Thursday, May 30, 2013


6" x 6"
oil on gessobord
This painting was painted in my painting time as I mentioned in my earlier post. In my painting time I'm not supposed to think about what I am doing, but to paint instinctively and spontaneously (using my right brain)...

Ok, I'm having troubles with not thinking. I think about values, edges, color combination, brushwork etc. Sometimes it takes me more than three hours to finish a 6" x 6" painting. Please help! Do you have any ideas how can I use my right brain? Thank you in advance!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


6" x 6"
oil on gessobord

I've been blogging and publishing my paintings for almost four months. My goal for May was to publish more than nine posts and I did it! Great job!

I'm wondering if I should start a 30-day-painting-challenge... I wanted to do it for a while. And no better time than now. I'm a little bit concerned about me working halftime. Usually I'm very tired after work and don't feel like going to my studio, but for a challenge sake I'll figure something out... What a great idea!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gerbera & Lemon

"Gerbera & Lemon"
6" x 6"
oil on gessobord

I noticed when it gets gray and rainy at the coast I want to paint yellow subjects. I'm just craving for sunshine and warmth...

In this study I tried not to overwork my flower. I know from my personal experience how ease it can be done. I want to quote Carol Marine, "In a way you must think of painting like a chess game. You are making moves, and you must plan out the order of your moves so you don’t get beat. Often if you make too many moves, you get mud as a result. In this way, painting can also be compared to golf - the fewer strokes the better."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

White Rhododendron

"White Rhododendron"
6" x 6"
oil on gessobord

One of the reasons I love living in Oregon is its spring time with many blossoms. So beautiful! Rhododendrons are everywhere, and so many colors... I wanted to paint a white one but I only have pink and red bushes in my yard, so I asked a friend to cut a little twig...

After yesterday's study this painting looks very subdued with all kinds of grays. I love gray as much as I love other colors. Gray makes bright colors look brighter. Please note that I didn't use pure white to paint flowers...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Stargazer Lily

"Stargazer Lily"
6" x 6"
oil on gessobord
I painted this lily twice. The first time I spent more than two hours trying to make it work and of course ended up with an overworked panel and a not so alive lily. I didn't want to give up and decided to wipe it off, what gave me relief and freedom, and to try it again. For the second time I focused on values and not details and tried to work as fast as I could... As a result I've got a lively flower study. Never give up!

Friday, May 17, 2013


"Lilac and Oranges"
10" x 8"
oil on canvas panel

It seems to me that many artists painted lilac (Manet, Levitan, Korovin etc.), and now I know why. First it has very beautiful flowers, second its magical fragrance, third its heart-shaped leaves, forth and the most important - you only can enjoy it once a year. So I knew I had to hurry and paint it while it lasted.

A couple of days ago I mentioned to my husband that I was looking for lilac, and he took it very seriously. He went to several nurseries, tried to find a wild tree, and even knocked on somebody's door and asked if they would sell a limb or two (understandably people didn't want to cut their tree) and no luck. I almost gave up on the idea when the other day my husband brought home two big branches of two different colors - white and purple. It was a wonderful surprise. It turned out his friend's mom wanted to trim her lilac tree and was happy when my husband offered to do that.

I grew up in Russia and when I was a child I used to look for five-petal-lilac flower to eat it for good luck... So I wonder if I could find one. And I did:

I am not sure I will eat it but I hope it will bring good luck to anybody who sees it...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Plein Air at the Coast

It was a very beautiful Tuesday morning in Lincoln City, Oregon. Sun was shining, no wind, warm - plein air painter's dream! Here at the coast it often rains or gets windy, so painting outside is not always easy. But nothing is better than finding a spot, setting up your studio and start painting... It cannot get any better except when you get together with your artistic friends. And I got lucky! Two of other oil painters joined me. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me, but next time I make a couple of pictures of us painting. It is very interesting to see how several artists interpret the same scene. Results can be very different...And here is my interpretation:

"Low Tide"
8" x 10"
oil on canvas panel 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Composition with Apples

"Composition with Apples"
8" x 10"
oil on canvas panel

It was another attempt to paint metal. Unfortunately my aged aluminum bowl wasn't very shiny. The newer metal object is the more interesting and clearer reflections it has. Remember the old-master-paintings where the artists captured reflections of themselves painting? 

I bought these yellow-greenish apples a couple of days ago for my class. It was very tempting to eat one or two, but I decided to paint them first... A friend of mine asked me once if I ate my fruit objects after they were painted. Yes, I do. They taste much better that way...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sunflowers and Lemons

"Sunflowers and Lemons"
8" x 10"
oil on canvas panel

I got inspired by the warm study I did a day before. I wanted to set up a still life where warm colors would be dominant. It was nice to make a "serious painting" not a study for a change. It took longer but I really enjoyed painting it.

Quang Ho, one of my favorite artists, mentioned in one of his videos that still life painting is very meditative. Finally I could understand what he was talking about. I know it is not always that enjoyable if there is no concept in mind and no idea what one is doing...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Warm Dominance

6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

I wanted to submit a painting to a challenge on warm/cool dominance. I noticed that almost all of my paintings have a cool dominance. It needed to be fixed. What can be warmer than sunflowers? And thanks to my lovely husband I had them on hand... I definitely can feel heat from all reds and yellows when I look at this study.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Egg Challenge

8" x 10"
oil on canvas panel

The last painting of the workshop. It is a little bit sad... Well, I learned a lot, met wonderful talented artists and had fun driving to Eugene.

One of the things I learned today - Don't be intimidated by your subject and just paint values that you see. So I did...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Street Musicians

"Street Musicians"
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

I took a picture of these guys playing in Paris near famous Notre Dame Cathedral a couple of years ago while traveling through Europe. I cannot remember what the guy in the middle was doing. It looks like he is sitting on a speaker and drumming on it. Well, I'm not a musician... Does anybody have any idea??