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I love gesso?

26 Apr

I have been away for a long time. Life is happening. My matleave has ended, I am juggling work, 2 kids in daycare (read: constantly getting sick), household, and hobby. And while I do my arts projects every now and then – finding the time to share them here has been tough.

But looks like I am finally finding the new balance of things, so hopefully I will be creating AND sharing…

I am taking another year-long class with Carla Sonheim this year. I missed many of the assignments this year. Some for the lack of time, others for the lack of interest. Quite a few were collage-centered, and collage is just something far out of my interest. I don’t collect stuff and looking for stuff to cut out and use in my art feels pointless. I am much happier creating my own stuff 🙂

But this week I took a day off and got into it and… fell in love with the new technique: using gesso to create textured images. I took a quick trip to the art supplies store, bought the gesso and three wooden blocks for painting – and created three paintings, reusing my old sketches. And I personally love the results 🙂

These are small, about 15×15 cm (6×6 inches) – but I love them 🙂


Hello there

Suspended and floating


Children’s Book

22 Jan

Here’s a book I authored and illustrated for my friend’s second son’s birth. It’s in Russian as she’s Russian, so I wrote the translation below each page:

Medicine from Boredom

Medicine from Boredom

One sunny day Misha was bored.

“wanna bake a cake?” – asked Grandma

3. "Wanna ride a bike?" - asked Dad

3. “Wanna ride a bike?” – asked Dad

4. "Wanna come over?" - asked Grandparents

4. “Wanna come over?” – asked Grandparents

5. Mom didn't ask anything. She left.

5. Mom didn’t ask anything. She left.

6. Misha was bored. Very bored.

6. Misha was bored. Very bored.

7. And then... "WHAAAAAAA!"

7. And then… “WHAAAAAAA!”

8. "Who are you?" - "I am your baby brother Stefan and I am bored"

8. “Who are you?” – “I am your baby brother Stefan and I am bored”

9. Since then, Misha was never bored again. He now had his best friend, his baby brother Stefan.

9. Since then, Misha was never bored again. He now had his best friend, his baby brother Stefan.

Started illustrating for a newspaper!

18 Jan

I started illustrating for a newspaper. A tiny local one – but I am illustrating 🙂

Here’s my first illustration for a tongue in cheek article advising people on what toys to buy other people’s kids (noisy, messy, etc.)

Markers, photoshop


22 Aug

I disappeared. I haven’t posted in – what, THREE months? Wow 🙂

Well, I have been drawing only very occasionally. And I never havw the time to take photos of my sketches and photoshop it to correct the colours…

And then I realized that one of the reasons I barely held a pencil/pen/brush was that my head was full of false ideas that I need to have an idea before drawing. An illustration with a story behind it. A real painting. Or – if just a sketch – it has to be a study of something real.

And as I have no ideas and I never have the time to sketch when I am outside – and there’s nothing interesting inside my house, really – I simply stopped painting. So sad!

Once this realization hit me, I waited for both of my kids to be in bed – opened a pad of paper I bought about 6 months ago (with paper for markers) and just started, curious to see what is so special about this paper.

It all started with a pink circle. Which turned into a face. Which turned into a girl. Which turned into a playground full of kids.

And then the next day I drew more kids.

And then even more.

This is so unusual. I have never painted/drawn kids before. And I always start with no idea as to what kind of scene I am going to paint. It’s all spontaneous. And I love it!

Free Strathmore Online Workshops

21 Mar

So far what has been posted is nothing new, but still… worth saving a link – maybe later they’ll post something a bit more advanced.

My trip to Windsor, Canada

24 Jan

This week I went to Windsor, Ontario. I took the train and the morning sunlight, the blue long shadows from the trees, the snowy fields mesmerized me – so I pulled out my sketchbook and tried to capture the landscapes quickly skipping by:

I made a couple of sketches from my hotel – of the Detroit skyline across the river, and of Windsor and the bridge to the US. On the left, is a sketch of a corridor of the Canadian Club Whisky Brand Centre in Windsor:

Here’s another sketch from the Canadian Club Whisky Brand Centre in Windsor – this is the tasting room, the grains that go into a Canadian whisky, the vials with aged whisky, and the actual tasting room:

Finally, this a globe from the Brand Centre, and passengers waiting for the train at the Windsor Train Station:

Art Journal – Inspiration and Advice

22 Jan

My hubby gave me this awesome book as a xmas present: “An Illustrated Life. Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers” by Danny Gregory. It is essentially a collection of scan from various people’s sketchbooks – and their stories about themselves and their sketchbook tricks, rules and approaches.

Danny Gregory’s “The Illustrated Life”

So inspiring!

I wanted to share some that stuck out for me.

From: Danny Gregory

Periodically, I give myself assignments. I will draw each bite I take from an apple, or every car on my street, or all the contents of my fridge, or each position my dog assumes when he pees in the park. I have filled entire books with daily self-portraits or with each person on death row, or all black CEOs in the Fortune 500.

Butch Belair:

I usually draw alone in my car…sometimes I will drive to a place that has caught my attention in the past. But usually, I just get in my car and try to get lost…finding a place to park is also very important in selecting a site.

France Belleville:

I share a moleskine journal with someone in Canada. We’ve been filling it with drawings and sending it back and forth between New Jersey and Quebec

Paola Gaviria:

When I work from home, i have other sketchbooks I work on in a more deliberate way: following a theme or a subject, or using only one kind of ink, exploring only one subject or using narrative on one specific topic.

Barry Gott:

When I look back at them [my sketchbooks], I feel a genuine sense of satisfaction, as something that’s completely in my own voice and on my own terms.

James Kochalka:

Diary comic strip every day…I quit…but I didn’t my work done…I just played video games. It turns out that drawing in my diary actually makes me more productive. It gives me energy to keep going.

Paul Madonna:

I believe the brain can hold so much. I let my mind wander and pay attention to where it goes. This is, in part, how I practice creativity. Once an idea is chosen as an idea, to hold onto it freezes that creative movement. By putting it down on paper, getting it out of my mind, I am free to wander.

Sketchbooks are interesting and beautiful objects in the way that bloopers and deleted scenes are interesting from your favourite movie.

Christoph Mueller:

At times I get fascinated and depressed when everything I draw looks like shit. But that’s the good thing about a book: just turn the fucking page, as in life. Keep on making it down the road, keep on filling those pages no matter what.

Marilyn Patrizio:

I try to buy new sketchbooks when I am on vacation/traveling. My shiny new book will have the dual purpose of being both a souvenir and also a functional surface to store my scribbles.

Trevor Romain:

An open sketchbook is like two outstretched arms welcoming me. They accept me in whatever mood I’m in and they’re always there,open and ready no matter where I am or what undies I’m wearing.

Without my journals, hundreds of amazing moments in my life would just be lost memories in some dark filing cabinet in the back of my mind, which will never be seen again.

Paul Soupiset:

I retreated to sketchbooks when I got frustrated and impatient with painting. The end product of a painting usually comes so much later that the initial inspiration so that the original meaning became lost to me. I was thinking more about my audience and less about the inspiration and subject matter.

Melanie Ford Wilson:

I doodle on everything. Constantly. Grocery lists, sales receipts, my (literal) desktop, my legs and arms, book covers, my husband… an yes, in my sketchbook! Whenever I clean out my studio (or the house in general), I toss the doodle bits I like into a box. Then every couple of months or so, I go through the box and tape or glue the bits I like, or the bits that are in some way similar to the other bits, onto a sketchbook page for “safe keeping.”