Made In USA – and – California Grown

apple, apples, artist that takes commisson, California, California Grown, commission art, Dogs, Made In USA, Painting, picking apples, portrait, realism in watercolor, season, Watercolor
apples man dogs
My latest large painting is complete. 
I picked such name, Made In USA, as I remember my husband joking: If I ever get a tattoo, it shell be “Made In USA”.. I find  it very patriotic indeed :0)..

So, I picked the subjects for my painting: 
All Are Made In USA.

First, I painted the dogs: Fred and George – Made In USA
realism in watercolor
Then I moved to painting apples, one by one: proudly grown in our garden, by ourselves..and… Made In USA
realism in watercolor
Then I took Hookers Green and Grass Green paint by Daniel Smith Co (made in USA) and painted flowers, foliage, and grass:
foliage green art
And the final, Golden Centerpiece of this painting is my husband, who is also “Made In USA”, in fact, in a beautiful Golden State of California. 
He is proudly washing apples. And, by the way, those apples were sweet, sweet!! :0)
Apple Harvest realism In watercolor
It certainly takes a long time to grow apples. It took me more than a season to finish this artwork.

George and Fred cannot believe they were so small one day!

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

A Couple And The Sea

after wedding, artist that takes commission, baby, Baltic Sea, coming, commission art, commissions, family portraits, newly wed, ocean, realism in watercolor, sailboat, sea
a couple in water
A newly wed couple at the sea.. I wanted to paint them in bright colors and a great contrast to emphasize the beginning of the family life: bright and cloudless (at least at the beginning ;).. 

They are looking at the sailboat far on the horizon. 

I wanted to have a sailboat in the painting as a symbol of light, full of adventurous future..
watercolor water
I painted the couple from the photograph, and I know that those days when photo was taken, the two went to the Baltic Sea for the vacation, warm weather allowed them to get their feet wet and have some time for just themselves. And by the way, the wife just broke a great news to her husband; it was a baby coming on board. 

Great new beginning, new life, new family, and … 
a new painting :0)
He and She

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

Dogs And Bones

anatomy, body, bones, commission art, Dogs, drawings, labrador, Painting, parts, pets portraits, puppies, puppy, realism, realistic, study, Watercolor
realistic watercolor
My two cute puppies are playing: Fred (the Blondy) was almost a year old, and George (the Red Head) was just a couple or three months. 

This is a fragment of a large painting that is still in progress. I just wanted to share those two brothers’ conversation. George was always picking on Fred; but, he was also learning…

I wonder what kind of lesson he is receiving here? 
Dog knows!

And speaking of learning, in my Figure Drawing class we are working on a lot of bones and body parts.

Here are just a few of them:
realistic drawing
And a few more:
drawings body parts

And a glorious torso of Mister Skeleton himself:
illustration Halloween scary
Aha! Something spooky for upcoming Halloween :0)

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

Sweet Memories

artist that takes commissions, cat, cats, commission, commission art, Fine Art, Irina, memories, mouse, pets, pets portraits, story, sweet, Sztukowski
mouse painting
(prints are available HERE)
One mysterious thing happened to me a few days ago. 

I had to paint a cat, who died last year. For this sweet memory artwork, the owner sent me a photo. Together with the first photo, she sent a picture of her new cat. Ok, I thought, I’ll place both cats on one painting. The cat that was gone will be on the framed photo and the alive one will look through the window. 

Just as I was ready to paint I’ve learned a terrible news: the other cat was found dead on the street next to his house. So sad…

…I started working on the painting. My plan for the composition did not change, except, that for some reason I decided to place a mouse next to the first kitty. The same toy I placed on the window. Why? I had no explanation, but “why not, each cat might have a mouse-toy at some point, right?”

But how little I knew. When the painting was delivered to the owner; she almost burst in tears. Her beloved cats were “speaking” to her from the painting looking so much like in real life. She also asked how I KNEW about the mouse story. What story?!

 And here it goes: 

When the first cat died, she packed all his toys and placed them to the attic. Yet one toy was missing: his favorite mouse. Later, when she invited a second pet, he found the toy and it became one of his favorite, as if the first cat passed it to the new one as a generous gift.

Original Painting Sweet Memories is 8″x10″ on 140lb Fabriano Watercolor Paper

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

When Paris Comes To San Francisco

artist that takes commission, commission, commission art, Eiffel Tower, exhibition, France, Irina's watercolors, Paris, realism in watercolor, San Francisco, show, Sztukowski
This new painting accompanied with five others, is now on Geary Blvd in San Francisco. 
Recently opened Cafe Coco  invited me to show my large artworks there:

4201 Geary
(between 7th Ave & 6th Ave) 
San FranciscoCA 94118

I don’t think I’d ever be tired of painting the Eiffel Tower. Each time I do it, I find new intricate nuances. This time I made The Tower almost weightless, floating in the orange purple dramatic skies of Paris.

Original Painting Eiffel Tower is 24″x17″ on 140lb Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper

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

Watercolor Cat

art that takes commission, cat portrait, commission, commission art, commisson, family, friend, kitty, Painting, pet, pet portraits, portrait, Watercolor
Oh, not me.. she “Didn’t Do It”.. I did paint her.. :0)
My customers provided the photos of their friend’s cat and asked me to paint her. 
They will make a gift and surprise their friend. 
This cat is a precious part of their friend’s life. 

Meet Anna: a 14-year old fuzz-ball. 

