Thursday, May 31, 2018


I grew up in a home where our door was always open to friends and family. A warm home where a guest was treated well and also fed well. It is a part of our culture to be welcoming. We did so many fun things with other people - sports, dining, vacationing, talking, enjoying coffee and food. I have found this welcoming attitude with a lot of friends in the USA, but Canada is definitely different in this respect.

Welcome, 11x23" acrylic media

I welcome the solitude. It has provided a heaven for my creative endeavours, and I have never been so productive. I have also learned to cook real well, and I exercise and take good care of myself consistently for the first time in my life.  Learning to love being alone and to love myself has been a long journey and solitude was needed to achieve this.

Belief 11x23", acrylic media

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


I work more the more I work - this is my life's mantra. The key is that I enjoy what I do. When I was working as an engineer for decades, I loved solving problems and working independently to build new things. Even though I spent many years putting in crazy hours into work, it rarely felt too overwhelming because it was exciting and fulfilling to me. The same goes for art creation. I am so fortunate that I can be a full time artist now. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Burden of Beauty

I have been working on this for a while. Went wild on texture - stems and thorns are sticking out everywhere. The sculpture is made of air dry clay, and this is the first time I am using it (Polyform from Michaels). I forgot to take a few pictures of the process, but I am sure I will soon be making more sculptures and I will document it a bit better. This lady is about 16 inches tall and base is 8" wide. I made the roses from Liquitex pouring media, and the whole sculpture is painted with acrylic paint. Black drawings are made with Molotow markers - my favorite!

This has been a challenging project on many levels - one is new materials, second is 3D, third is keeping the color palette minimalistic (just black and white allowed). It's been a struggle! So many times I wanted to splash some bright red on those roses lol. But I did not. I am on a quest to say as much as possible in my work without going overboard with color. Let's see how long that lasts.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sculpture making for fun

I have been working on a small sculpture off and on. It is a medium that is new for me, but I am having such great time with it that I am thinking that it may be my true calling in art. Someone a long time ago did tell me that 3D work may be something I would like the best, but then life got in a way and I did not pick it up until 25 years later. Let's see what happens with it, but for now I am really having a blast.

Since the weather got really nice, I have been outside a lot. It is amazing how much the energy levels pick up with a few rays of sunshine. Everyone in our family is participating in outdoor pursuits.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Varnishing time

This is another job that I do not particularly like to do, but it has to be done. I use different brand paints and mediums and they all have different sheen to them. Some are more matte and some are more glossy. Finishing the painting with multiple layers of varnish blends all these sheens together and the color just pops! It is quite satisfactory to finish the painting and especially the large ones - like I am varnishing today! My horses are almost done (waiting in between the varnish layers)

Thursday, May 10, 2018


Here is a little blast from the past! I always liked to put texture in my paintings, and I go through phases with the technique. Sometimes I like to look back and see what I was doing a few years ago, but even though the technique may be different today, there are things that are staying the same in my paintings, for example my favorite color(s).

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


6x8" rooster painting

4 years ago I did my first 30 in 30 days project with roosters. This painting is a part of that project. I learned so much about chickens in that month. I love chickens - when I was a kid I spent a lot of time at my grandma's and she had an assortment of animals - including chickens. My job was to feed them and collect the eggs. Now I live an urban life, but deep down I know where I belong.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


6x8" rooster painting

They are so loud! I used to wake up with the rooster call early in the morning when I was in the countryside and enjoy watching the sunrises.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Precious time spent with children

My parents both worked full time, but they spent a lot of quality time at home. We used to go for walks along the river often, and spent our vacation time either at the seaside or the countryside surrounded by nature. My dad taught me much about astronomy, biology, natural phenomenons, cloud formation etc. on those walks and hikes. The conversations I had with mom and dad growing up are what I treasure the most in life. They are both long gone and I miss them both dearly. Even though I am going through my fifth decade on this earth - I still wish that I could talk with them about things going on in my life.

We learn from our parents, and I am finding out I am learning from my kids now too. They give me different perspective on things, and their enthusiasm for life is contagious. This last weekend we spent doing so many fun things - bike rides, hikes, birthday party for a friend's kid, cooking, even shopping and other stuff. The time spent with them is precious. Family is a gift.

The Gift, 11x23", acrylic media

Sunday, May 6, 2018


I paint a painting, and then I like to keep it close for a while. A dear friend said she felt the same about her photography work. And then, after a while I am ready to let the work go to another home. We have had these paintings hanging on our walls for a long time now, but I still enjoy looking at them - so much texture and reflections in them!

The weather is perfect and mosquitoes are barely awakening. No bites yet! Spent as much time outdoors this weekend as possible. Forest bathing is my favorite past time.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Iris, 11" round flower painting by Natasa Vretenar

I was a bit stuck so to get the muse going, I did several things all at once - painted a New Mexico challenge painting (have not done that in a long time!), started a small sculpture, and made a few new ornaments! Once I get started, ideas keep coming for new work! So excited about it.

Thursday, May 3, 2018


I have plenty of solitude - time to truly find my path, and artistic muse. It is a work in progress. I always like to shake things up a bit to get energized and I started working on several projects that are a bit different from my work in the past year or so.

I started working on a small sculpture - having so much fun with it, trying new materials and rendering in 3D. I love it. Here is a picture of my "ornament factory"

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Cock fight

I am thinking about how to incorporate in my work human interactions by using animals as the main protagonists. Interesting things are starting to emerge. This is an older painting of a cock fight I did a few years back 11x14" on a panel.

The Messenger of Immortality 12x24"