as well - so now they will be ready to hang on the tree.

I am pleased to now offer greeting cards as well - they are with images from my 150 in 150 days project this year and are blank inside (14x14 cm square).

let me know if you are interested in getting them at $5 each.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Digging deep

I have been working on my art almost every day this year. I think this has been the most productive year for me so far. We reduced our family's scheduled activities to zero, and apart from school and work, we freed up our schedules to do whatever and whenever. This has reduced the stress levels to a minimum, as well as given us ample time to cook, talk, dine, walk, exercise, and travel together. It has been an amazing year for creativity.

Slowing down has actually unleashed this avalanche of ideas for my art projects. I have blogged about all the paintings I completed for 150 in 150 days project, as well as other mini projects I did this year. Furthermore, while experimenting with different techniques, going all out with color or texture, or minimizing color and working on compositions, I dared to dig deeper and conceptualize more meaningful paintings in my mind. A lot of these ideas are in my sketchbook as seeds for something bigger, and I am starting to finally grow these seeds. The preparations for my January project are already on the way, since December is going to be a bit busier with concerts and other activities we have planned for the holidays.

 I am starting an online class on the 19th with Ardith Goodwin - it will be fun (judging by all the activity on a secret FB page happening pre-class - excited to be part of this dynamic group of artists!)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Remembering my first show

My first art show was at the Cherry Blossom gallery in Loveland, CO in 2010. It took me about 4-5 years to show my work from the time I started painting in between work and taking care of toddlers. It was a group show with about 10 or 15 local artists, and I had no idea what to expect. looking back, I don't think I expected much, but I was a bit nervous about putting my work out there for the world to see. A few roosters, lots of trees and sunflowers, some zebras and fish.

A lot has happened since then, and I am painting more than ever before. I am glad I put my work together and showed that night - I sold two paintings and gained some confidence to continue my life as an artist. It was not an easy decision, and it took at least a few more years for me to focus on creating art full time.  It has been an exciting journey and I cannot wait to put down on canvas the next idea floating around in my head!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Snow and cold front

We got winter again on Halloween! It seems like every year it happens regularly. We are getting a hang of this climate after 5 years living in Canada. The temperature dropped overnight and we are around -10 deg C today. I respond with a nice warm chicken soup and a shopping trip to an art store for a few art supplies. Our winter tires are on and seem to be doing a good job on the snowy road.
I even took a short walk today - my toe is getting better and I can walk more normally.

I am continuing my work on different large paintings and smaller substrates for my next big project coming up in January. It is not too early to start thinking about it! I am also wrapping up the last of the ornaments - quite pleased how they turned out!


The Messenger of Immortality 12x24"