When I saw the pictures I wanted to add some color to her life, not just a gray pavement. And I wanted to place some story into my painting. The cat looked to me young even though I knew her age. So, I thought that some kid-ish thing will be well appropriate for her.
And here it goes: SHE DIDN’T DO IT ;0)
Original Painting of Cat is 10″x8″ watercolor on Fabriano 140 Cold Pressed paper

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

A Baby Portrait and a Toddler Portrait

artist that takes commission, baby portrait, children portraits, commission art, family portrait, girl portrait, toddler portrait, watercolor portrait

Here are two sketch-like portraits of a baby and a toddler. 
I am working on an a larger art piece these days, a cityscape. And at the end of the day I was so tired of painting all the windows and walls that I needed to do something totally different. 
The opportunity was sitting in my Photo Reference folder. I wanted to paint these two portraits of a baby an a toddler long time ago. And the time has come. The baby was just a few months old when I took the photo (oh, no no don’t think she is now going to the college, but pretty close ;0)..she is almost one.. but, time flies as we know) and the picture of a toddler came from friend (her daughter on a beach a couple years ago).
Just look to compare how much a few years can change. The baby’s head is not certainly strong on her  shoulders, her body was comfortably leaning to mama’s chest. Her eyes are curious looking at the World. Her fluffy hair are so gentle and light. What a precious age, which will pass by so quick! Now look at the toddler. Her head-turn is well pronounced, her hair-dress is almost sophisticated. And even though her eyes are looking away, I think she already has a new game in her creative mind.  
Original Paintings are 8″x10″ watercolor on 140lb Cold Pressed paper
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Standing By The Sea

artist that take commission, Carolyne Swayze, commission, commission art, Dramatic Sky, girl, girl watching ocean, illustration, ocean, rocks, sailboat, sailing ship, sea, Standing by the sea, Watercolor, waves
See the detail Image HERE
This painting was an inspiration after reading a beautiful poem Standing By The Sea by Carolyne Swayze. The author approached me with the request to illustrate the poem; and, the moment I read it, I knew what I wanted and how I wanted it to be painted.
 The poem was speaking to me in a very personal way. I’ve remembered my Grandmother who died at the end of year 2000, right before I came to America. It was so hard to let her go. She was my true soul mate ( in more Universal than romantic way). Living long but very hard life, she made herself becoming my great example; and, even now, writing this note I feel her peaceful presence in my memory (yet for some reason the tears are ready to come out)
I am sure that the poem would find a place in the hearts of the readers.
In my painting the boat is sailing into the Future, but the girl has her own Future and needs to find her own way. Her hand touches the heart and her heart is aligned with the ship at the horizon. The clouds on the left are darker and dramatic, when the clouds on the right are melting away lit by a Sun.
The poem speaks for itself:
Standing By The Sea
One day as I stood by the sea,
a sailing ship did sail towards me.
What beauty I thought,
what splendor, what grace,
when all at once my heart did race,
for as it neared, at a leisurely
I saw a figure with my mother’s face.
I called to her with all my might,
she turned and smiled, then sailed
out of sight.
For one eternal moment I stood and
before falling to my knees in
motherless despair.
At just that moment I heard a sound,
through teary eyes, I looked around,
to see an Angel, hovering over the
The Angel spoke in hallowed voice,
“Rejoice, dear child, for on
this day
a trip to Glory is underway,
and when she reaches the arriving
she’ll greet loved ones gone on
So lament no more,”  the
Angel scried,
“For God’s Kingdom awaits her on
the other side.”
© Copyright 1997 Carolyne Swayze
All rights reserved. 
Original Artwork is 16″x12″ on 300 lb Arches Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper

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

Muy Caliente! Pineapple Habanero – Jam Labels Project

artist that takes commission, commission art, habanero, Home Decor, home sweet home, jam, jam labels, orange, pineapple, red, spicy, Uncategorized, Watercolor, yellow
Detailed Image is HERE
My Jam Labels project is developing into very interesting and a creative venue. Not only my customer makes delicious sweet jams, she also mixes a sweet with a heat. And here is the great wild example, pineapple habanero. When I received her request to paint that spicy family my mind was wondering how to accomplish this unusual combination, how to place papers next to the pineapple in the way they compliment each other. 
I cut my pineapple and left its beautiful leaves for the contrast. The habanero peppers were placed on both sides to give a stability to the composition. Their tails are up in the air as if whole painting is smiling. I swear when I painted this piece my mouth was watering just from thinking of flavor, sweetness and richness of this combination.
 And the good part to work on such projects such Jam Labels is that my customer provided me with the sample. And oh yeah: It was delicious! 
Muy Caliente!!!
And here is one of the labels:
8″x10″ Watercolor on Arches 140lb Cold Pressed
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Grandma! Let’s Go On Vacation!

art that sells, children painting, commission, commission art, girl in the red hat, girl painting, kids portrait, portrait, realism in watercolor, red hat, Sztukowski, toddler painting, Uncategorized, Watercolor
Detailed Image HERE
My friend shared a few of her granddaughter’s recent pictures in case I choose some of them to paint. When I looked at this one, I couldn’t stop thinking how great it would be on a painting or on the card. The toddler’s hands movement, the smile, the red hat, all of this was just calling for a great vacation theme, isn’t it :0). I can’t say the name of the girl due to a privacy (Thank God the glasses protect her identity 😉 too)  ; but I can tell you her name shines like morning Sun. 
14″x10″ Winsor&Newton Watercolor, 300lb Cold Pressed Arches 
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul