Sunflowers Rising – An Unusual Commission

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yellow blue watercolor
I’ve received an interesting commission request recently; an unusual one for sure.
One of my clients asked to paint sunflowers for her. Nothing unusual yet. I have painted sunflowers many times and my customer was sure I can handle the job. She liked the bunch of sunflowers that I have painted before:
Realism Impressionism In Watercolor
My client asked if I can finish already started painting of sunflowers. Her late father-in-law was a wonderful watercolor artist and died before finishing this artwork. 
His name was Palmer Stinson. He entered a world of watercolors when he turned 70; and he painted for more than a decade producing gorgeous landscapes, floral paintings, and still life artworks. He also loved to paint Sunflowers. Palmer started a series of sunflower paintings and had chance to complete two large pieces. 
The last one he started; but, late years and illness did not allow him to paint; and he had to stop before age 88. 
I have to admit, the request to finish one artist’s work was surprising and a little bit scary. But I was also curious how I will handle it. I had to work in collaboration with the artist’s spirit.
The Sunflowers were already drawn on a paper and the artist was able to place a couple of washes for the flowers:
I had to cover the work that was already done and mask the flowers and leaves for a background wash:

I chose bright ultramarine blue for the background, and started from small sections going up:

The last section of the blue background was tougher than I thought. The section was large and I had to go carefully around each petal (even they were preserved by masking liquid) as I didn’t want to ruin the beautiful artist’s work on sunflowers:
After the background was completed, I have started painting sunflowers’ leaves and stems:

watercolor
Then I placed the veins on the leaves and texture on the sunflowers’ centers.
The artwork was completed:
completed artwork
I did enjoy painting this artwork, working in collaboration with the artist that passed away; yet he was there in his artwork. 
One evening, when I just finished painting the first few ultramarine blue sections, a thought crossed my mind:

“What if there is a message that artist wanted to place into this artwork. I wonder if he was thinking to place some kind of symbol there; maybe… a heart”

Imagine my surprise, when I came back to the work-inprogress to continue painting, I saw an obvious heart, in one of the leaf. 
And not even one heart I noticed but two were there! 

And I have not noticed them before:
Conscious or subconscious ? Who knows! 
The message has been received
:0)



Face-ing the Art Show

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Six of my paintings were accepted into the Art Show Faces by Art & Culture Commission of Contra Costa County . I am glad I could pull them together as some were in private collections. 
My sister Masha Batkova took these photos and proposed that as soon the show’s called Faces, my face should be next to each painting :0)

The art show is at Art Passages Gallery, which is located in historical downtown Martinez, 651 Pine Street, open until February 4th, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am  – 5:00 pm
Everyone is Welcome!!!


In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Facebook – The Book Of Faces

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I wonder if there will be a time when somebody says “Facebook” people actually don’t think instantaneously about a blue “f” but in fact will think about a Book Of Faces. Here I placed my Book of Faces so to speak, which has the resent portraits I’ve painted. It is actually fun to see them in one place.
Below is the painting that I finished last night. I want to call it “Grab The Summer, And Don’t Let It Go” (ok, maybe a shorter than that :0)

See Detailed Image Here

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10″x14″ Watercolor on 300lb Arches Watercolor Paper

In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul